The world around us is beginning to show signs of spring. Daffodils and crocuses are sending up bright green shoots from beneath the cold, brown earth. A robin braves the cold winds, hopping across the yard. These signs of life give us hope that the long winter will come to a close and warmer days are ahead.
Sometimes those warm days seem so long in coming. We get cabin fever after being cooped up indoors with the house all shut up tight. The month of February may be the shortest month on the calendar but it often feels like the longest month of the year. We are tired of our studies and long for something new. We are irritable from not getting enough fresh air and sunshine. We’ve been at the same old routine day in and day out.
These are all signs we need a little revival in our home school and springtime is just the right time for it. There are many who live in areas that stay warm all year round, but most families I know have at least a few months of winter and we all have one thing in common. We get antsy for springtime! We have at least several weeks left to finish up our school year and we are longing something fresh and new. I say “Embrace Spring and Celebrate!”
The Lord is busy bringing the earth back to life. This methodical rhythm is something we can count on and it’s a gift for us to enjoy. When those springlike days make an appearance it is time to throw caution to the wind, or at least, set aside our normally scheduled school day, and take advantage of that gift. It’s amazing how taking time to do something out of the ordinary will revive our attitudes and recharge our days.
What can we do to bring revival to our homeschool on those blessed, beautiful days? Here is a list of things our family enjoys as the seasons turn from cold to warm:
- Open the windows. Let the sun shine and the breezes blow! Choose the warmest part of the day and open up the windows even for a few minutes. It will air out the house, chase away the germs and wake up the brain. Sunshine and fresh air boost the feel-good-hormones in our brains, which will make a huge difference in how we tackle our lessons each day.
- Take a walk. Get the blood flowing and the joints moving. Winter tends to foster a more sedentary lifestyle, which brings our mood down. Walking even a short distance or just a few minutes at a time will recharge our bodies, our brains and our homeschool.
- Sit. Observe. Listen. When those warm days make an appearance, get out while they last. You don’t even have to have a plan. Just find a quiet spot to sit. Look around to see what changes are taking place. Listen quietly for signs of the changing seasons. Are the birds beginning to sing? Are the chipmunks rustling in the leaves? Maybe the earthworms are working their way up through the moist soil. These impromptu excursions are the very best science lessons of all!
- Take lessons outdoors. Sunshine wakes up the brain. Just ‘doing school‘ in a different place can help us think more clearly. Work math lessons at the picnic table in the backyard. Sit together at the park while reading your literature lessons out loud. Throw a blanket down on the hillside and curl up with a good book.
- Photograph or sketch your surroundings. So much changes from day to day, week to week this time of year. Why not document it? Choose one spot to visit often and make notes, draw, take pictures to show how things change over time. You’ll see the world come to life right before your very eyes. This incorporates art and science and nature, even writing and reading.
- Plant seeds. Springtime is when the world wakes up and comes to life. You can plant seeds of any kind in a pot or a tub or along the porch. Plan a flower or vegetable garden. Sowing and tending them teaches so many lessons – academic as well as character lessons. Pick up a couple of small herb plants and grow them in the windowsill if you don’t have room or time for a full-fledged garden.
- Plan a vacation. With spring days arriving, summer time is not far behind. Many take family vacations in the summer. Start planning now. Get out the maps and plot your course. Start lists of things to do and things to pack. Having something to look forward to often lights a fire under us to get our school work done so we can enjoy a trip without having unfinished schoolwork hanging over our heads.
- Think ahead. These spring days are the perfect time to evaluate what has been working well your your homeschool and what has not. What do you plan to continue next year and what needs to change? Getting these ideas down on paper will put you one step ahead when it comes to making plans for the next year. And if the kids are outdoors enjoying a nice spring day? Why not get out and do a little brainstorming yourself while soaking up that warm sunshine?
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking outside that Winter-Box. If the spring season at your house is anything like mine, it’s unpredictable. It teases us, making an appearance today but disappearing tomorrow. When we are ready to take advantage of those beautiful days, it makes it easier to endure the wintry days. Our spring-like days give us the hope and strength to hang on for good things to come.
A big thank you to Linda Sears of Apron Strings & other things for writing this article.