It seems that every week I discover yet another activity that I think our girls would enjoy. It has been so hard to choose! I can see how it would be very easy to just sign up for every extra activity and ignore “school” stuff completely.
Our girls tried gymnastics and dance during the last school year and they both wanted to continue in the summer but I wanted to focus on swimming lessons. Several of our friends have a swimming pool or a community pool and we were turning down so many pool party invitations because I didn’t feel comfortable watching both of them in a pool by myself. It was time for them to learn to swim! The outdoor lessons didn’t last long. Even in the heat of Las Vegas the water was really cold. They are taking classes at an indoor swim school now and they’re doing very well. I had promised them gymnastics when school starts again and they just reminded me of it the other day. But I want them to continue with swimming. Do I dare do two activities with each girl? That seems like a lot of running around!
We are fortunate to have a very active homeschooling community which includes an organization that has classroom space to hold group classes. There were a few options for kindergarten aged kids but we settled on one that sounded so perfect for Storyteller. It’s a pre-drama class for 5-8 year olds. The kids choose a costume and accessories and create a storyline for their characters. They even have makeup, set pieces and props. At the end of each hour long class, the kids perform their play for the parents. Storyteller just had her first class and she had so much fun. She even had a line!
Another homeschooling group has started offering twice monthly nature study outings. You can check out our adventure on Mount Charleston here. We hope to go to these as often as possible. This group also has a monthly Princess Club gathering where there are different girl focused activities. I’m not crazy about the gender division and the activities I’ve seen so far are very gender biased. Why can’t girls play t-ball? But these are hosted by the moms so maybe I’ll host something different down the road. These are just the regularly scheduled events. This group also hosts several other field trips each month.
Music…We’d love to add something musical. Just before the start of the regular school year I found out about two choirs. One is specifically a homeschool choir and the other is city wide and open to all kids. The homeschool one was just formed this year. The city-wide one has been around for a while and it looks pretty intense for the older kids. There is even a touring ensemble during the summer. We’d also like to introduce Storyteller to the piano but she really wants to learn the violin. I played the piano growing up and hubby wants to learn so it may be a family activity.
Art…She loves creating art. The first preschool she attended (at 3 yrs old) had a huge selection of art supplies and very messy activities. There was an endless supply of paint and everything else imaginable. The kids often painted each other! There weren’t many limits on what they could do with art. It was a crazy mess! I think it was her favorite part of school. She was at a different school for her pre-k year and they also had a lot of art but it was mostly focused on skill development. She would complete the task (or art project) as instructed but she did it as fast as possible and with as little effort as possible so that she could be done with it and move onto something more interesting. She didn’t like structured arts and crafts projects. The teacher would often neaten up the kids’ projects so that they “looked” better. That really drove me nuts. Anyway, we have a lot of art supplies at home but it would be nice to get her into a class that allows plenty of freedom to create and also starts teaching basic skills. I’ve seen a few local options but I haven’t looked into them that much yet.
So…at this point, both girls are in swimming classes and they each want to add gymnastics. We have a bi-weekly nature study group. Storyteller has a weekly drama class. Princess Club is once a month. Piano? Violin? Choir? Art? Oh my! One of my friends limits her kid’s activities by allowing one for the body and one for the brain. I like that concept. I suppose I can justify art and music class as being part of school since she’d have those if she were in a regular school. I am so thankful to be living in a community with so many options for homeschooling families but it definitely makes those choices difficult. I’d love to pick one of everything. I keep reminding myself that she’s only in kindergarten. We don’t have to do everything this year but it sure sounds like fun!