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, with occasional hours and days practicing scholar phase. I am thankful for Oliver and Rachel Demille from a Thomas Jefferson Education who are able to put to 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 of the world around them. What does this look like? It looks like Titus building, 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 through 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 sea horses, coral reefs, sharks, star fish, shrimp and whales. She will read about marine 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 literally flash. It is as if her brain needs to breathe, it comes up for air to remind her she is ten. Her brain and body tell her to go 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 require math pages to be completed, but we may not require as many of the pages or let one or two days go.
Just as the light flashes when Maddie needs a break, there is another light that comes on when she 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 are 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 teaches 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 the break it needs and get 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!