Stress + Rest = Growth: The Importance of Breaks for Learning

We all want our kids to do well in school, especially if they face ADHD or executive function challenges. As you support their learning journey, finding the most efficient study methods is crucial. Turns out, there’s a cool formula for making learning effective:

Stress + Rest = Growth

Let’s break it down!

Stress: The Power of Focused Learning

Focused study periods are essential for deep learning, especially for students with ADHD. This concentrated time is when the brain processes new information, like a muscle at the gym. When we give our brain a good workout by focusing hard on studying, it gets stronger. But here’s the thing – just like your muscles need a break after lifting weights, our brains need chill time, too. 

So, while studying, your student should aim for a focus level of 7 or 8 (out of 10). After, they should bring it down to a 2 or 3. We recommend taking a short walk or low-focus activity to let their brains rest and decompress. Be aware: scrolling through your phone won’t help your brain recharge. Make sure to skip social media during these breaks!

Rest: Letting the Brain Take a Breather

Did you know that short breaks are like superpowers for your brain? Research shows that our brains use these breaks to process and remember stuff better. It’s like the brain’s way of catching its breath. Rest isn’t just a breather; it’s essential for keeping our brains in tip-top shape.

While this approach is crucial to learning, it might seem counterintuitive! High-achieving students and parents often emphasize continuous, intense focus, potentially overlooking the importance of rest. This constant stress on the brain will only worsen learning effectiveness. And guess what? Breaks aren’t just good for learning and help with stress, anxiety, and burnout. So, next time your kiddo needs a break, encourage it!

Growth: Getting Smarter Every Day

Here’s the magic – when we balance focused study time with breaks, our brains grow smarter. It’s like planning seeds of knowledge during study sessions and letting them bloom during breaks. Without breaks, those seeds can’t grow into smart, big ideas. Neglecting this rest phase can stunt this growth, as the brain cannot fully process and store the new information. So, instead of endless study sessions, remind your kids to focus and then relax. This combo helps the brain work its memory magic, making learning more efficient and enjoyable.

The Balancing Act: Study Smarter, Not Harder

For all you parents aiming high for your kids (and for the kids aiming high for yourselves), here’s the key: balance. Balancing intense focus with chill time is the secret sauce for effective learning. It immediately boosts the learning experience and helps stuff stick in your brain for the long run.

So, encourage your little scholars to find that sweet spot between stress and rest. It’s the way to maximize learning outcomes and enjoy the learning journey.

For More:

Taking short breaks may help our brains learn new skills

The Cost of Interrupted Work

The Equation That Will Make You Better at Everything

4 Lessons From Peak Performance

Effect of social media use on learning, social interactions, and sleep duration

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