As winter (mostly) loosens its grip, and the spring colors and spring weather emerge, it is the perfect time to celebrate being a homeschooler!
While public school children have to take snow days, homeschoolers can school through most of the cold and the ice and celebrate with sun days, when the weather turns nice.
So if your children are dealing with spring fever . . . embrace the season! Celebrate the glorious weather!
But if you don’t want to fall behind in your school year, here are suggestions for tucking schoolwork into your day while still making time to relish spring.
1. Use Outdoor Time as a Motivator
Require the less-pleasant subjects to be finished as a requirement to heading outside. A motivated student can rise and be at work before breakfast, and finished with the less pleasant subjects before the morning chill burns off. This can be a helpful enticement.
2. Shift Your School Hours for Spring
Do all yourHistory / Bible / Literature (HBL) reading either in the afternoon, if children are worn out from playing outside, or in the evening. Spring evenings last so long, and often the HBL readings don’t take too long. And there’s no rule that says you have to read in the daytime! If you want to be outside in the sun, simply shift your school schedule to the evening.
3.Work During Meals or on the Go
See how much you can get done either at meals or in the car. If your children don’t bolt their lunch in under two minutes, you can get through a bit during a meal. And in the car? Maybe you can read while your spouse drives, or maybe there’s an excellent audio recording you can enjoy as a family.
4. Batch Science for Rainy Spring Days
Batch your science on a rainy day. Or join the ranks of Home Educators Neglecting Science Experiments (HENSE), and watch the Discover and Do movies in a down moment, and call it good.
5. Make the Most of Spring Weekends
Don’t forget the weekend! Out of the 168 hours in every week, a full 60 of those hours fall from 6 p.m. on Friday evening to 6 a.m. on Monday morning. The weekend is more than a third of your week! If you’ve had a delightful school week outdoors, feel free to use some weekend hours to homeschool.
6. Change Your Expectations for Spring
Release the idea that you have to get everything done. No school teacher ever finishes an entire book. The math students advance to the next class, even though part of the book goes unfinished. This is a benefit of homeschooling: you get to work at your children’s pace. So if a math book doesn’t quite get done, you can carry on with the same book during the next school year, or see if the next book begins with enough review that you’ll be okay leaving this year's book undone.
7. Let School Extend into Summer
Plan to have a bit of school happen over the summer. In Caddie Woodlawn, Caddie's school opened only in summer and winter, while the teacher headed to a neighboring community to teach those children in spring and fall. Caddie preferred her schedule—outdoors in the glorious seasons, and indoors when it was extra hot and extra cold. It’s okay to soak up the goodness, then enjoy the air conditioning later, if you so choose.
Homeschooling in the spring is one of the unique pleasures of homeschooling. Happy April to you!
P.S. Wanting to insert just a little culture into your homeschool? One of the best spring poems is the one below—Loveliest of Trees by A. E. Housman. To paraphrase the poem: “The cherry tree is in bloom in the woods, in this Easter period. I’m already twenty, and if I live to be seventy, I only have fifty more springs coming. And fifty springs is hardly enough time to look at the beauty of things in bloom, so I’m heading out to the woods to see the cherry trees in bloom.” It’s a very homeschool-friendly poem, with a sense of, “My priority is to celebrate today.”
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
Loveliest of Trees by A. E. Housman