Blog Contributor, Homeschooling

Humor in Your Homeschool

“Humor is something that thrives between man’s aspirations and his limitations. There is more logic in humor than in anything else. Because you see, humor is truth.” ~ Victor Borge

I like to think that I have a killer sense of humor.

My kids are very funny too (I’ve trained them well).

My husband still makes me laugh after 33 years of marriage by singing 70’s songs at appropriately funny times, verbatim and on-tune. We laugh a lot. And that is by design.

Life is hard, it’s difficult, it’s full of tragedy. When we run after God we get to share in His glory and His Majesty, and we also draw closer to the things that grieve Him and break His heart.

We do our fair share of crying around here, too. Life and intentionally raising our kids is serious business and sometimes cry worthy.
And while laughter and humor is not exactly joy, it is the cousin of joy and refreshes our spirits and perspective.

With that in mind, we have been very intentional about laughter, sharing jokes and funnies and cuteness that causes us to smile. We look for humor and share it as often as possible!

Wholesome humor does several things:

Relieves tension and stress.

The very act of laughing can cause us to be calmer and more relaxed up to forty-five minutes after our last laugh. Norman Cousins, a political analyst wrote a book in the 70’s on laughter after being diagnosed with Rheumatoid disease.

He put himself on a strict diet of humor and his disease went into remission. Of course, this is not a prescription for remission, but it could be part of a get healthy plan.

Develops our ability to laugh at ourselves keeps us flexible.

Laughter lets us take a break from the grind and responsibility of life without ever having to leave home!

Gives us perspective and teaches us we and our kids aren’t the center of the universe.

Laughter, by its very nature, turns expectations on its head. Laughter recalibrates and orients us to a bigger and more long-range view of things.

Builds community and comradery; shared laughter bonds people with good memories and builds relationships in a positive way.

Teaches figures of speech and tropes, like paradox, metaphor, puns and more and can often build vocabulary.

These upper level figures of speech are often not introduced in Lit and Comp classes until upper level high school but humor introduces them very early. Puns and other word play teaches kids logical and critical thinking skills.

Laughter is a universal language- transcending time, culture and language.

Last year a YouTube video went around- a young Asian family were playing with their baby. The Dad was doing something goofy to make the baby laugh and that laughter was beautiful and infectious.

Watching this sweet, young family you HAD to laugh in response to the goofy Dad and happy, bubbly, laughing bambino!

Laughter helps us transcend the loneliness of life.

Laughter, by its very nature, is interactive, reminding  us that we are part of the human family, condition and tradition. In this digital age, where kids between the ages of 12 and 20 spend 7 ½ hours a day on digital devices, that relational loneliness can be a real thing.

Laughter and humor allow kids to connect is simple and easy ways.

How do you teach humor and encourage laughter?

Get your kids joke books. Seriously. Get them compilations of great cartoonists.

Our personal favorite is Charles Schultz. Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt might as well be part of the family. Bill Watterson might just be the Homeschooling Cartoon mascot.

Calvin and Hobbes, while so accessible to kids, shows great insight and wisdom about human nature, allowing us to laugh about the silly and profound things of childhood.

We also love G -rated comedians like Tim Hawkins. Check out his Girls vs. Boys Routine. John Crist’s ribbon dance is awesome.

Other great no-fail laughs are Abbot and Constello’s Whose on First and Tim Conway and Harvey Kormak’s Dentist Routine from the Carol Burnett Show. Studio C has hit the teen world with force and The Restaurant of Life, Teddy’s Story Joint, and the Vlog girls are some of our favorites.

And lastly, a not to be missed rendition of The 3 Little Pigs by John Branyon

Laughter RX

Make it a point to laugh every day and schedule it! Even the act of anticipating laughter can improve how your body responds to stress.

Make it a point to catch the absurd and ridiculous in every day life.

Hang out with others who like a good joke and appreciate your sense of humor.

CHIME IN: I’d love to hear about your favorite jokes and comedy sketches! What keeps you giggling?


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