Winter break is a great time to pause and reflect on the first half of the school year. Talking with kids about goals, achievements and even disappointments is crucial for helping them make progress and stay motivated. The weeks off from school also give students time to revitalize and prepare for the upcoming semesters.
On that note, taking a break is key for giving the brain time to refocus, learn and form memories. Employing brain breaks in everyday studying helps students understand and retain material; just a few minutes and a little movement increases brain function. Read on to learn more about brain breaks and how they can help your child, both at school and at home.
What are brain breaks?
Brain breaks are planned changes during lessons. The break can be something as simple as stretching or practicing mindful breathing for a few minutes. Physical movement, like moving to a different part of the room or doing a few jumping jacks, also helps refresh the mind and body by increasing blood flow.
Why does the brain need a break?
Feeling stressed and overwhelmed makes it hard for the brain to process and retain information. Being overloaded by material for long periods of time actually hinders the path from sensory receptors to the memory storage areas of the brain (Edutopia). Taking a brain break helps revitalize focus and memory, and also restores a sense of calmness.
Who should take brain breaks?
Students of all ages can benefit from brain breaks. No matter the grade level, brain breaks should be taken before the student becomes bored or distracted. Elementary school students should engage in focused study for about 10-15 minutes, while upper grades should focus for 20-30 minutes. Taking a break for 3-5 minutes in between is ideal (Edutopia).
We love that this concept translates easily into the home. Employing brain breaks while studying for exams or completing homework assignments will help your child reach his or her goals in 2017 and beyond.Image via Edutopia