Today’s post is written by my friend Rachel, a homeschooling mother to 8!!
I looked at the return address and knew immediately what the envelop contained, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to see it. Nervously I tore it open and scanned the contents until my eyes came to rest on the date I was looking for. Whew! Fully one week before my youngest brother’s wedding. My two oldest children would be able to attend their 4H hog clinic after all.
Alas, it was not meant to be. As it turned out, my sons’ baseball tournament game was scheduled at exactly the same time. My daughter would still attend the clinic. She was to be there between 8:30 and 9:00. Her brothers were to be at the field at 8:45—on the opposite side of the county. Is anyone noticing a conflict here?Thankfully my nephew is also on the baseball team, and his mom was able to play taxi driver in that direction.
This week was a particularly crazy example of outside the home activities. Life is always busy, but not to this extreme. We’ve worked hard to carefully choose our activities so that we don’t drive ourselves mad.
It would be easy to say, “There are enough of us that we don’t need outside activities to entertain us.” While that might be true it’s neither practical nor especially beneficial. On the other hand, it would be foolish to have each of our children in multiple separate activities. So how do we narrow it down to a reasonable list?
- We recognize that there will be weddings and parties and activities in which others will want us to join them, and we try to take this into account in our planning.
- We try to participate in as many church related events as possible. This includes things like VBS or missions conference.
- Our goal is to keep activities as family oriented as possible. 4H has been wonderful for us. We chose a club that is near our home and that has leaders we know and trust. Although not all of our children are old enough to participate they are welcomed at the meetings. The children have learned so much through their various projects. They are also learning about participating in and conducting business meetings, community service, fund raising, etc. They’ve made many wonderful friends, and as a result my husband and I have made new friends.
- We know that there will be occasional activities for just one or two of the children. Our oldest children will attend Jake’s Day—an outdoor education event. Our 7 year old will attend 4H Cloverbud camp, etc.
- We recognize that there are times a long-term activity might be beneficial even if the whole family isn’t involved. When our oldest son was small, he was terribly shy and had trouble communicating. We wanted to help him with that, and knowing he liked baseball we signed him up for coach pitch baseball. It produced the desired results as he began to open up to his peers as well as adults. He also developed a great love of baseball. It began to take quite a bit of time and we wondered if it was wise to continue. We decided to take some time off, and for two summers he hoped the next year would be the one he’d be allowed to play again. This past summer we agreed to give it another chance, and he and his younger brother both signed up for kid-pitch. As it turned out, it truly became a family event. Yes we enjoyed the games, but it was more than that. It was a joy to watch my children and their Daddy playing ball and practicing together. It was a blessing seeing my older boys teaching their siblings. It brought them together in ways I hadn’t imagined. So even when something doesn’t appear to be family-oriented, don’t immediately reject it. You might be pleasantly surprised.
As I finish writing this, I am thinking about an email notice I received today. Rec league soccer will begin soon. I wasn’t really planning on adding soccer to my agenda, but it’s something my daughter wants to try. We’ll give it a chance. Who knows what the result will be!
How about you? I’d love to hear how you choose your extra-curricular activities. What are some of your favorites?
Sharing with Cornerstone Confessions, Motivation Mondays, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, Raising Arrows, Raising Mighty Arrows, Graced Simplicity, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, We are That Family, The Modest Mom, A Proverbs 31 Wife, Walking Redeemed, and Raising Homemakers.
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