Forced Fall Break

This week is fall break. I didn't realize that until Tuesday. Life just got in the way of formal schooling. On the other hand, life has its own methods of teaching and boredom can be a wonderful tool:

bored bored bored
  • My youngest had a slight fever which made her extra clingy. The older two were just going to have to manage on their own. They were bored but they soon learned how to entertain themselves. They worked on a lot of unfinished projects. The violin and calligraphy pens were used often. My son's Lego skills got a workout as he tried to shape his own planet/space ship. (Yes. The boy is crazy about Star Wars) The increased down time was just what my son needed to crack open a chapter book and really take off reading. We were all pleased at his huge strides in this area. 
  • My eight-week -old nephew was taken to the hospital last week. I spent a lot of time there as we waited for information. (He's going to be just fine). Hospitals are boring. Even just waiting for me to come back from the hospital was boring for them but they learned something anyway. This ordeal taught my children about being there for others in a time of need, hospital etiquette, and how lucky we are to have our health.  It also taught them about the digestive system, the liver, the gall bladder and what happens when these things aren't running smoothly.
  • Extra games of hide-and-seek resulted in my oldest helping her baby sister count high into her teens while the older two practiced counting in as many languages as they could. I heard Spanish, Latin, and Japanese. 
  • The computer got a lot of use too. PBSkids.org is a favorite because the littlest has a lot of fun just watching the others. My son later brought up a discussion about asthma after playing a game from the site. 
Homeschooling is often full of activities, books, writing, and field trips. It has allowed me to fill our life with activities of our choosing. But there is the other side to homeschooling that I think is just as valuable as all of that. Homeschooling allows for downtime.  Downtime is a rare luxury in today's overly scheduled world. For kids, learning how to be alone, working on a large project without rushing through it, and breaking up boredom on their own develops skills that most kids don't have. I can't help but hope it will give a sense of balance to my kids.

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