OK, so most of you are probably aware by now that I've taken the Orange Rhino Challenge and some of you may have even gone over to her page to check out what it's all about. Some of you might even have checked it out and said there's absolutely no way on earth that you could do it.
And if you're like me you might just have taken the challenge and failed before. Or have taken the challenge and had a recent set back. Let's face it, the holidays are stressful and when you're stressed out it's easier to yell and not just at your kids.
So, in anticipation of long snowy days and family get together that are far too crowded for my homebody self I began looking at Orange Rhino's alternatives page. I needed more help if I was going to make it until New Years let alone long enough to add more time to the challenge (eventually I'd like to not yell for a year or more).
I was absolutely amazed at how many of these I do on a regular basis and how many of them I have been doing for a lot longer than I even knew about the challenge.
I've taken just a handful of these suggestions and figured out how to make them into a "good" lesson for my homeschooled campers.
1. Blow Bubbles (listed in her fun alternatives) can be adjusted simply by stepping outside on a day that is below freezing and blowing those bubbles. Will they freeze before they hit the ground? Great, quick science experiment. And come on ... who doesn't love blowing bubbles?
2. Also listed in her fun alternatives are a lot of physical things like jumping jacks and push ups. Part of staying healthy is staying fit, part of schooling is physical education, and it can certainly be a challenge when the weather outside is frightful! Clear an area of your living room (or basement or whatever) and everyone get physical for awhile. Want a bigger challenge? Do some of these exercises outside! Jumping Jacks for ten minutes in the snow is a huge challenge! Jogging for five minutes on a slippy sidewalk is tricky but do-able. Push ups in the snow? Can we say white-washing? Make this fun. Not only is it good for you but you'll get some good positive chemical action going on inside that makes it less likely that you'll yell.
3. Have a spontaneous dance party with some of your favorite (or your child's favorite) music. Not only can you get the wiggles out but you can throw in a quick music lesson or two while you're at it (if you want).
Some of her "feel like a fool" alternatives sound pretty funny. How about getting a bunch of items together and seeing what muffles or "holds" the sound better? Another quick science lesson as you can explore the scientific process with this as well.
Orange Rhino has 100 different items listed on her alternatives page. I'm sure there are many more that could be "turned into a lesson" AND still help you not to yell. As soon as I find my orange yarn (I'm sure it's around here somewhere) I'll be crocheting a few quick orange scarves for our future snowmen which will be strategically placed where I can see them from a window in our living room. Those goofy snowmen, which I've been informed MUST have carrots for noses (orange again), should serve as a reminder until they melt to stop yelling.
And when all else fails during the cold, white days of winter grab yourself a cup of orange flavored tea and a coloring book. Color like your life depends on it! It's calming to color those nice graphic coloring books you can get at the dollar store. Why do you think my kids color so much?