It’s funny; you’d think as a homeschool mom I’d be relieved it’s summer time…time to kick back and take a break from teaching, have long lazy days of relaxing at the beach or park…but actually, it’s been more of me doing household projects neglected during the year while planning camping trips and outings, and the kids spinning their wheels and counting the days till special events.
So I’ve found it’s more challenging to be home with the kids without the structure of homeschool, than with it. Not that we are super regimented, but each day has its basic routine and learning goals and projects. Without this…we’ve had some fun play for a few weeks, but once we were home sick with a summer cold, a lot of squabbling, pettiness, imaginary insults and hurt feelings.
So today I decided that we needed to make some summer goals… something to focus on and feel good about achieving. Because I think we feel better when we achieve something tangible, than when we simply try to amuse ourselves. Summer boredom is not so much due to a lack of entertainment, as a lack of purpose.
Here’s what we came up with over morning snack today:
We’ve stuck it on the fridge with giant magnets from my recently visiting brother, so we can see it any time we need something to do. Rather than the kids destroying one corner of the house while I clean another, they can do something fun, useful and cooperative. Right now as I nurse the baby my 10 year old is playing art teacher and helping the younger ones make imaginary planets on big pieces of paper where she traced circles from plates. I haven’t had a ‘police report’ of fighting, name calling, or hurt feelings for over 20 minutes! 😊🎉🎈 For a while I thought I’d have to set up a desk and stay there all day to record filed complaints…
Of course, as I write this sentence I hear a fight brewing in the dining room over a secret being kept or something…but hey, we will keep trying! One thing is certain, that seeking personal pleasure and comfort above all is a sure path to misery, because when life is centred on yourself, nothing is good enough and everything displeases. When we instead focus on bringing joy to others, life is an adventure without time for boredom, because there is always someone whose day you can brighten.
What things do you do as a family to bring joy to others? What summer goals do you have to take advantage of your extra free time? How will you re-create yourself this summer?