Thoughts? Have you ever had your kids do no (as in zero) extra-curricular activities? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 11-27-2012, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there,

We have had such a crazy-busy 2012 along with a death in the family and the discovery that three of us have Celiac.  Given all this, I'm toying with the idea of "nesting" big time in 2013 and just opting out of all the extra-curricular things we do (ballet, karate, art, etc.).  I'm thinking of anything from taking January off to just not enrolling the kids in anything until March/April timeframe. 


I'm wondering if anyone else has "taken time off" of all the "extras" and how their experience was.  How was it for you?  How was it for the kids?  Any suggestions?



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#2 of 13 Old 11-27-2012, 01:30 PM
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No, but that's because most of our extra-curriculars are not really "extra-curricular." They're the spine of our homeschooling, and a long-term commitment that spans years and affects others. I'm speaking here primarily of music. Up to 80% of my kids' "homeschooling time" (however you'd define that) has been devoted to music. They sing in auditioned choirs, play in orchestras, in quartets and ensembles where they'd be letting others down by bailing. Their private teachers expect a year-long commitment because they can't fill their schedule and income with another student for just the months between October and January or whatever. And my kids needed the consistent structure of outside classes and lessons to maintain their learning and their motivation. Being a musician is part of their identity, and to not be part of the musical community they've built around themselves would be heartbreaking for them, and for others.


This all obviously depends on the nature of your extra-curricular activities. If they're not things that are at the centre of your children's identities, if they're not integral to their homeschooling, if they're term-by-term registrations, if their teachers and fellow participants aren't depending on their ongoing commitment, if your kids' social needs will be well met through other means, then I wouldn't hesitate to do what you propose. I've done lots of pulling back in the past -- when my youngest was born, when my dad was slowly dying. We didn't give up the music, but we stopped everything else, including any structured homeschooling we were doing, and it was wonderful for all of us.



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#3 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 08:26 AM
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We don't do extras that require us to go to ongoing outside lessons or classes. That kind of activity level has never been a part of our homeschooling. Dd is not interested in pursuing music, sport or art at a high level.


We are very stress free and have a very flexible schedule because we do not have ongoing outside commitments. Dd is the type of kid who likes a lot of free time so it suits her.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#4 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

We don't do extras that require us to go to ongoing outside lessons or classes. That kind of activity level has never been a part of our homeschooling. Dd is not interested in pursuing music, sport or art at a high level.

Same here. Ds would be happy if he could get together with friends a couple of times a week. 

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#5 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 03:35 PM
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Taking 3-4 months is no biggie at all. I think its a great idea to just nest, sounds like you and your kids need to time "off" anyway. When spring rolls around, you may all be ready to get out and be rejuvenated!

Proud Mama to Abigail Noelle and Brady Phoenix (August 29, 2009) and Claire Zoe (October 26, 2010)  love.gif
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#6 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 07:17 PM
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Learning to live with Celiac...and for 3 of you, is a huge change in your life! I say it's a really good idea to take a break and turn inward...winter is the right season to do it! Looks like you definitely need it.

SAHM to a spirited 4 yo girl and an intense 2 yo boy. #3 to enter the world in June.I'm waldorf dollmaker.

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#7 of 13 Old 11-30-2012, 12:53 PM
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I always dream of doing this! My oldest really loves his classes though and for him, the more the merrier. Pus, my Dh wants to support their interests and loves that they ask to take art, sports, science, Spanish, music lessons and classes.

It's tough to balance it all- I feel happiest when we have absolutely no where to go for the day. We relax and work on our projects together in the morning, read aloud after lunch, rest during quiet time, and I catch up on laundry and making dinner while they play with neighborhood friends in the afternoon.
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#8 of 13 Old 11-30-2012, 02:45 PM
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DS didn't do any 'classes' until he was almost 10 yrs old.  The thing I love about HS is I can tweak the schedule to fit our needs.  I also 'think' I am having gluten issues and am learning to make some food accommodations this coming year.  (What is it with gluten and celiac and everyone I've spoken to??).


I see nothing wrong with taking time off to regroup and figure out what your family needs.

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Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

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#9 of 13 Old 11-30-2012, 05:23 PM
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We did that once.  It was really nice and needed at the time.  It wouldn't be so feasible now, dd1s dance team is nearly year 'round and it is important to her.



Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (12), Maya (8). 
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#10 of 13 Old 11-30-2012, 07:55 PM
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If you were lodging in a European villa till March it would be the same way wink1.gif. honestly, I feel a need to tell you to fill half there time with a routine where they once had. And they can leap off in March to other time. I think the routine can be lost and it may be very good or just hard to pull it back in order. I also think you need some time to yourself. Something needs to help you get it together and have that time protected, and then you can be healthy and ready to go. I love what you are doing because I am the type of mom that puts down "jumping in puddles, singing in the rain and April showers" as a holiday in April. That type of life is for me! I see the classes as important, but I also think a break puts everything into prospective - I mean, even the classes and the passions that might have needed new doors (time) to open.

Leslie, organic semi-unschooling mama teaching my children 5 and 2.75, that love & happiness is most important. Letting their light shine, finding out they are teaching me. Love being in the moment & nature.

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#11 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 07:07 AM
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In the winter we tend to stay home so much more -- it's a quiet period for us. Lots of fires in the fireplace, reading, baking and making warm soups...naturally I think our bodies want to relax and enjoy the cold time. We do have the weekly rhythm of chores outside the home (food shopping or the market for whatever) but sometimes the kids even stay home for that if they can. We have a weekly playdate and I keep activities to a minimum. BUT - we also don't take too many classes that aren't on a come as you want basis anyway. Each month I sit and look up with the nature centers/farms are offering and pick something if I think it'll be amazing. 


The only steady thing is horseback riding and I can't give that up in the winter even if it's fa-reezing. 


This sounds like the perfect time to center your family around the home and I would enjoy the HECK out of it! Winter is FOR resting 

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#12 of 13 Old 12-04-2012, 05:08 AM
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Our family took 2nd semester last year off.  After Christmas we didn't do any outside classes.  It was the best thing ever and even this school year we have minimal classes.

: :Mama to 4 girls and Michael is here 9/11/09 We love :::
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#13 of 13 Old 12-04-2012, 06:42 PM
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We have done it in the past & we always feel regenerated after. Set back & relax!
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