The long summer days have come to an end. Fall is in the air!
A new homeschooling year is upon us. The pumpkin spice latte is back. Football is in full force. Pumpkin patches are popping up. Pinterest is overflowing with yummy looking autumn recipes. Fall is in the air!
I know that many of us have a fondness for fall. We anticipate Halloween and then Thanksgiving when the holiday season will be in full swing.
Those of us in the northern hemisphere enjoy cooler temperatures; often a relief as we transition from the summer heat. We enjoy leaves changing color and evenings by the fireplace. We dress our dogs in adorable little Halloween costumes.
Is it just me with the doggie costumes?
Ah, well then, never mind.
The point is, there is so much to be enjoyed during the fall. And if we look at what nature is doing, we have a rich opportunity to embrace the coziness of the season and accept the invitation to slow down.
But we often find ourselves in the complete opposite state.
Our calendars quickly fill with social obligations and responsibilities. Riding the wave of our new homeschooling year, we have high expectations and big plans for the season.
We want to celebrate every fall opportunity.
Fall is in the air and We don’t want to miss out!
Ah yes, our deep fear of missing out and being left behind. Of not doing everything we possibly can to create family memories.
But the thing is, if we’re not careful, we find ourselves running around at a frantic pace. In our quest to do it all, we end up running on empty. Our sleep suffers. Our immune system is compromised. We crash and burn.
Now I love focusing on seasonal homeschooling. Basically, this is just a fancy way of saying I try my best to pay attention. I pay attention to the seasonal changes and what is happening out in nature. And then trying my best to incorporate this into our homeschooling lifestyle.
I’ve found some simple ways to practice this seasonal homeschooling over the past several years. And you know I am always looking for ways to keep things simple and sustainable. So from the suggestions below, only choose ideas that sound appealing and stress-free.
Think enjoyable, cozy, simple, and fun.
Ready? Here we go.
On or around Autumnal Equinox, we read the book We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer. This is a picture book that does a wonderful job of explaining seasonal changes in a sweet and tangible way. It’s appropriate for all ages and as an adult, I enjoy reading it each year.
This is a really easy way to welcome the season together.
There are lots of movies that take place in the fall. But if you don’t already have a favorite, it’s tough to go wrong with It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
For breakfast, throw some chopped up apples and cinnamon in with your morning oatmeal. Or bake some pumpkin nut muffins.
For lunch and dinner, this is the perfect time of year to embrace the one-pot meals that different soups and chili provide. Let the crockpot serve you well and embrace the simplicity of throwing a bunch of ingredients in and letting time and the crockpot work their magic.
For drinks, embrace seasonal teas and apple cider. Yum!
Here is a list of several activities you might want to consider.
Again, only do the ones that look appealing and don’t feel daunting.
- Visit a local pumpkin patch.
- Look up when the Harvest Moon is occurring.
- Acknowledge the Autumnal Equinox, when day and night are nearly equal. This is considered the first day of fall. From this point forward, daylight lessens as we move towards winter.
- Make caramel apples. I think I’m going to give this twist a try this year!
- Make a fall wreath.
- Plant some fall-inspired flowers. How about mums!?!
- Host a games night potluck complete with smores and apple cider. Make sure everyone coming brings an easy dish to contribute. Keep it super casual.
- Each night at dinner, have every family member express one specific thing that they are thankful for.
Now there is absolutely no way I am not going to include a handful of fall self-care reminders! Because your self-care, especially during potentially busy seasons, is critical. It’s critical for your own sense of well-being, the success of your homeschooling year, and the quality of your family time and relationships.
So please, DO NOT forget to incorporate your self-care!
- Simplify. Seriously, if it isn’t necessary or doesn’t bring you joy, skip it.
- Try going to bed earlier. Pay attention to nature. As you notice the days getting darker earlier, practice following nature’s lead. Curl up with a book or watch a favorite show.
- Get your daily movement in. Notice I didn’t use the word EXERCISE. If a hard workout is your jam and helps you keep your sanity, then do it. But if that feels like way too much to add to your plate right now, consider calling it daily movement instead. And just get in 10 minutes of daily movement. I promise you, this consistent activity, even in this short amount of time, will do wonders for your overall well-being.
- Incorporate a 10 minute daily quiet time. Again, if you have a mediation or prayer practice that exceeds 10 minutes, and you find it is working for you, by all means, continue on! But if not, try just sitting in a quiet spot for 10 minutes. Stare out the window, close your eyes and notice your breath. Whatever helps you stop and connect.
- Light a fall-inspired candle. Is there a fall scent you really enjoy? Get yourself a candle and light it. Make your surroundings cozy.
This time of year can be an opportunity for so much cozy family bonding. And to simplify the process, I truly hope the suggestions I’ve provided will offer you some inspiration.
Do you have any suggestions for ways to celebrate the fall season? I’d love to get your ideas!