Saturday, February 16, 2008

I've Overdone It

Tuesday and Thursday, Maya and Isaac take karate. Wednesday night is AWANAs. Thursday, Elena and Chloe take ballet. Friday is our homeschool co-op day. Whew!

Preparing to go to AWANAs. It was "What do you want to be when you grow up?" night. The girls want to be mommies, thus the baby slings. Isaac wants to be a daddy, thus the tie. (Even if it is a Snoopy tie.) They look forward to Wednesday all week. They just love it and they're learning a ton of scripture. This will be the last activity to go.

There is an adage among homeschoolers: The best way to have a stress-free homeschool is to stay at home. Imagine that! And it's so true. The more we run around from activity to activity, the more stressful homeschooling (read: mom) becomes.
I love watching Elena and Chloe in ballet class, and I know that Maya and Isaac love their karate class. Nevertheless, I won't be taking on this much again for a good long while. I've learned my lesson.

Moms, tell me: what are your secrets for not over-committing yourselves?

15 comments:

The Herd said...

I thought it was good idea for one or two kids to have one sport a season and rotate through the kids. I can't say anyone over here agrees with me. We have Katie and Melissa in piano(teacher does come to us) and Mark in soccer. That's all I can manage right now:). I can't wait to hear other mom's thoughts.
I can't imagine how moms of schoolers feel b/c they don't seem have very much down time with their kids, if the get over involved. It does get stressfull!

Jeff said...

Moms, tell me: what are your secrets for not over-committing yourselves?

I am not a mom, but I will answer anyway...

Do not do any extracurricular activities and you won't have to worry about over-committing yourself. :)

You have to draw the line somewhere - you might as well draw it at the beginning! ;)

TeamBettendorf said...

What long term goal do you have for karate and dance? olympics?

MommaofMany said...

We did soccer ONCE for one child and that experience taught us not to ever do something like that again. The only activity we commit to is church on Sunday morning.

Pedro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ginger said...

(Ooops, I posted as Pedro. When'd he sign on my computer??)

There's no long term goal for ballet. They just love it and I enjoy watching them do something they're so passionate about. A good friend of mine has her daughters in ballet because she aspires to Ballet Magnificat (ministry) for them. I don't see that happening. I don't want them to do toe dancing, I know that, and they won't get far w/o it.
Karate, on the other hand, serves a purpose. I do want my kids to learn to defend/protect themselves in case they ever need it. And I love the couple who's teaching it - they have a heavy focus on character-building.
No extracurriculars isn't going to happen. I do enjoy it, but I signed on for too much this go round.

Amber said...

I'll be the first to say that Hannah is over-scheduled. But Paul likes it that way for now.

Hannah has 2 ballet classes a week, but we can walk there in good weather (one of the reasons I picked that ballet school). After class we have started helping the teacher clean up. This is my favorite part because it gives Hannah one more chance to serve and to "be a blessing" to her community. The teacher thanks her tons and tells her how happy Hannah's help has made her. Love that teacher!

On Saturdays Hannah has ice skating lessons. Paul likes this because it gets us up and out of the house and really makes it a special day for Daddy and daughter. Also, MOST (probably 85%) of the other families there are Asian, mostly Chinese (like Hannah) and we've made good friends with one family in particular who Hannah just adores.

Swim lessons are important because we have a pool. Also, Hannah is seriously FAST in the water. We are preparing her to join the swim team at the YMCA if she wants to. This will be a good sport for her because of her Nystagmus. The Y is 1 mile from our house BTW. At swim lessons we have made friends with another Chinese family. Hannah loves that. I've also had a couple of chances to minister to other young moms!

How to avoid over commitment? Well, at this point I try to limit the distance of our activities. Awanas for next year will probably be closer to our house (Sorry G). I also try to stack things up on the same day to have the other days free.

I also keep educational CDs going in the van so that Hannah and I are always learning something when we're running around. I will be getting a DVD player in the van to do MUS (and other edu stuff too) on the go.

Ginger said...

You bring up a very good point, Amber. The places go to currently are not close-by. Well, karate and AWANAs are, but the other two aren't. Kyle and I just had a very long talk about it, and I think some big changes are in store for our little Clarks. It's amazing how it kinda just snuck up on us. Those two want to this, and those two want to do that, and they all enjoy this. . .hey, wait a minute, how'd I get signed up for so much stuff??
I've been duped by the Suburban Mommy syndrome. DRAT!

Lisa said...

The way to not get yourself in this situation? Just Say NO!! Easier said than done though.

When my kids were in parochial school they were in EVERYTHING!! Sometimes whether the school even had a team or not (under 150 students total Pre-K through 8th grade) depended on every child in the class participating. There were a few things my kids chose not to do (and that was fine!) but it didn't stop every person we walked past from asking "WHY?" It was just too much. There were activities back to back all school year and sometimes things even overlapped (practice for the softball team started before basketball season was done and track/field was going on at the same time as softball season was starting - craziness). We had several children at the school at the time and sometimes we literally had back to back practices (the 4th grader had b-ball practice from 3:30-4:00, the 5th grader had it from 4:00-5:15 and on and on) so I was running back and forth (7 miles each way) constantly. THEN the school would send home informational articles about the necessity to read with/to our kids at least 20 minutes a night, do all their homework with them, have family time, etc. -WHEN in the world were we going to find time? In addition to the school pressure, my son played football for a town league (in the next town) and 5 of my girls took dance at the same time (again, back to back classes spread out over two nights). The recital was awesome but way too expensive when you're doing it with 5. It was a crazy few years and I don't miss it at all. My older kids graduated, the younger kids couldn't behave at the activities (or school) without constant supervision. Whenever we venture out and try another class with the younger kids, we regret it. It always start out fine, but they can't maintain the good behavior once they get used to the place/teacher. We have a home school co-op we are planning on trying next fall. We were going to do it this past fall, but I knew they weren't ready yet. Maybe only a few will do it this fall provided they can show me they can behave. The extra things are fun and there's no reason not to do them as long as you still put your family time down as your first priority. I've found that I really LIKE being at home in the evenings now instead of living in my van!

Angela said...

Random question:

Why do you not want them to do pointe? (toe dancing)

I own a dance academy in Fridley, MN and have been dancing for over 27 years. (Ok....since I was 2 and for 27 years.......so some years I was pretty little LOL Sounds impressive though, huh? :) LOL

Ginger said...

My MIL was an accomplished ballet dancer; she has adviced us not to go that far. She and the other adult dancers I know are ashamed of their feet. They never wear sandals because (according to them) they have ugly feet. Not that toe vanity is our reason, that was just a side note.
First sentence was your answer. lol

musicmommy3 said...

My secret is having a husband who says, "NO!" to busyness. LOL

We attend church on Sunday morning and the kids go to Awana on Wed nights but other than one sport a year (football) we do nothing else that is a commitment.

I don't think outside activities are bad but I guess it's harder with kids of opposite sexes and interests.
We have all boys and the 2 older ones loved football. This was the first year we tried it. BEcause they are only 15 months apart they were on the same team so it wasn't a huge burden on our family time. My husband works SO many hours that every possible hour we can spend together as a family...we do.
Sorry super long answer. My secret weapon is my husband. LOL

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the AWANA picture! How precious that they all want to be mommy's and daddy's!

I think it's great that you have involved your kids in extracuricular activities. As an MK I didn't have many opportunites (no gymnastics in West Africa!) and I would have loved to be involved in more. Only you know what is the right amount for your family. Maybe do it by seasons, where for a few months kids have more going on, or perhaps things that go every other week. It's just a thought.

-Melodie

Angela said...

You could always do pointe in moderation. :) My toes are cute! LOL

God bless....Angela

Our Family: said...

I was a dancer for 17 years and also taught dance for a few years after a leg injury which meant my dance career was over. I'm now in my 30's and still walk with my feet turned out and last fall sprained my ankle so badly that it took about 5 months before it was fully funcitioning again. The Radiologist said he can always tell who the dancers are by looking at their x-rays.

My daughter is taking Taekwon-do but her heart isn't in it. We wanted her to learn self defense as well, but she hates it and cries a lot of the time in class. The other girls are yelling and punching but Morgan just sorta pushes instead of punching and gets really discouraged. :( I'm teaching ballet for the homeschool group and she's enjoying that. There's a ballet studio right next door to the TKD place and I may start taking the adult classes--one hour a week and it's a 10 minute walk/ 2 minute drive from my house. The problem with long term ballet or serious ballet students is that unless the dancer keeps up the practice, the body tends to take on a not so pleasing shape (ha!).

I've talked to other moms who are in our homeschool co-op and they consider co-op as the extra-curricular activity since 1) The kids get to choose 3 new classes each semester and 2) The whole family is in the same location at the same time, so everyone leaves home and returns home at the same time without any other obligations.

I just may give this a try next year. :) As for my own adult ballet class--it's one night a week for one hour and it's even after the kid's bedtime! I believe the teacher even did this on purpose. :)

Liz