At our house, it comes creeping in every February. For a friend of mine, it sneaks in sometime during January. It's those middle-of-the-year blues, and they can make a regularly happy homeschool become cranky and frustrated! Maybe the blues show up because the schedule has gotten monotonous or maybe they come due to the weather taking a turn for the worse. Whatever the cause, getting rid of those homeschool blues can be tough!

Finding a way to turn around these feelings is important for maintaining a positive environment in which children can thrive. Here are some ideas to interject a little variety into the schedule and to help remind us that homeschooling can be fun, even when the blues come knocking at the door:

Educational Games: Introduce fun and educational games to reinforce math, reading, science, geography or any other curriculum concept. The Some Body anatomy game provides hours of entertainment for your child in health. Even playing games like dominoes and bingo can become teachable moments.

Movies: There are many wonderful movies available that are both informational and fun. Click here to view numerous video selections from the Alpha Omega Publications web store or check some out at a local library. Pop some corn, take a break, and enjoy an educational film.

Have a Picnic: Have a picnic no matter what the weather brings. Spread out a blanket in the living room and enjoy a picnic lunch. Afterwards, let older students use a picnic theme for a creative writing project while younger ones can paint a picture of some picnic fun.

Take a Class: Try a new class offered by a homeschool support group or local community college. Getting involved in a new art or hobby class is a great way to learn something new while meeting new friends.

Diet and Exercise: Winter months are a perfect time to focus on physical fitness. Have fun exercising together as a family and learning how to keep fit and healthy. Start a small, unit study on nutrition and exercise with the Personal Care Series and let the kids get involved in planning nutritious meals.

Host a Beating-the-Blues Party: Invite all your homeschool friends and neighbors over for a beating-the-blues party. Include some colorful decorations, games, and fun finger foods. Try a fun beach theme. Just being with other families who experience the same ups and downs can turn around those blues!

When those mid-year blues come around, make some happy homeschool memories with your family and send those blues packing!