View Full Version : Useless Extras?

09-17-2013, 07:44 AM
Soooo. A lady in my homeschooling group is organizing sailing lessons.

I don't own a boat.

I probably won't ever own a boat, and if I do it will probably not be a sail boat.

DH thinks its a waste of money because the skills aren't applicable in real life. I think it would be a neat experience for her, to learn how to sail a boat.


09-17-2013, 08:14 AM
Ha. I'm actually hoping to sign up at least one kid for sailing lessons this year, Gummers.

Like you said, we don't own a boat. Will likely never own a boat, as dh doesn't even swim.

Still, I think it would involve learning some cool stuff. Also, it's another opportunity for ds to meet kids close to his age maybe, and the lessons are so close we can walk.

09-17-2013, 08:30 AM
Sailing lessons sound super cool...they could be useful in the years to come. Who knows what the future holds, she may have to negotiate a major deal on a sailboat!!

09-17-2013, 08:36 AM
My grandfather had sailboats the whole time I was growing up and while he never formally taught me how to sail, there is something to be said for the experience of just being out on the water in a quiet vessel. I think it would be worth your time. Some of my fondest memories are being on his boats.

09-17-2013, 09:30 AM
I think it would be a great thing to learn! If we only learned the things we had on hand, we would all be pretty dull.
I bet there are opportunities out there where you wouldn't need a boat. My son did the scout sailing merit badge and loved it.

09-17-2013, 10:37 AM
Knots! You can always use knots. Self confidence, and a life experience, where is the waste in that?

DS19 did a week on the Endeavour here in West Aussie, we don't own a tall ship but what an experience! Money well spent!

09-17-2013, 10:41 AM
My kids are dying for sailing lessons ever since we started reading the Swallows and Amazons books. The Boys and Girls Club in our town has inexpensive lessons in the summer that they want to try next summer, provided they bone up on their swimming skills to pass the 75-yard swim test.

09-17-2013, 10:47 AM
I think it's a cool idea! Not everything we do has to have practical, real-world applications. But I'm always surprised at the practical, real-world applications my daughter pulls from things when I don't expect it.

09-17-2013, 12:17 PM
I think sailing is a very valuable skill to have, heck, even just in terms of confidence building and even if she never sails a boat again. She'll know that she can, and that is a great thing.

09-17-2013, 12:38 PM
One of the things I've enjoyed most about homeschooling is the opportunity for kids to try out a lot of different activities. You can't do everything, but if it is affordable and looks like a fun activity why not. Really most of what our kids do (soccer, piano, archery, gymnastics, etc.) isn't something they will do for "real life" as an adult. One thing I've really seen over the years is there is a pretty big carry over between extracurricular activities and academics. Some of the same skills of hard work, persistence, willingness to make a mistakes, etc. that are needed for success in sports or music are the exact same ones that are needed to do well in college or work.

09-17-2013, 02:01 PM
:_lol: This is just really funny to me. I'm probably with you dh and wouldn't bother. But if the kids were keen on it, okay, sure. I mean, all experiences are good experiences on some level.

We actually know an awesome family that left us all to go live on a sailboat. They keep a blog, and honestly, it sounds like an excellent life. And their kids are super cool.

09-17-2013, 02:14 PM
DO it! My brother lives in San Franscisco and takes sailing lessons. He will never own a sailboat, but there are lots for rent. It is so much fun to visit him and go out in the Bay!

There are so many things to be learned by sailing - sense of direction, learning about wind/sails (geometry!), knots, self confidence, responsibility... think how much more relevant history lessons about people sailing across the sea will be to someone who has actually *sailed a boat*

09-17-2013, 02:32 PM
I vote yes too! Stuff like that is part of why we hs right!

09-17-2013, 04:23 PM
:_lol: This is just really funny to me. I'm probably with you dh and wouldn't bother. But if the kids were keen on it, okay, sure. I mean, all experiences are good experiences on some level.

We actually know an awesome family that left us all to go live on a sailboat. They keep a blog, and honestly, it sounds like an excellent life. And their kids are super cool.

Dunno if they are keen, I haven't asked them and they've never asked.
Only the older one could do it.

I think maybe its just me who thinks it sounds exciting. Maybe DH is just jealous because he can't be on the boat!

09-17-2013, 06:06 PM
That sounds like fun! I'd do it!

10-01-2013, 10:14 AM
I'd say if your oldest is into the idea, then go for it. You can learn a lot from sailing, as many have already mentioned...knots, boating safety, new vocabulary, weather patterns, wind vectors, etc. But aside from all of that it's just plain fun! You may spark a new interest that your family can enjoy together someday. You don't need to own a boat to sail. I lived in St. Maarten for a couple of years and was amazed by the number of people who crewed on other people's boats for fun.

10-01-2013, 03:47 PM
My husband and I used to sail quite a lot. The things I liked about it were a) the feeling of freedom b) the sense of teamwork - trusting and relying on your crewmates and c) that when you are out there on the water it comes down to your (or your captain's/instructor's) skill and knowledge. Also, you can't just quit and go home, you have to get through to the end, which I think can be a useful life lesson.


10-01-2013, 06:30 PM
I'm in the minority but would definitely skip it unless my kid was literally begging to do it. There are lots of other interesting classes and activities around here. I would only do it if I lived in an area where there weren't a lot of other options for homeschoolers and kids in general like a small town.

10-01-2013, 07:31 PM
I'd do it and I would encourage my kids to do it, assuming it was affordable and logistically possible. Homeschooling is all about trying new things, and you never know what might spark a new passion.

10-02-2013, 01:39 AM
I didn't end up putting her in, as the organizer changed it from a once weekly class to an intense 2 day, 16 hour sailing extravaganza. It wasn't meant to be I guess.

10-07-2013, 09:15 PM
We have no sailing experience and obviously no boat, yet our oldest wanted lessons in the worst way. When a local sailing center offered classes for homeschoolers we jumped at it. Turned out the instructors were secular homeschoolers. Perfect fit for our daughter and family.

Our quiet, shy, introverted daughter competed in her first regatta last November and was so impressive. By impressive, I don't mean she won...not at all. She hung in there. The weather was horrible - cold, windy. And we didn't have the cash for the appropriate clothing, but that kid was unbelievable. She gained confidence, independence, strength, determination....she had to rely on her own resources out in the middle of that rough ocean. We couldn't have been more proud. And you know what, she was proud of her herself.

Go for it!

10-08-2013, 07:50 PM
DO it! The fact that it doesn't pertain to your daily life is even more reason.

10-08-2013, 08:06 PM
I wouldn't fret over the loss. For myself it would've depended on the cost and particulars. Depending on the kids ages, 2days and 16hrs sounds pretty darn intense! I learned the basics of sailing and it is a lot of fun -- a lot of science and logic involved, plus fun. It was free, though and I was a teen. :D

02-18-2014, 11:30 PM
Im'ma try it once kinda girl! It's probably why my bucket list is short LOL I think it is a great thing to expose your kids to as much as possible when possible. I come from a poor family and could never do these types of things when I was a kid. But now, I will be able to offer these experiences to my Daughter. I say GO FOR IT! :-)

02-20-2014, 06:12 PM
I did a sailing class with my homeschool co-op in highschool. It was pretty awesome. Learned a lot about teamwork, there was a lot of self discipline (cause you have to do all the maintenance). It was a good memory from HS HS

02-20-2014, 11:14 PM
My kids have all sorts of experiences that could be considered "useless"extras. We had an opportunity to sign up for a circus skills class (LOVED it!), a circle paper folding class (very math oriented), fencing classes, fencing, etc. While the classes could totally be considered "useless" they got a lot out of them, and more than anything it was a great jumping off point for other things.

Even if you don't own a boat, and never plan on owning a boat maybe your child will find their passion on the water, and THEY will want a boat. How do you know what you like or don't like until you try something? I think allowing kids various experiences if you can swing it is a valuable in helping open their world to things that may develop into passions.