For most of us in the United States, we’ll see some kind of snow this winter. Some of us will see way too much! Here are a few ideas for handling homeschooling on a wintery-weather day.
I grew up in Georgia. You know, the place where the schools close and grocery stores run out of milk and bread when a couple of snowflakes are spotted in the area.
When we got snow, it was a special event! Because of that, at least from what I remember, academics were kept to a minimum for my brother and I when there was a good day of snow to explore.
Later, we moved to Illinois — and gone was the idea that snow meant a lighter load for the homeschool day. Otherwise, our snow days would have stretched to snow weeks.
To kids, snow is a special thing. It’s important to keep that in mind when planning out your day after a good fresh fall of white powdery snow, tempting even the most timid children to conquer the closest sledding hill. Snow only comes for one season out of the year (in most places!), so it’s easy to understand why it’s a novelty.
It’s hard for a kid to be inside finishing pages in a math workbook when he could be outside tunneling in a snowbank.
It’s all about balance. You could make some goals to meet before allowing the children to go outside to play. Build in some dedicated time in your schedule for exploring the winter wonderland. Structure some outside activities so it counts for physical education.
Here are a few ideas to consider adding into your snow day:
- Make up a photo scavenger hunt. Have kids take a camera and look for specific wintery things: icicles, snowdrifts, frost on leaves, etc.
- Read books about snow:
- Do a nature study on snow and blizzards in between outside playtime. Make hot chocolate and popcorn or cookies to make it extra special.
- If you have a microscope, find a way to look at snowflakes under it. Be careful – those little ice crystals are fragile!
- Play structured snow games for PE, like Fox & Geese.
- Make animal snow sculptures.
- Fill up spray bottles with water and food coloring, then make snow paintings on the ground.
- Make a snow maze if you have enough room, and time how long it takes to find the way through it.
- Build a snow fort!
- Look for animal tracks and identify them.
- Bonus! If you live in a more urban area, this is a great time to encourage helping others. Surprise the neighbors by shoveling their sidewalk or doorstep.