Let them get bored..

There are so many things on the internet now that are designed to give your kids ideas of what to do while they are stuck at home quarantined, online schools, and some weird Homeschooling memes. I do quite like this one:

Homeschooling is going well. Two students have been suspended for fighting and one teacher fired for drinking on the job.

I totally empathise.

All these ideas seem to be for the parents or caregiver to simulate school, where the children have to be kept busy… busy busy. As someone who does homeschool all the time I recommend letting them get bored, really, really bored. No screens, no projects, give them nothing. Boredom is brilliant and underrated. Teacher Tom talks about children needing time to get to quality playing. 15mins to get to the point where they bicker and shout at each other for another 15ish minutes, then and only then they get down to quality playing (I suspect this time to be shorter if the kids really know each other). I think it’s the same with being bored. When I did Outward Bound you had to have 3 days alone in the bush, on “solo”, with very little food, a tarp, and sleeping bag. At first I thought I would die, but by day 3 I was happy as I’d come up with some totally engaging projects. There is so much value in being bored, in doing nothing, in just sitting. Your brain activates areas that help it with creativity, problem solving… all that great stuff. It stimulates Helena to make amazing things, and the other day she even made me give her a spelling test! She was bored to the point of doing the sort of work sheets you get at school.

My advice would be to let the kids get bored, fight, complain, and be ever so annoying then see what amazing projects they start. I suspect that children who have spent most of their time at school and activities will need longer to let their brains become creativity engines but please give them the option.

Here’s what Time says.

20200323_171855
Helena’s take on our relative risks of Covid-19

I am sitting on a fence, her Grandfather is standing on the fence and she isn’t even on the fence. If we wash our hands our fence gets wider (more stable), if we pick our noses the fence gets narrower…

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