The ABC of Child Whispering- J is for JUGGLING

Confused schoolboy looking at arrows pointed in different directions,  back view,
Confused schoolboy looking at arrows pointed in different directions, back view,

We are now in January – the time of heat, fires and wonderful freedom for children.
I am fascinated by the amount of progress our students make during the holidays. They come in fresh, motivated and happy.
They are not juggling too many balls at the moment.
They can concentrate.
Many children we see at ICE are enrolled in 5/6 different after school activities and have NO time to play, dream, think or even get their homework done.
Why so many balls in the air?
Is it because we think our kids will be happier if they have all the so-called “advantages”?
Is it because we are frightened of children who might have some spare time? Are we frightened of our own children?
Children are so over-scheduled that when they finish a task at ICE they put their pencil down and quickly yell out, “Finished!” They are desperate for the next task- they do not know how to deal with the spaces between things.
Problem is- it is in the spaces that human beings get their best ideas and insights. Our poor overloaded kids have no spaces, too many balls in the air and unthinkingly grab a digital device to fill any spaces.
Are we all terrified of being with ourselves?
Many children are dropping balls and falling apart. They can’t juggle forever- they need time to be kids!
On behalf of the children we see- I urge you all to allow some spaces- for your children and yourself!

“WHAT IS SPARE TIME?” Vicky

A boy plays with the time - Un bimbo gioca con il tempo
So sad that kids do not enjoy spare time these days.

As soon as an activity is finished they ask, “What’s next?”

 

Occasionally I answer, “Nothing for a while!” Just to watch what they do. It makes them so uncomfortable.
But Vicky what do we do?

Nothing.
Wonder.
Think.
Dream.

They stare at me like I am a total crazy!
Then I tell them what I used to do when I finished my work at school. I NEVER asked for more. I would sit quietly and THINK and DREAM and hope the teacher did not notice. (Judging by comments on my reports they did!)

I show them pictures and models of brains and show them the right hemisphere and tell them- “I used to go into that part and so must you!”

A few years ago I was finishing off an EQ4KIDZ course in Singapore and we hadn’t filled in every page in the workbook but we HAD completed all the learning and the kids had done so well.
I was saying, “Goodbye” and congratulating the children when a child raised his hand and politely asked,“What about these empty pages?
“Vicky, what should we do?”
I answered, “Just finish in your spare time Eugene.”
He stared at me uncomprehendingly. (Remember this kid speaks English most of the time and definitely knew what SPARE meant and also what TIME meant.)
“What is spare time Vicky?”

Luckily his mother was my teaching assistant and she heard, she GOT it and positive changes were made.

We program kids to DO DO DO. It is as if we are frightened of what they might do if they had a spare minute. Are we scared of our children?

But I ask you-
Where will our inventors come from?
Where will our future dreamers and visionaries come from?
How can these children learn to think when we keen telling them WHAT and HOW to think and even WHEN!
Spare time is that delicious interlude when you sit on the veranda and think, daydream (which is actually very good for the brain) and ZONE OUT.
When we empty ourselves out, more can flow in.
Children MUST be given spare time otherwise we rob them of the joy of freedom, creativity and imagination.
Come to think of it- I haven’t had much of this time either lately –
I’m off to the beach………..