Saturday, October 3, 2015

Lessons and Teams and Practices, Oh My

On Tuesday, Felicity starts a 3 week career in gymnastics. By 3 weeks, I mean 30 minutes one time a week for 3 weeks. And by gymnastics, I mean likely running amok with other children of similar age. I'm really excited because she is such a physical kid, so having equipment to climb on (instead of the cushions on the back of my couch or on my kitchen table) will be a perfect outlet for her.

I have to say though, I had some trepidation in signing her up. I actually was so wary that I missed the first sign up/session and had to wait for the next one to roll around. I feel like we live in a world that is totally overscheduled. Kids are on too many teams, in too many activities, doing just plain too much. I can see that there is a lot of benefit to some activities, but not at the cost of the two things I find most important for childhood for our kids: 1) family life and 2) independent/free play. The main reason why we are aiming to homeschool is for those 2 reasons right there. Our kids will be able to see Daddy on his days off (since they are primarily week days) and if they need to stay up a little later and sleep in a little later to see him on weekdays, that won't matter because we can adjust our schedule. They won't be in school for 8 hours a day so they will have more chances to play outside, play inside using their imagination, and go to parks. With Steven's work schedule and my desire to be home, it just makes sense for us.

Hands down our favorite place to play! The local children's museum is $100 for a family membership, regardless of family size. We go a LOT! The entire place is based on learning through play.

So back to extra-curriculars. I think that homeschooling also will lend itself nicely to that as we'll have more free hours in a day, so hopefully plenty of time to be with each other, play, and diversify the kids a bit depending on their interests and abilities. However, from what I've seen activities can snowball pretty quickly, especially when you have multiple children. So my fear in signing Felicity up for lessons in something at a year and a half of age was that it might get that ball rolling. I'm aware that I'm responsible for choosing or not choosing activities, but I find them fun, too! I enjoy seeing her do new things, seeing her play with other kids, and being out of the house. But that doesn't mean I want her in lessons from now until she goes off to college. And I was kind of afraid that, if gymnastics went well, that might be where I take it!

However, after I found out I was pregnant, my gears changed a little. I really want to up our chances to bond together before the baby comes, especially since Felicity doesn't really "get it" and her whole life will be upside down for a bit. I want to make sure I fill that love tank as much as I can. And, people, she has a BIG one! She requests "huggies" probably upward of 50 times a day and that's on a slow day. So things like this- because, oh, did I not mention that it's mommy and me gymnastics???- give us an opportunity to bond in a way that won't be possible even as I near the end of the pregnancy and especially when I have a brand new baby to care for. I realized that lessons and scheduled activities just won't be practical for a bit as we all adjust, and that actually made me feel better. I think the longer we can delay that type of thing, the better- especially while she's so little. When she's 5 or so I would have no qualms about putting her in (limited) lessons if she wants. But as a toddler I want to make sure she's spending the majority of her time playing, "reading", doing crafts, and snuggling mommy and daddy! So while this type of thing will be fun, I'm glad it's short lived for now!

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