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?

10 Things I Love

My August Blog Prompt is 10 Things I Love. It’s a great way to start out the month, right before school starts up again and I get busy teaching and keeping up with the kid’s lessons and such.

I’m going to be doing a weekly post on Homeschooling on Mondays throughout the school year, so come back next week to see what we’re up to!

Now, for 10 things that I like…

1. Music – I love listening to music, but mostly I love playing. I started piano when I was 5 and as an adult I continue to enjoy it.

2. Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac – This thing has saved my life (actually, it’s more likely saved my kid’s lives) countless times. I can’t live without it! An entire poptart crumbled on the couch? No problem! The 2yr old just dumped the entire potted plant on the floor? A big problem! But not nearly as bad as it could be (he could have broken the pot). Seriously though, I did use my dustbuster for this because I don’t have a shopvac.

My dustbuster lives in it’s charger on my counter and gets used a lot!

3. A Good Book – Some of my favorite authors are James Fenmore Cooper, Charles Dickens, and Jessee Stuart. I enjoy the classics and occasionally a new book or two. Reading is a time to grab a drink and relax.

I recently reviewed Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus and really enjoyed it. I’m also amazed by how much easier it is to read a book I’m reviewing. I guess I justify the time spent more easily because I have a deadline.

4. Coffee – Speaking of drinks. I love coffee. I like the taste, and it’s my preferred way to wake up in the morning. A cup of coffee and my Bible Study. Of course, the kid’s don’t believe in sleeping in so I have to add getting breakfast and hot chocolates and tea to that list in the morning.

5. BBQ Ribs – The best I’ve ever had are from this local place called Dead End BBQ. Their ribs are soooo good! They also have great brisket and delicious sides. And I have no idea about the desserts because I’m always too stuffed to try any!

6. Sewing – I don’t do as much as I would like to because the kids keep me busy, but sewing is a fun, creative outlet for me. I’m working on a few things for the girls right now and they’re so excited.

7. Caramel Bugles – Seriously, the best thing since sliced bread. It’s like caramel corn, without the kernels. I actually hide this from the kids and then my husband will eat an entire bag! It’s delicious. And perfect any time of the year, not just the holidays when I’m craving caramel corn.

Amazon probably isn’t the best place to get these, they’re kind of expensive online. Check the snack aisle in your local grocery store. A few times a year Kroger has them on sale for $1 a bag and I stock up.

8. SciFi – I love SciFi, from the old Star Trek, to Dr. Who, to pretty much anything interesting I find on Netflix. I’m also teaching my kids well, my 6yr old sometimes suggests Star Trek when she’s trying to convince me that we should watch something!

9. Legos – I love legos. Except for when they’re spread all over the floor in the middle of the night. The kids love legos. They have LEGO Friends, LEGO Elves, LEGO Disney Princesses for the girls. My girls love them. And if I don’t feel like actually playing with the legos, they even have Lego XBox 360 games! I have my eyes on this LEGO Jurassic World.

10. Jurassic World – Speaking of which, I loved Jurassic World. I remember watching Jurassic Park as a kid so I had to go see Jurassic World when it came out. It was not disappointed! It’s right up there with Indiana Jones (except for #4, I didn’t like that one) and The Mummy. Just fun to watch!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite things. Comment below and tell me, what’s something you love?

This post does contain affiliate links, and I do earn a small commission off any purchase made through those links.

Lego Duplo Read and Build

I recently got accepted to host a new house party. (If you’ve never done one check out their site) You get free items (in this case lego duplos) for hosting a party and sharing or promoing this item to your friends.

I received my party pack yesterday and they sent 4 LEGO DUPLO 6759 Busy Farm sets.

We had to open one and try it out right away. I was amazed, my soon-to-be-4 yr old was able to look at the book and assemble the animals without any help from me. She was pretty pleased with her accomplishment.

Really, it’s like getting blocks and a board book instruction manual with them. This is such a great toy! The “instruction manual” is a fun book for the kids and it’s easy for them to follow the pictures and assemble the animals on their own. I can’t wait to try out more of these!