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Which Extracurriculars are Best for My Homeschooled Child

Which Extracurriculars are Best for My Homeschooled Child?

Extracurricular activities are not only clubs or organizations that colleges look at to choose prospects for upcoming freshman classes but are often the most loved aspects of one’s educational journey. Traditional extracurricular activities include sports teams, drama club and student council, however the list of extracurricular activities accessible to today’s youth has grown exponentially in the past few years and colleges recognize this. A question parents often ask is, “which extracurriculars are best for my homeschooled child”? The answer to that is rarely simple but is definitely important.

Which Extracurriculars are Best for My Homeschooled Child?

Answering the following questions will help narrow down the options:

What does your child talk about the most?

Some children are naturally drawn to an activity and talk about it often. For example, a preteen who repeatedly speaks about animals is giving a clue that a good extracurricular activity for her may be something the involves animals, like 4-H or volunteering with the SPCA. An elementary schooler who continually asks when the rain will end so he can go out and hit some balls is someone who genuinely wants to play his sport and the answer may be as easy as enrolling him in the YMCA’s youth golf program. For those who are less talkative, however, paying attention to what they do when given free time can be as indicative as words. Would he rather kick a soccer ball or paint a picture? Does he tend to have his head in books, or would he rather play Minecraft? Did she put together the robot kit she received for Christmas or is it slowly being buried underneath a pile of old clothes? People of all ages do more when engaged in an activity they like, discovering a child’s preferences can narrow down the search for an extracurricular greatly.

Does your child have any natural talents emerging?

Although a few rare children are born prodigies at a given art, such as piano, most are not. Talent, however, can often be seen at a younger age and developed over time. Noticing what a child can naturally do at a level above his peers is an easy, although not definitive, indication. A dance instructor can notice the six-year-old with more grace and rhythm than the others. A guitar teacher can often hear when a child plays a melody with fluidity and ease the surpasses the level of training received to date. Some talents are not discovered in a traditional classroom setting, though. A child with a knack for culinary arts may be the one who breaks out the scratch ingredients and makes cupcakes for his friends when another would have simply gone for the box mix. Paying close attention to these subtleties can uncover much.

What is available through the school or local community?

Whether or not a child’s preference or talents are obvious, knowing what extracurricular activities are even available is very valuable. For a kid who does not flourish on an organized sports team but loves to be active, a local hiking group or recreation karate facility might be the perfect fit. For a child who is drawn to hours of playing Minecraft, there may be a local robotics club or a Code Ninjas franchise nearby. For the dancer who would never wear a tutu, be on the lookout for an Irish dancing troupe or hip-hop squad. Most towns, even very small ones, have online social media community groups where these opportunities can be found. If there isn’t a club already started, one can always be formed.

What is your monetary and time budget?

A reality parents must face is how much time and money can be devoted to a child’s extracurriculars. The time cost of an extracurricular is not just that of the child, but of the parents, too. The time requirement needed to bring the kid to and from an activity is an important consideration. Consider what will not be accomplished in the hours dedicated by the activity and make a decision on which is the priority. Take baseball for example; there is a big difference between a kid playing in the local little league and the time required to be on a year-round travel team. A parent can potentially drop a kid at local practice and run some errands around town or look after things at home before picking him back up with little disruption in daily tasks; but if the team requires weekend travel household chores and other obligations will be put on hold. Monetary cost is an extremely important factor, as well. Gone are the days where a cheerleader had one uniform for football and basketball. Now there are practice uniforms, game uniforms, competition uniforms and more. Supporting children’s dream can become a double-edged sword if the family’s time and money are overextended. Setting and keeping he limits early can significantly ease the decision-making process into the future. Some kids truly need to be on the travel team, others will be perfectly fine playing rec league.

Extracurricular Activities for Homeschoolers: Taking the Stress Off

The best news when it comes to extracurricular activities and your child’s future is that colleges no longer really care so much about which specific activities in which a prospective student has been involved. Colleges care more about what the student’s time spent in the extracurricular says about them. It is important to see what a child is passionate about, how their involvement impacted those around them and when given an opportunity did the student step out in a leadership role. Teaching a coding class to kids can be rated just as well as being the captain of the volleyball team.  The bottom line is to find what the child enjoys or has a talent for and to grow that talent over time in the way that best supports the individual and the family.

Extracurricular Ideas for Homeschoolers

  • Sports and Fitness: individual or team
    • Traditional: baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc.
    • New and Emerging: Parkour, Ninja Obstacle, Lightsaber
  • Common Interest Clubs and Groups:
    • Traditional: Scouts, Book, Student Council
    • New and Emerging: Robotics, Coding, Entrepreneurship
  • Community:
    • Traditional: Gardening, Religious, Political
    • New and Emerging: Environment, Humanitarian
  • Jobs and Internships:
    • Traditional: Fast food, Retail, Farming
    • New and Emerging: Non-profit, Shadowing, Entrepreneurship

Whether your homeschooled student enjoys traditional extracurriculars, like baseball or dance, or some extra effort is needed to find alternate hobbies, time spent figuring it out is a worthy endeavor. Memories made doing things they love will come across genuinely in interviews for college or work down the road; knowing they were supported their unique personalities will pay off for a lifetime.

 

Which Extracurriculars are Best for My Homeschooled Child

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How to Supplement Your Homeschool Art Program

If you homeschool, then you should definitely have an art program. How detailed this program is and what it entails will vary based on your needs and that is the beauty of homeschooling – we get to decide for ourselves. However, there are some basic steps to supplementing your art program that you can use to get started.

Click the link below to read more!

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Mardi Gras Crafts, Activities and More For Kids

mardi gras crafts for kids

Mardi Gras is right around the corner. It is my favorite Holiday by far. Check out these awesome Mardi Gras Crafts and More! Enjoy your Holiday by making desserts, crafts, printables, and more. Your children can really work their fine motor skills with all of these awesome ideas.

Printable Mardi Gras Mask craft

Get ready to party with your own DIY Printable Mardi Gras Mask Craft. The kids can color and customize their own mask for Mardi Gras with this free printable activity.

Mardi Gras Candy Necklaces

Let your kids create their own bead necklace from purple, yellow and green Twizzlers. They are definitely not just fun and beautiful, but tasty too!

King Cake Pancakes

These pancakes taste just like traditional King Cake, but in a totally different form! They’re sweet, tart, easy to make – the perfect way to celebrate Carnival.

Mardi Gras Preschool Printable and Sensory Bin

Everything in this Mardi Gras sensory bin may be found at Walmart, Party City or the Dollar Tree. And of course, everything is in purple, green and gold.

Mardi Gras Coloring Pages

What is Mardi Gras all about? Masks, beads and noisy carnival fun – and we’ve got just the colouring pages you will need! Find Mardi Gras coloring pages for all ages here!

Mardi Gras Word Search

Have a go at this fun word search for Pancake Day, and see if you and your kids can find all the words. They can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal, but definitely not backwards.

Mini Beignets

Beignets are like a square doughnut that is covered in powdered sugar.  Did you ever see Disney’s Princess and the Frog?  That’s the dessert they eat in the beginning of the movie!

Hand Print Mardi Gras Mask Craft

Handprint crafts are simply cute. You can easily create this Handprint Mardi Gras Mask for your kids to play with.

Craft Sand Sensory

Colored craft sand is easy to find in craft stores and small bags are inexpensive and simple to store and reuse! And purple, yellow and green would be a pretty combination for Spring! So get ready for this craft sand sensory bin!

10 Ways to use Left Over beads

Do you have an interesting way to use or display leftover Mardi Gras beads? We have 10 ways to do it here!

Mardi Gras Cake Recipe

Do you know why they hide a baby in the king cake during Mardi Gras celebrations? Find out here!

Mardi Gras Printable

In honor of the festivities coming up this February, get these great Mardi Gras party decorations and printables.

8 Mardi Gras Printables

This Mardi Gras printable pack comes with everything you need to celebrate this fun holiday! It’s perfect for preschool classrooms, homeschooling, or as additional activities!

Painting Mardi Gras Beads

Painting activities are always a hit with kids. Do some painting with Mardi Gras beads!

Mardi Gras Activities for Kids

If you’re ready to celebrate Mardi Gras but are looking for some activities that are fun for kids too, here’s a few using cereal.

Mardi Gras Cup Shakers

Want to produce a satisfyingly loud noise for your Mardi Gras parade? Make these Mardi Gras cup shakers!

Paper Jester Hat

This three-dimensional jester hat can be made with some colorful construction paper. Simply download the free printable template and you’re all ready to get started.

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Homeschooling: 4 Low-Cost Activities for the Winter

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When the cold winds blow, you may put outdoor activities on the back burner. But you don’t have to find all your fun and do all of your learning indoors. Instead, dress for winter’s bite, then head outdoors for a low-cost combination of learning and fun. Here are 4 activities you and your family can do for free or just a few bucks:

  1. Blow Ice Bubbles

Bet your kids don’t know bubbles can freeze. As the temperatures dip lower and lower (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit), don’t waste time complaining about the cold. Bundle up and head outside with a bottle of bubble mix and a wand or two. Let your kids blow bubbles and catch them on their wands. In no time, the bubbles will become frozen balls. They won’t last long, but they’re pretty cool to see. Once you’ve had your fill of ice bubble making, or even while it’s still going on, discuss temperature, the freezing point of water, and the reasons water can be a solid, liquid or gas.

  1. Look for Prints

It’s cold outside, but if you’re out and about, surely some animals are too. Head to the park or take a walk in your neighborhood to see if you can find any animal tracks. Examine the tracks you find and see if you can identify the animal that made them. Use the EEK! site to find information you can use to aid your identification.

  1. Blustery Weather Scavenger Hunt

A trip to your local park can also prove the perfect opportunity for a scavenger hunt. Make a list of the fun things you might find outside in the winter. Then, have your children don their hats, gloves, and scarves to head out for a cold weather hunt. Here are some of the things you might find:

  • Pine cones
  • Needles from an evergreen tree
  • A leaf left on a tree
  • A leaf skeleton
  • Animal tracks
  • Human tracks
  • Snowmen
  • Snow drifts
  • Berries on the branches of a tree
  • Icicles
  • Frost
  • Frozen leaves
  • A piece of fur
  • A block of ice
  1. Set up a Sundial in the Snow

This probably sounds complicated, but it’s really not. For this, you just need a little help from Mother Nature–in the form of snow–and a long stick. Check where the stick’s shadow is cast to guess the time. No shadow at all? It must be high noon.

Do you have any favorite low-cost activities for winter? We’d love to hear them. Please share in the comments!

 

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