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Our Guidelines for Going Out

Last week my friend Jenn  wrote, “I am wondering if being in so many activities is wise this winter.  We are bound to get sick….”  When I responded with the list below, she encouraged me that it was worth a post.  Thanks, Jenn!

Our Guidelines for Going Out

  • If something wears the children or me out (they’re tougher than I am), we don’t do it unless it’s a church activity.
  • If something costs more than we’re comfortable with, we usually don’t do it.
  • If something involves attitudes and concepts we’re not happy with (such as Halloween), we don’t do it.
  • If it’s something we can do more efficiently at home (such as many co-ops), we don’t get involved.
  • If it’s something that requires a real effort to attend each week, we don’t do it.
  • If it involves friends, fun, volunteer work, the outdoors, or inexpensive concerts, we try to be involved.

There’s one thing I have noticed about many homeschool outings.  They are meant to be educational, but the amount of learning is reduced because the children are happily interacting. It seems more sensible to me to concentrate on learning during educational trips (in other words, no extra friends) and to concentrate on fun and fellowship at other times (i.e. no added-on learning).  Combining learning and socialization often results in the worst of both worlds.  Of course, gym classes and discussion-based courses improve with student interaction, and some field trips are impossible or expensive to arrange without a large group.

What does your family consider when deciding whether or not to participate in an activity? 

For more ideas about educating our children see Thirsty Thursday: Satisfying our kids’ thirst for knowledge one sip at a time.



  1. jenn4him says:

    Thank you! You put into words what I was thinking when I wrote that about activities this winter. We dropped out of co-op 2 years ago. I found the negative side of socialization to be too much, co-op was wearing me out, and it was too expensive for what we were getting. I totally agree with you. We are not hermits, but we do limit our activities on purpose. Thank you again!


  2. The Fifth Street Academy says:

    This is something i haven't given much thought to as we are still in preschool mode I suppose. Thank you for this relevant information that will be so useful to me in the coming years.

  3. Canadagirl says:

    Very well said. The only homeschool activity that our family participates in the younger years is swimmng lessons. We have it so that it is a time slot at the local pool for hs'ers and friends. But other than that we haven't really participated in much. Being a one car family helped me decide on this. Isn't God smart ? [0=

    Blessings and ((HUGS))

    In Him<><


  4. proverbsmama says:

    Very insightful post! Our reasons for not doing a lot this year have changed since I'm working so much. If I have a day off, I *want* to be home. Due to working outside the home, dd is not able to participate in much w/the local school group unless a friend of ours is going. (She often takes dd w/her.)

    With all the H1N1 that is out there, we are choosing to stay home unless it is necessary to get out and do errands or go to church.

    I have chosen not to attend the Mom's Night Outs this year because it would just be more time away from my home/family. Plus, the meetings usually don't end until AFTER my bedtime. (I normally go to bed around 8:00 when I work the early shift.)

  5. LarabaK says:

    Our kids are ages 9 to 2, and there are six of them. We've stayed home a lot through pregnancies and newborns and naps and potty training. This year, I decided to join a co-op that meets only 2ce a month. It did sound like a great fit and I was feeling that siren call for "more socialization". So then I got pregnant and miscarried again. And I realized once again, I just shouldn't do it. I didn't have the emotional energy, nor did I feel good about the initial reports with many committed teachers but so many students that it was hard to keep track of everyone. The co-ops and EC activities are no doubt good for some families, but not for ours. And may we seek God's will and direction, and not just follow the blind societal view that the more activities, the more "well rounded" our children will be. BTW, our kids are not socially awkward at all. They are people in progress but aren't we all?

  6. AnnieKate says:

    Thank you, ladies, for your enthusiastiac agreement.

    Staying home more is an unusual goal these days, and it's good to realize that there are many of us out there. 🙂

    Annie Kate

  7. jenn4him says:

    Update…my youngest now has a fever of 103. I guess I did not do so well picking our activities!


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