Saturday, January 16, 2010

Extra Curricular Programs

Do you as a homeschool parent start to wonder if your children are doing too much? Or do you wonder if they aren't doing enough? I think that perhaps all parents, no matter how their children are educated, come to this crossroads more than once in the child rearing process. I for one am someone who has a hard time balancing things and am all or nothing so I am always seeking for that fine balance between work and play, even with my kids.

My children do a full day of coursework as well as their individual reading and their music practice (30 minutes per day minimum). They have a great neighborhood social life, a church social life and my boys are both in the Boys Scouts of America and very active in that. My oldest just signed up for a basketball team which should be fun.

I guess that at any given point in time the needs of the child are different as are the opportunities! I have a three year old that is definitely waiting for preschool in the fall but she will go. Despite my homeschooling efforts for all other grades, preschool is something I just don't do. I have a seven year old that I think should finally get into music lessons, possibly dance and we are looking into Girl Scouts for her. She needs more social interaction. Not because she is "backwards" or socially impaired but because she thrives in social situations and I want to foster that. She is also very artistic and I want to plant her in places that she can bloom. She is my third child but she is the first that I wasn't quite sure if we should homeschool all the way. We take it year by year, month by month. I am ever evaluating our children's needs to see if a change is in order and I am very open to the thought of it.

The most important thing that experts warn parents about is finding that balance and not over scheduling our children. It is a very fine line we walk as parents between giving our children opportunities and helping them develop skills and talents and then over scheduling. It takes a lot of time, thought and energy. I hope that as your year continues you are better able to find this balance and I hope we can bring you more postings with information on ways to do that.

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