Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who's A Pretty Bird?

The first year I homeschooled another more-experienced homeschooling mom mentioned that her family boycotted February. February was the most depressing month, she said. And since nothing of value was ever accomplished they visited relatives, went skiing, watched tv, or played on the computer with nary a thought about obtaining prescribed learning outcomes or adhering to their student learning plans (this is the lingo of the British Columbia Ministry of Education's Distributed Learning system).

We didn't experience the February doldrums during the first two years of homeschooling. I was pretty smug about this fact. In retrospect this was less to do with my general awesomeness, and more to do with the fact that both years we went on a late January, early February vacation. This year I realized that without a respite in Hawaii or California, February is a slog.

I didn't cancel lessons outright, but we definitely had a more relaxed schedule. The boys' math lessons were shorter. The grammar books haven't left the shelf since early February. We made multiple field trips to the dentist. The boys -- who have ANOTHER cold -- slept in later. They played in the snow fort. Sledded on the front lawn. Lazed about watching Star Trek. Hung out with friends. Made crafts. Mr Wrath read aloud all three of the Kenneth Oppel's Airborn books (and now they're listening to the audio books). My parents came for a visit. I cleaned the house -- even the parts that weren't freakishly dirty.

Today is the first day of March.

I'm relieved. And energized. The heater is already on down in the school room. The math manipulatives are out. The grammar books are ready to go.

Let the learning commence!

Even now the boys are waking up. I can hear them moving about in their rooms. They'll serve themselves bowls of porridge or cereal. We'll fight about hair brushing and making beds. Then we'll fill up glasses of water and mugs of tea and head downstairs. Accompanied by our two animal friends:

Lil' Ms Crazy Eyes. The only member of the family who was happy with the -38ÂșC weather we've had the last few days.

Our loaner pet, Chico the Grumpy Cockatiel, who will be with us for the next two weeks. As you can see Chico hates literacy. Chico the Grumpy Cockatiel would prefer if we did nothing all day but look at him and tell him he is beautiful. You and me both, Chico.


  1. This is the first year I've felt the doldrums of winter, so very seriously contemplated taking a few weeks off. But with a big-time vacation coming up in May, I realized we had too much to do, and coming back from a trip to finish school in June doesn't sound appealing. So we suffered through February.

  2. That's great that you can adjust your schedule to fit their needs (and yours). I've taken a good part of February off myself, due to the whole sinus infection/pneumonia/bubonic plague thing. I've given the kids pretty liberal sick days and snow days too. We've had some bad news hit a family friend, and we've done a lot of huddling together in the family room reading or watching movies together. February can suck it.

  3. I love that bird. I especially love his name. CHICO. That's awesome.

  4. February has always sucked for me. I'm so glad it's a short month. Hello, MARCH!

    (Wind, pls stop blowing so I can do a bit of gardening. I'm a bit freaked to be outside with stuff falling off the big trees constantly...)

  5. Well, you already know that my February suck eggs, but we're taking a breather and things feel pretty great. Glad you guys are re-energized too. I'm convinced I need to go somewhere warm in February from now on.

    And your little temporary bird pet? SO CUTE! We had 2 cockatiels for the first few years of my marriage and I really do miss the little pooping machines.