Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blog Cruise - Incorporating "Extras" Into Our Routine

This week's cruise asks - What extracurricular activities do your students enjoy?

As homeschoolers, we have LOTS of options for extra-curricular activities.  The key, for us, is to pick what the boys really enjoy and get the most benefit from.  It’s easy to get so involved in extras that scholastics suffers. 

Throughout the years, we’ve been involved in many different extra-curricular activities.  Speech and debate, honors society, homeschool PE, taekwondo, various fun co-op activities, etc.  Through trial and error, we’ve found those that work best for us.  However, I keep looking as the next great opportunity might be right around the bend.

Right now, both of my boys participate in Gavel Club.  Gavel Club is an activity through Toastmasters for students.  Each week they meet with their clubs to give or evaluate speeches.  Their job ranges from presenter to evaluator to wordmaster to joke-of-the-day.  Some jobs are very simple and some require a fair bit of advanced preparation.  I love Gavel Club because it gets my boys writing speeches and presenting in front of an audience.  Public speaking is an important skill to have.  They enjoy it because it’s time with their friends sharing their interests through speeches.  After ten speeches, participants earn a certificate.  They can then go on to work toward advanced certificates.  These are great for college resumes!
Another extra we did this year was Yearbook.  We belong to a wonderful co-op!  I was the facilitator this year and had eight great kids on my team.  We enjoyed taking pics, choosing the layout and producing the final product.  Next year, I’ll do the same and my older son will also participate in student government.

Additionally, my younger son was part of a Battle of the Books team.  We have six young men who have all read twenty-seven books and met monthly to discuss and practice answering questions.  Our team and another team will have a competition at the end of the year.  It’s been fun for him to read books from many different genres and on many different topics he wouldn’t otherwise have chosen. 

My older son and I participate in taekwondo.  My youngest son used to do it with us, but, after blue belt, decided it wasn’t his thing.  Taekwondo has become a lifestyle more than just an activity.  We do about six classes a week which includes three regular classes, one weapons class, and demonstration team.  My older son has found confidence, discipline and a desire to one day become an instructor.  It’s truly morphed for both of us from an activity to a passion.

That leaves my youngest with a gap – he needs another activity, one that’s physical.  We’re working on that. He’s non-competitive, which makes it more difficult when they hit the middle school years.  I’m thinking swimming and looking into that as his physical education.
Other things we’re considering for next year – Key Club, Teen Court, and maybe some type of music lessons.

What do your children enjoy as extra-curriculars?

To see how other members of the TOS Homeschool handle extra-curricular activities - click here.

1 comment:

  1. The Gavel Club sounds really great - my oldest (now graduated) would have really enjoyed that.


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