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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Will All Those Who Are TOO BUSY Please SIT DOWN!

Sometimes the solution to a problem is so simple, we can't see it. We know it's there, but we don't choose it. We're just too busy. No... I mean it. We are just too busy! And that IS the problem. The days fly by. We blink, and our children are grown. (Just ask anyone who has a graduated or married child.) "Teach us to number our days" begs the wise Psalmist.

I often see moms who, in selflessly trying to provide a well rounded life for their child, fill their schedule with sports, clubs, co-ops, music lessons, martial arts, play-dates, dance class, art class, and youth group activities. The list goes on. It's not to say that each of these things does not have their own merit. (There's just no way I would pull my kids out of their church related activities!) But we have to be careful, especially as homeschooling parents, to teach our children-not just academics-but also how to maintain a balanced life. Do we really want our children to grow up and pack their lives SO full of activities that they don't know how to just curl up with their family and read a book?

While these activities have a variety of different costs, none of them is really "free." Each one brings with it its own expectations of some level of performance and huge demands of time. And each additional activity added into the schedule means less time for other things... like basic academics, or just good ole "down time." There are plenty of studies that directly link poor health to the stress of an overly busy and pressure filled life. And none of these activities guarantee that your child will come out on top academically, socially, or any other _______ly!

I'm not suggesting that you should put the "kabosh" on ANY extra activities. There are many benefits that can be realized by participating in an extra-curricular activity. A hard working child may really need a diversion, a creative outlet, or some social time with peers. But there have to be limits.

As homeschoolers, we have been given a HUGE gift. It's called, "flexibility." Most of us can build our schedule around our own desires and not around someone else's schedule. WE can choose what is best for our child. Isn't that one of the main reasons why we do this? We have a legal and God-given right and responsibility to raise our children as we feel is best. But this doesn't mean packing in as much extra-curricular as we can before our birdies leave the nest. Our children have their whole lives in front of them. There ARE music lessons, dance classes, and Tae Kwon Do for those over the age of 18... and sometimes, the level of enjoyment and accomplishment soars as maturity takes root. We often act as though we don't want them to miss out, but those diversions... and more, will always be with us.

The one thing that WON'T always be with us are those wonderful, peaceful, and sometimes crazy fun family times. The "we don't have to go anywhere today" times. The "let's begin school with Bible study" days that show our children what is really important in life. Faith, Family, Fun!

I pray that each of you will give yourself PERMISSION to examine your homeschool schedules. Choose to trade "La Vida Loca" for more quality time with your family. Dare to NOT resemble those who are caught up in the colloquial "Rat Race." Teach your family to enjoy each other and savor these moments in the comfort of your own home instead of spending time and gas racing from one activity to the other. This is a priceless and irreplaceable gift you can give your entire family.

Is your family TOO BUSY? It's time to have a seat and make some changes. It's time to revisit the question, "Why do we homeschool?" Is it just to avoid public school, or are we hoping for something really extraordinary?


Carleen Galiardo

Homeschooling Mom
Certified Educational Evaluator


  1. Great post Carleen. You're speaking my "Just Too Busy" language. I will definitey be putting your post on my FB/Twitter pages next week.

    I wrote a book on this very subject. (Just Too Busy-Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical) I pray you pick it up for your homeschool/women's ministry. I believe it will bless the moms you know.



  2. Great post! I couldn't have said it better. Thanks!


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