Finding Humor

  • Why can’t you iron a four-leaf clover? Because you shouldn’t press your luck!
  • What has three feet but can’t walk? A yardstick
  • How many months have 28 days? All 12
  • What is 5Q + 5Q? 10Q…and you’re welcome!

Humor works quickly. Less than a half-second after exposure to something funny an electrical wave moves through the higher brain functions of the cerebral cortex. The left hemisphere analyzes the words and structures of the joke; the right hemisphere “gets” the joke; the visual sensory area of the occipital lobe creates images; the limbic (emotional) system makes you happier; and the motor sections make you smile or laugh. Wow, what a neurological phenomenon! Finding humor makes our heart, mind, body, and soul laugh. Therefore, laughing makes us smarter. More importantly, sometimes it can help us calm down and react to situations with a more appropriate disposition. What is the best joke you can tell your child?  Knock-knock – Who’s there? Olive – Olive who?  I love You!

Let’s practice this week:

  • Heart – the next time your kids are bickering, make them hug for 30 seconds.
  • Mind – create a new knock knock jokes.
  • Body – exaggerate facial expressions body posture to make a point.
  • Soul – read the funny pages.

“He who laughs, lasts.” – Mary Pettibone Poole

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” – Mark Twain

“Warning: Humor may be hazardous to your illness.” – Ellie Katz

Learning Links


Inventiveness is birthed in an environment that allows a mind to explore, experiment, dabble, play, risk, and fail. Play-doh, Legos, or Lincoln Logs aren’t just toys to pass the time. They provide a tool for the imagination and the development of essential critical thinking and reasoning skills for our future inventors, entrepreneurs, and engineers.

According to Tony Wagner, in his book Creating Innovators, there are three super “p’s” that are ingredients to creating our next generation of great American innovators – Play, Passion, and Purpose. When we allow our children to; use playful imagination, discover their personal passion, and provide purpose in creative endeavors – we fertilize the next generation of innovators. Innovation can be found within each of our heart, mind, body, or soul passions. Whether we are writing a poem, calculating in a spreadsheet, experimenting with a 3d printer, or beating on a drum, innovative thinking produces the wonders and awes of life.   Let’s reinvigorate our enthusiasm this week by saying “yes” to the inventive ideas of our children and never robbing them from eureka moments! Allow eureka to spark within the minds of our children!

“It does seem to produce more creative results when there are limitations. It’s like in wartime with rations – people became more inventive with cooking.”  – Laura Fraser

“Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.” – Lauren Bacall

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

Learning Links

Thinking Back

Thinking back and remembering what you know, instead of worrying about what you don’t know can accomplish half of a challenge. When your child says, “I don’t know” and you are pretty sure that he/she knows something about the topic, consider replying with, “What do you know?”. Teaching children to think back and reflect on past achievements (and failures) can encourage them to take a step forward and achieve something that may feel daunting. This is why it’s so important to allow children to complete tasks on their own! When we do it for them, there is no working memory to use when faced with a similar task in the future. An ounce of memory along with an ounce of courage launches brains forward and pushes on to great achievement. 

We often ask students to write reflections about a recent project, field trip, a new learning, or to just reflect on their feelings about a topic. Reflection is a powerful learning tool. It helps to make connections and reiterate a new idea. How many times does it take to learn something? Three to twenty! Reflection is one of those times. Thinking back or reflecting is like taking the one step back after taking two steps forward. It’s a step back into our memory that connects new learning to old. In order for our brains to gain new knowledge and skill, it is essential that the new learning has something to stick to from the past. In the education world we call it “connecting to prior knowledge”. In our parenting world it’s “remember when?” Our children often proclaim, “I don’t know how…”. That may be true, but when we re-mind them that there have been thousands of times in their lives that they didn’t know how…now they do!

  • Heart – recall things done or said that encouraged someone’s happiness.
  • Mind – when an academic task is difficult, step back and start with the parts that are already known.
  • Body – remind your child how many laps he/she ran in last year’s Read and Run Relay!
  • Soul – reflect on the sense of achievement felt the last time you accomplished a daunting task.

“I’ve never made a mistake.  I’ve only learned from experience.” – Thomas A. Edison
“The future influences the present just as much as the past.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Everything we do seeds the future.  No action is an empty one.” – Joan Chittister

Learning Links