Friday, September 12, 2008

Extra Activites - Helping or Hindering?

"What is your weekly extra-curricular routine? Do your kids take music lessons? Sports? Are they involved in church activities? How much time does this leave for family time? Are you over-scheduled or relaxed in your outside programs? Share with us your thoughts on this!"

We are, as stated elsewhere, very relaxed. I have no intention of recreating school at home. I also don't feel I have to offer my children every opportunity out there.

I take the approach that if they are interested in something they will pursue it on their own. This gives them the motivation to do it. My son wanted to learn the piano/keyboard, so he taught himself. I supplied the books and he did it all. Will he play at Carnegie Hall? Probably not. But he can play a tune on the piano for enjoyment and I believe he achieved the goal he wanted for himself.

My son has taught himself many things over the years. We bought an art curriculum and he taught him self to draw. Other times we had to take him to a class and still other times he just read every book out there to learn how to do it. He taught himself how to tan a hide and has done it for several people over the years.

My daughter is doing this with crocheting. She is getting a little help from Grandma, but is mostly pursuing it on her own. She has taken music lessons in the past, but with some of her disabilities she found it difficult to pursue. She is also teaching herself how to cook right now and we get to eat her experiments.

We have done sports in the past but my children found that most people are just too competitive to have fun. In fact some people they found to be mean (do anything to win.) So we quickly gave up on that. We are not sports people anyway. We do like other non competitive type activities such as hiking and other sportsman type activities. Our church during the summer months has very relaxed baseball games at the school ball field (anyone is welcome) a couple times a month.

I have a child who has a chronic illness and has frequent medical appointments so that takes up a lot of our time, so we don't give much time to extra curricular activities. Other things to consider is that we live in a rural area, so we have to travel to go most anywhere and with high gas prices that is a consideration. We did go to several places over the summer (a "diamond" mine, a children's museum, county fair, zoo, etc.) so we did do a bulk of activities this summer.

All that being said, I do feel somewhat overwelmed sometimes with all the things we do. My daughter illness acted up over the summer and we had almost one doctor's appointment a week. The problem being, most doctors are an hour away. One we went to last week was 3 hours away (one way!!) So that spends a lot of our gas allowance on trips and kills a lot of our extra time. So as the Lord leads he will open doors to do more things, but for now, this is where he has us.


Stacie said...

Don't forget your weekly activity of hanging out with us and pretending to do a lapbook! ;-)

Carletta said...

I so agree with this:

"I take the approach that if they are interested in something they will pursue it on their own."

I want my children to have a desire for extra curricular activities and not just drag them here and there, threatening them about what I'll do if they don't participate.

I also believe it's important to let them figure out some things on their own. My aunt has several children who are great musicians and one who is a wonderful artist. They were all self-taught.