Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Magic Of School Holiday Boredom

This was day 1
So we made this plan for the looooong summer break and because there is still summer school in the mornings and it's very hot, I cannot spend all afternoon nagging DD to get it done. But actually I don't have to nag because the consequence of not doing her tasks is no computer or other screen time.

The first day she raced through her tasks because it was a novelty and she wanted to colour in the circles on the chart. The second day she also worked her way through the tasks so that she could go watch Disney Descendants. On the third day she was more laid back about the whole thing and preferred to play in her room for a while before sitting down with the books.

By day 6, which is today, I've noticed that she's doing all sorts of other things rather than the English, Hebrew and Maths workbooks. And I don't mind because hours are spent in imaginative play, drawing, doing the sewing kits that have been sitting idle for ever, making tents and dens, or reading simple books in English by herself. She even sorted out the toy box and tidied her bedroom. And no time is being spent on the computer.

When the lure of the screen becomes overwhelming and all other options have been explored, those workbooks do get done. And screen time is shortened to the half hour left available before bedtime. (Not that we're very good at imposing bedtime ever in the holidays.)

A friend posted an article today about how you shouldn't over schedule your kids during the holidays or they will never learn how to find things to amuse themselves. They need the time to discover what they enjoy doing and to explore doing it in their own way, without an adult planning it all out.

The article wasn't talking about doing workbooks so much as taking the kids out every day, signing them up for activities and summer camps, and generally blocking in all their free time. We don't have the money or the transport for such a full schedule (and it's extremely hot) but I was expecting DD to get through her activities in a couple of hours and then I'd have to find ways to cut down screen time anyway because there would still be another 6-8 hours in the day with nothing going on. I was prepared to provide goings on for some of these hours.

However, I'm thrilled that all the tasks are being put off for other imaginative and creative pursuits. A definite case of very positive procrastination.


  1. That's such a good idea. My two would never go for it sadly, although we do have a list that they have to work through (including 20 minutes of maths, 30 minutes of reading, something creative etc.) which they have to complete before they get any screen time, so I will get my own way in getting them to do something! :D

  2. Ours is plodding along but were're not doing everything every day. And recorder seems to have died a death. However DD is still at summer school for one more and then we have 6 weeks of nothingness to fill.

  3. Good plan. I've given my son daily household/gardening tasks for the summer. Do them and he gets double pocket money. Only do some and he gets the usual pocket money And of course no work = no money. Let's just say he started off well!!

    1. DD suddenly wants to earn money, She came up witht eh idea of selling her old toys on the street. I vetoed it and came up with making the beds and watering the plants instead. Of course we have to plant some plants first.