1. Get better sleep.
Waking up to get school started on those dark, cold mornings… It can be rough. But getting better sleep will smooth out your day. How do you do it?
Make sure your room is as dark as possible, or wear a sleep mask. Try to stay away from bright light and electronics for about an hour and a half before bed, too.
Help get rid of that groggy feeling by waking up during a light sleep cycle. Use an app or free website like sleep-calculator.com to help you figure out what time to go to bed.
Keep your room at a comfortable temperature, normally between 65 and 72 degrees. If the room is too hot or too cold (even if you’re bundled up in blankets), you won’t sleep as well.
Try a light-therapy lamp/alarm to brighten your morning and help you wake up. You can find several different brands and styles, with prices starting around $60.
This tip seems to be on every list of things to do for health and happiness… But it’s for good reason! You and your kids can release some of that pent-up energy (and stress-relieving endorphins along with it).
Add more moving around to your studying time, even if it’s something simple like standing up on certain words or doing 10 jumping jacks after going through a section.
3. Cozy up your space.
Because you homeschool, you can make your learning space as cozy as you want.
Use Christmas lights, flameless LED candles, scented oils, or even real candles. Play classical music softly during seatwork or homework time. Add pops of color with pillows and throws. And open your blinds to let the light in! If your kids are distracted by looking outside, face their backs to the window or just add some semi-sheer curtains.
4. Do fun stuff you can’t do—or don’t do—in other seasons.
Go sledding. Build a snowman. Fill up water balloons with colored water and freeze them into ice globes for your yard. (Tear off the balloon after the water’s frozen.)
What if it isn’t snowing? Make from-scratch hot cocoa and gingerbread houses. Or use a tutorial like this one to make paper snowflakes. Think of fun things to do with your family that you’ll reserve just for winter.
5. Plan a vacation.
Maybe you’ve already discovered this, but planning a vacation can make you happy. There’s the excitement of finding just the right place to go and perfect things to do—even if it’s just a short vacation.
According to one study, anticipating your vacation can lighten your mood for up to eight weeks!
While you’re planning, you can teach skills like time management, budgeting, and packing efficiently. (That last one will save you from having to iron on vacation! And you’ll have fewer clothes to put away when you get back, too.)