Teaching Kids That Doing What They Love is a Waste of Time

I have mentioned previously how some folks reckon that reading fiction is a waste of time.  I know.  I don’t get it either.

But, it reminded me of an activity that my son’s class did with the guidance teacher at his school.  They were talking about ‘academic time wasters’, in other words, activities that take away from academic work, that are, therefore, deemed a waste of time.

I find this interesting (and a little infuriating) that they even did this activity for a myriad of reasons.  One, these kids are in 3rd grade.  Is this really necessary in 3rd grade?  Are 9-year-olds even capable of “wasting time” because I kinda feel that almost everything a child does is an act of learning and exploration?

Secondly, these teachers make a point not to assign very much, if any, homework.  I am thankful for this and feel like it’s a good choice.  So, since they don’t really have homework….why should they be concerned about ‘time wasters’ that might take away from the completing of it?

Thirdly, and this is the big one, many of the students seriously missed what I am assuming the point of the activity was.  One parent said that her daughter listed dancing, playing, eating, and drawing as time wasters.  Wow.  Really?  And there was no discussion apparently about when or why these things would be considered a waste of time.

Big D listed video games, playing legos, and drawing, none of which I would consider a waste of time.  Maybe if he was doing it to the exclusion of everything else.  Which, he isn’t.

Plus…he is nine.  Nine.  These are the kinds of things you are supposed to do when you are nine. Do we need to be teaching our children that leisure, relaxing, pursuing a passion or taking time for one’s self is a waste of time?

We are fortunate to live in a country in which most children do not have to be anything other than children.  So, why are the schools, and some parents, so desperately trying to take this away from them?  They have the rest of their lives to worry over ‘priorities’ and whether they should be working vs reading or playing.  I can definitely argue that there are plenty that is done at school that is a complete waste of time, but I won’t get on that soapbox today.

Instead, I’m off to go and waste some time reading when really, I should probably be doing laundry.  What are your favorite ways to “waste time”?

p.s. I love to waste time on Pinterest, reading, watching British period dramas, and hanging out with friends.