The Winter Blues, sometimes referred to simply as the blues, has an alarmingly high incidence within the homeschool community. Typical onset occurs in late January, when a few dry pine needles wedged into the carpet are all that remain of Christmas joy and New Year’s resolutions have already been challenged. Rapid onset may occur if children in the home have forgotten all their math facts or how to properly hold a pencil.
Symptoms generally include an aversion to flashcards, grammar worksheets, and complicated science experiments. Some sufferers report an overall lethargy that makes it difficult to complete a full homeschool day. Others notice an increase in dreams that include yellow buses, uninterrupted coffee dates, or DVD-based curricula. Severe cases bring actual tears.
Homeschool Winter Blues Case Study
One homeschooling mother of five, however, realized she had never developed a case of the Winter Blues. Curious as to what might have inoculated her against the dreaded condition for over a decade, she closely examined her situation and developed a theory of prevention known as Early Planning. The success of this approach appeared to have multiple synergistic components.
- From January to March, the subject was always involved in planning the next homeschool year, thereby allowing the difficulties of this year to fall like water off the proverbial duck’s back.
- If a particular curriculum felt burdensome, she ascertained its flaws and began the hunt for its replacement rather than focus on the negatives.
- Shiny new catalogs and exciting email announcements worked together to support her daydreams about the future.
- Planning did not require committing, which relieved any pressure that might trigger a case of the Blues.
Of course, the study author acknowledges the danger of extrapolating from one anecdotal case to the larger population of homeschool moms. Also, the fact that the subject lives in Southern California and has never homeschooled children in the snow cannot be ignored. Nevertheless, Early Planning appears to be an effective and low-cost treatment which is safe for any homeschool mom to try.
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