Some Days Are Hard: Getting Out of A Rut {and weekly wrap up for Jan 22, 2016}

Homeschooling When mama Has The Winter Blues

I love blogging, mainly because I enjoy writing, but also because I get emails and messages asking for help, our experiences etc.  I am a transparent person, so I love sharing here!

I usually have encouraging things to say, great review info, or experiences to share.  But lately …

Well, I’ve just been in a rut.  (Haven’t I written that before?!  … oh yes!  yes, I have)

I don’t get into school ruts often, though.  And I am still not 100% sure this rut I am in is directly school related, because I really feel like it’s a lack of the house being settled the move (some curtains not done, decorations not quite right, the basement isn’t perfectly set up, etc), and winter.

Every few years I just have a really hard time with winter-I remember specifically the years I was pregnant with Lexie and Max were hard.  Not every year is this way; as a matter of fact the last 2 years in Nebraska, where it was OH-MY-GOSH so cold and windy, where I never went outside in winter time and everything was covered in snow until May, I had winters that were just fine.  No ruts or frustrations or lack of motivation.

This winter has been really tough though.  I don’t know if it is a combo of pregnancy (man, the last 7 weeks were killer), or cabin fever or what, but I haven’t been myself.

And when mama isn’t herself, things seem to fall apart little by little.  And the first attack here is on menu planning, attitudes, and school.

SO … all that to say, over the last few weeks we have been reading our Sonlight books and doing those discussions, handwriting, weekly journal writings, and math (all because Lexie asks for them), but that’s it.  We haven’t hit science thoroughly, we haven’t done art much, which we all love, and have not been notebooking through our Bible stories.

I do have to say, the kids seem mostly unaffected as far as school goes.  They beg for learning time, books, activities, workbooks … it is me that feels *blah* about everything in general right now.

Weekly Wrap Up Jan 22, 2016

A sweet friend, and wonderful homeschool mama, came over this past week and we had a wonderful visit.  She helped me come to the conclusion that I just need to relax.

  • I can do the assignments Lexie is interested in, and the rest doesn’t matter, because she is 5.
  • We can sit around and read books all day; they’re learning so much just from that (which is what we used to do, before winter got here and I slowly became consumed with everything in the house around me).  It isn’t going to end the world if we leave a mess or two, or don’t get something done.  (remind me of this first thing in the morning!)
  • I NEED to get back to a solid routine

That’s the second part of this post … what has made the last few months inside hard has also been a disruption of routine.  We had a SOLID routine in place that was pretty much no-fail this summer and fall.  That block of time outside first thing in the morning was heaven for all of us, and just set the tone for school and the rest of our day.

Today, I can’t take the kids outside in 20 degree weather first thing in the morning, and enjoy my coffee while watching them play, or go pick the garden.  And it down right sucks.

We also didn’t have a library home.  In NE we could just get out and go to the library; have a bunch of books on hold and take them home and read.  Since we moved to KS, we haven’t joined a library, so my friend also helped with that! (Isn’t it wonderful who God puts in our lives?)

We went just last week to the library and I put a bunch of books about pioneers on hold. For the next few weeks we are going to read books on pioneers, cowboys, and the west (our current Sonlight topic and a favorite of both Lexie and Max’s), discuss, learn, maybe do some easy projects, and that’s it.  I am going to enjoy these days with my babies and try to CHILL OUT. (easier said than done, but I am trying)

I know mamas with older children are thinking, “I can’t just stop everything we are doing and relax” …. But you know, I think you can.  Isn’t that one reason why we homeschool?- because we know when we need a change, a break, or to feed our souls.  It is hard to change our mentality when our eyes see everything around us and our brain says “I must get it all done.”

But what’s the most important work?  That’s what I have to ask myself right now.  And the answer is loving and nurturing my kids; building those relationships.  It is a balance and it is HARD.

What to Do About Those Struggles

So, if you’re with me- stuck in a winter rut- know that it is okay.  I am working on identifying why I am struggling and what I can do to fix that.  So far, praying over it, and encouragement from a good, experienced friend has lead me to:

  1. relax
  2. work on a new routine and stick with it!
  3. take it to the Lord
  4. did I mention, relax?
  5. Work on my word of the year, which was Joy.  Find Joy in this winter ..

(not in that order….)

So I would say identify why you’re in a rut or struggling, make a plan to change those things, and go from there.  That’s what I am trying to do!  Trial and error, it is okay to fail.  It is okay to apologize to your kids when you’re frustrated and have a bad attitude. Try, try again.  =)

Yesterday I noticed the sun set about 6:00pm- WOO HOO!  Can I get an Amen?!  In 8 or so weeks spring will be here and I will only want to be outside all the time, so now is the time to embrace these days indoors … that is my new outlook!

How do you get out of the winter doldrums?

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