Does a gentle January homeschool month feel impossible? I read a quote once and can’t remember where for the life of me. It went like this, “What it takes to get through January is what it takes to get through life.” I’m not sure if you immediately thought of grit, and determination, or hundreds of cups of tea, but I think both answers are correct.
January can feel like it looms heavy in front of us as we navigate 20 cloudy days that result in seasonal affective disorder; no energy to do the average amount of things let alone extras; and weather so cold our kids are stuck inside most of the time.
Here are some of my tips to survive January while homeschooling!
Get the Kid’s Energy Out!
This is the most urgent thing on my list most days in January! I could take them someplace every day, but to be honest, that feels like a lot of work on my part! If we do feel like getting out the library and Science Museum are our “go-to’s”.
On days I don’t feel like getting out we either speed clean as a group to upbeat music or I’ve found this amazing Youtube activity called “Brain Break” it’s like kid’s workouts to game scenarios. If you want more indoor activities I made this huge list!
I was listening to a podcast the other day and it was talking about how drastically the amount of time we spend in person with our friends has decreased since 2012. Our mental health as a nation is suffering for it too. I think this is even more true of most of the homeschool moms I know! January is already so hard, please, don’t try to do it alone. Here are some ideas for how to spend more time with friends.
- Visit a neighbor (take cookies)
- Invite a mom from church over
- Join a community group from your church
- Go to coffee or dinner with a friend
- Join a Bible Study at a church you don’t attend
- Try MOPs
- Meet up at an indoor playground
Read Some Good Books
It’s so cold and the days are so short during January most of what I want is to be cozy. This comes in the form of taking a bath, turning off the tv and reading a book, or drinking many cups of tea! If you’re looking for some good books I’ve got you covered!
If you’re tired of reading to your kids look up almost any picture book on Youtube and someone else will read it to your child! It’s not ideal, but remember we are getting through January! Another thing I love doing is turning on an audiobook while my kids build their legos. It keeps them quiet and busy double the amount of time they would regularly play.
Homeschool families already have so much more “stuff” in their homes. Paper stuff can take over your life really quickly! After Christmas, everything can feel especially overwhelming. Going room by room and reducing what you own can turn down the visual stimulation and make your heart feel more peaceful! If you don’t know where to start, grab a trash bag and just start off with all the paper trash. It’s amazing how it adds up and how you can get a quick bag full just by doing that.
For arts and crafts you don’t want to throw away lay it into a basket to deal with at the end of the school year, or when the basket gets full. It’s amazing how much you can get in a basket when everything is laying flat!
If you want more room-by-room ideas for cleaning I made this “Spring Cleaning Guide” but it would also help you have a checklist for a January clean!
Leave Shame Behind
We kick off January with all these dreams of being a better person. But growing and becoming more like Christ takes time. We can’t just swear off all our vices and expect to have glowing success. Paul talks about this in Romans 7:19. If you’re feeling discouraged go back and read “Why Rest in January”. Often our resolutions are ways we want to behave better rather than starting with our hearts. If you would like to do a heart evaluation I created this list of questions that is helpful to me!