One of the great things about homeschooling is the flexibility to build your own schedule; both the timing of it all and the contents of the day. Extracurricular activities help develop a well-rounded student and gives kids a chance to discover new areas of interest and meet new people. In some communities, potential homeschool extracurricular activities are practically limitless, while in other areas, homeschooling parents need to be a little more creative.
Go with What They Like
Many things can be considered an extra-curricular activity. Is your child fascinated by sewing or crafting of some kind? Find a group or club of other sewers for her to work with. Make it a monthly thing. Do you have the next extreme rock climber on your hands? Research to find a nearby gym with a rock wall and join. Some might even consider offering a class to welcome more homeschoolers during the day.
Bring in the Pros
Some co-ops hire a professional to help teach an extra-curricular subject. For example, a local co-op wanted to offer a children’s choir but none of the parents felt educated enough in the area of choir directing to take up that task. The group looked to the local university and churches for referrals on a great choir director. The co-op pays her weekly to meet them for choir. The same group has done this for an art teacher as well. For courses such as these, a syllabus with course topics and supply lists are usually provided.
Museums and historical societies have started offering courses based on their collections. These classes are usually taught by highly trained museum staff and are an excellent source for homeschool extracurricular activities. If you’ve developed a working relationship with the museum directors and shown great interest in the past, requesting particular classes might even be a possibility.
Of course sporting clubs, team sports, fitness classes and one-on-one or group lessons all can count as extracurricular activities. Remember the Presidential Physical Fitness tests and awards you did as a kid in school? A similar program is still offered by the government and has a section specifically for homeschoolers. You can pre-test and post-test each of the required skills and earn certificates and medals. Go here to learn more https://www.presidentschallenge.org/participate/ed-homeschoolers.shtml
Homeschool Clubs and Other Learning!
Sign language, foreign language, STEM clubs, book clubs, 4-H, scouts and other similarly rigorous activities could all count as extracurricular for your homeschool. If your activity doesn’t provide the appropriate level of required work to meet your needs, you can always add more to the program with self-imposed journaling work, research topics and additional assignments to take the learning further. We always enjoy finding an “expert” in the field or area of interest with whom we can share our final project.
Go for it!!
Extracurricular activities make learning fun, break up the routine of seat work, force us to get moving or investigate a broad range of topics. Homeschooling offers the great opportunity to make the most of these learning experiences. Go for it!
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.oaksreplanted.blogspot.com