Saturday, March 15, 2008

Free Time

There was much to think about in this article, but one statement really stood out to me:

Miss Mason devises time-tables which cover such reasonable hours as to leave time over for this solitude, but parents are often very culpable in thinking that Tango or some other new thing must be learned as well, and the much needed time for solitude is used for plans which necessitate hurried journeys, always in the company of a responsible person, who feels it her duty to talk in an instructive way, and the thinking time, the growing time, the time in which the mind is to find food is diminished, and the child becomes restless, tiresome, irritable, disobedient, everything that a child who is reputed to be difficult can be.

Wow! Isn’t that exactly what we homeschoolers are terrible about doing? When the children should have free time, we instead schedule all kinds of extra activities that we just know they *have* to have, and so their lives pass away without this valuable time for reflecting. It’s hard to buck the trend and decide that they can, indeed, grow up without dance or soccer or choir or whatever worthwhile activity it is. Because the activities are generally good ones, but there isn’t time for all of them. And the more children you have, the more you really have to cut back if free time is to be secured for all the children (unless you have the resources to hire a driver to take the children to their activities lol).

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