Everyone in cold climates knows about “cabin” fever. Homeschooling parents also know that their kids need ways to help keep both their bodies and their minds active, especially during late winter months.
During January, February, and March, the sun climbs higher and the days become longer. That’s great for the growing season but not so great for keeping homeschooling students focused on studying. Their ability to run and play is usually limited which also means their energy levels have been confined to small spaces. So here are some ideas you might want to use in your own homeschool to help burn off their excess energy and to help them finish their school year studies on a positive note.
Make a temporary obstacle course in your home or basement! Use large empty cardboard boxes, kitchen chairs lying sideways, and stacks of blankets or pillows to climb over. Hang old curtains or blankets to crawl under, and weave a web of yarn throughout the room to increase the difficulty. Set a finish line and time them repeatedly to see if they can beat their own earlier time.
Or throw couch cushions and pillows on the floor to do headstands, handstands, splits, forward and backward somersaults, or just stretching exercises.
If you want to incorporate music, check discount department stores, dollar stores, and second-hand stores for line-dancing DVDs. Sweep out the cobwebs from years gone by and play “Simon Says”, “Red Light Green Light”, or “Captain, May I”.
Set up a scavenger hunt in your house and make the most of every level of it by asking for things from all parts of your home. This will force them to use the stairs multiple times. Have them collect things like a box of rice from the kitchen cupboard, a pillowcase from the closet, a dust bunny from under their bed, a single sock from the laundry room, or even a dead fly from a window sill. Use your imagination!
Or write out a trail of clues and hide them throughout the house leading to the ultimate reward for everyone. It could be a package of stickers, a movie night with healthy popcorn snacks, a creative craft day to make a birthday card for grandma or grandpa, or swimming at the local YMCA.
Of course, the best way to expel that excess energy is to let them play outside. On days that the sun is out, the temperature is 20 or above, proper clothing is available, and the snow is accessible, let them out. In fact, join them! The fresh air, sunlight, and change of scenery will do all of you a great deal of good.
Being outside is terrific for developing the production of vitamin D, helping to strengthen large muscles, and it will give them a much better overall outlook. With just 30 minutes of building a snowman, playing “pie”, racing or sliding through the snow, or having a friendly snowball fight, their new attitude will be carried right back into the house.
Any or all of these ideas will help your children to be more alert and better able to keep their minds on their studies instead of daydreaming out the window.