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s/o of the "Horrible Year" thread -- How much time do you spend away from home?


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It sounds like many of us are stressed out by our outside commitments, and that seems to be greatly affecting our happiness and the amount of time we are able to put towards educating our children. I sat down today and figured out how many hours/week we're attending outside activities + driving time to see how much we're not at home.

 

On a good week? 14 hours, which I feel is excessive.

 

On a bad week? 24 hours -- an entire day. 1/7 of my week.

 

No wonder why my house is a complete mess most of the time, I'm stressed out, and don't have time to do anything fun. I'm either doing school with them or sitting with them at an activity. Something has to give.

 

Sit down and figure it out. It can be scary when you look at it in terms of hours physically away from home.

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We're around 9 hours of activities during "school hours" and 5 hours outside of school hours, plus I'm gone on average 4 hours each weekend for various volunteering commitments. Last year it was pretty significantly more and I was stressed all.the.time. Still, I feel like I'm not doing anything well and I'm stopping one of my volunteer commitments starting Jan. 1st.

 

The thing that will put me over some days is my email inbox. My volunteer responsibilities largely lie in being responsive to my emails and when I look and there's stuff for the 3 volunteer groups, plus the regular home management stuff, I feel pulled in too many directions and I start feeling panic set in. Then the fact that it is rare I can write a full email in one go just adds a level of stress.

 

We're finding solutions though, thank God. The solution really is cutting back. Stupid me... after I got laid off, I thought I had all the time in the world to help our community via volunteering for things.

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If we're just counting up Monday through Friday, then my numbers are similar to yours. I didn't bother adding in the multiple 15 - 20-minute round trips just to drop a kid locally or pick up someone after an activity. But, in terms of big chunks of weekday time, yes, we're in the same ballpark.

 

When I figured out our time away, the low number included one one-hour weekend dance rehearsal + round-trip travel time for that. It also included all regular dance & karate classes (I only take DS to karate when it overlaps w/DD's dance and DH takes him the rest of the time -- I only accounted for my own time, not DH's) gymnastics, and co-op. A bad week included all of the following plus FLL on Wednesdays (it's done on Wednesdays now until the fall), two two-hour dance rehearsals, and an outside monthly class (either our book club or a science class). I didn't bother to add Scouts which is every-other week, or the Saturday FLL session DH takes them to. We had 4 or 5 weeks this year that were the bad, 24-hours-away activity weeks.

 

Reading the responses, it's sort of nice to know I'm in the same boat as many of you, but it's also sad how much time we're away from home. 14-24 hours is like a part-time job. Something seriously needs to give in my schedule. I'll have to see what corners I can cut this year and reevaluate next year. Due to our schedule, we're still not able to take time for spontaneous opportunities, and that was one of my goals for the year.

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I can't handle too many outside commitments. Ours are about 6 hours total per week and that really is my limit. I know, that probably sounds pretty lame to some people, but really I'm a much more sane person when it's like that. I'm only referring to extra curricular stuff, not errands.

 

I'm like this and we're probably about 4-6 hours currently. I am very happy with being out that much. Last year and the beginning of this year, I was involved in some things that were taking up a good 20 hrs./wk. of my time, both in and out of the house. (But having to be on the phone and/or work on the computer and telling the kids they need to find something to do basically equates to being out of the house for me.) I think I've finally cut the ties on that. Whew!

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Well yeah. And it's not like the rest of the time I'm doing nothing and relaxing. On the contrary, I'm doing school work with my kids, cleaning, cooking, practicing my violin, etc. Except for time spent goofing off here, I'm pretty much always doing something. I don't mind outside stuff as long as it doesn't involve a huge serious commitment. I've been involved with stuff that just got ridiculous. As if I had nothing else going on in my life.

 

Yes, this last year I've really had the "well you're at home and don't do anything else all day" mindset from people. Eek.

 

I don't mind outside stuff as long as I don't have to talk to anyone else! Lol!

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I work 25+ hours per week, 18 of those outside the house, spread over all five days.

DD takes two outside classes, which requires her to be on campus every day of the week. She has 16 hours of actual activities there (9 hours for classes, 3 for choir, 4 for help sessions) and additional times in between spent at the library.

DS has nine hours of outside activities per week and is coming to work with me on my long day for 8 hours as well.

We are really not home all that much. I do not find it a problem. My kids work better elsewhere, with fewer distractions by their stuff and computers.

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We're out of the house for 36 hours and that's just Mon-Fri. Weekends add anywhere from 2 - 6.5 more hours out (plus church, so could be up to 9.5).

 

This is my fourteenth year homeschooling. I spent a lot more time at home when the kids were younger. While it is busy, I don't look at this time away as a bad thing. I'm not homeschooling so I can stay at home. I'm homeschooling so that I can provide them with unique educational opportunities, tailored academics, and positive social relationships. That's happening now.

 

I'm pretty careful with what we say "yes" to. Most of our out-of-house time is either music or co-op related. We have a fantastic co-op of about 60 kids and we've been running smoothly for 3 years. The academics are solid, the social time is productive and beneficial, and I love the group of people we're with. It's definitely given more to us than it's taken and it's a highlight of the week for the boys.

 

Music is pretty important to my boys (my eldest ds, especially) so that's where most of our time goes. That also brings a really lovely community of musicians together. They boys are all involved in Suzuki groups and orchestra and the majority of the kids have been together for a few years and most of them are homeschooled. They have chunks of their music day where they either run around outside playing tag or where they're all inside playing Minecraft together. They're good friends :)

 

When I decide whether we're going to spend more time out of our home I have to think about what is being offered, whether it's necessary for us, and whether it's going to be better to do it out of the house or in the house.

 

All of this outside the house stuff has meant that I can't homeschool the boys the same way I homeschooled my daughter. She loves to tell me how horrified she is that I'm not teaching them Latin or sentence diagramming. She says she's sure her strength in writing (even though she dislikes writing - she's a numbers girl) comes from all of the hours we spent doing Classical Writing and TOG together. I gave up on Latin, I'm saving diagramming for next year when the oldest boys will do AG, I've switched from CW to TOG writing (which the boys do at co-op) and we actually do a much better job of TOG than I did when dd was doing it. It's different - I've had to pick and choose. I decided to pick a few important things and do them really, really well and be willing to let some other things go and I think it's working.

 

I don't lament the time we spend out of the house. I'm grateful for the unique opportunities the boys have and for the friendships they've had a chance to develop. I love seeing the excitement that comes from learning in a group (whether that's music theory, French, writing or TOG). I am actually a lot happier with what the boys are getting out of homeschooling compared with how I homeschooled my eldest. We're having fun and we're learning :)

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Yes, this last year I've really had the "well you're at home and don't do anything else all day" mindset from people. Eek.

 

 

 

I've experience that as well from people who want me to baby-sit on occasion because I'm "home." I might be home, but since we currently only do school 4 days/week because of co-op, there really is no extra wiggle-room in my schedule for the distractions that another child would bring. It's not like it's as simple as having the child do school with us. I also have 2 friends who call constantly during the day because I'm home. Yup, I'm home -- trying to cram 4 days of school into 5 days. I really don't have time to talk to you. Most of the time I don't even answer the phone anymore.

 

I've also felt some pressure from my book club (not the one the kids are in) when they were looking for someone to take over. I held firm on that one. Our book club uses these book kits from the library and there are usually one or two stragglers when it comes to returning them to the head of the club. I don't have the time or desire to track down people. It would stress me out!

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When I decide whether we're going to spend more time out of our home I have to think about what is being offered, whether it's necessary for us, and whether it's going to be better to do it out of the house or in the house.

 

 

I think you made a key point. I'm trying to evaluate which out-of-the-house time is truly benefiting my kids and us as a family. There are some things that are, like FLL (even though the commitment is heavy from September-December). They're learning about team work, engineering, programming, problem-solving, and we lucked out with a really nice group of kids who mesh well. Their book club (run by the same mom who does Lego) is also beneficial. They can't have the type of literary discussion with me that they have with a group of peers. That's also only once/month, so it's not awful squeezing it in. When DH and I discussed what needs to give, I was firm on those two activities because the benefits outweigh the time commitment. Dance and karate are both fairly big commitments, but the kids benefit physically and socially. We can consider it PE. Cutting dance back a bit might be a possibility next year, but it largely depends on the schedule. Karate is 3 days/week -- it is what it is. If dance overlaps with karate, DD might as well take the dance classes. Both activities are in the same building. We are taking a monthly science class that is NOT benefiting my kids. They over-booked the classes so instead of the people who run the center teaching the classes, they've had really clueless college kids who didn't know the material 2 out of 3 times. It's also a 90-minute round-trip for us so the travel time plus the class eats up all but a couple hours of our school day. I'm dropping that, even if they won't refund the money.

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We are out of the house as absolutely little as possible during the school day. I'm a homebody, we are late-birds, and I don't like the interruptions. There is a park day once a week that I don't even like to go to (and typically don't), but the boys really want to take the homeschool PE class that is offered during that time, so I might make the effort in January. Otherwise, if we are out, it's to go to the library or run an errand (usually done on the same afternoon). In the evenings, I'm gone a couple hours one night for a Bible study, ds11 has CCD a different night, and the other two boys have CCD on a third afternoon/evening. That's all. We have Mass on Sunday and sometimes we'll try to get to a weekday Mass in the evening. I just don't like being out too much (I grew up where home was the main commitment and I just like it that way; dh grew up where everyone was off doing their own thing and though it worked for them, we decided that we didn't want such a busy life for our family).

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For us it ranges between 11 hours and 16 hours during the week plus 2 hours for gymnastics on Saturday and 7 hours for church on Sunday. I agree with the other poster who said that what bothers her the most is the driving. With all our activities (including weekends), 8 hours of that is just spent on driving.

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We started out having a pretty stressed year. I took a job out of the house for 3 hrs each afternoon. Technically if we worked really hard and stuck to a strict schedule we could get all of the work done in those hours before I left with a little bit of homework. The kids came with me to the job and worked and played there. My dh was not home from work yet at the time I worked, or things might have worked out better if he was home and they had some free time and more time to finish work with him helping and for fun projects,e tc.

 

But I did the adding up the hours. I worked 15 hrs a week Mon=Fri. That was 15 hrs, plus drive time for the week= 20 hrs a week. Plus we kept up our regular extra curriculars: co-op and scouts and dd10's dance teacher said she had to add another hour of dance during the week this years. So put those things in and we are up to a min. of 28 hrs out of the house Mon-Fri if things went well and not over time. Plus 2 of the days at home, I had my 3 yr old niece with me, so my attention wasn't fully on my kids' schoolwork. So it was a tough 2 months. I gave that job up quickly. It was nice to have the $, but the reality was that I couldn't do it all.

 

Instead I took in an extra toddler on the days that I already babysit my 3 yr old niece. So those days are tougher for school, but I have more freedom. We can work more on the days they aren't here. We can work longer in the evenings after they leave or go to the library.

 

In the end we are right where I needed to be in every subject. We did drop piano and art at home, but I want to get piano back in and plan to rewrite our schedule over Christmas break to fit it in. Art at home has had to be dropped as a formal subject, but dd10 gets it at co-op, and dd8 has had one outside art class so far, and she has scouts and free time with supplies at home. We fit it appreciation with history. And I will make sure we get it in as a skills subject again for next year.

 

So not a perfect year, but I acted quickly to save us from a horrible year thankfully.

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We are out of the house around 21 hours a week. We have been homeschooling 13 years. I am very thankful that we chose to spend quality time outside of the home. My oldest dd is a senior and has always homeschooled. She was accepted to all the colleges/universities she applied to. She also has already been offered $20,000 a year to her #1 school. She has also been invited to their full ride scholarship interviews in January. She has also been invited to apply to all the school's Honors programs. Dd had good test scores and grades but her outside activities and leadership has really helped her stand out.

 

I understand the mindset of many homeschoolers is to stay home but I'm afraid that won't be what pays off in the long run. At least that has been my experience.

 

God Bless,

 

Elise in NC

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For us it ranges between 11 hours and 16 hours during the week plus 2 hours for gymnastics on Saturday and 7 hours for church on Sunday. I agree with the other posted who said that what bothers her the most is the driving. With all our activities (including weekends), 8 hours of that is just spent on driving.

 

A lot of our time is spent driving too. If an activity is 30-60 minutes, double the time to account for driving there and back.

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We are out of the house around 21 hours a week. We have been homeschooling 13 years. I am very thankful that we chose to spend quality time outside of the home. My oldest dd is a senior and has always homeschooled. She was accepted to all the colleges/universities she applied to. She also has already been offered $20,000 a year to her #1 school. She has also been invited to their full ride scholarship interviews in January. She has also been invited to apply to all the school's Honors programs. Dd had good test scores and grades but her outside activities and leadership has really helped her stand out.

 

I understand the mindset of many homeschoolers is to stay home but I'm afraid that won't be what pays off in the long run. At least that has been my experience.

 

God Bless,

 

Elise in NC

 

It seems like most of the people who share your opinion, Elise, that being out of the house pays off more in the long run, have older kids. I can see the benefit to outside classes when they're older, but right now most of the outside classes we take haven't been worth it compared to what we could be doing at home during those hours. Spending half a day including traveling to a science class that is awful (my 9 year-old seriously knew more about nocturnal animals than the teacher did -- most of the kids in his group did) isn't worth the effort. We wasted half a day when we could have been doing school or watching a documentary about animals.

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It seems like most of the people who share your opinion, Elise, that being out of the house pays off more in the long run, have older kids. I can see the benefit to outside classes when they're older, but right now most of the outside classes we take haven't been worth it compared to what we could be doing at home during those hours. Spending half a day including traveling to a science class that is awful (my 9 year-old seriously knew more about nocturnal animals than the teacher did -- most of the kids in his group did) isn't worth the effort. We wasted half a day when we could have been doing school or watching a documentary about animals.

 

 

 

I think we all agree that going to classes that are awful just isn't worth it. For me, the question is whether or not it's worth it if the class is educational and my kids enjoy it, but it's one more chunk of time away from home.

 

I'm trying to decide what to do w/my co-op in January. We're doing SOTW, which my kids have done, but we're focusing on the crafts, which they haven't done. They are definitely learning the material better (I add more for dd12) and having lots of fun with it. We're also out of the house for CC, which I've decided to forgo next year b/c I can do the same thing in a fraction of the time. But it means dd8 and I are gone yet another half day. We also go to a swim, gym, and art session at our Y, which is yet another half day. I view this as extra, but we all enjoy it. Then my youngest has 30 mins. of choir, which is only 10 mins. from my house. This is worth it.

 

We're actually spending more time at home this year than ever before.

 

The evening/weekend activities are a separate issue for us. My kids are very much into sports. It's part of their identities, so it's very hard to cut back. Ds played football, which was a huge time sink. My dd12 is on a travel volleyball team, and once the season hits, we'll be gone every other weekend for the entire weekend. I'm grateful that we homeschool b/c we can chill a bit on Mondays when we come back. We also spend a lot of time w/volunteer activities, plus some just plain fun stuff. We also used to do more night time activities--more than one sport per child b/c being well-rounded has been a priority.

 

 

My ds is in high school this year, and I've wondered whether our major running around hurt him compared to his peers who were in brick and mortar schools b4 attending this demanding high school. DS gets extremely high grades, but I do believe his life now would be easier if we spent more time on academics before he left for school. However, I don't think the trade-off for all the fun and new experiences we had would be worth it.

 

Bottom line, I agree w/Speedmom and am happy to hear that her dd has been successful b/c of her time outside the home.

 

Laura

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When I figured out our time away, the low number included one one-hour weekend dance rehearsal + round-trip travel time for that. It also included all regular dance & karate classes (I only take DS to karate when it overlaps w/DD's dance and DH takes him the rest of the time -- I only accounted for my own time, not DH's) gymnastics, and co-op. A bad week included all of the following plus FLL on Wednesdays (it's done on Wednesdays now until the fall), two two-hour dance rehearsals, and an outside monthly class (either our book club or a science class). I didn't bother to add Scouts which is every-other week, or the Saturday FLL session DH takes them to. We had 4 or 5 weeks this year that were the bad, 24-hours-away activity weeks.

 

 

Ah.

 

If we're counting weekends, then our total would be higher. My son just finished a youth theatre production that had him at rehearsals between three and five hours each Saturday. I didn't always stay the entire time, depending on how long he was going to be there and what else was going on during that time. Most of those weeks, though, my daughter had an acting class in a different location kind of in the middle of his rehearsal time, meaning I basically took both of them with me, dropped him in one place, drove her to the other, waited for her, picked her up and took her with me back to collect him and then took all of us home. A day like that would add four - six hours to our weekly total.

 

My son is the only one still regularly attending chuch, and it's next door to our house, anyway. So, that requires none of my time any longer.

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I actually try not to spend a lot of time away from home. Everyone ends up stressed when we're gone too much, especially on the weekend.

 

We normally go out once a week (plus once, sometimes twice, on weekends). So we might spend six hours away from home during the Monday-Friday week. Sometimes there's a second day, and occasionally it's three days. But if it's more than about twelve, I feel very stressed, and everything suffers. We do live 20-30 minutes from everything, so we have to factor that into the day, the drive -- but it does keep us from going out multiple times a week for short trips. Typically, once a week, the boys have speech therapy, so DD does schoolwork while she, the baby, and I sit in the waiting room, and then we also hit the library, grocery store, and any other necessary errands. It does make for a long day, but it is SO worth it when we don't have to all go out other days.

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Ok, I got 6 hours, that is time we HAVE to go out of the house. BUT, we also have two park play dates per week. In our neighborhood. ;-) We sometimes also add a play date with other friends, like tomorrow we are meeting some at Chuck E Cheese. Last week we met friends at a different park. We also go on our own to the playground almost daily. Obviously, none of the play dates/park times are mandatory, which is why i didnt count them. If we dont get done with our work, we stay home. Usually though, we get done, and so can go to the park daily. If i were to add up all of the time we spent out of the house this week including park time...um probably over 20 hours.

Each of the older dd's only have one lesson per week, dd1-riding and dd2, gymnastics. Including drive time, those take up 4 hours. Church is another 2 hours including drive time.

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I definitely spent more time at home when the kids were younger. I find it far less practical to stay home now that I have two teenagers. I'm out of the house a lot.

 

My husband drives my 12th grader to her dual enrollment classes two days a week, but I usually need to pick her up in the afternoon. My middle two go to and from the ice rink several days a week, and my youngest has a variety of therapies and doctor appointments. I handle American Heritage Girl committments for my teens, and my husband handles Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. That's not counting the times I drive them to get together with friends. I try to avoid leaving the house before noon most days, so I've got the mornings to get things done.

 

Honestly though, I have no complaints. The kids aren't overcomitted. I am. :) But next year, my oldest will be off to college and out of the house, and I'll miss driving her around and chatting. It's a season of life. So I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

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Honestly though, I have no complaints. The kids aren't overcomitted. I am. :) But next year, my oldest will be off to college and out of the house, and I'll miss driving her around and chatting. It's a season of life. So I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

 

Exactly.

 

My daughter is starting to talk seriously about moving out, and it's hitting me hard how much I'll miss her. She's already finished college on her own, special weird time-table. So, once she's flown the coop, that'll likely be that: no holiday and summer breaks, just out there living her own life. It's as it should be. I'm proud of her and know it's time. I just can't believe how fast it feels like it's gone in some ways, and in others like she's been part of my life forever.

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I just figured our out and we're gone about 17 hours a week M-F. That includes co-op, cub scouts, piano lessons, taekwondo, and some time playing with friends.

 

No wonder I feel overcommitted. Ds and I were actually just talking about having too many commitments this evening (as we were driving to one of our activities). He said, "When we do swim team again, I don't want to do swim team. It makes us too busy." LOL. I told him we probably wouldn't do swim team again. I had 2 kids on swim team 3x a week, the other two in swim lessons the other days and I literally had to make a spreadsheet to figure out when we could squeeze in all of our activities. It was insane.

 

I keep telling myself I won't sign up for the co-op next year, but I always do. We get so much more school-work done when I'm not over-scheduled and stressed. When I am stressed about getting all their schoolwork done, I tend to shut down and not get any school done at all. How's that for counter-productive??

 

I quarantined my kids for a week this month (because they had nasty coughs) and it was so nice! It took us until 4pm to get all our school work done, but everyone had lots of time to play and I was a lot more patient with them because there was no set time we had to finish by.

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I have to be out 6-hours per week for commitments. My older is out 3-hours longer because he carpools home from one class. Those days carpool doesnt work out I add about an hourish to my time out for pick up. Luckily I can squeeze errands & grocery shopping in this time out while the older is in class or I'd go crazy. There is also a once per month commitment that takes us to for three hours each time. This is my limit. I keep two days per week 100% open. The third I reserve for friends/family get togethers or the odd field trip. Our weekends have no commitments.

 

February will be crazy. My older is in a play and he'll have lots of rehearsals. My head is already spinning! But he is loving his class and I know it will be worth all the craziness.

 

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This is my fourteenth year homeschooling. I spent a lot more time at home when the kids were younger. While it is busy, I don't look at this time away as a bad thing. I'm not homeschooling so I can stay at home. I'm homeschooling so that I can provide them with unique educational opportunities, tailored academics, and positive social relationships. That's happening now.

 

 

 

I agree with this - this is how it is for us. I am not homeschooling to be 'home.' I disliked the kids sitting around in a chair for hours at school. We do tons out in the community. Lessons, clubs, hands-on science learning, performances, recitals, museum classes, sports, Church things ... etc. I look for new and unique things to do all of the time. I am sometimes worn out but the kids are thriving. We still do rigorous things at home (Latin, Gr, hardcore math, music practice, science, etc).

 

I am not a homebody, though. If I'm home all day I get restless and miserable. The kids seem very happy to be involved "Out There."

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I can't even begin to calculate how many hours we're out of the house each week. Several of my children's activities meet only twice a month and they have very few activities where I actually stay for the entire duration of the class. Generally speaking I drop a kid off at class, go on my merry way and pick the kid up at the end of the activity (most of their classes are 2-3 hours long.) So, just because I take my oldest to a 3 hour nature class or a 2 hour choir rehearsal doesn't necessarily mean that *I* am out of the house that entire time.

 

Overall though, we do a fair number of extracurriculars. Since we homeschool I personally feel as though the various art, music, dance and nature classes that they take in addition to weekly park days, library trips and field trips are all a part of providing them with a well-rounded education. If I was unable to provide them with such activities I would probably have to reconsider whether homeschooling was the best choice for us. That being said, I do appreciate quiet time at home too and thus always make sure we have at least two days each week that we can stay home in our pajamas if we so desire. ;-)

 

If I had to add it up, I'd say that the activities in which we participate vary from about 8 hours on a slow week to about 18 on a very busy week. Granted, many of those are activities that I described above where I simply drop off and pick up later (or better yet, my oldest gets a ride home from a classmate.)

 

Now, my real time-drain is the 45 hours or so that I spend at work each week. If only I could ditch the job we would have SO much more time to get things done!

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OK, I had to add up our hours out of the house after reading this thread! :laugh:

 

We are gone an average of 14 hours a week, although it feels like a lot more since we goto some activity or another every evening but Mondays.

 

I am just in my second year of homeschooling, so I am still figuring out what works for us (and once I figure it out, not doubt our needs will immediately change!). When we first started, we spent time with a group of homeschoolers who were very into "going" to all sorts of things most every day. I thought that was what I was "supposed" to be doing, so we went along. With this group though, it was mostly a social event for the moms - which don't get me wrong, I'm not against! - but it took up so much of my time, and I find with my kids home now ALL day long, I need a lot less social time. (A lot.)

 

Our daughter struggles with going to large group events or chaotic activities. She is not comfortable with unstructured social time. It is stressful for her and where she is at right now, she would rather stay at home all day, every day. (We're working on that.) That's been a convenient way/excuse (yes, I felt I needed an excuse!) to settle into a more "at home" homeschooling day that works better for us. (For now.)

 

When I envisioned homeschooling I pictured all kinds of educational and fun "field trips" together, so our days don't look quite like I thought they would. But we are also learning a whole lot more than I thought we would. I worry that I am not fun enough. :crying: I don't quite know how to find that balance...perhaps that is another thread topic waiting to happen...

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We spend about 18 hours a week out of the house involved in volunteer work, outside classes and extracurricular activities. The problem is, that doesn't include playdates, visits on the weekend with my extended family, doctor's appointments, and the many other things that "just come up". So far, we have still been able to get 98% of our schoolwork done, but I don't feel like I have time to do art or craft projects with my dd anymore and we don't get enough time to spend together doing family activities or field trips, which we've always done up until this year.

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We spend 11 hours out, which includes all walking and driving time. Dance takes 1 h. 45 min. and piano takes 1 h. 30 min. from the time we walk out the door to when we walk back in. We have the car one day a week, so I spend an hour taking my husband to work and driving back home, then we go to a homeschool gym time for an hour at 9:30. We stay out to do errands like libraries outside of our neighborhood or the grocery store, eat lunch, or see a friend, and then pick my husband up at 4, home by 4:30. Wednesdays are exhausting for me because I try to pack way too much in. If I had schedules like some people so, I would be a crazy person.

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Dd has a weekly 1.5 hour Spanish class that is in a town 40 minutes away, and she volunteers at the library 2 hours each week. They both attend a bi-weekly co-op that is 3 hours long. I lead a monthly book club meeting for 3rd-6th graders that meets about 3 hours (watch movie of the book, too).

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"We" are out of the house for 5 hours per week. Homeschool group and swimming. (+ younger also has gymnastics for 1.5 hours, but older does not go)

 

But my older son can walk, bus, or train to:

home ec/shop (4 hrs)

Martial arts (3hrs)

Violin lessons (4 hrs, soon to be 7hrs when he joins the kids' symphony)

 

And the Mandarin tutor comes to the house (2 hrs)

 

I evaluate activities based on proximity to my house and ability of my ds to get there on his own!

 

Ruth in NZ

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**la la la la** plugging my ears--I don't want to know!

 

One of my kids is at 15 hours a week for one activity. This doesn't include drive time. The other has considerably less hours, but we are on the road for her travel team. Really, I don't want to know how much we're not home.

 

I try to remind myself that what they are gleaning from their activities outweighs the costs, and the time away from the books.

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Right now DD12 is performing in a mainstage show at a local theater. It runs up until Christmas. Then there's all of her other classes in dance, piano, acting, voice, and a performing arts troupe. I think it would be easier to say we're home on average which includes sleep time only about 14 hours a day. Normally, our schedule only requires us to be gone about 4 hours a day. Then I work outside the home, but at night so I don't really count that since the rest of the world is sleeping while I'm away.

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We have 7 hours of out-of-house activities for the boys.

 

I have 10 hours of work (4 at home, 6 away) per week, plus I run a business from home. I do calls for that during one of the boys' 30-minute MWF activities. I also work three big weeks each summer and 12 other weeks during the year I have more work at night (musician & college teaching). It's complicated, but I don't see it as competing for time with hs'ing. I do see it draining my energy and sometimes my patience and that is problematic.

 

I'm going to dig around to see if there are some threads about making decisions about work for hs'ing moms. I have a career, but it's no longer my priority. As they get older, I'm sure I'll be paring back on my own commitments but it's not going to be easy. I love my career, and the flexibility of it makes it seem jussst about doable, KWIM?

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