Finding Light in the Winter Blues

Cari Wilson Thursday November 16 2023


As the dreary winter season approaches, homeschooling families may find themselves battling the “winter blues.” The shorter and colder days often lead many to feeling isolated and lonely. Our faith and biblical understanding, however, can provide us with essential tools in the navigation of this season. Let’s explore together a handful of applications or different perspectives that could, in fact, change the way we view winter. Maybe, just maybe, your family will grow eager of winter’s arrival and all the beauty and promise it holds.

My first reaction is to consider winter a period of bareness and death of what-once-was beautiful landscape and gardens; our warm season plants lie dormant or have perished altogether, while dry, sticky grass and colorless foliage take their place. It can leave our surroundings looking and feeling undesirable. But God created winter for a purpose, as is explained in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (NIV). Nothing in God’s creation occurred by mere happenstance, so who am I to discount the purpose and value of winter?

Many creatures and elements of nature find refuge and rest during wintertime. While colder, shorter days may keep us closer to our homes, this season of the year could provide ample opportunity to reflect on our blessings and homeschooling practices. Winter can be an ideal time to consider what changes can be implemented for springtime learning, or, maybe even more importantly, what areas of our lives could benefit from rest. As is the case with the changing seasons, there is also purpose in each season of our homeschooling journey.

Wintertime brings its own kind of wonder and beauty. In our neighborhood, cooler morning temperatures mean deer families trek across our property and brave wild turkeys venture about. Our kids love spotting the animals and witnessing their unique behavior. Creating a wildlife study could add some variety to wintertime lessons. Another favorite activity for us is only possible on those bitter cold days: snowflake catching! We love examining their beauty and appreciating God’s detailed handiwork. Focusing on the delicate beauty only present during winter can help foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for its purpose.

Gratitude is an effective antidote to the “winter blues.” In Philippians 4, we are encouraged to “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present [our] requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus” (v. 6-7). Cultivating a grateful mindset in our homeschooling journey will bring to the forefront the Lord’s blessings in our lives.

Finding a supportive community is one of the most powerful tools available in helping a homeschooling family navigate all the seasons of their journey. Building camaraderie with other families who understand the blessings and “blues” of homeschooling can definitely ease the dreariness. Biblical guidance and examples abound as to the importance of one’s community: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another” (Heb. 10:24-25). Sharing experiences, challenges, and encouragement with fellow homeschooling families helps to prevent any possible isolation and loneliness from taking root.

Wintertime is but a temporary season in God’s thorough design of life, but we mustn’t disregard the purpose of its creation. Don’t let the barren landscape and gloomy days distract you from achieving restfulness and focusing on gratefulness. Wintertime provides ample opportunity for your family to discover God’s purpose and grandeur in this season; explore new adventures together; and implement attitude practices that will outlive the few months of shortened daylight.