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I need suggestions for an activity for my 13 yo ds

DB in NJ

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He has 1 good friend who just moved further away from us and may be moving to Arizona this summer. He goes to youth group, but he's the youngest one there, and there are no other kids his age involved. Actually, there are no other kids his age at church period.


We don't do co-op (we used to, but the only one left that's nearby is a mega co-op that I really don't know much about). He is an excellent, fast runner, but he's not interested in competition (and even if he were, there is no homeschool track team that I'm aware of).


I have absolutely no clue what to do with him. I am thinking about music lessons but that won't help with the friend thing. I've looked for lego leagues nearby, but I haven't found any (and he isn't interested anyway).


I think I need to push him to do something, whether he's interested or not. Boy Scouts is always a possibility, but we didn't have a good experience with my older ds and our local troop.


Urgh.....any ideas???

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Even if he doesn't want to compete, have you looked at track clubs. Near me a local running store sponsors a youth program. There is also a local rec league near me that runs a track club alongside other sports ( soccer, cheer, lacrosse, etc.). Your local running club may sponsor a youth program.


Music lessons--if you do something like School of Rock he would have individual lessons and be put in a performance group so he would meet other kids. Bach to Rock may also be structured like this.


Would he be interested in Parkour (lots of running and jumping over urban obstacles) there are clubs popping up all over. Many teen boys like this. It' s challenging. It's not competitive like a typical athletic event. Rock climbing can have a I liar atmosphere in a club.

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My boys aren't super active, but here are a few things they participated in during the 12-15 age range:



swimming at rec center

Theater class at performing arts center

Book club at library

robotics club with 4H

General 4H club

Game days with homeschoolers (board games)

Field trips with homeschoolers

Programming with friends via skype

cooking class and photography class through rec center

ping pong at rec center


If you have access to any kind of local message homeschool group, you could suggest a monthly activity for kids in his age range or with same interests. I did this when the kids were younger and we organized science days, game days, orange juice juicing days (we had a very prolific orange tree), pokemon days, etc.

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Could you look into the co-op again, maybe just take one class there? It might be worth checking into. Also, that's an age where my kids sometimes didn't think they were interested in an activity, but if I pushed them just a little, they sometimes ended up really enjoying it. Can you look for a community track team? Our town has one in the summer. My son at that age began swimming, and it ended up being a real passion of his. There was both a community team and a school team that he eventually swam with, and where he met a couple of good friends. Also, it took up a lot of extra time. With my children, I found that they were content having their family as their best friends as long as they had enough activities to do. So, even if he doesn't find a best friend in an activity, it might fulfill other needs.


Other things my son got into at that age... Theater! Does your town have a community theater? Biking... (my husband got into that too, and they ended up going on some MS bike rides across our state in the summers, which was a wonderful experience for both of them.) 4H? A part-time job? My son was able to start working in a restaurant bussing tables at age 14. Environmental groups? Two rivers pass through our town, and there is an active environmental group here that focuses on keeping the rivers clean. They have lots of other activities, such as kayaking, camping, canoe races, etc. That's where my son got into kayaking.


My son really needed physical activity at that age. If he didn't do something active every day, he'd go a little crazy!

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