Taking breaks is just as much a vital part of education as academic studies. One of the problems faced by many home schoolers is that the day breaks tend to be longer than necessary. It removes a little bit of discipline both on the student and the parent. It is okay to work around that from time to time as other responsibilities take place in our normal every day lives.
Just as in a public school, plan those 5 minute breaks in between subjects. It is a much needed time for the student and parent to take a mental break from one subject, let your mind fly away to the farthest beach or world, then gear up for the next subject. It works best to keep those short breaks to five to no more than ten minutes unless you go out for a half hour play time, or nap time if your child is young enough to still need this.
Those break times are so refreshing to me and I know they must be for my child. Of course, she doesn't see it as the benefit that it really is, the chance to unwind, let go of the stress, take a deep breathe or maybe go outside and inhale some warm sunshine. But that's what she's is doing, letting go of the academic related stress. Encourage it, talk to your child about how they can best utilize those 5 or 10 minutes for their mental and physical health; remind yourself of how to take and enjoy those breaks often, too.
And don't forget to plan those longer much needed breaks: fall or spring break, summer break, maybe a nature walk and picnic lunch in a national forest to just simply blow the day away. In such invigorating environments, the mind still works to learn and absorb the nature around. Perhaps a trip to a nature center to watch or pet an eagle or maybe a science center. When possible, plan a trip to the beach. For me, just rising up early enough to watch the sun peak out over the horizon and listening to the waves resets my spirit, and recharges my batteries for sure.
Getting out of the norm on well planned events does much to restore the spirit, soul, and body for the next leg of an academic journey.
Talk with your child(ren) and see what you might can plan together. Be prepared for one of the kids to not like the idea. Schedule two to three events like this a school year if you can afford it or time permits. Allow the kids to mark one by their first choice and so on. Once you tally the votes, you can let the kids know and get that set in the schedule for the school year.
How many breaks a year do you schedule? How does your family work around those tough issues? Do you make it a family issue to save or invest money for those trips and teach your child about investing along the way?
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