Wednesday, February 08, 2006

February School

One thing neat about having an online community to discuss homeschooling issues with is that you notice certain problems or issues that affect lots of other families as well. One thing we noticed on CCE (a list I've been on for many years) was that every February a lot of families were feeling burnt-out on homeschooling, dragging their feet and whatever. An idea formed out of this was "February School" a time at which some families would take a break from their usual routine, maybe drop non-essential subjects for the month and do something a little different (and a lot fun). Last year (or was it the year before), we took a week off of ALL our "normal" subjects and had "Spanish Camp." One year we put a lot of time into an extra-credit Geography project (this was the one that sparked the Map Guy's passion for Geography).

Naturally there are techniques that help prevent burn-out all year round (like using living books and leaving room for children to pursue subjects of special interest). Please share any of your ideas for making school more fun or breaking up the monotony in the winter.

3 comments:

Love2Learn Mom said...

It's funny, I just got my copy of The Catholic Homeschool Companion and it has an article on getting through February! The book looks great - this should keep ME busy through most of February! :)

WJFR said...

Dear Love2learn mom, When you say "extra credit" for geography, what do you mean? Could you possibly share details?

Our February innovation this year was to make a low coffee table into a work-table for my preschoolers. I put a good light next to it, a couple of small chairs and stools, and I use it to "strew" things I want them to notice and play with, like watercolors and puzzles and that kind of thing. It's working out pretty well and even the older kids will sit down and play with/teach the little ones sometimes.

Love2Learn Mom said...

We had a large project - in this case "learning" the entire world map puzzle and all the countries and capitals of the world (it wasn't my idea, hehe) - with some big prize at the end. This worked wonders for the Map Guy - just the kind of challenge that was up his alley.