I was flipping through some old posts this morning and this short post on Productive Time struck a chord – just what I needed to be reminded of.   This was written nearly 2 ½ years ago so obviously my children are in a different place.  Josh, Jess and Nomi are very clearly established in being productive in their ‘free’ time but Daniel still needs my help.

So today we will write a list of the things he can do to be productive.  Some of the same things will no doubt still be on his list, but he would have moved on from some of these activities, and added new ones.

Just to remind myself of the things he can do by himself: He loves making model planes and has nearly finished a German U-Boat

Daniel wanted to improve his drawing skill so he sat down and practiced daily. I need to encourage this to continue. This is his latest - it is a drawing of the U-boat model he made.

A quick review on Productive Time:  Productive Time is the words we use in our family instead of Free Time.  I want to encourage my children to be focused and purposeful with their time and not just waste it doing ‘whatever’.  We do have some recreation time where I have no expectations on them.  The kids tend to call this time “Blob out time” but over the years I find them being productive in this time anyway.  It has become a habit.

Activities that I consider productive:  anything that produces.  You can produce thoughts, knowledge, skill or a relationship which means thinking, learning, practicing and being together all qualify; as long as you are purposeful about it.  Our favourites are:  Reading, crafts, board games, making stuff, cooking, sport/outdoor activity.

One of my fondest memories of our family life will be walking into the family room and seeing each of my children in there, around the big table, all doing something different listening to either an audio story, classical music or talking together.  I love it!

But right now we have a glitch!  Daniel struggles to find things he can do in this time.  He would love to be out in the workshop but that isn’t often possible.  So we are on the look out for activities that he can do – mostly by himself, within the home (for a little supervision and encouragement from me); activities that will excite him and develop his unique talents and interests.

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 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

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