Welcome to my homeschool blog, which offers insights into loving learning, loving your family, loving history, loving homeschooling, and enjoying your life! With your cup of coffee in hand, take a break to laugh with me, to have your heart refreshed, to be reminded of how cool your kids really are, and to consider the amazing adventure of being a homeschool mom. AND, if you are interested in the History Revealed curriculum, be sure to check out my Teaching Tips!

The Gift of Laughter And Learning Every Homeschooler Should Know

Ten years ago, I shared one of the most important tips for homeschooling on my blog — The Power of Laughter in Learning. 

After the difficulties and losses of the past few years, though, it seemed time for an updated blog about this amazing gift. Especially when we consider that it is accessible to each of us, regardless of age, income, status, religious belief, ethnicity, gender, educational level, career/job, physical health or energy level.

Laughter

To start, I’d like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, the “Brain Guy,”  Terry Small. He talks to audiences in many parts of the world about the brain—normally a fairly dry, scholarly topic, right?

But I have watched Terry hold an audience in spellbound attention for more than two hours, which seems impossible! So, how does he do it?  One of the most important tools he uses is laughter.  Terry says and does funny things during his presentations—which instantly engages the brains of everyone in the audience.

He not only does it to help them stay tuned in, but he also teaches us to do it with our students when we are wanting them to stay tuned in.  You see, Terry knows and teaches that our brains are designed to perk up, to listen more attentively, to engage, to remember far more when laughter is involved.

The connection between laughter and learning, then, is extremely important to recognize—and to utilize! If the education model in our head shouts, “No! Learning is serious work, laughter is fun and games—the two do NOT belong together!”, I want you to gently tell yourself that there is no harm in experimenting with laughter (including fun and games) when learning has bogged down or seems distasteful to your student.

Though there are many possible reasons for bogging down and for distaste, laughter that is genuine and kind really does perk up the brain.

It really does help us listen more attentively.

It really does increase engagement in learning.

And, we really do remember far more when laughter is involved (the effect of certain chemicals being released in the brain).

A Spoonful of Sugar

Another way of thinking about this comes from that fount of wisdom, Mary Poppins. Remember, she is the one who taught us, “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down—in a most delightful way!”

A spoonful of laughter surely does help the learning go down. . . deep into the brain’s long-term memory storage.

Which leads us to the real source of wisdom.  Proverbs 17:22 tells us, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.”

I know we usually think about this proverb in connection with physical health.  But what if we consider this in light of what we have just learned about our brain’s health?

A Homeschool Prescription

With this in mind, may I offer a “prescription” for you and your children.

Laugh.  Intentionally watch for things that will tickle the funny bone in your family.

Laugh often. Watch reels on social media about funny animals, read funny jokes out loud, play funny games—include it in your daily schedule.

Laugh gently. Laugh together about things that everyone finds genuinely funny, rather than jokes that make others feel shamed or left out.

Laugh humbly. Laugh at your own mistakes, not at the mistakes of others.

Laugh joyfully. Laugh with delight at the humor you find in the universe—like cleaner fish and platypus and river otters.

You know, this was such an important part of our own homeschooling journey that I’ve been talking about it for years.  In fact, when it came time to write the History Revealed curriculum, we made sure that there were many opportunities for laughter and healthy humor!

Remember, stay relational!

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