Some people, like me, are naturally “home-bodies”. I have one child that would rather stay at home than go anywhere. Not all the time, but most of the time this child prefers our home over being out. I can go days without getting out of the house or even wanting to get out. I always feel like I have so much to get done that I’d rather be at home. And being a homeschool family, I am definitely more conscious of making sure we get out of the house – and not just to run errands or make our weekly grocery run.
There have long-since been rumors that Homeschooled children are “backwards” or “socially awkward” and I want to make sure that I do not contribute to that fact with my kids. It seems to be easier in the summer months with pools and splash pads open, parks are more fun to play out in warmer (vs. cold) weather and vacations are at their peak.
Tthe last two years we have done more of a year-round homeschool setting to help with this. Summer temperatures can reach upwards of 110o here and are therefore, not very conducive for outdoor activities. The winters vary. Sometimes they are severe with 4 feet of snow and other times we’re lucky if we get more than a dusting on the ground. No matter whether it snows or not though, the temperatures can get in the low teens for weeks at a time – which comes with its own set of issues. So, we homeschool beginning in July for the new school year, taking off most of December and ending in early to mid May. With this schedule, the kids have time to play outside in May/June before the heat of the summer sets in. It also allows us to take days off in the fall before the temperatures get too cold. It works out nicely for us.
So, how do I get my kids out of the house? Here is a list of activities that homeschoolers can participate in to not only get them out of the house a few hours a day or week, but also to give them that much needed social interaction with other kids and other homeschoolers.
1. Homeschool Co-op – If you have one nearby, a homeschool co-op is a wonderful way for your kids out of the house. It also teaches them discipline and how to learn under a different teacher and teaching style. With the ages of my Littles, it’s difficult for us to participate in one, but I fully expect us to take advantage of a co-op once Mister Bull reaches 8th grade. It will be great preparation for those upcoming college years!!
2. Join a Homeschool Group – I was a member of one for our first year of homeschooling. It did not fit our family at the time, but I did gain a lot of knowledge from “seasoned” homeschool mom’s. One thing I wish we could’ve done more was participate in the elementary activities. They had monthly bowling, skate parties and more. But, as I mentioned with the co-op, it just didn’t work for us with the Littles.
3. Outside Sports or Other Extra Curricular’s – Our boys both take weekly swim lessons and Mister Bull participates in a weekly gym class as well. These are great outlets for him, since we have chosen not to let our kids do organized sports. But, if you family does, organized sports are a wonderful way to not only get exercise, but also teach discipline, listening skills, taking turns and learning to work as a team. Some other activities include: community kids choir, community theater groups, dance classes and more!!
4. Plan frequent field trips – Whether you invite other homeschooling friends or take just your family, field trips are a great way to kill two birds with one stone – Getting out of the house and Interaction with others. We love to take our kids to the Zoo almost monthly. We usually incorporate something educational on our trips, so it’s a win-win!! Other field trips can include: museums (especially those with kid-friendly exhibits), Plant tours of local businesses, Christmas Tree Farm, aNatureCenter and more!! The sky’s the limit!!
5. Take a mini day-vacay – Okay, I know that’s cheesy, but it had to rhyme! But, seriously, occasionally we will take day trips to visit friends that we don’t normally see. Take a different route to your destination to switch things up a bit. Sometimes you’ll discover places you never knew existed!! Not only is it a great way to get everyone out of the house, it’s also a great way to just get away and relax without having the hassle of packing for days and the piles of laundry to come home to!
What are some of your favorite “out-of-the-house” activities?
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