Post-Apocalyptic Homeschool just called me a fiend. She did.
And she made my heart melt in the process.
One of the nicest things anyone has called me. No, no, I am not joking here.
I mean it.
She sized me up. Let me quote:
You are a book-buying fiend, and I really like that about you. :)
It is important.
Jennifer left the comment on my site after reading my post about the most attractive collection of children's classics that I've been buying for our home library
Admittedly, I am a book-buying fiend and I am happy that my kids have a lot of children's books at home.
That also involves a lot of sacrifices, but I usually do not talk about that part.
Let me tell you why.
Being a parent is one scary job. It usually becomes scary after it becomes too late to mend the situation.
But if the job does not scare you a little in advance, it should.
Lets be truthful, we all expect to achieve a 100% result.
And if we mess up, oooops ... we just destroyed someone's prospects in life.
Time On One's Hands
Boredom is rage spread thin.
What will my kids do when they are bored?
I saw that basic question as one of the principal challenges that awaits me.
It is a fork in the road.
Will my kids choose reading books or just TV?
Will they pursue arts or science or will playing cards every day make them happy?
Will they choose sports or lie around the house?
Will they think or will they do anything they can to avoid thinking about it?
We are talking about hours and hours and days and weeks and months of free time.
What will your kids do when they are bored?
Solve that now and you are one step ahead. We all also know one truth.
Let us just admit it here.
Kids read out of boredom.
Try this: ask them do they want to go to Disneyland or read a book?
The response will be: "Do we go today or tomorrow?"
So, lets ride that boredom wave and leave books all around the house while stifling other electronic entertainment.
Don't buy that electronic toy, unplug the TV...
Make reading an activity that depends only on one effortless step.
As Bruce Allison advocates - let us rethink our approach so that we can even embrace boredom.
"When they say, 'I'm bored,' smile and respond, 'Yes, isn't it wonderful? I'm so happy for you."
"Nothing happens in this life unless someone is bored. There is no prayer without boredom, no art, no discovery, no seeking of what human beings are about in an ultimate way. Having nothing to do is the best freedom of all. Teach your children to value and appreciate that. Teach them to make spaces in their life for it. Let them hear the magic 'click' of the sound and picture devices being rendered inoperable. Help them to wait for the corresponding 'click' in their own minds."
I am ready for boredom in the life of my twins. It is already creeping in.
I love boredom.
I want my kids to embrace boredom, but with a book in each hand.
My kids now need only to extend their hand. And a book is already in it.
To make reading more available, I decided to build a children's book collection at home.
Yet, please take note - we are not a rich family.
In fact, I work as a freelancer and my wife has a 9 to 5 job.
We live in an apartment. A regular family.
Public libraries are the icing on the cake - I love them.
But I want my kids to fill even those small niches of available time, when they have just 5 or 25 minutes of free time.
They just need to extend their arm to get a book these days.
Remember the 10,000 hour rule that can make everyone a master in a discipline? Help your kid clock those hours.
Remember, if the book is not there, it is not there.
There is no other way about it.
Something else will take its place.
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(BTW, I love Jennifer's tongue-in-cheek description of her blog Post-Apocalyptic Homeschool:
This blog is called Post-Apocalyptic Homeschool because I obsessively collect and stockpile used children's books just in case I need to personally educate a small village after some sort of catastrophic scenario where all the other books and technology and book-obtaining means of all kinds have been destroyed, such that the only reading materials left for miles around are the piles of books in my garage. Sensible, yes?)