In my hometown, sports are a big deal. Any given weekend you can see soccer, softball and baseball tournaments a plenty. Cars and kids are everywhere. Before we had children, I dreamed of the days our kids might want to play sports and be involved in extra curricular activities. Then we decided to homeschool.
And then we had more children. Being in ministry, our days are often undecided or can change on a whim, should a death or tragedy occur in our church family. We know this to be true and willingly accept this lifestyle. However, my kids are now getting to the age they want to get involved in more extra curricular activities – sports, dance and music.
We are at the stage of delicately balancing these activities with our responsibilities, not only at home, but at church. I am all for my kids learning team work and how to listen to authority and instruction from other adults. But, I am not sure I’m ready for all the running around. We tried that our first year of homeschooling with the local homeschool group we joined. It was more than stressful and I felt like a complete failure.
3 Ways to Balance Extra Curriculars
- Create a schedule – Before you ever decide what extra curriculars to squeeze in to your family, be sure you have a set schedule. We know we have church on Sundays and Wednesdays – those are non-negotiable. Then, we fill in music lesson times and other activities that are set in stone. After that we can see the “open” times we have for other activities. This makes it easy to determine if we have the adequate time to allow extra curricular choices.
- Create a list – With four kids ready to get involved in different activities, we created a list. A list of sports they wanted to play and a list of the extra curriculars we required (music lessons are a must in our house). This allowed the kids to give their input, but still gave us the ultimate authority to veto any choices.
- Determine your level of involvement – Whether you have one child or six, its not good to be gone all the time. Yes, kids need activity, but they also need family time and downtime. You know your child(ren) better than anyone, so this is something I can’t help you determine. Some kids like to be busy and going all the time, while others like one activity or prefer to just be home altogether. We have at least one of each type and it can be difficult to balance them all. Some like to go, while others just want to stay home.
From here you can determine what works with your schedule and each child, then do the activities that fit. Some years may be more and some may be less, depending on life. And you know what? That’s okay! We can’t allow the extra curricular activities to control and run our lives. It becomes increasingly difficult once a child shows a real “knack” for a sport or instrument. So that gives a whole different spin on things, especially when you start thinking about college and scholarships. But…that’s another post!
How do you balance the extra curriculars?
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