Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Recess for Homeschoolers

Every homeschooler knows someone who hears they homeschool and responds with a smirk and some comment about permanent recess. Some people really think homeschooling is all about sleeping late, watching TV, and playing all day. Real homeschooling families don’t work that way. But on the other hand, public school kids get breaks for recess, so shouldn’t homeschooled kids be able to play outdoors for a bit?

Schoolteachers know it helps kids’ performance and ability to learn if they have breaks in between lessons. Playtime lets kids clear their heads and come back to their desks ready to focus again, and homeschooled kids benefit in much the same way. They can shake off the bad vibes from that math lesson they didn’t like, and be ready to attack their spelling words after playing outdoors for a bit.

Industrious homeschooling moms know how to multitask and combine recess with something else. Maybe collecting rocks out in the backyard can double as time to run, jump, and play while also gathering the supplies for the upcoming lesson about geology. Or have the kids do jumping jacks and then throw in some math to have them calculate the number of calories they just burned, or how much force their feet hit the ground with. Even a playground slide is useful to teach about gravity.

By all means, let your homeschooled kids run and play to take a break. Their schoolwork will benefit, and mom gets a break this way too!

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