Do middle schoolers need recess?  Every homeschooler knows someone who hears they homeschool and responds with a smirk and some comment about permanent recess.  Some people really think homeschooling is all about sleeping late, watching TV, and playing all day.  Real homeschooling families don’t work that way.  But on the other hand, public school kids get breaks for recess, so shouldn’t homeschooled kids be able to play outdoors for a bit?

Schoolteachers know it helps kids’ performance and ability to learn if they have breaks in between lessons.  Recess for a sixth grader doesn’t need to consist of playing kickball with friends to be beneficial.  Having a little downtime lets kids clear their heads and come back to their desks ready to focus again, and homeschooled kids benefit in much the same way.  They can shake off the bad vibes from that online math lesson they didn’t like, and be ready to attack their history books after having a little break.

Industrious homeschooling moms know how to multitask and combine such a break with something else.  It’s a great time to get household chores done.  After math, your kids can take a few minutes to pick up the living room or put some laundry in the washer before hitting the books again.  Or have the kids do jumping jacks and then throw in some math to have them calculate the number of calories they just burned, or how much force their feet hit the ground with.  It’s a great idea to have a snack, too.  Hungry kids don’t learn well.

By all means, let your homeschooled middle school kids run and play to take a break.  But realize that a break doesn’t have to mean recess on the playground.

Give them a break, but don’t call it recess!

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