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Bored: Shake it up! - Issue 293
April 05, 2013
Hi there! ....

This week was a drizzly rainy kind of week - one where you just want to curl up with a good book or movie and lots of chocolate! But that wasn't to be.... we had things to do! Though we had days where it was hard to focus, I think by the end of the week it has been fairly productive. I did have a scarey mother-moment, as I watched my youngest drive and manoeuvre a big tractor on my front lawn! It is times like this that I have to go inside and not watch. How can it be that my 'baby' is doing things that I would never ever attempt!! They grow up, and really, it is a delight to see him succeed in these man jobs!

Live life with your kids!

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Bored: Shake it up

When my kids were little (or even now I guess) I could never deal with “I am bored” with the traditional parenting thing of giving them a job. I asked myself – why are they bored? They aren’t bored because they are naughty – so they don’t need training or discipline (or punishment). They aren’t bored because there is nothing to do in the house (my overfull cupboards belie that idea!) They are bored because they cannot make a decision, they can’t make a choice. My role is to help them make wise choices with their time. So we would break it down, make a short list of the projects they had going, or things they were interested in. They could generally make a choice from this short list, if they couldn’t do that immediately, I’d give them 5 minutes to think about it. If they still couldn’t, then I’d make a choice for them – I’d choose something from the list, and give them a set period of time where I needed them to focus on that one activity, then they could make the next choice. If they arc-ed up then they did have heart issues and we’d take a different path.

I share all this for two reasons

  1. You can see how I’ve dealt with the “I’m bored Mum!” issue
  2. To say that I entered this year bored with homeschooling.

We all get bored. It isn’t a ‘sin’ in and of itself – the question is what do we do when we are in that state? Boredom leads to unwise choices. When I get bored I tend to do one of two things

  1. I do nothing or
  2. I do something but I do it half heartedly

I don’t think my boredom came from not being able to make a choice. So maybe there are other heart issues as well; discontent, distraction, lack of purpose, or maybe a more physical issue like being burnt out and tired. I find it interesting that if I see these issues in my life I’ll set about to change them, but when we see ‘boredom’ in our kids’ lives, our first reaction is punishment. (Interesting thought to think about.)

When I noticed that I had a lack of enthusiasm for teaching my kids this year, I did some heart thinking. What was going on? My vision and purpose hadn’t changed, I was still passionate about discipling my kids and yet the day in and day out of lessons was blah! I was bored. I’d been doing the same thing for 14 years and I’d lost the enthusiasm, and this was expressed by a lack of creative thinking on my part. Sometimes there is no way to change the mundane of life – sometimes (as my Dad says) build a bridge and get over it! But sometimes we can do something to shake it up.

Shake it up has become my theme for this year. I want to step outside of the norm – not just for the sake of being different – but for the sake of seeing things fresh.

I made some ‘shake it up’ decisions:

  • I chose new resources – subjects that I hadn’t taught before
  • I set new study routines – with short lesson times, lots of face to face teaching, less independent work
  • I set one main independent project for the term
What worked for me, may not work for you – in fact, just copying someone else’s solutions is a sure way of finding yourself ‘bored’. To shake it up I have had to put in time to research, learn new things and think differently. I’ve had a fresh look at my two students who are vastly different in their learning styles than my oldest two, plus the fact that I am now teaching two instead of supervising four makes a difference – I need to embrace that difference, and make the most of it.

Do you have to shake it up in your house? Are things growing mundane? Are you bored? Are your kids bored? Lacking enthusiasm? Lacking creativity?

Family life can get this way – it isn’t just about homeschooling. We can all get stuck in ruts – date nights, family nights, being hospitable, doing Bible study, Quiet times. Though there are benefits of regularity and consistency, the benefits aren’t really there if there is no life in what we are doing. Going through the motions just for consistencies sake isn’t what it is about.

I’m reminded of the old song:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning
Great is Thy faithfulness

God is consistent and yet fresh every morning. May we find some of Him being reflected in our every day. Consistent yes – we can’t be switching things around every day – we’d be like a double minded man, tossed by the wind (James 1:6-8). But are we being fresh, creative, innovative, exciting, and inspiring with all that we do?

Just yesterday Jess called us outside to see the sunset. It has been overcast and rainy for most of the week and it was wonderful to see the colours of the sun bounce off the clouds – it was glorious colours – pinks, oranges, golds. Jess was marvelling that yes, we’ve seen sunsets before – but never one like this. This sunset was a fresh design – given to us by God.

May we never be bored to see the sunset.
Neither do we need to be bored with the life God has given us.

I blog throughout the week at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I wrote:

You may like to read about Life Messes with my Routine over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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