Monday, March 26, 2012

Does this count as school?

Almost a standing joke in our family now - as I think it is in many other homeschool families - are questions like these!  Will this count for school?  Do I get credit for this?  Of course if it's a worthwhile activity that is a legitimate field trip or supports our educational goals, I will probably fit it into the Homeschool Tracker somehow.  But I do that less often than I probably could, because I don't want my kids to feel like they will be 'graded' on everything they do, or that the only reason to learn or do something is to put it on a report card!

Some of the "extras" that regularly find their way into our official records are the co-op classes we are involved in and our co-op style gym class.  I call the co-op class an "extra" because the subjects addressed are not always the same, and it really is intended as just a supplement to what we do at home.  Gym class is more involved, as it is 16 weeks of weekly instruction, so even at the high school level it allows us to meet criteria for Phys.Ed. credit.

But there are plenty of other activities that we do that have educational and social value, but don't fit into any report card category.

All the kids have played community sports at some point.  All played instructional baseball (instead of tee-ball), and the boys each played a few seasons of baseball, while Kennady is playing softball.  Our family rule is that they play ball until they are 10 years old, and after that it is optional depending on their interest level.

Harrison played a couple seasons of house league hockey too.  There are plenty of sports opportunities through church as well - a regular open gym night that the boys enjoy, paintball and three-on-three basketball tournaments, and hiking and camping trips.

Through church, Landon and Kennady have been involved in Christmas musicals.  The kids have all had opportunities to serve at church as well, being able to participate in Bible quizzing (Harrison and Spencer did this years ago), taking part in drama and music in various ways, learning how to run sound equipment, and participating in building projects and fun activities.  Most notably, Harrison went on a missions trip to Honduras a few years ago.  I did give him a Christian Service credit for that, because the whole project involved planning and running fundraisers, learning a little bit of Spanish, doing construction work on the mission field, teaching and assisting in the two VBS programs on the field, and then public speaking obligations when we returned home.  Definitely enough hours for a high school credit!

Kennady has taken part in several workshops through the local library - one activity she has particularly enjoyed is the Junior Gardeners workshop, where she has learned some basics of floral arranging and gardening.  She has also taken an archery class with her dad, and attended a community-based archery camp.

Our newest addition to Extra-curricular activities is the Civil Air Patrol.  Landon started attending with a friend recently, and officially joined a couple weeks ago.  Will it be for school credit? Well, not at this point, but if he sticks with it through his high school years, I'm sure that some of those things will be included in credit hours.  Civil Air Patrol provides things like survival training, leadership training and public speaking, instruction in model rocketry and astronomy, First Aid and CPR, physical fitness and sports, and flight training.  There are opportunities to earn scholarships and assist in Search and Rescue operations, Disaster Relief, and many other training and development activities.  We're very new to this organization and still figuring it out, but are excited about the possibilities!  (Someday, I hope I'll be able to take a picture! LOL)

What "extras" do your kids enjoy, and do those things "count" for school? Add to the comments, and visit the TOS Crew Blog Cruise (this link will go live on Tuesday, March 27th) to get ideas from other homeschoolers. In the meantime, go to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog homepage to see past cruise topics and TOS Crew reviews.


Unknown said...

I LOVED Archery in High School! Awesome!!! Well I HATED snapping it on my forearm but we did have guards to wear.

Beth B. said...

Great minds think alike! I'm always looking at our activities and asking "How can I log these hours for school?"

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