Homeschooling in Winter

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I love winter, as long as my car will start. Yesterday I ended up at the library with a dead battery, so I had to walk around asking people if they would mind boosting my car. I had booster cables; that was a plus but I have trouble asking for favors. Yesterday I could work on teaching the kids to stay calm in stressful situations and to not be afraid to ask for help.

As long as my car will start, I can take the kids to the toboggan hill. My city has gone through a little crisis over whether it will allow tobogganing or not, with news reports saying it was forbidden on all city property one day and then a few days later denying that. I’m relieved, as tobogganing is one of the least expensive, less challenging winter activities for us. It seems strange though, that talkingwinterfun about tobogganing became a channel for talking about laws, bylaws, risks, responsibilities, insurance and other related issues.

Big open fields of white snow makes me want to do geometry exercises outside. Can you draw a polygon without any obtuse angles in the snow?

We pretend a skating rink is a clock and skate to 5 o’clock or a compass and skate to north, northwest.

When my car won’t start we stay inside or play in the yard. My kids have a snow fort in the yard, and occasionally I join them in a snowball fight. We have a very stable octagonal picnic table at the top of a slight hill in our back yard and sometimes the kids pile snow up to the edge of it to make a ramp they can launch their toboggans off of.

This January I started writing out the kid’s schoolwork in a schedule book in ink instead of pencil. I’m tired of being flexible to the extent that the kid’s don’t really expect to do everything laid out. The first week it worked really well with no arguing from the kids, the second week I felt like I was dragging them through molasses trying to get them to do their work. We’ll see how next week goes.

My oldest says that bad days – days with fussing – lead to more bad days. If the day before was bad, he is scared of how schoolwork will go. If the day before went really well, then he knows that the next day can go well too. I think we need more good weeks behind us, and more practice turning bad days into good days. It will come.

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