I really do love homeschooling. It’s low-key, laid-back and free from go-here-do-this-be-here-on-time. It appeals to my I-do-not-like-deadlines personality. It also appeals to my homebody-ness.
The only bad part is when my kids get that whole caged-animal syndrome. You know? Where they are arguing about something like reading the directions? Or crying because a pencil broke? Or whining because they have to *gasp* color a picture?
It doesn’t just happen when we do school. Sometimes it’s those days when they kids fall on the ground because they consider my suggestion to do the dishes (which they do every single solitary day) cruel and unusual punishment. Or they literally cannot control themselves long enough for me to make a phone call or reply to an email.
I know it’s just because they are kids. Of course, some things are straight up sins. But sometimes it’s like they just need a reboot. Is it just my kids?
But how do you reboot your kids? Time-out? Punishments? Clearly, not the best choices. (Believe me. I’ve tried.) Well, God answered my unspoken prayer with a post from my friend, Heather (well, we’ve never met in real life, I just follow her blog and think she’s a super-homeschool mama and a regular genius). She wrote this amazing series on her blog called Boosting Brain Power. It’s all about how movement actually enhances learning and focus.
Apparently, she got a really great response from the series so she turned some of it into an ebook called, The Ultimate Guide To Brain Breaks. It’s full of the science and the why’s behind movement-plus-learning. And actually, not entirely over my head. I’m really intrigued at how God made our brains and bodies to work together (Well, clearly, they work together. You know what I mean, the physical part of our seemingly non-physical self. Blah. Just read how Heather explains it!).
Since I bought the ebook, I’ve been making time for Brain Breaks throughout our homeschool day. When Lydia has an especially long set of questions to answer or has to do several math problems in a row, I’ll set out a few pre-selected Brain Breaks (from the free printables included in the ebook) and when she is finished with each page, or is unsure of an answer, she picks up a card and does the brain break. (Of course, Asa does it, too and it’s a family affair!)
Sometimes if I hear aggravation creep in (or even tears), I’ll pull out a brain break and let them reboot. Other times it’s ME that can’t handle their kid-ness. So, I’ll give them 3 blood-pumping Brain Breaks and let them do all of them on their own downstairs (read: AWAY FROM ME).
I cannot tell you how many arguments and whines these brain breaks has stopped. I can really see Lydia focusing more after she’s done 20 boxer kicks or did a bear crawl down the hall. Instead of her breathing heavy sighs because she has to answer 10 questions in complete sentences, she gets excited because she knows I’m going to lay 5 brain breaks out for her to do.
If you homeschool, or have to do homework with your kids or just have times when your kids need to focus (my new fave: “Asa, hop on one foot across the room until I’m off the phone!”) you need The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks ebook in your arsenal. There are 60 brain breaks included with clear instructions (and a little science as to why they work) and some even have photos to help you do these in your own home.
You know, it pays to know people. Since I do know Heather (or pretend to online), she is offering a 25% off coupon code (OHAMANDA) for The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks to all of you! The code is good for all of September but go snag it now so you don’t forget!
OK, I’m off to do a crab walk before I answer some emails…
And because I’m sure you’re gonna ask, Lydia’s super cute Snow White costume/play-outfit is from Tinkerella. You’re welcome.
affiliate links included.