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What if you don't do any outside activities?

re: What if you don't do any outside activities?

On the same page as MayberryMommy. We never did any outside activities, just life. One child did tae kwon do for six months and enjoyed it, but wasn't interested in going any further with it.

They're all fine. Ds23 is a total social butterfly now, he has more friends and contacts than I've had in my whole life.

re: What if you don't do any outside activities?

We've had kids in organized activities for 25 years, and have no regrets.

We occasionally sign our kids up for activities based on the "socialization" aspect, but for the most part we do them for the activities themselves. Our kids take swim lessons so that they will be less likely to drown. They take music lessons because I want them to be able to read music and play at least one instrument, but I lack the expertise to teach them myself. Otherwise, they choose their own activities based on what they enjoy. Socialization is secondary, and whenever possible we opt for private or small-group lessons.

I think it's fine not to be involved in any outside activities if the parents provide lots of opportunities *and* the child chooses not to participate in activities as they get older. But, a child who wants to participate in activities but isn't allowed because their family "doesn't do activities" seems problematic to me.

We know several homeschooling families who do not participate in any organized activities (we know them because we don't do any homeschool-specific activities or co-ops and were looking to connect with families who also avoid those). For the most part, they are all extremely happy with their lifestyle, I think they're doing a great job raising their kids, and I don't think their kids are at any general disadvantage in life. But, the issue came up recently that one 10-year-old boy was repeatedly asking his mother if he could play on a soccer team. She has no problem with him playing soccer in my backyard with my kids, or at the park with other children, but absolutely refuses to allow him to play on a soccer team because she does not want to be tied to the team's schedule. For me, that would not be enough of a reason to deny my child an experience that he will undoubtedly enjoy.

re: What if you don't do any outside activities?

Let me add to what I said before:

My daughters did ballet for a year when they were 4 and 7; Scottish Highland dance (older dd for a couple of years, younger dd for nine years), and then ballet (she has even taught ballet). They did Camp Fire (which mostly we did at home as independents, but we did sell candy and go to camp and whatnot) and 4-H. Older dd was in the color guard of a marching youth band for a year. All of these, however, were with community groups, not homeschoolers, in late afternoon or early evening; homeschool activities tend to be done in the middle of the day, because the facilities where they are held are not busy during that time and it's good business for them...but it would have sucked the life out of *me* if we had tried to do those things in the middle of the day. That time is for *me* and my children, to be *at home,* teaching and learning, not to mention housekeeping and cooking and all that.

re: What if you don't do any outside activities?

We've rarely been involved in formal outside activities. My son was in a homeschool 4-H group for 2 years when he was elementary school age and both my kids have taken various music lessons from fellow homeschool moms.

That's pretty much it. Music lessons have made up the bulk of our formal outside activities. We've mostly just participated in relaxed homeschool meetings, some had an educational bent, but most have just been play dates.

I prefer it this way. :-)

re: What if you don't do any outside activities?

I never participated in outside activities growing up. I did go to public school, but we were so poor we couldn't afford to do sports...

My girls do participate in American Heritage Girls, but that's all this year. We did ballet for the last 2 years, but we decided to cut that. I don't think outside activities are necessary for a child to become a well rounded individual. I feel like sports, dance... have all become too serious. They require such a huge time and money commitment. My girls didn't' really make any friends doing ballet anyway. (They're not allowed to talk during class).

So, I don't think anyone should feel guilty about not participating in outside activities. I think a lot of parents do it more for themselves. They get to make friends with the other parents and boast about their child's successes. (I've seen this a lot in our town).

re: What if you don't do any outside activities?

Activities: older daughter was in softball for 9 years, which took up about 4 months of the year, mainly during the summer. That was it. She wanted to continue through high school, and was very good at it, but she was disgusted by the few girls left playing at that age. Our city of 36,000 had barely enough girls for one team, and only one of the other girls was a serious player besides my daughter. The other girls didn't show up half the time, causing outraged team to forfeit many times, or they did show up, but spent the entire time worrying about their makeup and their boyfriends seeing them look sweaty or dirty.

Younger daughter was in softball for 5 years, but she wasn't as into it as her sister. I felt she should try a session of gymnastics...I just had a feeling she would excel at it. She has been in gymnastics for 3 years now and has exceeded what I ever thought she would do. It is her passion. She has advanced quickly and competes at state and regional levels.

I only allow one activity at a time for each child. I can't afford more, nor can we spare the time. Gymnastics, especially takes up a lot of time. However, yes, I chose the activities based on homeschooling. I chose physical sports where the girls would be around peers of similar ages, although I'm both softball and gymnastics, they aren't all the SAME age. My gym girl is on team with children ages 7- 18. They are all friends. I wanted them to do SOMETHING with other kids, and I chose sports because they would have an opportunity to socialize outside of family, and because it fulfills a PE need.

My gym girl would love to take piano lessons. I would love for her to be able to, and now that she is my only student, and piano lessons are only once a week plus practice, I am considering it.

My older daughter never had many friends...just neighborhood kids. My younger one has tons of friends and is a social butterfly. We have someone here to spend the night probably at least once a wee. She goes to movies occasionally with friends. She is on the phone or texting friends all the time. There are a couple of public school girls on our street that gravitate towards our front porch every evening. She walks into the gym and all the "little" girls come flocking to hug her. I definitely don't worry about this child being social! Lol I never worried about her older sister either. She HAD and still has, a few close friends, but not A LOT of friends, which is just fine too. That is exactly how I am, and I never desired more friends.

One thing I WISH we had in my area is a thriving home school group. There is nothing for homeschoolers that is active in my area. I would have loved a group of like minded Moms and their children for field trips or get togethers on occasion.

re: What if you don't do any outside activities?

I could have written the original post myself, as we don't participate in outside activities, we interact with the people we normally see on a regular basis just doing life, and we're firm believers in *home*schooling. I've wished over the years for homeschool groups or co-ops in my area that would be enriching and encouraging in our homeschooling journey, as we live in an area where homeschooling is less accepted. Any time we've had an opportunity to participate in something like that, it's been very discouraging, and many times hurtful. Oftentimes you're thrown in with bad influences and you remember that *this* is the reason you homeschool....so *you* can be the primary influence in your children's lives (Deuteronomy 6). I love homeschooling my kids, and feel that we're much closer and stronger because we've chosen not to be involved in so many outside the home activities. Not saying all homeschool groups, sports, co-ops, etc...are bad. I've read of a lot of examples of people with amazing groups/classes that enrich their children's educations. But there are families that do very well homeschooling without them, too. 😉

re: What if you don't do any outside activities?

We have participated in various activities over the years, When we lived in a rural area, I often drove over an hour each way for some activities. I refuse to say the time was wasted as we often listened to audiobooks in the car, etc. , but in hindsight, they were often exhausting for me and of little benefit to the children.

Each family needs to decide how much time, energy, and $, they have to dedicate to activities, but I wouldn't classify them as necessary.

The most beneficial activities for my family have been swimming lessons & debate club.


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