Homeschool Strategies for the Indoor Months
January 8, 2020
In This Issue:
Mercy Every Minute  
Learning Differently on “Cabin Fever” Days

We have had some beautiful snow here in Colorado! However, the cold keeps the kids indoors most of the day; so we try to keep everyone constructively occupied. We like to take some of these days off from the regular workbooks and learn differently on “cabin fever” days. Here are some ideas of what that looks like.

  • You can learn math concepts with LEGOs.
  • Games are fun and provide great educational value. 
  • Here are ideas for making writing enjoyable
  • For art, we get out the paints, polymer clay, sketch pads, stamps, or coloring books and get creative—often while listening to a classic read-aloud.
  • For science, we have made our own Silly Putty® and slime recipes. We have grown crystals, raised sea monkeys, made bird feeders, and done fun experiments during these months. 
  • Watching educational documentaries while folding laundry or listening to audio books while doing chores are always favorites for winter days. 
  • Memorizing Scripture together can take time; so an indoor day is a great day to work on copywork, repeating the verses. 
  • Add in some instruction in teaching manners while providing cookies and tea. 

Whatever you find to do, try to savor and enjoy daily life together. Smile at your children. Find the positive in every situation. I am learning to smile and persevere no matter what life brings (rather than my normal reactions which light everyone’s fuse with frustration and impatience). Those little ones will be big ones tomorrow, and they will either be frustrated and impatient parents or full of joy. The choice is ours to model today.

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).

In the Winter, SMILE!

Hey, Moms . . . OK, huddle up!!! In a little tighter. All right, I know these other great homeschool authors are going to give you all kinds of great advice for handling the bleak winter months of indoor life; so I’m going to go with what I know best.

So here’s what I suggest—smile a lot! Oh, yeah, SMILE. It’s like sunshine to your children and husband. It takes a bleak, frustrating day, and POW! Suddenly, everything looks and feels a little bit brighter.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But I don’t always feel like smiling.” Homeschooling is hard; mothering is hard; marriage is hard; and life is HARD!!! Hey, no arguments here! But here’s the trick about smiling, you can make yourself smile. It doesn’t have to come from the depths of your soul.

In fact, try it right now. On the count of three, smile. One. Two. Three. SMILE!!! Wasn’t that easy? Do it again . . . and again. See, you can smile when you want to even if you don’t feel like smiling!

Now, I know it’s easy when you’re reading an article about it, but I also know when you’re in the battle's fray or the sky is gray and dreary, a smile is . . . magical.

So that’s the strategy. I’d like you to try it out in the next few minutes on each of your children. When you see them SMILE. You don’t have to say anything, just smile. Then tonight when you see your husband, smile. When he walks in the door, stop doing what you’re doing, look him in the eye, and smile. I’m telling you, he might just fall over dead.

You’re smile is powerful, Mom, but you’ve got to make yourself do it.

So all hands in the center of the huddle. OK, readddyyyyyyyyyyy, SMILE!!!!!!

Be real,

P.S. - Need some more help in smiling? Check out The Smiling Homeschooler Podcast.
Sherri Seligson
A Winter Recipe for Fun

Take one household; add some homeschooling children, a long stretch of inclement weather, and a pinch of history, science, and math. Stir and allow to simmer for about two-three months. What do you get? 

Well . . . I will let you use your imagination. Suffice it to say that the finished “dish” will include random outbursts of “I’m bored” with a hint of pent-up screaming (perhaps from Mom!).

Here are some helpful hints for a successful homeschooling-in-winter recipe:

1. Find ways to turn what you’re studying into physical activities. Even though it might not be easy to go outside to release some steam, students can still turn their learning into kinesthetic movement. Save some of the big boxes you might have from Christmas, and use them to build scenes from your history lessons or a biological structure (who wouldn’t want to make a giant, cardboard human heart—with its four chambers—that children can crawl through?). Direct your children to create and perform a play enacting what they are reading about. Have them construct a treasure hunt throughout the house, using clues that involve current vocabulary words.

2. Embrace the outside. Unless the weather is physically harmful, designate a time each day when the children need to dress up in their weather-protective gear and set up an Easter-egg-hunt-like activity for each other. One child (or group of children) goes outside first to hide the objects within a designated safe area, then they come inside while the other child (or group of children) goes outside to find them. Then switch. You could also have them create a bird identification sheet and spend a few ten to fifteen minute intervals throughout the day looking out the window at a bird feeder you set up, trying to identify the bird visitors.

3. Do a countdown as you study seasons. Sometimes it is important for all of us to be reminded that challenging times are most often a season that will eventually pass. The cold, winter months just happen to fall during that long expanse between the Christmas holiday and spring break. By setting up a calendar that you can mark off as the weeks pass, students can focus on building patience and self-control. Explain to them the importance of winter to the environment: how plants and animals use the seasons to signal specific parts of their life cycles. That includes growth, migration, plant seed-bearing, animal reproduction, and more. BONUS POINTS: Help them discover why the Earth has seasons in the first place [HINT: It has to do with the Earth’s tilted axis].

4. Finally, designate a long weekend during mid-winter, where you take a break from the routine and spend a few days reading fun books, watching a few movies, playing indoor games, doing puzzles, and baking delicious food together. Take photos of the weekend, print them out, and put them in a little 2020 notebook with a fun title for the year. You could make this an annual family “holiday.” This breaks up the long, indoor time, giving everyone something to look forward to as well as memories to recall once it is passed.

Sherri Seligson and her husband David homeschooled their four children for 21 years. Before being promoted to motherhood, Sherri worked as a published marine biologist at Walt Disney World. An MEd. grad in Curriculum and Instruction, she has authored Apologia’s General Science, Marine Biology, and five upper level instructional video courses. An international conference and retreat speaker, Sherri uses transparency, truth, and humor, as she encourages moms on their homeschool journey and teaches families the importance of studying God’s creation.
Pre-order the Spring 2020 issue  of  The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine  for the latest help in homeschooling. Shipping early March, topics include engineering careers, the Constitution, sports and adventure, math, language arts, gardening, and more! The price is $15 (US) or $25 (CAN/INT).
Trim Healthy Mama
Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett,
What Does the Bible Say?

Did you know that when God created people, He had already created everything they needed to live healthy lives? It’s true! He gave us plants and animals full of nutrients as our food for energy and enjoyment! The Bible clearly outlines what we should eat—and history and science back up those Scriptures. God has given us all the food groups and He wants each one to be enjoyed in a balanced way.

God put a lot of thought and design into molding our bodies, and we honor Him by looking after them. Being a healthy kid is not about focusing on what you look like on the outside. It’s about being the best, healthiest YOU while you are on this earth. You will never be perfect (that’s for Heaven). But God delights in you taking care of the temple He has given you. You honor God by choosing to fuel your body well.

So, how do you take care of your body? That is exactly what the Trim Healthy You curriculum will teach you! By learning how God designed your body to work with the nutrients He provided, you will have the knowledge to make wise choices to the best, healthiest you!

Visit for more details.

The Trim Healthy story started with sisters Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett who wrote a self-published book about food freedom and called it Trim Healthy Mama.

The message caught on as people shared their health transformations with others, and now millions have reclaimed their health and slimmed down living the family-friendly Trim Healhy Mama lifestyle. Serene and Pearl have 19 kids between them and have homeschooled all of them.

The sisters, their husbands, and families all work together to run the Trim Healthy Mama company, turning a lifetime of experiences into a movement that is transforming lives every day.

Their new Trim Healthy You homeschool curriculum is now available at .
Trim Healthy Mama is produced by Trim Healthy Mama LLC . This company is not owned by The Old Schoolhouse, LLC (TOS), and TOS is not responsible for the content produced by Trim Healthy Mama. TOS may not approve of or endorse all content, resources, and other companies promoted by Trim Healthy Mama in its columns. The views and opinions expressed in this column or newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TOS on any subject matter. The nutritional, health, and exercise advice and recommendations promoted by Trim Healthy Mama are not a substitute for medical advice. You should consult qualified health professionals for health, nutritional, and exercise guidance tailored to your individual needs. 
Welcome to 2020! Did you resolve to start homeschooling this year, or to find a better curriculum? You do not need to wait until September. Have a fresh start today with the help of, the now FULL CURRICULUM website of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Sign up during the Fresh Start sale and SAVE MORE THAN 50% on an Ultimate Membership (PreK-12). Pay only $99/year (code: ONLY99) or $12/month (code: ONLY12) for the lifetime of your membership! Join by January 31, 2020 to lock in this low price, before the prices of new memberships go up in February ($24.97/month, $49.97/quarter, $224.97/year). Your whole family will have unlimited online access to 400+ self-paced courses, 450+ streaming videos, 10 Libraries of World Book Online, and much more! Parents love the organizational tools, Applecore Recordkeeping System, Members Forum, and Facebook Group. Membership also includes a print subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
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Trapped indoors and looking for something educational and fun to do? Why not put on a play? includes How to Write and Produce a Play for your older students. This one-semester course walks students through all the steps, from choosing a topic to the performance. Want something more ready to go for younger students? Check out Simply Shakespeare. has something for every subject, every grade, every student.
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Congratulations to Bonita Timmons from Fort Worth, Texas, who won our November Contest Corner giveaway!
Contest Corner
for the month of January

The Sumikkogurashi™ Writing + Plush Set is a cute six piece set that children will go crazy over. 

My daughter was so excited when it came in the mail. The scissors are made for small hands. They have a cute rubber safety cap that has five of the Sumikkogurashi™ characters stacked upon one another. The pencil pouch is big enough to hold a fair amount of supplies, in addition to the supplies in the set. The spiral notebook has 50 sheets of paper. The outside cover, both front and back, are made of a bendable plastic and decorated with an adorable Sumikkoruashi™ design. Both the pen and mechanical pencil have a silicone grip. The vinyl pencil pouch has a cute zipper pull that is made from stackable Sumikkoruashi™ characters. 

My daughter has really enjoyed the set. She really loved the plush as it is incredibly soft and squishable. She has loved using the notebook and pen/pencil set. This set has been perfect for in the car, appointments, and at home fun. Who is Sumikkogurashi™? I found this a fun and interesting tidbit of information about these cute little plush creatures.

Sumikkogurashi are the characters living a quiet and solitary life in the corner. They might be able to settle down when they’re in the corners, but they don’t like being in the center of the room. When they’re taken to the center of the room, they always rush back to the corner.”

This is a shortened review of The Sumikkogurashi™ Writing + Plush Set; so go on over to our site to read the full review

ALSO visit this other excellent page of our site where you can ENTER THE CONTEST for your chance to win this writing and plush set.

Look What’s Happening!

Florida Parent Educators Association is hosting the 2020 FPEA Homeschool Convention on May 21-23 in Orlando, Florida. Register now or contact for more information.

Look What’s Happening!

FPEA with The Hip Homeschool Moms is planning a Spies Wanted for Washington, D.C. Mission on April 26-30, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Register now for a homeschool trip to remember! Contact for more details.
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