Christmas is over. All the presents have been unwrapped; the tree has come down; the stockings no longer hang cheerfully over the fire. The Christmas goodies have been consumed, and in many cases, they won’t be making another appearance for a long, long time. Mom is dieting. Dad is trying to watch his salt and sugar intake…and having those treats in the house is just too tempting. Yes, January is coming, and with it, a general sense of dread.
So many times, when January comes, kids are hit with a massive case of the blahs. They don’t want to be back in school—even when “going to school” just means coming into the living room. They enjoyed Christmas break, with its freedom to do as they pleased for the majority of the day. They enjoyed the break from the daily grind, and having more time to themselves—and of course, letdown after the excitement of Christmas is never easy to process. Unfortunately, this can lead to some seriously nasty moods come January—and no parent, particularly a homeschooling parent, wants to deal with them.
Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that January isn’t the kids’ least favorite month of the year.
Put a few of the presents up for later. If your children are relatively young, this is as simple as tucking a few gifts in the top of the closet and bringing them out on some rainy day when they are needed as a distraction. If they’re older, it may be more complicated. Put off shopping trips to spend gift cards or Christmas cash for another couple of weeks, even though the sales might not be as good; or quietly put away a few of their gifts until they “need” them. Try tucking a game or science kit out of sight in a closet for a little while, or helping to organize a bedroom and placing a few gifts in a little-seen corner. It will be like Christmas all over again when they come back out.
Plan something fun. All through December, there was plenty of anticipation. There were parties, and presents, and lights, and shopping, and outings. Perhaps your kids were lucky enough to have an Elf on the Shelf greeting them in the morning when they awoke. There were crafts to complete, and baking to take care of, and plenty of fun things to fill their days and break up the monotony a little.
That doesn’t have to be exclusive to December. Plan something for your kids to look forward to: a field trip; a “play date” with some friends; a special craft or school activity. Give them something to look forward to.
Get excited. What are you teaching this January that you really enjoy? Perhaps your children will be studying a book that was a favorite of yours as a child, or trying out a science experiment that you’d just love to complete. Maybe you’re entering a favorite era of history, or discussing a subject that you really loved in school. Whatever the case, if you’re excited about it, your children are more likely to be.