Sometimes, no matter how hard your child may try, they will not be able to get past a certain problem with their homework. So how can you, as a teacher or parent, encourage a breakthrough?
One way is by encouraging them to take a break. Research shows that brains build bigger creative webs when they are in a good mood. This means that resting and taking time to relax may help your child improve their mood and spark their creativity.
Why taking a break from studying can help improve your child’s creativity
Have you ever thought about why some of your deepest thinking or best ideas happen in the shower? Well, there is actually a scientific explanation for this. According to scientists, when you are not focused on any task and your brain is in a state of wakeful rest. A part of your brain, known as the default mode network, becomes activated. William Haynes expands on this concept in a short video on YouTube. He points out that when your default mode network is activated, you become less aware of your environment and more aware of your internal thoughts. Thus, when your child takes a break, their thought patterns also have the opportunity to change and give them more ideas on how to solve a problem.
One way to activate the default mode network
Recently, researchers at Stanford University have discovered that walking can help get your creative juices flowing. So, next time your child starts getting fidgety or is stuck on a problem, encourage them to go walk the dog with you. Or, if they’ve been working on a project non-stop and seem to have run out of ideas, have them take the afternoon off and go for a hike with you.
Make sure you balance taking a break from studying with getting things done
Of course, just because study breaks can be good for your child’s creativity, that doesn’t mean they can just say they want to go on a hike whenever they want, instead of doing their homework. Rather, this method should be utilized when your child is struggling to think of new ideas or is getting frustrated by not being able to figure a problem out.
Different age groups will have different levels of capacity. For some 10 year-olds, they might need a brain break after 15 minutes. A 16 year-old might be okay for an hour before needing to stop. It all depends on the individual learner.
Whatever the capacity of your child, try to make sure that they try taking a break from studying when they need to. That way, they get the most out of their study sessions.