Our spring break week (or monthly week off, whatever you want to call it) and handling boredom

As I have mentioned before in an earlier post, since Christmas, we went back to taking one week per month off from school. It works out nicely for us to take our break this week. The spring break for the local schools would have been a rotten week for us to take a break anyway, as we all fell like dominos to a bothersome cold that week. If you are stuck at home, why not muscle through some schoolwork with a little help from Mucinex and Kleenex, right?

This week, we have birthday celebrating, a doctor’s appointment, errands, and lesson planning on the calendar, along with our regular afterschool activities. But no lessons. An believe it or not, this is not always a great thing. My kids might get all excited that its an “off week”, enjoy the unlimited play time for maybe one day, and then they miss the structure, the schedule, the routine. What do they do when left to their own devices to fill the day? Well, simply put, that is not my problem.

If one of them (usually the six year old, who has not learned the lesson about how mom feels about boredom yet) whines “I’m boooooored”, they usually get the raised eyebrow. I have stuff to do. Half the time, it is stuff involving lesson prep for the next month. So, I offer ideas:

Build something with blocks, legos, or make a marble run, etc.

Read a book or poetry

Write a letter to one of your pen pals

Write a story

Plan with your siblings

Go outside, maybe care for the garden or ride your bike

Organize something

Play a game or do a puzzle

OR I can give you a CHORE to do, I have a whole list ready…

Usually, they decide to pick their own activity and quickly leave the room before I change my mind and start assigning jobs for them to do. Anything involving screen time is not a boredom option. Screen time is a “Momma’s last resort” option. Boredom is great for kids. It forces them to be creative, use their hands and brains.Children need unstructured time to be children.  Is that not one of the great reasons to homeschool, to give them an opportunity to be bored every once in a while?

 

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