As I began to look to a new homeschool year with my 3 children, I am constantly confronted with newer and more exciting opportunities to have my “home” time sucked away.
It is hard not to become a victim of time vampires. It starts innocently enough. Why not join an organized sport group? Why not meet at the library once in a while? Why not help out at your church once or twice a week? Why not join a play group twice a week? At some point you began to realize that what started out as harmless opportunities for a bit of socializing or self-esteem building quickly become “suckers” of your valuable time.
I am certainly not innocent in this. I get “sucked” into all sorts of things all of the time. I’ve truly had to learn to say no to a lot of things that “sound” good, but really just become another burden of time. I have a mental checklist that all “new” opportunities must pass to get a “maybe”; instant yes’s are reserved for necessities only (things required for academic survival).
1. Does this activity massage my personal ego, but offer little to uplift my family or homeschool values?
2. Will this require me to spend as much time as money in order to fulfill the long-term obligation of this activity?
3. Is this an activity that will require an extensive travel commitment on my part?
4. Does this activity provide an enrichment opportunity for my entire family or will I need to wait with younger siblings for this event to finish for an older sibling and then shuttle the youngers to another activity?
5. Will this activity occur on a day I have absolutely set aside as a sacred “school” day?
6. Will this event take away precious family time?
7. Will this activity create more clutter in my home or life?
8. Is my child actually interested in this activity or do I think taking them to this activity will peak their interest?(This is tricky because you want to broaden their horizons, but you don’t want to kill yourself doing it… motive is the key to your answer).
9. Will this activity solidify concepts and themes I am teaching at home?
10. Do I really need another activity in my life?
Limiting yourself to a few expected and scheduled activities will go a long way towards increasing homeschool harmony and success. My mantra is the right thing at the wrong time; is the wrong thing.
Now, go take back your day!