View Full Version : OK now I know for sure I signed the kids up for waaaaaay too much

09-22-2011, 06:09 PM
Third week of homeschool and I see I bit off more than I could chew here. Each activity sounded good as I was considering it, and I was thinking DD could do a lot more as a homeschooler....but now I am beat! DS has preschool 2x per week and music class, DD has dance, gymnastics, soccer, girl scouts, plus the park days and field trips...we are on the go all the time! All those images in my mind of reading chapter books aloud as our muffins bake in the oven and going for leisurely nature walks have been replaced with yelling at the kids to get in the car so we can make it to yet another thing on time. Most of it is for DD, so then I have to entertain DS when we go to classes, so there's just no break.

I know we have to pare down. How many activities do your kids do? How do you shake the feeling that they will be missing out somehow if they don't get to try everything?

09-22-2011, 06:18 PM
My kids do Tae Kwon Do once or twice a week, and each one does a class in a private school/coop setting. That's it for us as far as outside organized activities go.

EDIT: I shake the fear that they'll miss out by reminding myself that if they're too busy to enjoy it, they'll miss out on it even if they're in it, and it will be a bad experience. Quality over quantity. Take time to smell the roses, as it were.

Stella M
09-22-2011, 07:10 PM
My girls do dance on Saturday.
Dd12 goes to youth group Friday evening
Dd14 goes to history class every second Thursday.
Ds goes to co-op once a fortnight.

As you can see, we're not heavy on the extra curriculars here :)

09-22-2011, 07:12 PM
My son has karate twice a week (within walking distance), both kids take swimming lessons (at the same time, so only one trip), my daughter has 4-H once or twice a month, and we go to a park day once a week when the weather is good. Everything except the park day is either late afternoon or on the weekend, so it leaves time for school work in the mornings.

09-22-2011, 07:30 PM
I find it helps to stack things on the same day. That way we get to do a little school early and be on the go all day, but then have other days that are really leisurely. Not that it always works out, just an ideal.

I also think some of our activities kind of are relaxing. For me, dropping the kids at co-op that I didn't have to plan and can run errands during then go back and spend the afternoon with my homeschool parent friends... Well, that's leisurely. Or, like, we had a big Not Back to School Picnic at the creek recently and that was lovely. I baked muffins, drove over there and spent the whole time just chilling, talking to people, watching the kids get muddy in the creek. It was great.

09-22-2011, 10:57 PM
There are MANY t-shirts that say 'why do they call it homeschooling when we are NEVER at home?!"

This year is a major amp-up for classes for us. Monday we have family martial arts, tuesday we have science coop (which is mom-taught w 3 families, not a drop off) AND Orion has choir in the afternoon (which is drop-off). Wed we have martail arts at noon and park day on nice afternoons. In feb park day will be replaced by dissection class for Orion, which WOULD be drop off except its a half hour away, so not worth driving home. THursday right now is Orion's band in the morning and sax lesson in the afternoon, but we will drop the lessons at the end of this month, since that seems duplicate. Fridays every other week we have a video games club, and this week we'll try a new board game group started by a newhomeschooling mom of an autistic middle schooler .. . might or might not become a regular thing.

I'm EXHAUSTED and we schedule TIGHTLY and we dont do more than the absolute basics, i think, academically

09-22-2011, 11:41 PM
dd does a HS gymnastics class once every 2 weeks. And we have signed up for activities from the Homeschool group we are part of. Book club meet, math club, all once a month on different weeks. Then there is yoga on Saturdays. And a field trip here and there. that's about it.

Last year we did ballet, and swimming for extracurriculars. This year we are penny pinching. have to cut down on things. As you can see, not much emphasis on extracurriculars this year. i think its ok. She'll still young, and can catch up on it. Not too worried.

09-23-2011, 12:44 AM
My kids are young (4 and 6), so we are "light" on extras too. We will be starting co-op classes at the end of October (basically all day Thursdays) and we are doing a family cooking and nutrition class on Thursday nights that runs for 12 weeks. That means all of our out of house activities are on one day!
I am asking for ballet lessons and some sort of sporting activity from family for Christmas, so hopefully we will have something fun and active to pull us out of the house when the really horrid weather is here and we are in full swing with "lessons" at home.

Stella M
09-23-2011, 01:20 AM
I forgot book club once a month.

09-23-2011, 02:47 AM
DS, who is about to be 4, has activities 4 weekdays a week I guess, and DD has them on 2-3, but they don't feel so busy to me.

He does co-op preschool 3 days a week, but it's only a few blocks away and DH drops him off on his way to work. So that gives me time to do more focused homeschool work with my 2nd grade DD. (I work in the preschool classroom once a month, and DD goes to the office with DH that day. I send her with a little review to do, but mostly it's a "take your daughter to work" kinda thing. She plays on the computer, she bugs DH, etc.) DS also does a gymnastics class once a week, and Religious Ed.

DD does homeschool supplement (Waldorf school) one day a week, Ballet, Chorus, and Religious Ed all once a week. She does Girl Scouts once a month.

I do schedule it kinda carefully though. Monday is Preschool; Tuesday is Waldorf supplement, DS Gymnastics while DD is at Waldorf, and Chorus after; Wednesday is Preschool and DDs ballet; Thursday is our open day; Friday is Preschool. RE is on Sunday. Tuesday is a crazy busy day, but Monday and Friday are fairly light, and Thursday is open for busy or not as needed. Today everyone was tired from new programs and such, so we spent 2.5 hours at the playground and read and watched TV. We have to track attendance days in our state, and I didn't count today for example.

09-23-2011, 08:03 AM
Thanks for your input, everyone. I think our schedule looks doable on paper but is too much in real life. Hopefully when soccer season is over everything will feel more manageable. Otherwise something else has to go.

09-23-2011, 08:07 AM
We went from almost nothing last year to more than I like this year. She does a program for ASD kids once a week, art class (3 x/mo), yoga class (weekly), therapy (weekly), piano lessons (weekly), scouts twice a month. It's a lot but doesn't sound overwhelming until you factor in the drive - for all but two of those things there's a 100 mile round trip. I try to double/triple up where I can.

Oh, and then there are the extras. Concerts, plays, science fairs, piano recitals, one day programs at the nature parks... This is what I get for complaining last year that she didn't get out and about enough! I figure after a few months I'll be able to see what she really likes and what works for us overall, and the rest we'll drop. That's the plan, anyway.

09-23-2011, 12:42 PM
My oldest is only doing tae kwon do right now. Mostly because he has four classes a week. That used to equate to four separate nights a week, but they have recently changed the schedule, which now allows him to do two classes in a row, twice a week. We're looking to add an instrument at School of Rock. I know that is all we can handle right now, and I'm not sure what we are going to do when it comes time that D will want to participate in activities, too.

09-23-2011, 01:36 PM
Hi, Laina. Maybe you could have her choose the two most appealing activities to her? Three sports does sound like a lot. Instead of doing all three sports now, can any of them be done in the Spring? Here, we have soccer offered in the Spring and Fall. Or dance class in the Winter? Just a thought. My dd takes horseback riding lessons 2x a month, swimming lessons once a week and Brownies starts up next month which meets weekly. Idk, I know what you mean about wanting to take advantage of opportunities. I just found out that the local college is offering a Chinese class for 1-3 grade for 6 weeks. I really want to sign dd up but I think it might be too much. Another idea that just popped into my head, is maybe trying to balance the extracurriculars. Instead of three sports pick one and then a more social activity like scouts and then maybe an art class, for example. Maybe your ds could do the art class with her to give you a break. :) Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

09-26-2011, 02:29 PM
DD has fencing three times a week, but as it takes us nearly 2 hours each way to drive there, and she spends two hours per class...it sucks up a lot of time. Ugh.

She has a standing Friday morning tennis date with a homeschooled pal.

The other afternoons and empty weekend hours I try to save so she can have playdates with her buddies from PS.

09-26-2011, 11:21 PM
All those images in my mind of reading chapter books aloud as our muffins bake in the oven and going for leisurely nature walks have been replaced with yelling at the kids to get in the car so we can make it to yet another thing on time. Most of it is for DD, so then I have to entertain DS when we go to classes, so there's just no break.

Wow, so true. For a small town, there sure are a lot of activities here. In wanting the kids to have lots of social interaction, we've signed them up for several things and are considering more. We are also planning to add Spanish, aikido, and music lessons in the next few weeks. What are we thinking?!

DD is the busiest: dance, chorus, art, gym, 4H, reading tutor, and art/music co-op (DS does two of these).

I am trying to be the voice of reason. They don't need to do everything right now. And I do want some of that down time where the kids can explore their own things. Today was quiet, and while DD rearranged her room (i.e. destroyed), DS played with Legos. We had time this evening to draw at the kitchen table. Finding a balance that everyone likes is difficult, and, I assume, a never-ending process.

Good luck!

09-27-2011, 08:44 AM
We limit sports to one each season: summer=swimming, fall=soccer, winter=hockey (we might add in cross country ski club, ahem), spring=lacrosse. We are really active together as a family, but those are official lessons. He's free to play whatever he wants, but he has to make the choice for one (hockey or basketball?).

Co-op is twice a week: once for lessons and once as field trips.

Lego club is totally optional and only once a month.

Somehow we have to fit in guitar lessons, but we'll wait until we've caught our breath a bit more. Hockey this year is only on the weekends, so our weekday afternoons are technically open. Although, we are on the go *all* the time as we explore our new home.

I definitely don't worry he's missing out on anything. Cramming too much stuff in to every day isn't healthy for anyone, and we do like our home life in addition to social time. We say no to a lot of potential activities, but it's worth it for the life balance.