It’s that time of year – time of the mid-year slump. Teachers and homeschoolers everywhere know this all too well. But even if your children are in public school, you’re single or have no children you know the struggle is real. You come back from Winter break expecting to feel refreshed and ready to dive into your new goals and resolutions, but here it is, two weeks later, and you’re like: “Ummmmm…”
Or is just me? Lol.
No, as a matter of fact, I’ve been noticing it’s not just me. Many of us are struggling to get back into a routine, wake up early (especially after daylight savings changed) and get out that door (especially when it’s freezing cold in most places.)
Yesterday, on Periscope for Homeschool Happy Hour, I hosted a scope session where the girls and I were discussing 5 Ways You Can Beat the Mid Year Slump. I’ll be attaching that video as well, but thought I’d run through those real quick with you. 😉
Let’s get started!
Scale Back & Simplify
Coming back from a break and trying to hit the ground running is hard to do. So why even try?
There’s much more success when you start with baby steps and build on that. The chance of overwhelm lessens.
Just makes sense doesn’t it?
So what can we do?
Go back to basics. Start with your routines. Pick out the most important aspects of the day that have to be done and then…be good with that. (As in, “If that’s all I get done, I’m good with that.)
Allow room for margin. Don’t pack your schedule so tight. Is there anything you can put off for a week, or even a month?
For example, after the new year I had all sorts of plans: blogging goals, personal goals, spiritual goals. I decided to put off a lot of it until February. It takes time to ease back into your routine and right now that is what is most important.
And what does that mean for homeschoolers?
Perhaps you don’t need to do full school days. Perhaps you can go back to basics there, as well.
Think “Morning Meeting, Math, Reading, Bible Study.” That’s what we are doing.
In fact, to be quite honest, just math, reading and bible study.
You know how it feels when you come off of summer break and start schooling from 9 ’til 3.
Aim for 2-3 hours a day for a few weeks and build on that.
Trust me. It’s okay. Lol. 😉
Do Something Fun
Back to the dum-de-dum. Bye snowball fights, baking and crafting, shopping and playdates.
Booooo. No fun.
So add some fun!
The added benefit of cutting back and simplifying is that you have time to add in some exciting stuff.
Decorate your planner.
Sign up for a new class.
Make a new playlist.
Invite the friends over for drinks and a movie.
What that means for homeschoolers:
Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) the kids are less than enthused to get back to the schoolbooks. So plan something fun!
We’ve been crafting and making journals all week. (Visit our Instagram here for a peek at our projects.) And yesterday we did a bit of “culinary arts” and made peanut butter and chocolate cookies.
Is there a special unit that you’ve been waiting to do? Now is a great time to introduce something fun and quirky, like “The History of Pretzels”. Lol.
It’s also a great time to invite others over for playdates or art projects.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Let’s be real: Did you have everything perfectly planned out for January?
Oh. Cool. ‘Cause I didn’t.
Yes, yes, we say that over winter break we are going to make our schedules, lesson plans, planners, etc. for the new year but here it is (January 13th) and I still need to do my lesson planning, blog editorial calendar, and…yikes, so much I already forgot.
Oh, that’s right: habits and routines. That’s what I’m supposed to be doing.
So let me be open about this: if I don’t plan, things just don’t happen as smoothly.
Now, I’m not talking about going all OCD here, or planning to the minute. But what I am saying is this: I personally need to just take a few days off to sit down, plan, and get it done.
It reminds me of that saying: “A stitch in time saves nine.”
I can waste a whole month (or two or three) of half-hearted schooling simply because I’m putting off just taking a full day out to sit down and plan out the next 30 days.
So that is what I’m doing this week.
I’m taking out a few hours each day this week to plan our full-day, entire homeschool lessons for the rest of the month and for February. When everything is planned, written out, printed out and organized, the overwhelm dissipates and easing back into a full-time routine becomes more possible.
What you can do:
Grab those planners (you know you bought one!) and take a hour or two out to fill it in! Glam planning is a fun and creative approach to a practical method.
Think about your routines and daily habits that you need to begin. Flylady is great for that! It’s never too late to join!
And if you are a homeschooler: don’t be afraid to pump the brakes on the lesson plans and sit down next to your pile of books. A day of lesson planning, in time, saves nine! (I totally just made that up. But it works, right?)
Take Care of Your Body
Something that often affects us during this time of year is the lack of daylight.
Some of you know that I was born and raised in Alaska. During this time of year it is not uncommon for us to get 5-6 hours of daylight only. So many develop what’s called SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. It affects our chemistry and happy hormones.
So now more than ever we need to get outside, and get moving. We also need to take care of our mental health.
What you can do:
Eat clean, whole foods rich in brain-boosting vitamins and antioxidants.
Get outside each day for at least 20-30 minutes of sunlight.
Move that body, indoors or outdoors, and send your brain a healthy dose of happy hormones.
Get those kids sweating!
- You can build an obstacle course in the home or build a snowman outside.
- Take a nature walk.
- Get to the park and bring your lessons.
The ideas are really endless.
Introduce Something Fresh & New
It’s the new year, so why not? Why trudge through doing the same old thing?
Switch up your exercise routine.
Get your hair cut and styled differently.
Move your furniture around.
Take up a new hobby: lettering, journaling, collecting, painting, dance lessons, sports…expand your interests and your mind.
Homeschoolers, freshen it up by…
Introducing new curriculum.
- Start a new book to read together. Or let the kids pick out a new book.
- Start a new subject (like music or poetry or a foreign language).
- You could even introduce something challenging like critical thinking. We love the MindWare Perplexors series (found here on Amazon – affiliate link. Full disclosure here.)
Now is also a good time to do a mid-year assessment and ask yourself if your “homeschool style” or method is working.
Have you ever considered unschooling, or adopting a Charlotte Mason style school? Or perhaps you’d find it more efficient to teach through unit studies?
This fun quiz will help you to better assess what you naturally gravitate towards.
Who knows? It could be life changing.
I suppose I should probably go and put it into action.
Or grab a cup of coffee and a movie.
I have the rest of the year, right?
Okay, let’s do this!Click To Tweet
This post is linked with: