Whenever I hear people worry about homeschoolers’ “socialization”, I laugh to myself. The simple fact is that for most homeschoolers, there are many, many good activities to choose from. For our family, there are too many good options to choose from.
This semester we overcommitted ourselves with plenty of “good” activities—not one, but TWO co-ops, 4-H archery, 4-H civics, 4-H photography, PE, and choir.
Bookworm studied for the History Bee, qualified for the regionals, competed in the regionals and advanced to the National History Bee in June, so there’s also been lots and lots of history studying going on.
I’m teaching two classes at one co-op and one class at the other one. I’m also on the board of one of them.
Oh, and I work from home 10 to 15 hours a week.
Saying “Yes” Also Means Saying “No”
I’ve learned the hard way this semester that when you say “Yes,” to an opportunity, you inadvertently say “No” to other opportunities.
What have we inadvertently said “No” to?
- Time to relax as a family
- Our own schoolwork (I’m only able to get in about 3 days of school a week right now. We school through the summer, so the kids aren’t behind, but not being able to homeschool as much as I want to is driving me crazy!
- Our own choice of schoolwork (We’ve had to shelve some of our own curriculum choices to use the co-ops’ choices.)
- Time to enter contests. (Bookworm loves contests. This year, he placed 3rd in the local geography bee, 3rd in a national writing contest, and 2nd in the regional history bee. However, this semester, he had to say no to a history essay contest he really wanted to participate in because we just didn’t have time.)
- Time to read for fun, enjoyment, and relaxation
- Time to sew
- Time to spend quality time with my husband
- Time to clean as well as I would like
The list goes on and on.
Because I said “yes” to so many GOOD things, I also said “no” to many other GOOD things.
Choosing What You Want As a Family
Homeschoolers sometimes feel pressured to take advantage of every good opportunity out there.
Instead, as a family, decide what your goals and aspirations are. We’ve decided as a family to let some of the good things go. We will likely only do one co-op next fall. Bookworm will stay in his three 4-H activities, and the girls will continue with choir. We won’t take on any extra beyond that.
In addition, when deciding what to cut, look at each family members’ personality. Bookworm, Cuddle Bug and I all need time at home to unwind and relax. If we don’t get that, we get irritable and depressed. PB & J Girl, though, loves being out and about. Too much time at home is boring to her.
The way we’re narrowing down our outside schedule for next semester will be beneficial for all of us. The three introverts of the family will have time at home, and PB & J Girl will still be able to go out and about.
Remember, as a homeschooler, there will be plenty of GOOD opportunities. Just be careful to pick the ones that are BEST for your family, not simply GOOD.
This post is part of the TOS Crew Review’s 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents. Click below to read more from other bloggers with a variety of situations and experiences:
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through the Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Rebekah @ There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Renita @ Krazy Kuehner Days
Sarah @ Renaissance Mama
Sasha @ Such a Time as This
Tawnee @ Adventures in Homeschooling
Tiffany @ The Crafty Home
Tina @ Desperate Homeschoolers