A Bad Case Of The Februarys

Most people know about “a bad case of the Mondays.” Much less well-known, except in homeschooling circles, is a bad case of the Februarys. Even seasoned moms who firmly believe homeschooling is the best choice for their families want to hole up with Puxatawny Phil for February. My husband’s talk of wanting to one day work exclusively from home disappears from our conversations around this time too. The Februarys affected me less when my children were younger, and there were fewer of them, but now cooped up with five loud kids in less than 2000 sqft is maddening and exhausting at the same time. I think a history discussion I had yesterday with the kids pretty much sums up how homeschooling goes in February.

Me: Okay, so lets put these things up on the Greek timeline. First, what was the earliest Greek civilization? You read about them a couple of weeks back.


Addie: The Philistines?

Me: No. The chapter in The Story of the World mentioned bull jumping as a recreational sport.

Byron: Why did they jump bulls?

Me: They just did! Now who are they? Edie you just listened to this chapter today! They settled on the island of…..


Me: Cccccccrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeee…

Addie: Crete!

Me: Yes, who were they?


Me: THE MINOANS! THE MINOANS SETTLED ON CRETE!!!! (sound of picture being slammed onto wall)

Me: *SIGH* Now, eventually the Minoans left Crete. Who remembers why?

Addie: Philistines!

Me: NO

Byron: Barbarians!

Me: NO! Think, natural disaster.

Addie: Oh, oh! A volcanic eruption!

Me: Yes! Good. Do you remember the name of the island that erupted?

Byron: All I can think of is the name of the volcano from the ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ book. What was it? Sarrrr…somthing.

Me: BYRON! We’re not talking about ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’! That’s a fictional story! This is real life. THERA, the island of THERA erupted. (tapes up the next picture) See, how it’s collapsed in the middle. The whole center of the island sank into the sea.

Byron: Like Atlantis!

Me: Moving on! So, who settled on Crete once it the Minoans left?

Addie: The Philistines?

Me: Seriously Addie, the Philistines have nothing to do with this.

Addie: Sorry, it’s just I’ve been reading so much about the Philistines…. [like seriously, for fun she’s reading this?!?]

Me: Okay well, it was the Myceneans. You read about them too. At least I thought you did.

Addie and Bryon: We did!

Me: Obviously. Okay so, what happened to the Myceneans? And Addie if you say Philistines I’m going to smack you. [she shoots me her, “Your empty threats don’t scare me.” look]

Addie and Byron: Barbarians!

Me: Yes, good! Do you remember who they were?

Addie: The Vandals?

Me: WRONG BARBARIC INVASION! That was part of the fall of Rome and what led into a later dark ages.

Byron: Wait, there was another dark ages?


And so it goes. If you want real tips on how to beat the Februarys, I suggest this post by Rebecca. I’ve got nothing.




  1. Ugh. So fed up with the Februrarys! But on the bright side it looks like they have all the information. Just not necessarily all the right connections. 😉

  2. i see nothing wrong with this conversation. the children’s responses in my humble opinion were all correct….you are the one speaking Greek…or is it Crete…..oh no that’s right it was the Philitines!! hehehhe happy February!! (btw, my biggest complaint with February is the way it is spelled…shouldnt it be Febuary???)

  3. Oh yes. Unfortunately. History has sounded a lot like that lately. I’m going to start asking the SOTW questions right after I read the paragraph with the answer in it. If I wait to the end of the section…crickets and the sound of my banging my head on the wall.

  4. OH! You mean I’m NOT the only one who has this kind of morale-shredding “history exam” with her kids? THANK GOD. No question I’m too sensitive by half, but conversations like that always leave me laying on the floor and whimpering for several hours afterwards…then having to debrief hysterically when my husband gets home. I do diapers, I do runny noses, I do endless nagging – all with my sense of worth-and-purpose fully intact. But it takes just thirty minutes of “did your brain leach out of your head during the night?” homeschooling to convince me that motherhood is a brain-sucking, life-wasting prison of pointlessness…

    (No, patience ain’t one of my natural virtues.)

  5. I’m pretty sure you must have a hidden camera in my living room.

    I fight February by research new! shiny! fun! stuff for next year.

  6. Are you in my house? Seriously, ARE YOU?

    Ok, I guess since we aren’t studying Greek history yet, I can only assume your insights are due to wisdom and not stalking. Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone.

  7. “Seriously Addie, the Philistines have nothing to do with this.” <——–this is where i lost it and almost woke up the sleeping baby on my lap by laughing out loud!

  8. I feel unbelievably ignorant after reading this little exchange. Can i come be homeschooled by you? Is it weird I’m 30 and havent heard of 50% of the places/peoples you just listed off? Oh public school…

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