Every year around this time, there’s something that may creep in slowly, or march in and stay awhile like an unwanted house guest. That unwelcome guest is known as the blahs, also known as the February Funk. Banish the blues with these tips and ideas!
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Everyone is excited to start the new school year in August or September. By October, the homeschool honeymoon beings to wear off a little. Thankfully, October is such a fun month! The weather is great to get outside and enjoy the fall season, and we carry on. The holidays in November and December get most of us off schedule, but it’s okay, it’s the holiday season after all. January brings a renewed energy and most of us welcome getting back into a routine.
Now it’s February. The shortest month that seems to last forever. Depending on where you live, you are either sick of the snow, the cold, or the dreary days. Spring break seems so very far away. It’s too cold or wet to get outside much. Cabin fever sets in, and the next thing you know, we get the blahs.
The February Funk stinks. It leaves you unmotivated, irritable, and dare I say, it’s when many homeschoolers give up. DON’T. JUST DON’T!
Last week, in my monthly Fanatic News Flash, I began a quick list of ideas to change up a day or two in February in order to beat the blahs. These blahs can be an epidemic that runs wide and far in the homeschool community. As I started my list, I soon decided the list deserved it’s own post. I’ve included a printable over in the Free Resource Library for you to grab. I plan to keep one in my master binder to have close by for fending off the blahs. It doesn’t necessarily have to be February for the blahs to come around, now does it?
16 Ideas to Beat the Blahs
In honor of our daughter’s upcoming 16 birthday, here are 16 ideas! Thanks to her special day, we will really be beating the blahs this year!
- Older kids may enjoy a new elective. What are they interested in? Cooking, coding, photography? A small break in an academic subject can be a welcomed change for all. Schoolhouse Teachers.com has fantastic electives for a change of pace. They frequently have special sales, so check it out!
- Little or big kids can benefit from a fun unit study. There are many ideas online! Have you tried any from UnitStudy.com? There are tons of fun studies to choose from for all ages!
- Have a D.E.A.R. day! That stands for Drop Everything and Read! The official day is in April, but any time reading takes precedence is a good day. Start a new read-aloud, take turns reading to each other, or write your own stories. You Choose stories are great, and can be enjoyed by multiple ages! Of course, I can help you find the perfect books from Usborne Books & More!
- A fun thing we have enjoyed is three minute writing. Everyone begins with a piece of notebook paper, and starts a story. After three minutes have passed, trade papers (include yourself, mama)! After three more minutes, trade again. Trade again if you like. Return the papers to originators, then take turns reading the stories. The stories usually turn out much different than the originator intended!
- Play board games – all day. Most of us have closets full, and often do not get enough use. To make the day even better, do it unannounced in the middle of the week! We enjoyed old and new games just this week: Bible Outburst, Even Steven’s Odd, Bananagrams, and one I’m currently reviewing, Continent Race. I’m looking forward to sharing my full review next month.
- Kahoot is a really cool game we have discovered recently. It’s especially fun for teens, because they get to use a cell phone, and it’s very competitive. There are many games ready to choose from, or you can make you own for whatever you happen to be studying.
- Mad Libs. A timeless classic of silliness!
- Cook up a dish from a foreign country, and learn about their customs. I like Eat Your Way Around the World for easy ideas!
- Work on life skills. It can even be disguised as a cleaning day! Take one area that needs deep cleaning and all pitch in. My filing cabinet is in need of an overhaul. While this is normally a task I would do myself, there’s a learning opportunity hiding in that cabinet. Closets are also a good group project. As the weather warms, landscaping and pressure washing is a rewarding activity because they can instantly see the results.
- Let them shadow you. My husband is self-employed, and is able to take our son with him to work. It doesn’t get more real-life than that! Our daughter is a tremendous help around the house, and that will certainly prepare her for caring for her own home one day.
- Have a project day. My son has a four wheeler he likes to tinker with, and my daughter has a Cricut machine that I’m sure she’d love to spend several hours with. Let them work on their own thing while you work on yours. With teens, time just doing their own thing without direction from mom is good.
- Bundle up and take a walk outside. In our case, put on your rain boots and take a walk. Fresh air does the body and mind good! If you have a nature trail near you, I have plenty of ideas in the Noticing Nature series.
- If art is their thing, have an art day! One big, messy day of it! If you typically avoid art because of the mess, it’s better to do it all at once.
- Have a freezer cooking day. Many hands would make light work of an otherwise daunting task. I’m going to be on the lookout for lunch recipes to prep ahead to help our lunch break (that is usually too long because of my unpreparedness).
- Have a movie or documentary day! Remember when the big television cart was rolled into class? I sure do!
- Of course, field trips are a winner. A day out of the house can be just what everyone needs.
Remember, a short season of the blahs is just that. A short season. You may need just a day or two of doing something out of the ordinary to improve everyone’s moral and get out of the slump. It’s totally okay to ditch the lesson plans occasionally. These days are often the ones best remembered! At some time or another, blahs happen to the best, but they will pass! Do you have additional ideas to share? I’d love to add them! Don’t forget to grab a printable version of this list in the new Free Resource Library under the heading Parent Resources.