(reminder – this is about free resources for homeschool, in 30 non-consecutive posts…meaning: there won’t be a post every day, but there will be 30 🙂 )
PREFACE/ENCOURAGEMENT/PONTIFICATION: Relaxing. That can make one dream of a vacation, or it can bring on terror, and every emotion in-between, EXCEPT for the feeling it’s intended to bring. Relaxation is release of tension; it’s not collapse. It’s not freedom from responsibility, or slumping your shoulders. Homeschoolers do so many things that it can be very hard to adjust, especially in the beginning when you’re teaching math, science, history, geography, grammar, changing diapers, answering phone calls and emails, etc. Before too long, our shoulders are up by our ears, we’re slouching and not breathing properly, our feet hurt, and we find that our head has been down for hours to see how the kids are doing/scanning the floor for toys, Legos, old food, wet spots, etc.
Here are some suggestions to help you take some time to release the tension. This will help you be at ease for awhile so that you can get back to your important tasks.
Calm — http://www.calm.com
This is both a free website and a free app. We’ve used it many times to help our little ones to get to sleep, and my wife and I have used it for ourselves just to have some different noises (we live right by a main road, and sometimes it’s just hard to get to sleep with all the traffic going by).
Sleep Pillow — iPhone app
Well, as I was checking on this for this writing, this has become a $1.99 app. I have the free lite version, but it’s no longer available. But I wanted to mention it for this reason: if you have a smartphone, it’s helpful to be willing to keep your eyes out for new apps. Many times they’re available for free, but only for awhile. So if you can grab one then it’s yours forever, even after it moves on to a paid app.
White Noise Ambience Lite – iPhone app — http://www.logicworks101.com/#!white-noise-ambience-lite/c1zb1
This is another app that we use. Different sounds than Sleep Pillow, but it has a lot more sounds. Unlike Sleep Pillow, this is free.
If you look up these apps for Android, you’ll find similar apps for free.
Pandora — http://www.pandora.com/
With Pandora you can listen to whatever kind of station that you want to create. This would also be good for teaching your kids to appreciate different kinds of music. Just create an account and play around. Pandora used to limit the free streaming to X hours a month, but they’ve eliminated that. You have ads now and then, but that’s what you pay for free.
Family massage – your family
If you imagine having to undress, get on a special mat or bed, and have a professional work on you, then you have the wrong picture. There’s an old style of massage called Anma that is designed for people, especially family members, to massage each other with their clothes on. I’m not saying you have to learn Anma, but the concept for a family massage is simple – you lie down on a bed, and your kids just simply squeeze (gently!) your fingers, arms, feet, etc. It’s really quite a fun way to relax. It can get a little uncomfortable as your kids figure out not to do things like press their knuckles in your spine, but it can help teaching them about anatomy and proper touch. NOTE: This is nothing erotic or special. A serious source of tension can simply be that we literally lose touch with family. We can focus so much on the brain that we forget the body.
Play – just play with your kids. It really is that simple, and simplicity can be relaxing.
Floor time – this is just sitting properly on the floor, and can be directly related to play, but doesn’t have to be. We’re so used to sitting in chairs and on sofas that our joints don’t get the stretching out that they need; and this leads to stiffness and tightness. Do as you see fit, but this option, even if you’ve rarely sat on the floor and despite some initial discomfort, can really help you relax as your body learns to adjust.