One of the best ways to keep a homeschool day running smoothly is to take your children outside, when weather permits, at least once a day. Most experts recommend sixty minutes of outdoor playtime per day, but every little bit helps. Break up your school day, and half way through send your students outside to play. Don’t worry about planning structured activities, but allow them to stretch and use their imaginations! This play time is crucial to their educational development, and will make the rest of the school day go by so much easier.
According to the Department of Natural Resources,” Offering sufficient outdoor time improves the overall health of our children while lengthening attention spans,
diminishing aggressiveness, improving test scores and ultimately advancing learning.” They also say that it lowers the chances of childhood obesity, ADHD and increases emotional well being in children as well! In short, it will not only give your children a break and let them get all their wiggles out, but will help them retain more of their schoolwork in a day as well!
Getting their wiggles out is just the icing on the cake, though. The dose of Vitamin D they will get from the sun (even on a cloudy day) is also a mood booster! So, even on days when you feel like your children don’t “deserve” a play break, let them take one anyway, as that very well may be the thing that turns the day around. Just like adults, sometimes kids just need to step away from a situation (or a subject) and do something to get their minds off it so they can have a fresh start.
If the weather is poor, take a “movement break” anyway and let your kids play actively indoors. Some great suggestions are turning on music and allowing the children to dance to it, working on a fun exercise routine, or if you have room, even a game of Duck, Duck, Goose can be fun for all ages as well! The important thing is that children have a chance to move in the middle of their day. It can be so difficult for little ones to maintain concentration for long periods of sitting, and sometimes good old-fashioned play is all they need.
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