September-October are always transitional months, where travel and projects with inner rhythm give space to the weekly structure of externals clubs, sports and lessons (see previous winter seasons). This year there are also more online group lessons that kids do in Russian (marked “R”). There are also more shorted courses that might be replaced by something else later in the season. So this is how our “external schedule” looks so far:
- (Oct-Dec) History of life online (R), Alexander and Anna
- (Oct-Jan) Proefrondje Muziek, girls
- swimming, girls
- (Sep-Nov) History of inventionthes online (R), Alexander
- choir, all kids at three different levels (Alexander and Anna do two levels each)
- math online (R), Alexander
- judo, girls
- swimming, Alexander
- homeschooling meetings
- judo, Alexander
Making choices for the external activities to follow is always a tough process. External activities add a lot of value, providing a structured guided experience in social settings, often in the fields where we can’t do it good enough (sports, music) or with other “extras”, such as concerts and social life of the choir or Russian in online lessons. But having a fixed external structure eats into the time that could be more flexibly used for our own projects and travel. It also asks for a time and energy spent on the logistics (preparing and processing content-wise, packing, travel, communication), although that part became much easier for me since in the last two years Alexander gradually switched into travelling to all of his local activities by himself and he sometimes also helps with the girls. And, of course, money is also an issue.
With the sports and other activities, my preference usually goes into those in the beginning or end of the day, so that the kids can have a few uninterrupted hours to study in own rhythm, to do a project, to meet people or to go a field/musea/garden trip. We also have a strong preference for keeping the weekends as free as possible from fixed external events to travel further away, do things together as a family and to have a social life. And I have learnt to keep short school holidays (where Dutch regular activities stop) as free as possible from the homeschooling group activities, so we have more time to spend with family friends with school-going kids, travel, picking things from a wide array of interesting holiday activities for the kids or just live structureless, which I personally always appreciate.