Category Archives: parenting

Family Time vs Extracurricular Activities

A quote fromĀ John Rosemond:

When your children grow up, their most valuable childhood time will have been spent within the family unit. Soccer, dance and piano lessons won’t count for much, if anything, when they become adults. No matter how good your kids are at these extracurricular pursuits, the chances of them earning a living at soccer, etc., is miniscule.

The more a family’s time is taken up with extracurricular activities, the more the “classroom of the family” shrinks, and the more stress the family must absorb. It is within the classroom of the family that character lessons are taught and learned. A soccer coach can’t teach those sorts of things; he or she can only reinforce them.

The problem is not with any one activity, but with the spate of them (and I consider more than one activity per child at any given time a “spate”). A family is people growing together, not people running around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to meet deadlines and fulfill obligations, most of which are arbitrary. Do you want your children to grow up remembering relaxed family evenings, or do you want them remembering that almost every evening was a “hurry up, we gotta go!” occasion?

An easy choice, I’d say.

Consider Changing an Age-Old Question

As a worker, it is definitely helpful to understand “what” doing the work is achieving and “why” you’re choosing to do it.
The following quote I thought was useful as it is reconsidering about the age-old question, “what do you want to be when you grow-up?”

Jaime Casap, Google Global Education Evangelist:

Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up but what problems do they want to solve. This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for, to what do I need to learn to be able to do that.

Asking to go to public school

Below are some helpful quotes I’ve heard on this:

My kids asked me this periodically over the years, especially when they were younger and so many of their peers from church were going to public school. Admittedly, there is a natural curiosity, an intrigue about public school since our homeschoolers have no point of reference to compare their situation vs. public school. As my kids grew older, there were still some things they wished they could participate in at public school: band, choir, sports, drama, etc. But, by high school age, they were all thankful that they were homeschooled despite occasionally missing the opportunity to participate in the activities I mentioned. They saw their “church” friends struggling with temptations with drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, and peer pressure, etc . They saw their friends have trouble respecting their parents and others in authority. Once my oldest kids got to college, they called me grateful…thanking us for choosing to homeschool them. They realized that, while they were not perfect, the homeschooling lifestyle had nurtured their spiritual dependence on God, had strengthened their character, and had definitely prepared them for college life academically. With all that said, my youngest FREQUENTLY asks when he can go to public school, and I simply remind him that his daddy and I have made the choice to homeschool him because we believe that is what is best for our family right now and best for him as he grows in the Lord. He doesn’t always accept this gratefully (sometimes he pouts and gets angry!), but I have confidence that as he grows, he, too, will learn to be happy with our homeschooling lifestyle and see the many benefits.

My 5 yr old has only asked this once. I mentioned all the fun things we get to do in homeschool that he wouldn’t be able to do in public school: have school in his pjs, help Mommy bake in the kitchen as part of school, go to library storytime, play games, visit friends, etc. He thought about it for a second and then said, “I like homeschool better.” Turns out he just wanted to ride a bus! Guess what we did soon after that? Found a way to ride a bus!

Mine did that a few times too. I think it is natural for people to have “herd mentality.” When I went through it, we just decided to sit and watch the news one night. All of the stories about teachers hitting kids, kids shooting others, school bus accidents, and more in one news cast changed their minds!

When my son asked, we talked about why he wanted to go. He really wasn’t sure. We discussed what public school entails- having to get up early and be ready to go at a certain time, being away from Mami, Papi, and little brothers for 8 hours a day, being at school on Papi’s day off (hubby’s day off is Monday), sitting at a desk for long periods, having to learn exactly what’s scheduled, etc. Then we discussed homeschooling: zoo, science museum, tons of outside play, interest led learning, games, story time, cooking as part of school, etc. We also discussed that one reason we chose to homeschool is because we want them to be with us and learn about God all the time, which they wouldn’t be doing in public school.
Sometimes he still mentions it, but overall he’s a happy six year old to be learning at home with his family!