Everyone has different thought on what summer means. For some it’s just business as usual with work and appointments only it’s hotter outside. For others since the most festive time of the year with swimming and back yard BBQs and a never ending supply of sunshine. Homeschoolers however, face a unique challenge. Unlike their school-going counterparts, they are occupying the same space without the structure and activity of school work and assignments. This inevitably brings on another issue…summer boredom.
Gone are the state mandated curriculums and most of the structured activities. CTs have finished their instructional periods and moved on to other things. And here we sit…looking for ways to fill in the gaps that those endless math and writing assignments have left behind. It’s tough to admit but sometimes you long for that 500 word essay on Lewis and Clark just so that you wouldn’t have to keep furnishing the ideas that keep those creative juices flowing.
First of all don’t worry…just about every parent out there is going through a very similar ordeal. Yes even the Joneses down the street that have little Timmy and Ashley in every conceivable day camp and sport also are dealing with it to one degree or another. We deal with it here at Spark. As I sit typing staring at an empty classroom devoid of that unmistakable classroom chatter I think: so what now?
I’m sure you’ve already read or heard that it’s good for kids to be bored. What they don’t tell you is that you’ll hear about it for hours until their imagination finally kicks in, so: what to do?
What to do?
There is no one size fits all answer; but here are three things you can do
- Put ‘em to work
When you’re child is bored put them to work! I don’t mean start running a sweat shop out of your home but rather help them build their needed life skills and independence. For instance there’s always some thing we dread doing that might actually seem pretty cool to a little one. A lot of times, when a kid says “I’m bored” it’s code for “I want to spend time with you”, so include them in what you’re already doing! There’s no reason you need to fold that pile of laundry all by yourself, momma.
I know I, for one, was much quicker at finding something to occupy myself as a child when my mom said she’d “give me something to do if I said I was bored one more time.”
2. Ask them what they wish they were doing.
It’s possible they do know what they’d rather be doing, they just don’t know the means to achieve it. Challenge your child to come up with a plan to accomplish it. If it’s playing a video game they don’t yet have, challenge them to come up with a way to raise the money. Setting goals and making plans to reach them are life-long skills
3. Let them see you be bored.
In our over scheduled and over stimulated world, downtime and moments of inactivity are seen as bad. Show your child that it’s ok to enjoy downtime by letting them see you sitting with a book, or a hobby, even if its only for a few minutes. Let your child know that you value your own down time. Encourage them to enjoy it by looking for those little happy moments: watching a ladybug crawl on a blade of grass, or the family pet do that funny little twitch as she sleeps.
If all else fails, here’s a little video that will hopefully inspire that jump into imagination