This is a collaborative post in conjunction with Certas Energy
I always think there are many things in life that are so much easier in the summer – the long bright and warm summer days seem to just make everything so much better. Getting up at 630am is much easier if the sun is shining, rather than the winter when it’s just dark outside! Heading out to the shops is more fun and, in the summer, I don’t have to pack bags of warms hats and gloves, thick coats and wellies just to leave the house.
Whilst there are many things that seem easier in the summer, I must admit that I do find home educating in the winter to be a much easier task. I think the darker and shorter days make us all feel like hunkering down in the house and staying warm. We still, of course, get out to regular groups, but the children always seem that little bit more focused on getting through work. I suppose the garden and parks are less appealling on cold, wet days. Yesterday, for instance, Emma was asking me if we could do her maths work at 730am (which we did) and I found Daniel had helped himself to his grammar work whilst I was in the shower. He would usually want me to sit with him and talk hime through the book, but he told me he just felt like getting on with things. It meant that by 9:15 am the formal work in maths and English was complete and we were able to get on with enjoying the day’s nursery rhyme and generally playing around and taking things at a slower pace. Although that said, as slow as it might have felt, we did manage to fit an awful lot in to our day.
The only thing that does bother me in the winter is keeping the children warm. We have an old Victorian house, and high ceilings and non carpeted floors mean that it can, sometimes, feel quite cold. When the children were much smaller we would go out in the morning and come home after lunch. I’d put the wood burning stove on and get the front room all warm and we’d cuddle up under a blanket and read together. Gone are the days when they’re content to pass an hour or so cuddled up with me. It’s harder to keep them in one warm room and not flit from room to room leaving doors open and leatting the heat escape.
When we first bought the house, pre-children, we spent a lot of time and energy sorting out some of the big and boring jobs – things like electrical work and plastering, roof work and replacing flooring. We replaced the front door as it was not great at all and would let a terribly cold draught through the hallway. We replaced radiators downstairs and installed the woodburning stove in the living room. In addition we have regular boiler services and always make sure we have spare blankets for those especially cold days when you really do just feel like staying in and reading.
In October we order our wood for the woodburner and we are well stocked now for the winter ahead. Companies such as Certas Energy Home Heating Oil can arrange deliveries of heating oil and can monitor your usage so that you get deliveries before you run out if your home is fuelled this way and they can also offer boiler care too. Keeping older home warm can be a challenge but once our house is warm, it retains the heat really well.
As cold as it can be, this is my most favourite time of year – the air feels so much fresher and cleaner and on fresh days I love getting out with the children, exploring the local woodland. As we move into the colder winter months I enjoy watching the children really learn – it feels like our most productive time of year and a time when I really do feel we achieve so much more in the ‘formal’ areas of work. This winter I hope to get Emma well on the road to reading and I hope that Daniel makes good progress with his science fair project too. I can see Harry getting more and more involved in our work and I think I’ll start planning more activities to do with him now that he’s showing an appetite for counting and learning his colours and numbers.
Is it just me, or do you find it easier to home educate in the winter months?