"If I were to ask God why He lets poverty and injustice exist, why there are so many orphans and why He does nothing about it, I am SURE He would ask me the same ..."

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About Us

My name is Jessica and my dear sweet hubby is Kelly. We have three beautiful girls, big sis and little sis plus our newest little baby sis :) Welcome to our site where we will blog about our journey to grow our family through adoption in Africa.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Activities for the kids

So, an interesting topic that comes up between moms is the different activities that kids are involved with these days.  It's not interesting because of the kind of activities, and I may be in the minority for this line of thinking (I'm pretty sure that I am), but to me, it's interesting because of the different opinions on this topic.

One reason that I like that we homeschool, is that my children are not super busy all the time.  They do not have packed schedules that wear them out to the bone.

Yes, we have times of the year where things are a little crazy and we are all a little tired of the go, go, go.  But for the most part, we have a low key schedule compared to most.

You see, I believe kids these days have too much on their plates.  They have a full, hard, packed day at school, then they get home and have homework and on top of that, I schedule full of planned activities.  The problem is, these activities aren't really bad things.  I'm talking about: piano,  gymnastics, soccer, t-ball, dance, church chior, church musicals, karate, basketball, cheerleading, swimming, nature club, and the list can go on......

Why, you ask?  Why attack these great activities that we parents work hard to pay for so that our kids can have fun, make friends, learn a sport, or an instrument???

I am not questioning them, just the amount of time that we schedule for them.  I know some children that have piano lessons all school year, but then on top of that, also have gymnastics all year and then play a sport each season.  That means at any given moment during the school year, besides that 8 hours a day of school, 45 minutes of homework, that child has 3 extra activities each week.  And...the sport will count as 2 activities if you count one practice and one game each week.  If you add 1 or 2 church activities, your family just filled up EVERY night of the week with something.

When do these families sit down and have dinner together?  When do these families play board games?  When do these kids have free, unscheduled, unstructured time to play?

The answer sadly is that they don't....

I believe this is where the break down is coming from in society, in the decline of school grades...the break down in the middle class families.  And, I'm afraid it will only get worse.

Do you know when I was a kid, you started to play sports maybe in middle school???  Now, if I wait till middle school to let my kids do any sports, they will be so outmatched that it wouldn't be worth it.  No, the rest of the team has been playing that sport since they were 4 years old!

It's sad.....what are we doing to their little bodies?  What are we doing to their creative, imaginative minds?  How will you know your teenagers if there is no family routine of dinner together, play time together, down time together?

Somewhere there has to be a balance.  I'm not saying we have found it, but it is a little easier for us since we homeschool.  My girls do take piano lessons every week during the school year.  But, we can have those lessons during the day, it's part of school.  We do have church activities once a week at night, dinner is a small affair or on the run that night.  But as for that, I try to pick and choose.  Right now, for my girls and what age they are, they are on the swim team during the summer.  No other sports for the year and the rule is that we all do the same sport, same team.  They would probably like to play other sports, but time and money get me every time.  We are busy already with life and probably only sit down at the table as a family 4 nights a week, I can't imagine what it would be like if we added more.  We may have to reevaluate this as they get older and we have more children.

Like I said before, there are busier times of the year.  During the holidays, the girls are in the church musical.  That adds practices and going for a couple months.  You know what?  By the end of it, I am so glad to be gone with running and running.

So what do you think?  Do you have a family policy on how many activities for the kids?  Do you see a decline in quality time with your family when you are really busy running to several different things?


Jenn said...

totally agree!

Hyperactive Lu said...

Good thoughts! And I agree, with more children, I think we have definitely re-evaluated this for our family too. We don't even do church activities on Wed because it doesn't only affect one kiddo, but two now... and three this summer.... so those are things that we make a decision on yearly. Sometimes it makes me (and them) sad but we know that in a few years, things like bed time won't be as BIG of an issue, so we'll be able to change what things we do. And I agree, homeschooling makes some things easier, such as doing piano lessons during the day.

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