“Mom, I’m bored.” Have you heard that recently?
“Put the iPod on the dock please!” An admonition I’ve said many times to all my kids when they’re bored and found a screen.
Of course, I’m not immune to screen overuse either. But life exists beyond a screen, solitude, even, and we have to find stuff to do that isn’t tapping on the screen (which I am, hilariously, doing RIGHT now.)
And how do I deal with homeschool boredom beyond pacifying our kids with screens?
In our culture, any boredom, homeschool boredom or mom boredom, is hard to come by because they are easy to quell.
For anything genuinely clever to emerge in our society, like new technology or book plots, new music, or scientific discovery, huge swaths of time are necessary.
We need to allow ourselves to feel boredom.
It’s a practice to accept our uncomfortable feelings.
But when we allow them, when we sit with them, when we get comfortable with them, we can learn from them.
When our kids were younger, we spent a good portion of our homeschool days living in new surroundings as we traveled a lot. Adjusting to a new locale was slow in the beginning. So we had to find ways to fill time in creative ways.
Once upon a time, I might have said, “If you’re bored, there’s always something to clean.” I certainly heard that as a child.
Now, I say, “Boredom is good: free time to come up with new ideas and activities.”
Allow your kids, and encourage them, to follow their random curiosities.
Because now they have free time to…
- Meet new friends…equine, canine, or otherwise…
- Bake pies
- And coffee cakes
- And bread
- Play chess
- Play dress-up
- Hoola hoop & give the younger siblings horsey back rides
- Visit neighbours
- Paint an outdoor stage and create a child version of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice
- Plant seedlings
- Prepare picnics & hot dog roasts
- And find a place to hike, cross-country ski, or bike
Expect kids to go outside.
Plan for it. Make it part of your daily routine.
But don’t prescribe what they’re doing.
Just let them explore the wonders of the great outdoors. Let them fill in the blanks.
Open space in our schedules breed a bounty of curiosity and fun.Teresa Wiedrick, author of Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Nurturing the Nurturer
Big Emotions Journal for the Homeschool Mom
Introducing the Homeschool Mama’s Toolbox, a set of resources designed to help homeschooling mothers deal with big emotions and specifically address their thoughts. Your brain and thoughts are important tools that need to be regularly sharpened, and the Toolbox is here to help you do just that.
Incorporating mindfulness practices into your homeschool is one of the most effective ways to separate yourself from your thoughts and be present. The Toolbox includes three questions from Dr. Amen, author of Change your Brain, Change your Life: What am I feeling? What is the thought behind my feeling? What is the story behind my thought? These are questions that you can practice regularly to get the most out of them.
The Toolbox also encourages a daily meditation practice to help you distance yourself from your thoughts and just be present. Guided meditations such as Guided Meditation on Controlling Negative Thoughts and Guided Meditation for Inner Peace & Calm can help you get started.
Additionally, the Toolbox offers a Thought Care Checklist to help you deal with challenging situations that may arise in your homeschool. By considering alternative perspectives, you can reframe your thoughts and deal with the situation in a more positive and constructive way.
With the Homeschool Mama’s Toolbox, you can learn to influence your thoughts and create a better reality for yourself and your family. Download the Toolbox today and start sharpening your tools!