What’s up my fellow esoteric homeschoolers?! Welcome back to another episode of The Hippie Homeschooler podcast. In today’s podcast, we talk all about brain breaks.
So you might be asking yourself, “what in the ACTUAL fuck is a brain break?!”.
I was in that same position at the beginning of the school year. Actually the only reason I know about brain breaks is because my daughter did these in public school last year (probably to ONLY positive to come out of that experience).
Today well talk about what break breaks are, why they are beneficial, and some brain break ideas you can include in your homeschooling day. Let’s dive right in!
What Is A Brain Break?
It might not seem like your homeschool lessons are overly stimulating because as an adult you already know the material. We have to consider this is the first time our children are seeing most of these concepts. Even the most fun and exciting lesson can become overwhelming for a young mind after an extended period of time.
Enter the brain break. A brain break is literally what the name implies; a break for your child’s brain.
How you choose to include these breaks throughout your day is complete up to you. There is no right answer here. The only thing that matters is you are taking a break from your regularly scheduled programming to give your children time to regroup and/or get energy out.
Depending on your child’s learning style, you may need to incorporate more or less of these breaks throughout your day. For my kinesthetic learner, we take a brain break every time we complete one page of work. For my written learner, we usually take about four 5 minute breaks per hour of learning.
What Are The Benefits Of Brain Breaks?
As you can imagine, taking these tiny breaks throughout your homeschooling day can yield AMAZING benefits. Some of the benefits I have personally noticed in my children are:
- Keeps them focused and engaged in the lessons
- Encourages creativity
- Invites time for fun/playful exercise
This is especially true if you also have a kinesthetic learner in the family. For them, sitting still and focusing for long chunks of time can be like pulling teeth. Give them little breaks and I promise you will notice a dramatic increase in their productivity and focus.
How Can We Include Brain Breaks In Our Day?
It is up to you how you choose to incorporate brain breaks into your homeschooling day. I will give a few suggestions below for you to pick and choose from.
The important thing to keep in mind here is this break is for your children, not you. Even though something might seem fun and relaxing to you doesn’t mean that’s what your child actually needs.
Sit down with your children, show them a list of suggestions you have come up with. Let them pick and choose the brain breaks that are exciting for them.
Free Brain Break Suggestions
If you’ve been around this blog for any length of time, you know we are HUGE fans of using YouTube during our lessons. Brain breaks are no exception to that rule.
Some of our favorite brain break channels are GoNoodle, Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel, and The Learning Station. All of these channels have great songs for kids that range from silly to really educational. Let your child pick and choose which channel resonates the most for them.
Our personal favorite brain break channel is GoNoodle. The thing I love the most about GoNoodle is their variety of brain breaks. Some of their videos are silly dances, some are silly exercises, and, of course, my personal favorite is their guided meditations.
As a bonus, if you have a Roku TV, you can download the Go Noodle channel so you don’t have to worry about your kids getting side tracked on YouTube.
Screen-Free Brain Break Ideas
In addition to videos, we also incorporate screen free brain breaks in our day.
My daughters favorite brain break is a spin off the Netflix show Nailed It. I design a really simple treat (like marshmallow snowmen or penguins oreos) then give the kids 5 minutes to try to recreate the design.
The best thing about these “nailed it” brain breaks is they double as a STEAM activity without the kids realizing they are learning. It also builds their problem solving skills and teaches them how to work within a deadline. The winner gets to eat both treats so there’s tons of motivation to get creative.
Other screen free brain breaks we love are practicing our weekly yoga pose, creating a silly dance, or doing a quick 5 minute exercise. For ideas on child appropriate yoga and exercises, click here to see the Pinterest board I’ve put together (and be sure to follow my Pinterest for tons of great homeschooling resources).
Paid Brain Break Suggestions
Sometimes we like to get a little boujee with our brain breaks and include paid activities. All of the things I mention are subscription based, but this is NOT a sponsored post. These are subscriptions we have found on our own that our children really love.
Our favorite screen-free subscription is by the brand Kiwi Co. It’s a monthly subscription box for literally any age range you can image (0 to 104 to be precise). These boxes are super affordable, about $20 per month, and come with anywhere from 1 to 4 thematic crafts/STEAM activities.
If you’ve followed any of my lesson plans, you know we are HUGEEE fans of thematic learning so I really do love that these boxes give us entire lessons without me having to put in any work.
The great thing about both of these services, though, is they have a diverse range of lessons. For the most part, we use both of these websites as regular lessons throughout our day. However, both websites have fun tasks like solving puzzles, coloring, and a customizable virtual room so we can use them for brain breaks as well.
That Wraps Up Today’s Podcast
And that, my friends, is the scoop on brain breaks. I hope you have a better understanding of what they are and/or got some inspiration for including them throughout your homeschooling day.
As always, this is just a brief recap of what I talk about in the podcast. Be sure to give the episode a listen for a more detailed description of brain breaks.
Let me know in the comments below if you already include brain breaks in your day. I’m always looking for new ideas so share your favorite brain breaks with me if I haven’t already mentioned them.
Thank you so much for taking the time to hang with me today. I’m truly grateful for all your support and I’m looking forward to bringing you more great content soon. Until next time. Peace out, homies!