In these unprecedented times, more parents are choosing to homeschool their kids or are opting for remote learning. While this is no easy task, it can be done, especially with the right tools.
With the school season quickly approaching, a growing number of resources for homeschooling are being made available. As aromatherapists, we may not be able to offer you the best back to school checklist or get you connected to local learning pods, but we can tell you how essential oils can help your schoolhouse thrive come fall.
Focus & Memory
For some, learning isn’t the problem but remembering the material is. And for others, retaining the material is a breeze but focusing enough to learn the material is a trial. Thankfully, essential oils can help in both regards. Here’s what studies on essential oils for memory and cognitive function have shown:
Rosemary (specifically, 1,8-cineole in Rosemary) was found to increase cognitive function by enhancing concentration in volunteers who were asked to follow a series of tasks. 1,8-cineole is a natural essential oil component with high concentrations found in Eucalyptus, Camphor, Cajeput, Ravintsara and Saro.
A separate study on Rosemary’s ability to enhance cognitive function in elderly adults further bolstered its positive effects on focus and memory.
A study performed in the UK revealed that Peppermint enhanced performance of difficult cognitive tasks and reduced mental fatigue associated with extended tasks.
If, like many homeschooling parents or guardians, you don’t have the time to make your own blend, our expertly formulated Focus, Focus, Focus and Study Buddy blends were created to be safe for kids 2+, and highly effective for all ages.
Focus, Focus, Focus is a sweet and uplifting essential oil blend that contains oils of Grapefruit, Lavender, Pink Pepper, Lime, Cedarwood and Sweet Orange. It can be diffused or used in our convenient room spray. Study Buddy is an earthy and grounding essential oil blend that combines oils such as Lemon, Litsea, Grapefruit, Black Pepper and Douglas Fir.
Both blends help enhance concentration and allows users to retain information, making your job as interim teacher a little easier. Because both blends have similar purposes, they are perfect companions toalternate between in order to avoid habituation.
Recent events have caused all of us to adapt in new ways – students included. While we wish adapting to change was easy and painless, it often comes with challenges and stress. Can essential oils help with school stressors? Science has confirmed that there are a number of essential oils for stress, which we believe can improve your homeschooling routine.
Pharmacy Professors in Southern California researched Lavender’s anxiolytic potential and found it to be a major stress-reliever that works rapidly and doesn’t cause dependency or negative side effects when withdrawn.
Orange essential oil was found to reduce the anxiety of mothers in labor and delivery.
A 2018 study showed that Agarwood essential oil reduced anxiety and had an uplifting effect on users.
A study that observed the usefulness of Bergamot essential oil on mental wellbeing found that it enhanced mood and lowered stress levels after 15 minutes of exposure, via inhalation.
If you yourself are grappling with stresses related to homeschooling, a study performed on elementary school teachers with heavy workloads found that Bergamot essential oil was also ableto reduce work-related stress.
Another kid-safe essential oil blend, specially formulated for children 2+, is our Calm ‘Em Down synergy blend which contains Sweet Orange, Lavender, as well as other essential oils that help alleviate stress, reduce hyperactivity and boost mood. Our Bee Happy OK For Kids blend also helps to illicit joy and reduce stress. What's more, Bee Happy is available in a convenient room spray.
Essential Oil Activities for Kids
While you're homeschooling, why not add essential oils to the curriculum? One of the wonderful things about essential oils is the many different scopes and fields of study that pertain to them, including botany, chemistry, anatomy and even a little math. In case your kids need a brain break, try these fun, essential oil-infused activities.
DIY Essential Oil Bubbles
Combine your kid-safe essential oils of choice with unscented liquid dish soap and distilled water. Then, make a bubble wand (or use one you already have) to spread some aromatic fun. You can also learn how tomake your own bubble blower here.
Homemade Play Dough
Rather than turning on the TV at recess, try making this essential oil-infused play dough and let the moldable fun begin. Here’s how:
Stir 1 cup of salt into ⅓ cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes. The mixture should end up looking snowy and be on the dryish side. You won't see excess liquid after the 5 minutes if you’ve got your proportions right.
Remove from heat. Add in ½ cup of cornstarch and a ¼ cup of cold water. Stir a little, then separate the dough into 3 portions. Next, add in a different, diluted kid-friendly essential oil and dye per portion. Then stir each until smooth.
Allow clay to cool. Once cooled, break out the cookie cutters and have fun!
Essential Oil Guessing Game
Using scent strips, take your kid-friendly essential oils, have the kids sniff each aroma and guess the scent as they go. Take the opportunity to teach your kids about why and when you use your oils. You can also use pictures of the plants each oil is derived from and have your kids match the aroma to the plant. The possibilities are endless with this fun learning experience.
Downloadable Activity Sheets
If you run out of activities, download our printable temporary tattoos, word search,coloring pages and more, here.
Essential Oils For Educators
Though we don’t recommendpublic diffusion in classrooms, it’s a different story when the classroom is in your living room and the students are your own children.
Whether you’re teaching your own kiddos, overseeing a learning pod or are instructing in a traditional classroom setting, educating is no easy task. And while you give your students essential oils to help them thrive in school, remember to also give yourself tools to make this your best school year yet.
At Edens Garden, we offer naturally therapeutic products that help make each day a little better. From managing stress levels, improving mood, boosting skincare and supporting wellness, allow our essential oils and essential oil-infused products to be your trusty P.T.A. parents this semester.
Moss, Mark et al. “Plasma 1,8-Cineole Correlates with Cognitive Performance Following Exposure to Rosemary Essential Oil Aroma.”PubMed Central (PMC), 1 June 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736918.
Pengelly, Andrew. “Short-Term Study on the Effects of Rosemary on Cognitive Function in an Elderly Population.”PubMed, 15 Jan. 2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21877951.
Kennedy, David. “Volatile Terpenes and Brain Function: Investigation of the Cognitive and Mood Effects of Mentha × Piperita L. Essential Oil with In Vitro Properties Relevant to Central Nervous System Function.”PubMed Central (PMC), 1 Aug. 2018,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116079.
Malcolm, Benjamin J. “Essential Oil of Lavender in Anxiety Disorders: Ready for Prime Time?”PubMed Central (PMC), 1 July 2017,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6007527.
Rashidi-Fakari, Fahimeh. “The Effect of Aromatherapy by Essential Oil of Orange on Anxiety during Labor: A Randomized Clinical Trial.”PubMed Central (PMC), Nov. 2015,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4700683.
Wang, Shuai. “Agarwood Essential Oil Ameliorates Restrain Stress-Induced Anxiety and Depression by Inhibiting HPA Axis Hyperactivity.”PubMed Central (PMC), 1 Nov. 2018,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6274913.
Han, Xuesheng. “Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia) Essential Oil Inhalation Improves Positive Feelings in the Waiting Room of a Mental Health Treatment Center: A Pilot Study.”PubMed Central (PMC), 1 May 2017,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434918.
Liu, Shing-Hong. “The Physical Effects of Aromatherapy in Alleviating Work-Related Stress on Elementary School Teachers in Taiwan.”PubMed Central (PMC), 21 Oct. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3818840.