Extracurricular Homeschool Activities

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Two additional homeschooling questions have been asked of me recently. Although these are, like most homeschooling issues, topics that are well reviewed on various web sites, I agreed to post my experiences and thoughts on the questions. I’ll do one today and the other tomorrow.

The first question is usually a variation of, “how do your children keep busy if they really do twice the amount of school work in half the time that they would if the were in a conventional school” Or, “how do you find activities for them to be involved in if they are not in school“? This one I will cover today. The second question is why do many older children go to public high school if homeschooling proved so beneficial through 8th grade? This I will explain tomorrow.

How did our children keep busy? Well, one of the big benefits of homeschooling is having the time to provide opportunities in areas sometimes not offered in public schools. In our case, we have seen the tremendous cognitive benefits that an early involvement in music provides. Involve your child in music from a very early age and they will do better in all academic subjects than they otherwise would have. Some scientific evidence now shows that music actually encourages the brain to physically function differently. Particularly with our youngest, who has never attended public school, we have had the flexibility to allow her to participate in all types of music from an early age.

She also takes part in activities like a drama class with other home schooled children and soccer and basketball teams. Because of the flexibility and efficiency of home schooling, some of these activities are able to meet during the early afternoon hours so as to not interfere with the after public school activities like sports. When it comes to activities like sports, out children joined the same teams and leagues as their public school friends. Our district rules allow homeschooled children to participate in any school district activity they are interested in. So they have played on the school sports teams and been in the various school bands.

Rather than having to work harder to find activities for them to be involved in, they have had to be careful to not get over-scheduled with all the various things they love to do. Our 12 y.o. right now is involved in so many different activities and sports that her commitments are beginning to claim overlapping spots on her schedule. Eventually things will have to be narrowed down and choices made as to which ones she wants to continue with. Because of the extra space homeschooling provides in her schedule, she has been able to keep busy with all of her chosen activities past the point at which many of her middle school friends have had to give some things up. Lucky girl!

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Will Sig
1 Keith

I often regret not having, or more realistically, making time to home-school my kids. I know that they would both be better at scholastics if they had been learning from someone who was really intent on making sure they got it. I know that most public school teachers care about their students and their accomplishments, but not the way a dedicated parent cares.

I had no idea about the music connection. It makes sense though. Hopefully, I will be more available for any grandchildren. Fingers crossed!

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