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enchantedlife
07-18-2013, 09:25 AM
My question is a little different from what I've seen posted on these forums. My son starts kindergarten in the fall and I have a daughter who'll start next year, so I plan on having her do the lessons with him if she can.

Besides being a mom, I'm also a writer. I like to have time during the week to work on my novels, and I know homeschooling will take up a lot of my time. I'd like to have my kids scheduled in some type of extracurricular activity during the week, if only for an hour two days a week, just so I can have time to catch up on some of my writing.

Does anyone have any ideas of where to look for activities in the middle of the day? I'm thinking maybe music or gymnastics or the like. The only problem is I know most places don't even start classes until later on in the day since most kids are in school. Am I out of luck?

Thanks so much in advance for any insights!

dbmamaz
07-18-2013, 09:27 AM
sometimes you can find coops or homeschool classes, but usually they either require a parent to be there, or are very short, or require a statement of faith to join, or cost a lot of money. Its worth asking around locally, but it might be easier to just hire a mothers helper

Teri
07-18-2013, 09:30 AM
Homeschooling won't take up much time for a kindergartener (we schooled about an hour a day).

Here, there are a TON of homeschool classes. My kids take ballet and piano during the day. In the past, they have had martial arts, swimming and the periodic classes at libraries and museums.
If a place doesn't list a homeschool class, ask if they would consider it. Parks and Rec departments are a great place to look. I will say that K can be a weird in between age. Sometimes, not old enough for elementary level classes, but too old for preschool classes. On the other hand, you might be able to find some 5-6 year old classes that are considered preschool, but entirely appropriate.

I didn't include co-op in my list because ours requires the parent to be present, but you could still have time to work, theoretically. Ours requires the parents to do two jobs....that might be assisting in a class and cleaning up after lunch. That leaves a long stretch of day, but there are a lot of other homeschool parents there and the moms and dads tend to enjoy the social outlet as much as the kids.

farrarwilliams
07-18-2013, 09:31 AM
There are several of us here who write...

Some possibilities...

There are homeschool classes midday if you live in a large enough area with enough homeschoolers. For us there are lots of possibilities, that's for sure. And with your kids being so young, there are often preschool classes in the middle of the day anyway. If you don't mind your K'er being the oldest in a gymnastics class or the like, then you may be able to just enroll them together in a Pre-K class.

You could institute a quiet time in the middle of the day. We used to do this when my kids were younger. I made them go to separate rooms and gave them books, puzzles, etc. They were not allowed to come out except for the bathroom. They could nap if they wanted to, but mostly they just played. And I got some peace and quiet.

You can readjust your schedule and write in the morning or in the evening.

You also might be able to organize a kid share or a babysitting or something with another homeschool mom. Trade weeks and give each other a break. Or something along those lines.

Paula
07-18-2013, 09:54 AM
We have a Gymstars nearby that hosts all kinds of classes, AND the building has free wi-fi for computer use (though the internet can sometimes be distracting for novel-writing!). The classes are usually an hour long, though they have "camps" that last much longer. If you have a Gymstars or a similar type of gymnasium nearby, I'd take a look there. Good luck!

enchantedlife
07-18-2013, 09:55 AM
Cara: Thanks for the suggestion! I've had babysitters in the past, and it really was the ideal situation for me. Sadly, since my daughter was born, I've only found 1 sitter who actually didn't do something outrageous that led to being fired. My last sitter was drinking on the job. I've been sitter-less since April and it hurts!

Teri: Just an hour? That's good to know! I'm doing the Connections Academy for our state, and they say to schedule in six hours a day. Of course, that's a sweeping statement they make for everyone from grades K-12, so that may be why. I wondered how he was supposed to focus for six hours (okay, and me, too...). :) Thanks for the suggestions! Some of the stuff you've mentioned is what I've been keeping an eye open for--library/museum programs and music, ballet, etc. They're doing classes right now, but it's in the evening, which isn't helpful to me. I write best midday.

Farra: Another writer! :) What do you write? I'd love to connect with other homeschooling writers. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one out there. I honestly wouldn't be able to do the trading weeks/babysitting thing because being alone with kids who aren't mine (and sometimes even mine) for any extended period of time drives me crazy, LOL. I LOVE the idea of quiet time. We do nap time right now in the afternoon, but I might just need to move their quiet time forward so it's during the part of the day when I write best. I've tried writing in the evenings and it just doesn't work for me. I'm too fried by then.

Thanks so much, everyone! I'm feeling so much better about my options already.

enchantedlife
07-18-2013, 09:55 AM
Just saw this, Paula. Wow, that sounds perfect! I'll have to do some Googling. :)

Teri
07-18-2013, 12:57 PM
Oh yeah....Connections will take way longer. That is public school, so you are under a different set of rules.

dragonfly
07-18-2013, 02:05 PM
Is there anything that they would really love--a toy, or video--that you could get for them with the caveat that it will only come out when you need some time for yourself?

When my son was about that age, I'd get several videos each week, which would usually give me a few hours of quiet time, especially if I set him up with some snacks and drinks. Again, something special, like juice pouches or popcorn, apple slices or crackers with peanut butter, or something he didn't often get. It would have been even easier if Netflix streaming had existed back then.

ThePanix
07-18-2013, 05:11 PM
I don't have any awesome advice. I just wanted say, wow, what a bummer about your babysitters! I've only had 2 and the first one was a dud. The one we have now is like a fairy godmother. But I understand if you've lost faith in them. :(

Most of my writer friends do their work in the middle of the night. I know, when do they sleep? Sigh.

At least most cities have week-long camps during the summers. But, yeah, during the school year, after-school programs tend to start after 2pm. You may just have to tweak your family's schedule in order to facilitate both your writing and their schooling. Good luck. :)

Stella M
07-18-2013, 06:02 PM
If you have a partner, I'd suggest doing a handover of the kids in the evening/on the weekend and using that time to write. In my experience it isn't hard to find writing time, it's hard to find the thinking time that comes before the writing time....

Avalon
07-19-2013, 12:27 AM
In our area, there are literally scads of daytime homeschool activities. Literally every single organization that offers after-school programs is usually thrilled to run an extra class during the day. It means they can still make money and get some use out of their space/equipment for more hours of the day. My kids have been in homeschool gymnastics, taekwondo, wall climbing, piano, voice, art, Lego class (Bricks 4 Kids), swimming, skiing, skating lessons, etc...

Usually, you have to be willing to organize things a bit, but we have several local internet forums, and I just post a message inviting people to join whatever I'm planning. I can usually round up a few extra kids so that the class will run. I'm not sure it equals "time alone to concentrate," though, since a lot of activities are parented.

jess
07-19-2013, 01:58 PM
What is the public school K schedule like? If there is half-day kindergarten, I would expect there to be before/after school care options available for those kids which you might be able to take advantage of.

CrazyCatWoman
07-20-2013, 12:01 AM
Even when we did K12 virtual academy, we didn't spend that much time - usually about 2.5 hours, up to about grade 5 (when you don't count breaks.)

Can your kids entertain themselves at the library? You may be able to get some work done while they listen to story time or look at books or play on the computer without you.

Check into after school programs, like Boys and Girls Club and others, and see if your kids can join the others for several hours.

Also, check with some homeschooling groups in your area and see if you can get a teen "mother's helper" who can play with and watch the kids while you work in another part of the house. I have a friend who is a counselor and works part time and has a homeschooling teen work with and play with her child when she needs to work. Seems to work very well.

And yes, time to entertain themselves is good. It is a good life skill to not rely on others to keep you happy. They may be old for naps, but you can find easy kits for arts and crafts and art that they can do with no or little involvement from you. If they come to you during the time being bored, give them a chore to do. Likewise, it could be chore time - sweeping up, raking the leaves, folding laundry, vacuuming, other things that are good for everyone to know how to do. Then when done, followed by quiet activity of their choice, Legos, art, reading, watching PBS videos, etc.

CrazyCatWoman
07-20-2013, 12:02 AM
Even when we did K12 virtual academy, we didn't spend that much time - usually about 2.5 hours, up to about grade 5 (when you don't count breaks.) Though they said we should spend 6 hours.

Can your kids entertain themselves at the library? You may be able to get some work done while they listen to story time or look at books or play on the computer without you.

Check into after school programs, like Boys and Girls Club and others, and see if your kids can join the others for several hours.

Also, check with some homeschooling groups in your area and see if you can get a teen "mother's helper" who can play with and watch the kids while you work in another part of the house. I have a friend who is a counselor and works part time and has a homeschooling teen work with and play with her child when she needs to work. Seems to work very well.

And yes, time to entertain themselves is good. It is a good life skill to not rely on others to keep you happy. They may be old for naps, but you can find easy kits for arts and crafts and art that they can do with no or little involvement from you. If they come to you during the time being bored, give them a chore to do. Likewise, it could be chore time - sweeping up, raking the leaves, folding laundry, vacuuming, other things that are good for everyone to know how to do. Then when done, followed by quiet activity of their choice, Legos, art, reading, watching PBS videos, etc.

murphs_mom
07-20-2013, 01:42 AM
We did many of the extracurriculars listed (ballet, swim lessons, PE w/other homeschoolers, etc.) and co-op...I never had any real 'me' time when doing those things. I tried many times to use that block of time to do studying for school, work on the pc, or get caught up with paperwork, but it didn't work so well because someone almost always wanted to chat. The parents around here tend to be clique-based and they'll talk to you just long enough to figure out what clique you should belong to. If it isn't theirs, they move on and they take their kid with them. Bottom line is that there always seemed to be someone hellbent on interrupting the little free time I had to focus on something unrelated to DD. In the end, I just did what I usually did to get work done: wait til everyone's asleep (listen...that's DH snoring next to me right now) to get things done in the wee hours of the day. But I've always been a night owl.

A friend who isn't such a night owl and needed to get work done on the day side (an artist/muralist) would often use a housekeeper/childcare guru a couple hours a day for a few days each week. The $ she made on commissions more than covered the cost of having someone come in to wash dishes and watch the kids for a couple of hours. She had to go through a few people before finding a good fit for their family. It's a bit like dating. :p

You could always check around for drop-in childcare. Our nearest is now 45min away, but there used to be one about 10min from here. It was next door to a gym; they existed mainly for the gym parents, but opened themselves up to the general public. If you've got something along those lines in your region, you could always drop the kids off for an hour or two while you just sit in a nice quiet car and work. The drop-in places are great for wearing your kids out, too. They get to run around like little loonies and fraternize with the other kids for a while. It's a kinda win-win.

Good luck with the writing!