Does adding other activities to a homeschool day seem impossible? To add other activities to your homeschool day is actually not hard at all today. All of us want to join in other homeschool activities simply because it is fun. Field Trips, CoOps, Music Choirs, Play Day and so many more all give the kiddos some fun and much needed fellowship. However, we sometimes feel like we just do not have time for those activities. So how do we add those in to an already busy academic schedule?
It really all boils down to scheduling. We have to plan for those. I used to begin planning for the new school year right after New Year’s day. In January, I would buckle down and start working on my next year’s plan. First I would print a calendar with the entire year on it. Like this one.
On this calendar I would begin with figuring out my school year start and end and then I would schedule my school days.
Next I would figure out what activities other than academics each child would really like to participate in and what activities we felt as parents we wanted them to participate in to further their education. Examples would be music lessons, 4 H activities, civil air patrol, sports, sewing, etc. Once I figured out our desires and had them written on paper then I would evaluate what was realistic with their age and grade and academic responsibilities. In other words, how can I fit it in to my schedule. How often would music lessons be? Most music teachers want you there weekly but for us that was not feasible so we chose to do every other week for piano lessons, guitar lessons, harp lessons, trumpet lessons and flute lessons.
Our oldest had classical guitar lessons. To start, we actually checked with the local college and found a graduate student who we interviewed to come to our home to teach those lessons. That worked great because we didn’t have to leave the house. Therefore, I could still work with the other children on academics.
For other activities, I would find out how often they met. Our 4 H has a main group that meets once a month then there are clubs that meet once a month as well for my children to choose. The main group was a 1 pm time in the afternoon where the clubs met up in the evening time (so my husband or another family member may be able to help me get the children there). Sports were usually seasonal and we did sports within the community.
Planning out those extra activities doesn’t have to be challenging. The challenges are getting involved with those groups or activities planned by those who fly by the seat of their pants and don’t plan until the last minute. When they contact you and expect you to adjust your schedule to go to that event. While that is ok once in a while that is not really ok as a general rule. It messes with your academics and your fun time. I quickly learned to guard my schedule.
Here is a tip. Connect with 2 or 3 other like minded families and plan your field trips and such. We don’t have to depend on a large group to do all our outside activities. We enjoyed once a month trips to our local nursing and assisted living homes to minister in song, reading, recitation etc. Our family did this with just 2 other families to make our group manageable. We had 9 children between us plus moms made a nice size group. Then we would go out to eat afterwards. Sometimes we might go to a playground or other venue so our children could fellowship.
Academics are very important! The key to adding other activities to a homeschool day is to have a plan. It also helps tremendously to have a curriculum that is well planned out. Having the lesson plans and even video classes to help you present the lessons is very helpful. This saved me so much time so that I could plan for those extra activities. We chose BJU Press Homeschool Distance Learning for our homeschool.
If you plan for the extra activities then you will have more time in your day and you will have a more successful school year.
Do you plan for extra activities when you are planning your academics?