Updated: May 8, 2020
What do you do when it’s time for your homeschooling students to take a break? For one of our daughters, coloring pages and coloring books are a great way for her to get a break when she’s been working on reviewing some letters.
She can sit down, focus, and concentrate on a picture more than our other three kids, and for longer than I’d expect! She’s careful and planned, she chooses her colors carefully and does a great job staying inside the lines for a four-year-old. Do you have any kids like that?
The amazing thing is, when it’s time for your child’s brain to take a break from one activity or subject, it can still be active while doing some coloring! Not only can their amazing brains remain active, but they can also be building other skills (like Spanish) in a low-stress environment! And, let’s be honest parents, it can be a great way for us to get a break, too!
So why use coloring pages in the first place?
One book company (the Lemon Tree Book Company) listed some great reasons that coloring is beneficial, and that certainly applies to your homeschool child (and all children). Below are a couple of their reasons that stood out to me, and a bonus reason of my own.
Some of the benefits of coloring:
I’m guessing you’re aware of the surge of adult coloring books recently. A dear friend of mine loves them and she finds them very stress-relieving. I had never been huge into coloring myself, so I was surprised at their growing popularity. But I admit, when I sit down and have some quality time coloring with my kids, it is a great stress reliever. And it is for them, too.
Not only is coloring a great way for your kids to express themselves, but it’s also a wonderful time for you to get to know them more!
What colors do they choose? Why?
Do they like to stay inside the lines or go out of the lines?
What stories do they create as they color?
Do they hold their colored pencil loosely or tightly?
Do they press down on the paper hard or lightly?
Do they color realistically or abstractly?
These things and more can give us beautiful little windows into the minds of our children. You may even begin to see how the reasons behind some of the choices they make coloring relate to other areas in their lives (i.e. are they more cautious or care-free; like things neat and organized or less so?)
3. Bonus benefit: Something they can control
This relates to self expression, but it goes deeper. One of our children is adopted, and for us it is important to set him up for success by giving him the tools he needs to process his emotions. One of those tools has been counseling. And during our sessions with his wonderful counselor, she guided me in understanding the need for our children to have something that they have control over. Young children may not feel like they have control over much- their food, clothing, schedule, and activities are chosen for them more often than not.
Having something they can control helps them grow in using their voice, identify their own likes and dislikes, and it helps them know they are secure. So while I like it when my kids color inside the lines and make neat, logical colored pictures, I try to bite my tongue unless that’s something they are specifically practicing as part of their homeschool day.
They get to have control of wacky colors and scribbling outside the lines.
With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that one of my favorite lines from Frozen II is when Olaf tells Kristoff what he’s doing with the young children, “We’re calling this ‘controlling what you can when things feel out of control.’”
Why use coloring pages to practice Spanish?
As an online Spanish teacher and homeschool mom of four young kids, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more Spanish-learning into our day. And as I mentioned earlier, having a low-stress environment is key for learning to happen. When your child is already having fun and is relaxed, they can learn and learn better. So what better time to help your homeschooling child practice some new Spanish words than when they’re coloring!
They can slowly pick up words as they draw. For example, you can find a picture of strawberries with the Spanish translation “la fresa” on it (and I found a source that I’ve listed below, so you don’t even have to go far to look!) For readers, they can read and say the Spanish translation on the page as they color the picture. For pre-readers, you as the parent can tell them the Spanish word as they draw.
So go for it! Here it is- a great, free resource with tons of printables: Great Resource with FREE Printable Coloring Sheets
You’re doing such an important job, and you’re doing great.