There’s a lovely article in Green Parent magazine about laughter. About how it impacts on our relationships with our kids and our overall happiness and general well-being. It’s called ‘Laugh your way to a happier family’ and is well worth a read.
Laughter is something we forget sometimes, burdened as we can become with the seriousness of life and trying to be a good parent.
And it’s definitely something to keep in mind when you’re involved with your children’s learning, whether that’s home educating or helping with school work. For if you can make it into a laughing matter it’s so much better, more enjoyable and makes the learning experience something that the children are far more likely to engage with – and remember.
Now I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t take education seriously. Most of us treat the subject very seriously and angst about it regularly. I’m just suggesting that even though we treat the subject seriously, we don’t always have to approach the doing of it in a serious way and never have a laugh while we’re at it.
Instead, we can be lightweight. We can have fun with it. It CAN be enjoyable, not heavy and dull and no laughing matter.
I remember a moment from our home schooling days (well, far more than one but this is a good example) that illustrates the point perfectly.
Chelsea was looking at words that end in l-e, like table for example, so we were all tossing out words that fitted.
Except that their dad was up to mischief. And every word he said was filled with innuendo.
“Grapple” he offered, grinning at me.
“Fiddle,” said Chelsea.
“Piddle,” returned their dad.
“Puddle,” said Charley laughing.
“Muddle, mumble,” said Chelsea, beginning to see what he was up to and trying to do it ‘properly’.
“Fumble, wobble,” added dad. But by now Chelsea was grinning too.
“Pedal,” offered Charley.
“No that’s a-l,” I added.
“But fondle, follicle and nipple work,” said dad giggling.
By this time he and I were sniggering like a couple of teenagers and the girls were openly laughing, sensing there was something going on that was perhaps a little rude!
But they learnt how to spell a lot of words that day. And it improved their spelling no end just because of the laughter.
Nowhere is it written that in order to be successful education has to be serious and dull and endured without a smile on our faces.
In fact it is more likely to be the case that children will engage with and remember things far better if they are happy and enjoying their education and laughter is part of it.
So this is just to remind you to have fun with learning. And not to let the tedious seriousness that can sometimes be associated with it, be the overriding approach.
A happy approach works much better.