Sunday, July 1, 2012
I cringe when I hear some mothers talking about the schedules their kids keep...school, basketball, music lessons, swimming, karate, homework. And that's all in one day. Plus somewhere in there is a hurried dinner that is picked up and eaten on the go. We have never set a very harried pace for our children. I don't know whether it is out of laziness on our part since we are the chauffeurs or a concern for our children. I would guess it's a little mixture of both. It seems parents these days are so worried about what little Johnny may get into if he has any spare moments in which to think for himself that they fill every second of his day for him. I knew we did not want that for our children.
This different approach does have its downsides, though...like in sports. Most kids our kids' ages have been pushed and pushed to fill their every spare moment participating in and practicing their sport of choice (or of Mom and Dad's choosing). We have been a bit more lax in this area. We have encouraged our kids to try out different sports and focus on those they like, but we didn't start extremely young, and we have not forced them into Olympic training style schedules either. As a result, they don't have as much experience under their belt as their peers might. I know that fact was a little bit disheartening for the boys last year in soccer.
And that is why I jumped at the opportunity to join an informal homeschool soccer group. A homeschool dad in the area has volunteered his time to coach any homeschool children who wish to play. I knew Jacob would be interested, so I signed him up. Alex, upon learning her friend would be playing, decided she too wanted to participate even though her sport is basketball. I still couldn't convince Michael to play, but it was to be a family event yesterday anyway, so we all went. Wouldn't you know, as soon as we drove up, Michael said, "I changed my mind. I want to play." Thankfully, he had had the forethought to wear tennis shoes.
They all had a great time playing, and all three of them did an awesome job. (I don't even think there is any Mama bias in that statement.) Even Alex who claims she does not play soccer and really only joined for social reasons did well. And I loved the dynamics of the play - there were all ages represented, yet everyone still pulled his/her own weight in the scrimmage. It was indeed low pressure, and I think as a result not quite so intimidating as some of these events can be.
And...the soccer players even had their own cheerleader. She wasn't feeling well Saturday, but I think we may be able to convince her to give soccer a try next time.