Avoid Extra Burdens with Extra-Curricular (5 Tips)
So many options, so little time, and a limited budget! How should a family go about deciding where to invest their limited time, money, and energy when it comes to extra-curricular activities?
Talk to any team sports coach and they will be able to list off all the reasons why team sports are the investment you should make. The martial arts master, the dance teacher, the swim coach, the outdoor enthusiast, the theatre director, and the music teacher will also have an equally convincing list. Over the years, our family has been involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities and there have been times when we’ve regretted our decisions and there have been investments into activities from which we continue to benefit.
Sometimes we parent with a bit of a default setting; without much thought, we sign our children up for activities we were involved in or what our friend group is involved in. Instead, we need to be purposeful.
Five Things to Consider
Ask the Lord for direction as you consider extra-curricular activities for your children. They may not be interested in the same things you are. He knows them and He knows their future so spend time asking Him to guide you.
Consider your finances and be creative.
On more than one occasion we were able to barter with instructors for discounted rates; it doesn’t hurt to ask. Extra-curricular activities should not become a financial burden so avoid any mindset that might cause you to take on more than you can comfortably afford. Comparing what your family is able to take on compared to another is a fruitless exercise and that goes for more than just finances. Not all families are set up to take on high levels of time or energy commitments.
Discuss what you value when it comes to extra-curricular activities.
What are you really looking for? You might find that you can cross a few options off your list once you are clear about your values and maybe there is a better way to get what you are looking for.
Do your research!
You need to know how an activity will affect things like church attendance, family mealtime, and your weekends. Be mindful of the effect certain activities will have on family time.
Don’t fall prey to the pressure to start too young.
You won’t regret keeping life simple during the early years. There are so many things you can do as a family that will help prepare your children for any future activities so go skating, head to the pool, and buy some rhythm instruments.
If you are interested in introducing your children to the study of music take a look at the resources below.
by Adrianne Curwen
Adrianne is a wife to a public-school educator/administrator and a homeschooling Mama to seven children, ranging in age from 8 to 24 and in 2021 the family added a son-in-law to the bunch. She believes that we have a unique opportunity as homeschoolers to design individualized education that suits giftings, interests, and passions. She and her husband have used a blend of registered homeschooling, enrolment with independent DL schools, and participation in public trade school programs to design individualized programs for their children. She is passionate about using as many read-alouds, picture books, novels, and conversations to educate her children but also gets excited by the amazing homeschool-designed curriculum that’s out there. Adrianne is thrilled by her new role as Communication Specialist for Classical Education Books and is grateful to have an opportunity to learn something new. She is grateful, every day, for her saviour, Jesus Christ, and has no greater joy than when she sees her most important missions field walk with Him.