It's a tough subject.
I've met many parents who choose to homeschool so that their children can be involved in more extracurricular activities. There are kids in 5 different activities and their parents will do anything to make those activities happen, even to the extent of working extra jobs just to pay for them.
It's easy to fall into the trap. First, the trap of believing that you are not a good parent if you don't have your kids involved in a million things and second, the trap of giving into your child's every whim.
This week, Alison talked nonstop about her list of activities she wants to do. If I would give in, she would be one of those kids involved in a million things. I'm not making this up, this is what she talked about this week:
"I need to take Karate so I can learn how to break bricks."
"I should be in the Nutcracker because I'm really good at ballet."
Me: "You have to take ballet in order to be in a ballet."
Alison: "Oh. Well, can you sign me up for ballet?!"
*hear a commercial on the radio about auditioning for a Disney show
Alison: "MOM! Call the number!!! I want to audition!!! I've always dreamed of being on TV!"
Me: "Honey. In order to audition, you have to know a script which means you should probably do a play before you audition for TV."
Alison: "Ok, well, sign me up for a play! I'm a great actor mommy!"
She is full of dreams and I don't want to squash them, so I promised I would research a new activity that would fit our family.
I believe in doing one activity at a time. I want our kids to experience different things and have a chance to see where they are gifted and what they enjoy. I also want them to be active and meet new friends and maybe even be stretched at times outside of their comfort zone. However, I also believe there is great value in a family dinner. I believe that a life that is not constant "go, go, go!" and has time for reading books as a family or just being together, can be a greater blessing than extracurricular activities. On top of all that, I believe that letting kids be involved in whatever they want to gives them a sense of entitlement...I've seen the airs some kids give off about what they are doing and I know Alison senses it and that often fuels the fire of "I want to be doing more things".
All that to say, I contacted a few gyms in the area and discovered that one offers a homeschool class. I'm a picky person, but was sold on how professional, yet personal they were. The director said we could take a trial class and then decide if it was for us. It was real gym, with a real coach and with other kids who are in the same boat of life as my kids AND all 3 of my kids can participate at the same time AND we had the entire place to ourselves...score!
Terrible picture, but within 30 minutes of their first class, the coach had my kids doing spins on bars and walking on high balance beams. The kids came out saying it was the most fun they have ever had.
|Eli's in the red shirt and Alison's in the blue tank|
They couldn't stop telling Ben about the day and he said, "I think we'd be fools not to take them back."
Back we will go and hopefully I can get a better picture this week!