There’s only one more week of school over here at the Bunkersdown Academy for Bright but Strange Children. One more week of math and grammar and cursive, (oh my.)
Frankly, I can’t wait. There are gardens to be weeded and tents that need to go camping and produce that wants to be canned. It will be lovely to set aside the teacher’s manuals and let that part of my life have a tiny break to better focus on the rest.
That doesn’t mean that we’re going to have a mindless summer around here. No sirree bob. The kids will continue with piano lessons and swimming. In addition, all three of them will play tennis for six weeks. I’ll continue to oppress their liberty and make them read every single day and we’ll sign up for the summer reading program at the library. There will even be a few quasi-educational trips to take.
But, mostly, there will be time for my children to get bored. Time for them to lie on the grass, closing their eyes to the sun, and daydream. Time for them to come up with their own art projects and time for them to (hopefully) clean everything up. Time for board games and time for friends and time for play.
We are deliberately planning on doing a whole lot of nothing. We are actively not over-scheduling our days to create space for time in our daily lives. Time to do whatever we want.
In these days of educational reform, an overabundance of electronic gadgets, and the hectic scheduling of activities, free time is an endangered commodity in our children’s lives. Despite the fact that there are still twenty-four hours in the day, time no longer easily falls into our laps. Instead, we must consciously plan for it and purposely protect it. It is a mindful lifestyle that one must adopt to have free time.
I am firmly convinced that some of the best learning of the year will happen this summer as my children have time to be bored and play. They will gain something that cannot be taught from any lesson plan or included on any syllabus.
But only if I let it happen. Only if I allow it.