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Extracurricular Activities

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:13 pm
by mommybelle
As we are nearing the beginning of our extracurricular activities, I am having doubts that I am overextending us. Would someone please give me your thoughts and insights? Here is the scoop.

My girls are 5 (almost 6 in October) and 2.5 yo. I have my oldest signed up for ballet on Mondays late afternoon (which she really enjoyed last year). Then I have signed us up for a community Bible study on Wednesdays that involves both girls and myself from 9:45-11:45 a.m. We will each be in our own classroom for Bible Study, and there will be activities for both girls as well. Then the oldest has choir Wednesday nights at the church (which she LOVES), and the church is now offering another Bible Study for the oldest shortly before choir. And then on Fridays my oldest has an art class from 10:30-11:30 a.m. I know the art class is not necessary, but I'm not very good about instilling the creativity on the art front.

I am just afraid that I'm not leaving us enough time for free play outside of school...and to enjoy the outdoors! We are using LHFHG. I took a pretty intense Bible Study with my husband last year on Wednesday nights from 6:15 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. My oldest was in choir until 7:00 on those nights, and then they would stay later at the church with provided childcare until we were finished. Those were some late nights! Another similar Bible Study is offered again this year at the same time on Wednesday nights, and my husband is taking the second class. I'd love to join him, but I KNOW I cannot commit to both Bible Studies myself.

So I would love anyone's thoughts on this. I just need help myself to stay in the Word with God outside of the school I am doing with my oldest. But I don't know if there is a better way than signing myself up for the Bible Study on Wednesday morning or evening Wednesday night. I just struggle with how much my dc are really going to get out of this scheduled weekly Bible Study class as they often don't get much out of Sunday School at this age. She will have some close neighborhood friends in the homeschool Bible Study class with her. But, I'm not sure that this socialization is really necessary at this age.

I just want homeschooling to work for us, and I don't want to get burned out on extracurricular activities during our first official year (Kindergarten).

So ANY thoughts you have are greatly appreciated!

Re: Extracurricular Activities

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:46 am
by lissiejo
This is just my opinion, but with the light load in Little Hearts I think you'll still have plenty of time for them to play and have fun. My husband is a pastor and church activities are just non-negotiable. We do AWANA on Sundays and the girls have ballet and piano lessons. Even with all three guides running I still find time for them to be outside daily if weather permits. We do have a very tight schedule because I have two part-time jobs and my oldest is part of a co-op two days a week, but we manage to maintain a 4-day-a-week schedule so Fridays are very relaxed and slower paced. If you feel like you need a day like that doing 4 days with Little Hearts is fairly easy.

Scheduling and planning can be so very overwhelming. I appreciate your heart to stay in the Word as well. Something I have learned is that my "quiet time" with God looks very different during this season of my life. I often have my devotions with little ones running around my feet. We sing praise songs together and I snatch moments of prayer time when there is a few moments of peace. I used to feel guilty that I didn't have the extended quiet Bible study and prayer times I used to have, but I have come to realize that my time with God does not always have to look the same and it's okay if during these young years when the kids are not yet independent for me to extend myself a measure of grace. Not that I should neglect time with God, just allow that it will not be the same as it was in the past.

I hope you find the balance you are looking for!

Re: Extracurricular Activities

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:36 pm
by mommybelle
I am sorry I am just now getting on here to thank you. I really appreciate your insight. I really like your comment regarding your quiet time with God being different during this season of life. That really hit home! I often forget they are only little for so long and one day they will be much more independent. So it is okay to have a different quiet time during this season.

We did start all of our activities last week. So the full week along with her lack of attention made for a rough week, but I know we will eventually get into a better routine with the activities and school. The Bible Study itself was a blessing as even my little 2 yo was coming home and singing the songs she had learned in the Bible Study all week long! And my oldest is actually repeating the stories and the story connections that she has made! She doesn't tell me anything about what she learns in Sunday School every week, but she is quick to tell me about her Bible Study. She learned about Hannah praying to God for a baby this week. Her teacher is actually pregnant. This evening she wanted to pray for her teacher and her teacher's baby "that the baby would not be born with a hole popped in its lungs." [She had pnemothorax (basically a hole in the lung) at birth when she was born, so we've told her that story]. That was so heartwarming!

Thanks again!

Re: Extracurricular Activities

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:36 am
by lissiejo
:) We started our full routine this week as well minus ballet since it won't start until October. I didn't know how my daughter would handle full speed Bigger and her 2-day-a-week co-op she attends since she is a young 7, but she was fabulous! So was my middle girl. The little one...well...let's just say this week was less than stellar! She's been grumpy and moody and mad at me and my husband nearly all day long because she isn't getting her way! I know it's just a phase, but I miss her sweetness. I think the change in routine has messed with her a little and we just have to work through it!

I've started forcing myself to get up early, around 5:00 so I actually get a real quiet time! I have always wanted to do this, but never made myself do it until this week. I'm tired, but it is worth it. I've also started forcing myself to lay down for an hour to nap every afternoon while the girls have their quiet time. Thankfully we are past the training to stay in bed during nap time phase and I can have this hour! I'm not forcing myself anymore :) I feel so much better now in the afternoons and evenings!

That is so sweet about your daughter's prayer! It is so precious to see our children's compassion through prayer :)

Re: Extracurricular Activities

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:34 am
by netpea
Community Bible Study starts this morning here. We have been going for 6 years. It is non-negotiable for me. We go to Wed night church / youth group, it is also non-negotiable. To that we add homeschool group activities on a sporadic basis and Dance once a week. in the winter we add basketball, in the spring we add softball. My husband considers the extracurricular activities to be very important so I work our schedule out to fit in what i can. I am not able to do every field trip that comes along, I have to pick and choose or we start to fall behind. Occasionally we come after bible study, have lunch and do a days school work or a half day, but usually we have that as our errand / grocery day.
Are you schooling 4 days a week with CBS on a day to itself, or are you doing 5 days a week?

Re: Extracurricular Activities

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:22 am
by KristinBeth
It really depends on what you yourself can manage. From what you've described, it still sounds like you will have plenty of time for free play. You have three days of extracurricular activities per week; and of those, two of them are only for an hour. That sounds manageable to me, but if you start to feel overwhelmed you can just not continue the art class when it's time to re-enroll for the next session. LHFHG only takes about an hour, so most of your day will still be unscheduled. :D

We are doing Monday afternoon gymnastics (just started) for my soon-to-be-6-year-old. Tuesdays will be CBS days(starting next week) and that will take a 4 hour chunk out of our day (almost an hour drive each way to get there) so we are only doing math and reading those days. Younger daughter (3) wants to take ballet so we will sign up for that next session, and possibly swim lessons one other day. I am a LOW ENERGY person :shock: and I can manage these. If there were a homeschool scout troop near us I'd join one, but there are none. We don't do any Wednesday night activities though because I don't like to keep the kids out late, and my brain starts to shut down when the street lights come on! This is all to say that it depends on you. If you and the kids enjoy getting out, your schedule sounds fine. If it's too much, then they don't need it all. :) Your older child might be getting more out of her bible study than you think. Mine retains a LOT out of her Sunday school, CBS, and HOD Bible lessons. :D

Re: Extracurricular Activities

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:03 pm
by mommybelle
lissiejo - I did try to get up earlier this week as well. Though I'm not sure I could personally do 5 am :shock: (though I am sure I could get A LOT accomplished if I actually did)! My days do go a lot smoother when I get up with plenty of time to get myself moving in the morning since I am far from a morning person! My own attitude is much better when I've had time to wake up before the kids.

netpea - I don't push too much school on CBS days. We don't have time to accomplish any school before we leave for CBS in the mornings and by the time we get home, the girls are hungry and tired. I think the extra stimulation that they aren't used to simply wears them out! So I am settling with it being okay to only school 4 days a week. If possible, I work in some math, reading and fine motor skills.

KristenBeth - I was pretty high energy UNTIL I had kids. :wink: Now I consider myself pretty low energy as well because my oldest makes up for it in her energy level. :D That is true that she is probably getting out more than I think. I tend to expect too much from this first child of mine.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! It is good to hear that many of you are doing CBS as well. This is our first year, so I didn't know what to expect, but with so many of you saying it is non-negotiable, that is definitely a good sign! I am going to forge ahead with ballet (on Mon), CBS (on Wed), choir at the church (Wed night) and art class (on Fri). I'm just going to have to be careful to monitor our attitudes. I just want our homeschool environment to be gentle and not rushed so that we all have time to focus on God, and that my children are also seeing Christ working in me (instead of the stressed out, overwhelmed mommy). :oops:

Re: Extracurricular Activities

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:09 am
by psreit
I just wanted to add this. I am finding that I need to focus more on the character and spiritual development in my dd. Being very vulnerable at this age, I need to keep reinforcing character development and Biblical principles in our daily activities. So, don't feel guilty about doing Bible studies and even choir, as that can be spiritually enriching as well. My dd just promoted to a new SS class, which offers a daily Bible reading/questions and a verse to memorize each week. On Wednesdays she just started in a Patch the PIrate Club, which offers basically the same thing, although the verse is monthly. With those and the verse in HOD, I was a little overwhelmed with the thought of having to help her learn all these verses. But, IMO, they are some of the most importantant things she will learn. We need to make that part of our dc's lives the most important.

As far as the other activities, there needs to be a balance. I have to be careful I don't put too much on my plate. My dd loves to be with other kids, as she is the only youngster in our home now. I have her in co-op classes which runs 7 Friday mornings. I am putting her in our homeschool choir for the fall semester, so I moved her piano to the same day, so I wouldn't have to run another day. But, that day we can still do book work in the mornings. Other than a field trip now and then, and dr. appts. that are out of town, I feel, to add anything else, our schooling would be very hindered. There needs to be a balance, or it will cause stress and frustrations.

Re: Extracurricular Activities

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:58 pm
by hollyh
Every person is different in what they can manage. That being said, I think your schedule seems fine. :)