TIME FOR SOME DOWNTIME!
I love this time of year! It’s when our busy homeschool family gets a little downtime! We are a homeschooling family that is also committed to the sport of competitive swimming. My boys swim 5 hours a day, six days a week, with 5:30 AM workouts and evening workouts until 8:30 PM. The month of March, however, marks the end of short course season and we get a break from the pool for two weeks. Just as much as our swimmers need a break from the chlorine, so do Mom and Dad!
We purposely do not schedule any activities during this time. It is complete downtime for the whole family, time to do nothing and anything. We have dinner at a normal time, with kids helping plan, cook and clean up. Mom and Dad even have time to go for evening walks to reconnect. The first couple of days are usually great, catching up on sleep, school work and house work.
FINDING CREATIVITY IN BOREDOM
A few days into break, though, the boredom sets in. Our kids have all this time and they don’t know what to do with it. We love it when this happens because we have found that boredom equals creativity. Eventually, they get creative with their time, and we end up having a much-needed “unstructured,” care-free time.
We have three teenage boys at home now, so their activities have changed since they are older. There’s a lot of time spent outdoors, hiking, biking, fishing, and playing basketball. They’ll do puzzles, board games, card games, ping pong, darts and Nerf gun fights. There’s also leisure reading time, movie time, spontaneous magic shows, shopping, baking, and hanging out with friends. The ideas are limitless because they have the free time to create their own fun and relaxation!
THE VALUE OF LEISURE
As much as we all appreciate having structure, having “scheduled” downtime has helped our family get refreshed. This allows us to continue on in a happier spirit when it’s time to get back to the daily grind. There are many times we have to say “no” to invitations because of our homeschooling and swimming schedule. Having downtime allows us to be available to say “Yes.” Having scheduled blocks of downtime in this busy, noisy world allows us to be free to find ourselves, to get inspired, and to be creative!