My oldest daughter is playing travel soccer this year. The travel soccer schedule is demanding. 2 practices a week. 1-2 games a week. Other special events, as deemed warranted by the coach. Luckily, she isn't the goal keeper, because that is another 2 practices per week!
The location where she practices is an hour from our house, and practice is an hour and a half. The games have been at least an hour from our house. Huge time suck. Really.
But, she enjoys it, and so we endure.
The eye opening part for me: she has a girl on her team that we give a ride to once a week. She is in 6th grade. This poor girl leaves for school at 6:30 am (like she leaves the house at 6:30am- which means she got up at 5:30a??), and doesn't get home from school until 4:30pm! So, she has been at school for 10 hours, and every night she has gotten in the car for practice with us, she has her school books with her. She says most nights, she has 2-3 hours of homework.
So let's do this math: up at 5:30 am, home at 4:30pm, soccer practice from 4:45pm-7pm (including travel time), dinner from 7-7:30pm, homework from 7:30pm-10:30pm, in bed around 11pm. Yikes!
But...this makes me wonder: Is homeschooling sheltering my kids too much from the realities of life? I remember those days. I remember not getting homework done because I fell asleep on the couch at 3 in the afternoon. My kids don't usually start school until 8:30-9am. They are finished with school by 3pm most days (this includes home school gym, and any field trips we do). They rarely have work to do outside of school, other than a little reading. Should I be making them do more? Should I increase the demands I have on them? I have one starting high school next year. Is he going to be able to hang in college and "real life" if he isn't exposed to a grueling schedule now?
Lately, I've been asking myself these questions. When I see that poor girl, I feel sorry for her. She must be exhausted. But maybe, she's just used to that schedule. Maybe I've forgotten how life is suppose to work? Maybe I feel busy all the time, but I've forgotten what busy really is.
Or maybe, the demands are too much for our middle and high school students? Maybe their schedules are too exhausting?
It's given me some things to think about. I'm thinking the answer might be somewhere in the middle. I need to increase the work demands on my middle schoolers some. Maybe some "homework". Some independent projects, ect.
What are your thoughts on this fellow parents? I'd love to hear from other homeschooling families and families that have kids in public school.