The Homeschool Minute ~ Deborah Wuehler

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What Electives Are Essential?

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The Wuehler FamilySome days, I have so much to balance, that everything flies out of orbit and hits the ground with a big thud. When I add in activities outside the home, then I often feel even that much more out of control and off schedule. On the other hand, I also feel that my children would be missing out if we bypass all those great activities that are calling our names so loudly. I believe it takes prayer and wisdom every month of every year on how involved your family can or should be in anything.

There are many really good activities calling us out of our homes. Whether it is academic enrichment classes, physical education, music lessons, history co-op, field trips, art, park days … the choices can be overwhelming. Since every family and their homeschool dynamics are different, there is no clear way to distinguish what is best for everyone. But we can employ guidelines and ask questions that help us all make good choices.

We will ask questions related to six areas: The Home, The Family, The Child, The Activity, The Spouse, and The Lord.

The Home

The balancing act in all of this is learning what to decline from and when to add another activity. Probably the first thing to consider would be the temperature of your home right now. Here are the questions I would ask related to the home:

  • Is there a lot of stress in the home already?
  • How easy or difficult is it to get out of the house with everyone?
  • Does the family have enough down time?
  • Would adding another activity put the atmosphere of the home in jeopardy?
  • Does each member of the family have the extra energy to make this commitment?
  • Can the calendar handle another thing?
  • Would you have enough time to do the necessary schoolwork, chores and Bible study if you add another activity?

If you are already feeling guilty that you cannot get dinner on every night nor do basic housekeeping, you might need to think about what activities are draining your time or energy. If your home life is already full, you will need to reconsider taking on another activity, or take something else off the calendar to fit in something new. We must learn to evaluate the not only the short and long-term benefit of the activity, but how this extra activity will affect our home and our family.

The Family

Often, when we do too much outside the home, it throws off our family’s ability to bounce back and complete the important things like finishing necessary homework, or just regrouping and thinking clearly. It could affect our ability to react graciously because we are tired. Sometimes adding new activities not only takes new energy, but can also take time to get back to a normal, operational state. These are things we need to take into consideration …

Read the rest of the article including consideration of your child, your spouse, and the Lord, here.


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