Works For Me Wednesday – Rethinking Extracurricular Activities

Last week I started dreading this fall, but I didn’t understand why.  I crave routine, schedules; organization. I usually love getting back into the school swing.

But not this year.  I felt nervous just thinking about it.  After I few days, I realized why.

I don’t want a repeat of last year.

Last year, our weeks looked like this.  We would get home from school at 3:45, do homework, make dinner, and head out to:

Monday – Tae Kwon Do

Tuesday – Soccer

Wednesday –  Faith Formation

Thursday – Inevitable meeting for some non-profit

Friday – Family Movie Night

Saturdays included a soccer game and whatever else was going on.  Oh and did I mention that my husband is in school two nights a week? And that my kids’ school is a hike and I spend 10 hours a week driving to and fro?

It was exhausting.  We didn’t eat dinner together enough.  We didn’t eat healthily enough.  We didn’t sleep enough.

We’re doing 2011/2012 differently.  Faith Formation and Family Movie night stays.  Everything else is on the table:

  • I’m still committed to saving the world, but I am limiting my evening meetings to groups that provide dinner and babysitting so the kids have a chance to socialize.  And I don’t have to make some crazy dinner while I fly out the door to a meeting.
  • Any classes the kids take will be at the YMCA, where we already have a membership and I can work out while they are in class instead of just sitting there texting people until soccer practice is over.
  • The kids can join Boy Scouts and or Girl Scouts if they meet right after school. That way we save a trip and the other child and I can sit in the library and finish homework during the meeting.
  • We will prioritize based on values.  That sounds so grown up, doesn’t it? It just means that faith and family are more important than soccer.  We are still doing Faith Formation, but dropping soccer.
  • We already have planned some family bike rides, and when it gets too cold we will do some family ice skating.
  • Let the kids get bored sometimes.  WHAT?  It’s true.  We got bored growing up, and we learned how to deal with it.  Our kids need to also.

What do you think? Is less more?  Stopping the extracurricular madness Works For Me!

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  1. TOTALLY with ya on this one! Keeping AWANA for sure, and the kids each have ONE activity that’s right after school (Annika Brownies and Andrew band) – other than that, it’s just gymnastics – for BOTH, at the SAME TIME. Insanity is INSANE! Down with it!


    Big Binder Reply:

    Insanity is insane!! Love it!


  2. I LOOOOVE this!!! Especially about limiting your groups to ones that only provide dinner & babysitting. You = genius.


    Big Binder Reply:

    That made me laugh out loud. The part about me being a genius, I mean…


  3. I love this post but I wanted to share our experience with scouts right after school. We started with a pack that met right after school and ended up changing packs to one after dinner because Noah was just way too tired and needed some down time after school. It actually worked much better for him.


    Big Binder Reply:

    Ooh, that is a good point! We’ll have to see how we do with this.


  4. Your family will be blessed by spending more time together and simplifying. One of our goals we wanted for our family when we first got married was to eat together as a family. Any activity that interferes with dinner, we must examine carefully. However, we are starting to get busy again. Time to reevaluate. Thanks for the reminder.


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