Yesterday we talked about fitting in reading aloud together.  There’s a whole lot of extra curricular things too that come with teaching your kids besides just math and science, and usually those are the really great things that we don’t want to leave out.  Music lessons, karate, foreign language, theater, speech class, and sports are just naming a few.  Since we’ve already established this month that we need to evaluate everything and not let in things that are going to create a stressful home, we need to be really careful what we allow our children to sign up for when it come to extra curricular activities.  Some people do the rule of one activity per child and that could work if you don’t have a lot of kids.  Since of course we want to let our children do some extra curricular things, I’ve brainstormed a few ways to try to fit these in without disrupting your entire day/week.

Ways to fit in the extra curricular

Combine activities
If you have several kids and don’t want to be running around all day everyday, try combining activities.  Maybe there’s an activities like cross country that all your kids could do together.  You can go once and everyone wins.
Find teachers that will come to you
For things like language tutors or piano teachers, there are teachers that will come to you.  This is SO much easier than you driving to lessons and then waiting for everyone to get done.  You could be doing school with the other ones while someone is getting a music lesson if the teacher would come to your home.  It might cost a little extra, but think of it as what your gas would have been had you drove.  You also may be able to find college students that will come to your home to teach.  Call your local college music department to inquire.
Use your phone
You can download amazing apps to teach your kids the extra curricular that you might not be able to.  We use DuoLingo for studying foreign language.  We also use Hoffman Piano lessons on YouTube for piano right now.  The lessons are FREE and the kids love them!  I’m sure you could find a whole bunch of apps to help you each extra curricular!
This is so great if you have friends close by with kids in the same activities.  Saves everyone time. 
Ask Dad
Every week my boys go to Boy Scout meetings.  It’s great though because my husband takes them.  He gets to be involved in something they love, they are in the activity together so it saves on extra driving, and I can stay home and get the other two in bed on time. 
Don’t sign up every time there’s interest
I think its great to let your kid try new things, but here’s the thing: have them try it at home.  If your kid thinks they want to be a soccer player, play with them in the yard for a while.  Are they just wanting to sign up because all their friends are? That’s not a good enough reason to me to give up every Saturday morning for 2 or 3 months.  Play with them and see if they tire of it.  If not, then sign them up for a season and see how it goes.  But don’t sign up for a whole season of something if they just mention they’re interested.  Be sure its something they’re going to like first.
Take a season off
You might be in a season of life where it just doesn’t allow you to do any extra curricular activities.  Embrace it.  It’s ok.  It’s ok to say, “we’re not doing any extra curricular activities this spring.”  You know what your family needs…listen to yourself.

This post is part of a 31-day series on simplifying our homes and schools. 
To read from the beginning of this series, click here:
N E V E R   M I S S   A   P O S T–

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  1. Great post! We have used several of your tips, we downloaded the CC app and then formed our own free co-ops, have homeschool grads come to our home for lessons, and choose one or two activities at a time. With seven children and a passion for missions, there simply isn't a huge budget for extra curriculars, one more motivation for writing Bountiful Homeschooling on a Budget.
    Are you on the 31 dayers FB group? Lots of info and encouragement there.

  2. I think I've mentioned before but 2 of our extras (taekwondo & guitar) are during our co-op hours, so no extra trips. IF Cade wants to continue in taekwondo at a dojo later on, we will figure that out then. Our other, baseball, is pretty non-negotiable for us – unless there ever came a time Ryan didn't want to play. I will say, though, since we play pretty much year round & have for so many years, it is just part of the fabric of our lives & I don't consider that extra. Definitely wouldn't work for every family but it does for us. ๐Ÿ™‚

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