Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Seeing The Benefit of Rest

Monday was our first day back to the formal schooling since last week’s break. All of us were refreshed and ready for this next block of our formal school year. The moans and groans from the week before last were replaced with excitement and enthusiasm over learning about the Periodic Table of Elements. We started reviewing what they had started learning a couple weeks ago when the burnout had started to set in. This time they were interested in the properties of Hydrogen and were so much more receptive in learning about the alkali metals.

2 Hydrogen Atoms
+ 1 Oxygen Atom
= Happy Face Water Molecule
All of them are enjoying the learning process this week. When they were told they each had to choose one alkali metal to study, there were smiles instead of tears. Little G chose three elements to study instead of one. She now knows that lithium is used in batteries, and looks cool when it reacts with water. She loved watching the reaction on the video we found. Then she explored cesium and rubidium on her own because she wanted to. She actually prepped a quick oral report complete with a power point presentation she will do in front of the family. The others are also prepping little mini reports for their choices. There is a lot of fun leaning going on in the house. You can hear little statements like, “There’s potassium in chocolate! That means it’s healthy, right?” and “Mommy can you get me some H2O, I’m thirsty.”

I am so glad I followed through on my plan to just close the books for a week even though we were in the middle of a unit. If I had pressed on and just continued the course to get it done, they would not have learned much, if anything at all and our days would have been miserable. Allowing for breaks and rests in the adventure should be as much as a part of our school routine as math, reading, writing and any other subject. I am learning how to be creative in my homeschool calendar so that we can continue to enjoy our homeschool adventure. I have three weeks scheduled for Christmas and New Years instead of the traditional two. I know we are going to need another break by then. This is something that allows the learning to be so much more fun and enjoyable. If the learning is fun and enjoyable, the learning will stick. If it is boring and unmemorable, you have just wasted a bunch of time and energy for something that will quickly be forgotten.

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