Monday, March 9, 2015

Middle School Monday - Winter Blahs

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How Do I Homeschool When We Have the Winter Blahs? on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Welcome to Middle School Monday! We survived another snowfall last week, and we were able to do school while the local public schools had to declare snow days. But I still think we have a bit of a case of the Winter Blahs, maybe a slight Cabin Fever temperature too. A few of us were talking about this on a homeschool message board, so I bet it's not just us struggling with motivation and perseverance this time of year.

I keep saying we're doing pretty well with staying on track with schoolwork, with one notable exception... we have been neglecting Science. I am ashamed. But how do we get back at it and get some momentum when what we feel like doing is going back to bed and being lazy?!

Turns out I didn't need to go much further than my own archives to see what I've done and recommended in the past for working through disruptions and doldrums, and for dealing with our attitudes and motivation. So I adjusted my own advice for dealing with spring fever and unexpected disruptions to the school schedule to give ourselves a pep talk for working through the Winter Blahs.
Homeschool Coffee Break: Middle School Monday - Getting Through the Winter Blahs @
This is our School Scripture this year - we need this reminder!
Know what needs to be done, and make a plan for doing it. I found out that Kennady has not been using her My Student Logbook for awhile. (But Landon has been keeping his up to date faithfully - good for him!!) Well, here's part of our problem! She's gotten haphazard with a couple of things that she should be doing regularly because she hasn't been checking them off the list! Lest I lay that blame all at her feet, guess what I neglected? I failed to give her (and Landon) updated assignment lists for a couple subjects. There's no excuse either, since assignment lists are super easy to generate with my Homeschool Tracker. Well, no wonder they haven't met the deadlines! Today I will print updated assignment lists, and help Kennady set up a new page in the logbook.

My Student Logbook review

Watch the clock and the calendar. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I hit the snooze button. I know I can hit it twice but on the third time, I must get up, and I do. But for some reason, I "hit the snooze button" during the day and never actually "get up". What's the deal with that? If I say we're starting Science at one o'clock, right after lunch, why are we not at the table with the books open by 1:05 at the latest? This is nothing but laziness, and it's on me. I can hardly expect my kids to stick to a schedule if I don't, and if there aren't any consequences for being late or "absent". Today I will make it a priority to get started on time and resist the temptation to procrastinate.

Homeschool Coffee Break: Middle School Monday - Getting Through the Winter Blahs @

Try something new or different! Maybe it's just time to switch it up a bit. Some of our routines work great - like Literature. Kennady never balks at getting the assigned reading done, or working on writing assignments. Other routines might benefit from a breath of fresh air, I suppose. We don't need to ditch any curriculum, but it sure won't hurt to mix in something new or different to spark interest and enthusiasm. And talk about perfect timing... has revamped the website and it's even easier to navigate and use now, plus it is absolutely stuffed full of great materials! Obviously, we can't use all of it, but there's a lot there we can use, so I'm going to be more intentional about finding tie-ins and extras there that we can try. (If you're not already a member at, now is a great time to check it out! Your first month's membership will cost just $1 and gives you full access to over 100 courses for your whole family, which you can navigate by subject or grade level. It's a great deal, and the regular price of membership is just $5.95/month.) Today I will look for at least one fun extra project to add to our studies.

Homeschool Coffee Break: Middle School Monday - Getting Through the Winter Blahs @

Rewards should be earned. We have a bad habit of treating ourselves before we've finished the task at hand. Yes, taking breaks during the schoolday are fine, but I think we need to be more careful to keep the breaks short, and be diligent about getting back to work when the break is over. Snow days are fun for us, but they are all the more enjoyable when we've worked diligently so that we're not avoiding schoolwork and letting it pile up faster than the snow! Also, I guess maybe I should look for ways to reward the little milestones along the way - another chapter in the math book finished, a perfect score on a Geography quiz, every 50 days of school in the books... things like that. After I shared a cartoon on Facebook that showed an Algebra problem and the character saying, "I have no idea.I think I'll have a donut.", Kennady told me she thought having donuts after completing a math lesson would help her work faster. Well, I am not about to run to the donut shop every day after she does a math lesson, but I bet we could stop for a donut once in awhile as a reward for completing a unit. Today I will make sure we save our leisure activities for breaks and "after school"; and I will tell Kennady how much math she has to do before she earns her next donut. :-)

Homeschool Coffee Break: Middle School Monday - Getting Through the Winter Blahs @

I realize that a lot of that sounds like work, and might not be the first thing we think of when we're looking for a way to beat the blues or the blahs. But real life means that we can't take a vacation every time we get bored or stuck in a rut. In the real world, we often need to just power through some of those tough spots, and then we get our second wind. So that's what we're going to try. And more coffee. That should help too!

Homeschool Coffee Break: Middle School Monday - Getting Through the Winter Blahs @

How do you power through the Winter Blahs in your homeschool? Leave a comment and let me know!

Related posts:
Middle School Monday - We Have Joy, We Have Fun!
Studying With Spring Fever
K is for... Keeping It Real
D is for... Disruptions

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These are my thoughts on "How Do I Homeschool When . . . We Have the Winter Blahs?". Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see other Crew members' thoughts on homeschooling through various situations in the How Do I Homeschool When . . . Round-up, which will be live on Friday, February 5th.

How Do I Homeschool When ... ? 

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Annette said...

How do I get through the winter blahs? well I normally don't get them and this year we had a funeral to handle and then a surgery to look forward to so it never really hit us. :)

Annette @ A net In Time

Anonymous said...

I like it. We were seriously under motivated for anything all last fall and leading into Christmas. I think we just needed to take a break and recharge so that we could focus. My hubby was off two weeks at Christmas and having that "vacation with Daddy" really helped us refocus....and of course, the new Crew items coming in have helped as well!

Sheila said...

I needed to read this.....we have been doing a ton of self care, but it's time to hop back on the wagon!!!

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