Sometimes simply taking a break from homeschooling can make all the difference. The holidays are a perfect time to do just that. We, as homeschoolers, get caught up in the idea that we have to get “everything” done! Our kids must answer all the questions, fill in all the blanks, do school every day, finish that textbook.
However, getting everything done isn’t always conducive to learning. Does that sound counterintuitive? If so, read on to see why taking a holiday break can actually help us and our children learn more.
Taking a Holiday Break Enhances Learning
A break in routine enhances learning because we are forced to make our brains work harder. Brains get stuck in a routine just like we do. They need new stimulation to get new connections working.
While routine can be an important part of a homeschooling day, making a change in those routines can be very beneficial too. Change your routine to strengthen your brain connections.
Taking a Holiday Break Allows New Ideas to Form
By taking a break over the holidays you are allowing time for new ideas to form. If you regularly do schoolwork from nine to three each day, for example, by taking a break you have just given your family six hours to try something new. Six hours a day!
With all of that free time, new ideas will be flowing and everyone will be learning. If you can, I would suggest that you pick a couple of things that you all want to do but refrain from scheduling all 6 hours and just let the day happen as it will.
Go some place new, eat a different food, take a walk in a different neighborhood, or play a new educational game.
Perhaps when the break is over, both you and your kids will have come up with exciting new ideas which will enhance your homeschool.
Silence and Time Alone is Important to Learning
Time alone is important to learning and yet most of us rarely get alone time. By taking a holiday break you can allow everyone to have some down time.
Being in silence and letting our minds wander definitely leads to new learning opportunities. I know it can be hard to let go and allow your kids to be bored, but believe me, you are doing them a favor by allowing them time to think.
This quiet alone time is when a child makes connections in his mind. “A 2001 study defined a ‘default mode’ of brain function that showed that even when the brain was ‘resting’ it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.” source
Breaks Give Time for Exploring Interests
When your kids are learning something they are interested in, the learning happens quickly and it sticks! Ask your kids what they would really like to do and help them get all set up to do it.
Give them the opportunity to lead and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much they learn.
A Holiday Break Allows Families to Learn Together
Building memories together is one of the best ways to learn. Use your holiday break to focus on family and traditions.
The holidays are a time of wonder for many children. Taking time to put the focus squarely on spending time together, building relationships and on family traditions gives you and your kids a way to learn in a relaxed and beneficial way.
The holidays need not be a big rush to get everything done. If you simply:
- Change your routine
- Allow new ideas to form
- Spend time in silience
- Explore personal interests
- Focus on family traditions
You will be enhancing your children’s learning in such a big way. Plus, they will remember holiday breaks with fondness which is a nice bonus indeed.