Yes, you read that right. I homeschool so they can be bored.
So they can have time to get bored.
I think we as a culture have too much aversion to boredom. And we’ve filled our children’s calendars with so many good and wholesome activities that we sometimes fail to give them one thing they so desperately need: Down Time.
Down time without the television, the video games and the social media.
Down time to sit upside down on the couch, feet in the air and head on floor declaring,
I’m so bored!
Down time for those little brains to decompress and to languish awhile in the tedium of inactivity and understimulation.
Down time for those sparks of creativity to light their fires and drive them to self-directed activities and projects of their own choosing.
I began homeschooling for very different reasons, but the longer we do this, the more I appreciate the fact that my children have undirected free time. And after they hang there upside down long enough, they amaze me with some of the things they come up with.
Marble tracks made from cut up cereal boxes, forts out of things they find in the barn, artwork and stories and invented games. Pursuits of their own creativity.
And they only find that creativity after inactivity that stretches long enough for boredom to strike.
I used to think it was just about having free time. Free time would sometimes lead to active and creative pursuits and would sometimes lead to boredom. I didn’t used to value boredom as anything inherently valuable. I only saw it as a necessary side effect of having enough time to do other things.
But as I watched my children struggle through their boredom, trying not to announce it lest I give them a chore, I noticed that their greatest feats of creativity always came after these periods of boredom. It’s as if the boredom itself were paving the way for something better. It’s as if the boredom ietself were a necessary part of shifting gears.
So it didn’t surprise me much when I found out that science, too, was beginning to appreciate the creative power behind boredom. Or, as fantasy author Neil Gaiman says,
” … boredom is the place you create from in self-defense.”
So feel free to let your children get bored from time to time. And then watch their creativity soar.
This is part of the Blogging Through the Alphabet Challenge, where I am sharing some homeschool encouragement, from A to Z! Check out what I’ve written so far!
Also check out the Homeschool Nook Link Party for more great homeschool posts!