When I was a child we had no real driveway and my mother would break trail for us on the winter mornings with her old leather laced snowshoes. We would follow her begrudgingly down the half mile that made up our driveway often sinking in the snow well up over our knees. One day after getting off the school bus from kindergarten I demanded I was allowed to be the leader on the way home. Now of course a small child likely wouldn't be able to accomplish that for long. My mother though allowed me to take up the challenge. Why is this important? Because that challenge changed my life. In that moment of taking the role of leader I realized it was hard to be a leader. I felt the weight of that responsibility. I think I maybe took twenty steps before I gave the role back to my very amused mother. The point here is that winter is a great time to allow the kids more time to find roles that suit them. Sure January signals the deep freeze of winter and it limits what we want to do outside. But there are many roles and responsibilities that kids can choose to learn in the home.
As homeschool families we have a great gift of time with our kids. Also we have a very great responsibility to make sure we raise our kids to be competent adults. I have often heard that college aged kids can't do laundry or know how to change a fuse etc..Why? They weren't given those jobs growing up. Often times we want to be there for our kids in every way and sometimes yes we want to coddle them. I see the quieter months of winter as the best time of the year to focus on learning some of those needed skills. We have more time in the home and less distractions from outside to take our focus away. Challenging kids to do more gives them confidence in their persons and allows for personal growth.
Ultimately each and everyday we need to strive to make ourselves better human beings. Some days we fail miserably and some days we surprise even ourselves with how much we can do. It's the days in between that fill our lives and make life what it is. It's the laughter and joy in the simple, silly things that make life worth living. In the end we are all just trying to do what is right for our children and ourselves.