E is for Extra-Curricular Activities

One of the things I love about homeschooling is the extra flexibility we have for Extra-Curricular Activities. And in my town, there’s plenty of homseschoolers, which means, that there are even special Homeschool classes or earlier lesson hours for Extra-Curricular activities!

For example, our local Zoo has a homeschool class (which we have not taken because my 2nd grader is not at all interested in it, but it’s available should she or any of the other kids ever express interest).

What I love about Extra-Curricular is it lets my kids pick something they’re interested in and learn more about it. And, because our school day is pretty relaxed, they aren’t tired by the time we get to our activities.

I have a 2nd grader and a Pre-K so we don’t have a ton of Extra-Curricular yet, but here’s what we’re up to.

Piano Lessons – I also play the piano but lessons for the kids help me keep them on track. Our teacher was homeschooled herself and usually has hours during school hours available for homeschoolers. My 2nd grader wants to play the guitar but I’m holding out on that until she’s big enough to handle a full size electric. We have a very pretty white electric guitar that I want her to learn on. I even have a teacher picked out! So, I’ve told her to work hard on piano for another couple of years and when her hands are big enough we can switch instruments.

Piano is a great first instrument and so much of what she learns will carry over to a second instrument when she’s ready.

Dance Lessons – There are actually no homeschool hours for the school that the girls go to, but I like how much they’re learning and all their lessons are back to back one night a week. I can deal with one night a week. They love dance. It’s a great art form and also good exercise. Really, an awesome activity for them.

Sports – My pre-K daughter hasn’t been old enough for any sport that she’s interested in yet. But, next year, there’s a few she can try. My 2nd grader is trying out basketball. She’s in a training league and hated it at first but she’s come around and thinks she might want to try again next year.

At this age, I’m not at all upset if they don’t like something, and I’ve made that clear to them. The goal right now is to try out different sports and see what they like. When they’re old enough to try out for sports (5th grade or so depend on the sport at our umbrella school) we should have a general idea of what we want to do.

Though, my pre-K daughter has informed me that she really wants to play Ice Hockey. I’m really not so sure about it, but I have another year before she’s even old enough to start hockey skate lessons at the local ice rink.

Local Education Classes – We have a once a week lego STEM class that both girls get to go to. And the teacher is actually quite impressed with my 2nd grader’s ability to follow a diagram and assemble her legos into the right item. The girls love legos, and their teacher is awesome, so this is a great fit.

We recently discovered that our local science museum has homeschool classes and since that is my 2nd grader’s favorite subject I’ve enrolled her and she’s loving it. Plus we get to explore the museum again after each class. This past week, we went to class, went out for lunch, and then returned to the museum and explored for another couple of hours. Talk about a fun day! Also, I’m loving that she’s retaining so much from the class. Weeks later something we’re doing in school will remind her of something she learned and she’ll tell me all about it. It’s awesome! – and as a side note, I am very much encouraging her interest in science. It’s a great field should she decide that’s the direction she wants to go come College time. And what I love about homeschooling is that I’m able to encourage this interest so much.

Local Museums – At the elementary age especially, it’s nice to take a field day and basically have a museum to ourselves. We’ve got the science musuem and zoo well covered. There’s a children’s musuem we have plans for and an Aquarium we’re going to go to this week. The best thing about a museum during the school week, we pretty much have it to ourselves and we can spend as much time as we like on each exhibit.

When they get older there’s some great local history museums and such. But I’m saving the “can’t touch anything” museums for when they’re actually old enough to enjoy reading and learning about the objects without having to touch them.

Homeschool or not, I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Extra-Curricular activities. Let me know in the comments below, what do your kids love to do?

League of Little Laughers Play Date

Thanks to Bright Starts for such a fun party pack! They sent a giant box of toys for me to host a “League of Little Laughers” Play Date¬†with friends. We had a blast!

Because this was around the holidays and I hosted Thanksgiving at my house this year, I ended up hosting two smaller playdates because I just didn’t have the time for a giant playdate.

Bright Starts sent some truly awesome toys for the kids to play with.

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This little guy is called a “Giggable” and he’s so cute. My 2yr old just loves him, because he loves dogs. It’s so cute it rolls, wobbles, and barks. Really it’s the perfect toy for 2 or more toddlers to roll back and forth to each other.

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This Learn & Giggle Fish was very popular at both parties. Everyone had to play with it! As far as noise level goes, for a toy that plays music constantly, it’s really not bad. The buttons light up and the kids loved trying to see if they could get all the buttons to light up at the same time!

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I think this Spin & Giggle Puppy is so adorable! The purple bowl spins and the puppy wobbles, tossing all the balls onto the floor. Luckily it’s a gentle toss because the kids were putting every little toy they could find in there just to see what would happen.

Oh, and see that extra pack of balls? It’s a good thing they sent extras because balls disappear at my house. I think we’ve lost half of them already!

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And last but not least, the Learn & Giggle Activity Station. This is so much fun for all ages. My 2yr old just picks it up and carries it to whatever room he wants to play in. Even the babies loved this one. It’s perfect for a new sitter because they can put their feet under the toy and be close enough to the toy to reach everything.

Every page in the book provides for different songs and such from the four squares on the station so there really is 65+ sounds and activities.

These toys were so much fun at our playdates and kept babies and toddlers of all ages well entertained.

I received free products in order to host the Bright Starts sponsored Play Date. The opinions expressed here are my own.