When kids need to play

There is a pattern I am noticing in my kids lately. I see it the most in Madeline which makes sense because she is three years older than the twins. She is between Love of Learning and Scholar, but occasional hours and days were she practices scholar phase. I am thankful for Oliver and Rachel Demille from a Thomas Jefferson Education who can put into words how I see our kids learning.

My jaw has dropped numerous times this year as I have found the less we require, the more our kids investigate the world around them. What does this look like in everyday life? Titus builds, Naomi bakes and sews, Maddie discovers the world through science and Timothy tries to keep up with all of them.

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would see the pattern I am seeing. I had heard about it, wished for it, but I was never sure our kids would do it. Our kids are discovering their passions, talents, and interests. There are times when it is almost as if they are binge learning. Maddie will dive into the world of marine life. She will study seahorses, coral reefs, sharks, starfish, shrimp, and whales. Maddie will read about oceanic voyages and scientist. She will then decide to study insects. Her world fills with information on spiders, bees, flies and other insects. After a time, it is almost like a flashing light goes off in her brain to remind her she is indeed ten.

When the light goes off, and you can almost see it flash. It is as if Maddie’s brain needs to breathe, it comes up for air to remind her she is ten. Her mind and body tell her to play, have fun, use her imagination and to take a break. The break can last a few hours or a few days. Oddly, this studying break allows for chores to happily be completed by her during the break. These days are when deep cleaning of her required area gets done.

Math is one of the subjects we require. We feel it is too hard to play catch up to let go. Occasionally during her brain break, we will still expect completed math pages, but we may not require as many of the pages.

Just as the light flashes when Maddie needs a break, there is another light that comes on when her brain is ready to engage again. It has apparently recharged, downloaded and processed the information it needed to. I need to mention; the light does not always flash for academics alone. Sometimes academics are going along smoothly, but something has happened in our family life that adds mental and emotional health. Our bodies connect as a whole, and the light will flash again, and wisdom has taught me to listen to the flashing light.

It is valuable to teach the process we are seeing to our kids. It shows them to listen to their minds, bodies, and emotions. If they can see the light flashing before it becomes an issue, they are better for it. They can stop sooner, give their brains a break it needs and gets back to learning quicker.

Kids need to play, and it is a great reminder to my adult brain to listen to my flashing lights, too!



My rebel heart loves Jesus. It has been a journey learning about his love for me, but he continues to fight for me and has won my heart. I am learning to love and respect my husband Mark. After four years of being a mommy I fell in love with the role God had given me and I am now a passionate homeschool, stay at home mom. I love outdoor adventures with my family and our husky Skye. I love creating delicious physically and emotionally satisfying meals. I love walking life’s hard road with those around me. I want to be a friend to the friendless and be a beacon of light and hope to the weary.

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