Learn How Recess is the Most Important Homeschool Class

Learn How Recess is the Most Important Homeschool Class

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series 12 Simple Steps to Homeschooling

Can you believe that we are already up to step 9 in the 12 simple Steps to homeschooling series?  Our last article was, Handy Tricks to Fix Your Child’s Behavior in Homeschooling.  Today’s topic is the importance of recess and free time in your homeschool.

Who doesn’t love recess?

There is something about getting to go outside in the middle of the day and having that short mental break from school that can totally change your day.  I lived for recess when I was a child.  I just wanted to get out into the sun and soak up the rays.  Yet, this is something that I have found myself forgetting in our homeschool.  Sometimes I focus so much on getting through the material, that I forget to take breaks.  My boys need them, and I need them.

The Importance of Recess

There are a couple of reasons that having recess is so important.  First, it gets everyone moving.  It means that you can set aside that intense math problem and take a break.  Or after they finish up an assignment your child has something to look forward to.  You need to take breaks to increase mental health and kids need breaks from school.  There are days where I feel like I am stuffing my boys full of so much information that they won’t possibly remember any of it.  That is the point where I realize everyone needs to stop for a little while.  We aren’t in a race to finish our school work.  If they aren’t learning anything, then what is the point?  That is when you have to take a break for a few minutes and reassess what is going on.

Recess gives your children a break to burn off energy and you to think about how the day is going.  Make a plan for the rest of the day or come up with a new activity to try.  Recess doesn’t always have to include outside time.  Sometime during your day, you need to give your children free time to work on something they want to do.  That could be an art project they are trying to finish up or an educational video you have been saving.  Just something different and out of the norm of structured classes.

Free Time and Child-led Learning

Every child needs free time to explore a topic of their own choosing.  One of my sons is fascinated with collecting elements on the periodic table.  I have found myself scouring the internet for information about elements in everyday objects.  I save things, so he can later take them apart and find the elements.  He is learning so much because he has a passion for it.  My other son loves the piano.  I want to make sure he feels like he can play whenever he wants to because for him it is a stress reliever.  He needs the time to play and get his frustrations out or just to feel at peace.  So, my point is you need to build in time throughout your week to let them explore.

Let your child show you what they are interested in and if possible let them pursue it.  If your child wants to collect rocks during recess, let him.  Give him a place to show off his rock collection and maybe take it one step farther and research different types of rocks.

Use Recess as Gym

Some places have co-ops that get together for gym class and other sports.  If you are in an area like we are where we don’t have that, don’t forget to include some gym activities for your children.  Teach them the basics about sports or jump roping, or how to play foursquare.  In winter it is harder to find the space to go outside and play especially if there is a lot of snow.  So be creative.  Last winter we built a snow cave.  We researched about how to do it correctly and built it in one of the huge piles of snow in our backyard.  This was an all-day event, but we learned so much from this opportunity.

Sometimes in life, we forget to slow down. To enjoy the small things that the world has to offer us.  By taking breaks throughout the day and allowing some free time for your children not only will you accomplish more in your homeschool curriculum but it will also make your home a more joyous place.

Learn How Recess is the Most Important Homeschool Class

For your homework, I want you to plan out sometime in your homeschool week to include free time for your children as well as recess.  Tell me what your thoughts are on this and what you decide to do.

Next up: Understanding the Reality of Test Anxiety


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