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What if you don't do any outside activities?

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

I think it depends on the situation and family.

Say you have:
Three or more kids
neighbors nearby to play with almost every day
Lots of land or the type of suburban neighborhood where kids can move around and stretch out a bit
Some kind of rich home life- family business, family farm, lots of mini vacations and day trips...

In that situation I don't think a lot of outside activities is necessary until high school. Maybe just Sunday School, church, AWANA :)

But say you have:
A small townhome or condo
ONly one or two kids
The neighbor kids are never home so there's not a rich community of kids to play with almost every day
Dad works 50-60 hours per week away from home
Not a type of housing situation where kids can really stretch out and move around, make things, solve problems, build forts and get games going with the neighbors
Live in a cimate where kids don't tend to play outdoors much at all (Florida, Arizona)...

In that situation I think 2-3 outside the house activities is necessary. When my kids were younger we only did AWANA, church, homeschool Park Days, as well as a one a week half day or full day drop-off Sports Program. I chose programs specifically where both kids could join, both could be dropped off together and were pretty close to the house. This way they had lots of time to just play at home, but they still got out of the house, learned social skills, and met other kids. If the Park Days had beeen every week, I would have gone! They were some of my kids' favorite days. I also tried hard to set up playdates with my kids' friends once a week, because honestly the neighborhood kids didn't exist.

As the kids have gotten older we transitioned them to activities which I could not provide at home for a few years (sports, art, group math club)...then we transitioned them to just focusing on their own interest (swimming for my boy, horses for my girl) about age 15 we expect that "interest" to turn into a job (my son is a swim instructor and I hope my daughter can work at the barn by then) so that they get real-world job experience and it's not "all about me" ...

So there are life stages, and it is a process, but kids definitely need lots of human interaction, problem solving skills, time AWAY from Mommy ...if they can get that in your neighborhood that's great. If not, it does have to be re-created a bit in the urban environment.

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

When our dc were small, they were involved in church activities, we did some things with h/s friends in a local support group, but we were not on the road all the time. We participated in field trips and park days, but we were *home* (what a novel idea, lol) almost all the time.

That was important to me, and I can remember the dc literally sighing in relief when we got home after having been gone half the day for a field trip, etc. It wasn't that they didn't enjoy it, they just really loved being at home.

As they grew older -- 14 and up -- they did participate in more activities. They did some classes through a local h/s co-op (not a stringent co-op with lots of rules and regulations or high prices). That was the main thing they did differently from their younger years.

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

I agree with CalmingTea. I'd love not doing any activities but the neighbor kids are all always at school or activities or doing homework or whatnot. The kids are outside at least an hour a day but often they have no one to play with but each other. Dd is only 14 months old and yes my almost 5yo loves her but sometimes he craves a more sophisticated playmate.

We don't go to church so no Awana or Sunday school. We do go to library story time and as I said, outside every day unless it is below freezing or pouring. We do go outside later in the evening on very hot days because the kids will generally have long naps (yes, even the 5yo and sometimes ME) on hot days and be able to stay up later. Ds has gymnastics twice a week and rock climbing once, we also did swim lessons starting in May but that stopped since school started. I now drop ds off and take dd for a walk or go shopping. Since we are just in K, which takes about an hour and a half plus reading time at night in homeschool, we still have plenty of time to do other things. We'd always have time for a play date or field trip and such, it's just that everyone else is so busy most of the time. I like there to be two, if not three days a week where we go nowhere but out in nature, which we do every day period. But no shopping, no play dates, no activities, nothing scheduled. It is after all HOME schooling and we love to be at home.

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

Good topic!

We do music lessons, since a way opened up for my siblings to take lessons at a music school about 15-20 min from home. Thankfully, for the most part, the lessons have been all pretty much at the same time, so they just go, take their lessons, and come back home. We are really thankful for the opportunity!

We also sing as a family, and go out a lot, singing in various places. But we are very thankful when we can be HOME! Also, just spending time together as a family is so precious. The discussions, talks... the laughter and singing... playing and working together... it's priceless!

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

I find it fascinating to think about how many ways there are to accomplish a set of goals. In activities or not, homeschool or brick and mortar school... so many options, lol.

For my family, we love outside activities. I grew up being passionate about something and have been able to turn that into a way to contribute financially to my family, so on a practical level it was a great investment of $ by my parents, and time by both them and me. And on a personal level, it gave me great joy and fulfillment... and even though I went to public school, and did outside activities, I still have a great relationship with my family, I love Jesus, and I consider my childhood to have been idyllic :)

Therefor, you probably won't find it strange that my experience influences how I plan for my children. My oldest rides horses, and dances, and takes voice lessons. She also acts in plays as the opportunites arise. And we count it all as school.

My next is a competitive gymnast and that requires about 20 hrs per week of training. She also takes and teaches jiu jitsu.

My next two boys both play rep football.

My twins both dance and do jiu jitsu.

And the baby keeps me company while I drive everyone everywhere. And I parent and visit and love on my family in the car as well as at home.

And we love it, my kids are happy, well adjusted, love their parents, and are a good influence out there in the world. And homeschooling lets us still spend lots of time with them.

That is what works for us, and what we like to do :)

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

Thanks for the discussion on this topic. I'm glad to know we aren't the only ones who don't do anything. LOL Of course, I hope it was clear that I wasn't trying to say that outside activities were bad in any way, I just like knowing that there are people like us who don't do any. :)

It was interesting to see how many people do and how many don't, because I sort of assumed that everyone did.

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

We don't sign up for things based on a need for socialization. We sign up for them because they offer instruction in activities that my kids are interested in and that I can't (very easily, if at all) do here at home. I'm talking about things like swim team, music lessons, etc.

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

Agreeing with Sue. And actually, I'll add that we avoid homeschool activities in favor of activities that give a better opportunity to socialize with people outside the age-segregated division and which maximize learning potential. So, for instance, we opted to go with the art class given by a local artist at the community center near us rather than the homeschool art class because my goal is for them to truly learn about the fine arts. Art class is for art, not socializing.


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