Mid October – Beginning of the Winter slow down

During October I naturally start to feel a bit of a slow down. It’s not just the beginning of the change of the weather from hot as all get out to chilly with dew and rain. It is a feeling of the change of the year in general. Our ancestors followed an agricultural cycle because they had to. Farmers planted in the spring, tended the crops in the summer, and in late summer and fall they reaped their rewards. However in October, at the tail end of fall, they started to slow down and began to pull it in for the dark of the year. Winter was a time when they sat around the hearth to get warm, spent time with loved ones indoors, and took turns reading to one another perhaps even. They did not expend as much energy, and maybe at most were trudging out to feed the live stock and make sure they were able to survive the cold as well. Although we do not face the struggles for survival in these same harsh conditions as our ancestors, I believe that we too feel the pull of the dark of the year. Some suffer from seasonal effective disorder, but this is not really what I am speaking of. Around October, I feel that slow down. It is harder to get up in the mornings for myself and my children, and it ends up taking multiple cups of tea or coffee to get me into a non mom-zombie state. All I want to do is go back to bed, or huddle in blankets with a warm beverage on my couch and watch something on the television.

So when it comes to getting schoolwork done…well that’s a bit more of a struggle this time of the year. I can take one look at my daughter and realize she is also feeling this slow down. To top it off she has her own set of unique issues that I will address in another blog. It is a huge struggle to get work done when both of us are just feeling like curling up with a snack and beverage and reading a nice good book. However, schoolwork must be done and assignments turned in. Many anti-homeschoolers and naysayers might say this is a prime example of why homeschooling isn’t a good idea, but I say that children and teachers in traditional public schools struggle with this just as much as homeschooling families do. I think the challenge is finding ways to overcome this feeling and work around it. For us it means we switch up the order in which we do our subjects during the day. We also incorporate more art and extra independent reading, as well as adding in additional educational documentaries into our rotation. Board games and card games are also another way to add incentive to getting work done promptly. I have found that the promise of a nice game of Yahtzee or Uno can greatly improve a poor attitude and pick up motivation. In the end, the assignments still get done but with much less of a struggle than if we just sit and bicker with one another or butt heads.

So tell me, what do you do to help yourself and your students overcome these tough days when you don’t want to do anything besides do your own thing 🙂 New hot drink ideas are always welcome in the comments as well 🙂 I would also like to put a disclaimer into this blog that I am not a professional writer, and my grammar is not always perfect so please bear with me. Also, we are a charter school family who gets to use a homeschool model, but we are unschooling and other modality friendly family 🙂