Every summer, there’s one week where the novelty of no school and a slower schedule passes over into boredom. I am busy this summer with writing, trying to reorganize the house, and doing some long needed home improvements. I’ve always hated hearing “I’m bored” but when I am finally sitting down from stripping wallpaper it’s really the last thing I want to hear. I complain that I don’t need to be their tour director.
So I created a different kind of chore chart for the boys. It still has their daily chores, but also a few hours of things to do. Every day they are to play or work on training with our dog. They are to go outside for Frisbee, basketball, or just throwing a ball back and forth. For at least twenty minutes a day they are to read. (That is no problem at the moment since we are still devouring the last Harry Potter). Every day they are to create something. It doesn’t matter if it’s a drawing, a painting, some sculpture or invention out of the project box, or a big castle out of legos. I put a twenty or thirty minute time minimum on all the activities. The beauty of those twenty minutes is that the kids don’t have to stop there and often they don’t. The twenty minutes gets them started on building, inventing, or drawing and then they take it from there.
To be honest I haven’t gained a lot of free time from this chart. I’ve had to help dig out project supplies, wash out old paint brushes, and help with deciphering unclear directions. The big plus is not just that kids are doing outside and creative things but that I am hearing a lot less of those dreaded words, “I’m bored”.