Beyond the Classroom
As with any child’s educational plan, balance is always extremely important. As much as a child needs mathematics and science, a child needs physical activity and the arts. But as I think most homeschooling parents are aware, striking this balance at home can be a challenge. Often times the first thing to fall out of the schedule is physical activity which can be detrimental to the development of a child.
Physical activity takes many shapes and forms. Going outside to do jumping jacks or run around the yard is a form of physical activity just as playing on a baseball or soccer team is. However, not all physical activity is created equal depending on the age of your child.
Typically, homeschooled children are learning as an individual or in small groups, typically with their brothers or sisters. Something those children miss out on throughout the day is the interaction with other children who are not their family members. It’s extremely important to understand that kids need to interact with people outside of their family which is why team sports can be a fantastic addition to any home school curriculum.
Let’s take a closer look at baseball, where most children end up playing a little bit as a youngster. The barriers to entry are low as kids can share much of the equipment and really only need their own baseball glove. What is fantastic about baseball however is the way kids need to work together to accomplish a common goal. Furthermore, the game teaches responsibility and a commitment as every kid on the field has their own job to do and failure to perform will disadvantage the entire team.
Another important skill baseball teaches children is the proper way to win and lose. Children who don’t play sports often don’t understand that it is a perfectly normal part of life to lose. And when you lose, you reflect on how you could have done things differently which might have resulted in a different outcome. And of course, learning to win ‘properly,’ is just as important as learning how to lose. Being a good sport to the opposing team, your teammates and your coaches are all important skills which will benefit a child later on in life.
All about Balance
Balance is the key and joining a recreational or competitive sports team is a perfect way to commit to balance. Once a child is registered, games and practices will be scheduled which also give the homeschool teacher a bit of a break from instruction. Plus, when a child joins a team sport, they are introduced to many other children from the local community which is a much needed for homeschooled children.
Of course, if sports aren’t something a child enjoys, there are other activities parents can explore which promote these skills. One example is for a child to join a dance program. Just like baseball or soccer, dance teaches children valuable skills which are often missed inside the classroom. It’s always great to provide a child options and allow them do something they want to do. Just make sure to give options which include the above skills.