How Our Family Chooses Childhood Extracurricular Activities

caabmorgansrecital

*The girls prior to my daughter’s dance recital at our Christian dance studio.  I am so thankful to have found a school which uses appropriate music and costumes.  My older daughters and myself are wearing clothing that came from consignment sales, Ross, or Cato. Cato is a wonderful place to purchase jean skirts!*

A bit of background concerning our extracurricular choices…

Many years ago my two oldest daughters were heavily involved in competitive dance.  We were assuredly Christian at the time, but the kind that avoided the “big” sins and then went to church on Sunday.  I most definitely wanted to please the Lord, but honestly was not taught in our church that things such as immodest dress and worldly music was wrong.   Every one else in our church did these things, so how could it be against God’s word? I did draw the line with hip hop dancing (at my husband’s insistence), but everything else was fair game.

Over time, I began to feel more and more convicted on the subject by simply reading my Bible.  The “dance conversation” was also causing a lot of strife between my husband and myself because his level of conviction far outweighed mine.  (This in itself should have been a red flag for me.)  Instead I tried my best to convince our dance director to make better choices with music selection and costume choices until we were literally asked to leave the dance studio.

At that point, I of course found another secular dance studio.  We had a much better experience here, and stayed at this location for one year.  I was insistent on continuing with dance because my daughter was very talented. (Her jazz group, duo, and solo won 1st overall at Nationals in the 12 and under category when she was only 6 years old.  Her solo came in 1st place at basically every competition we attended.) Looking back now, I see I was seeking the approval of the world over God’s approval, AND, I was teaching my daughter to look to the world for approval as well.

And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

Romans 12:2

We then switched over to competitive gymnastics.  I felt like this would take care of my music and costume convictions, and it did.  Along with that however, was terribly long hours.  This wasn’t good for our large family either, but we kept going for the sake of daughter.  Her coach said she was definitely college material.  But I was still seeking the world’s approval over God’s.

Over time I realized what I was doing, but it took serious prompting by the Holy Spirit.  Our daughter was exposed to music while at the gym that I didn’t approve of.  She was grouped with girls whose conversations did not line up with our Christian beliefs.  She developed ankle tendonitis, which was extremely painful and affected her greatly.  Also, did I really want my girl to be aspiring to attend a non Christian college?

Be not deceived: evil companions corrupt good morals.

1 Corinthians 15:33

A few months ago I finally switched all of our girls to a Christian dance school in the area.  Two of my daughters had already been attending there for awhile, and my other daughter fit in just perfectly.  She.Loves.It.  It has been a long time coming, and finally I listened to the complete promptings of the Holy Spirit!

Some questions we ask while examining extracurricular activities are:

Is this activity glorifying God, or will it help in my Christian service at a later time?

Does this activity require that our children participate in ungodly behavior, such as immodest dress or movements?

While our childen encounter ungodly influences while participating? (Take a look at the post Spiritually Guarding Our Children to see my view on “overprotection”).

Does this activity keep our family apart for long periods of time?

Is the instructor a Christian?

If there is a skill that our children would like to learn, and we can’t teach it to them we have no problem asking someone else to help teach that skill.  We do make sure to stay close by during the lesson unless we know and trust the instructor.  If the lessons put a hindrance on our family time, we opt to forego that activity.  We allow our children to participate in team building activities as long as it is in a Christian environment.  For example, our oldest son participates in Upwards Soccer.

caabUpwardSoccer

I would love to hear about your own experience with extracurricular activities!  Do you have any tips or scriptural advise?

~Nicole

You might also like:

Mother’s Day Baby Bottle Change Drive Kick Off

Is Patience Needed for Homeschooling?

Instilling Biblical Truths in Littles While Homeschooling Older Children

 

Written by Nicole

NICOLE CRONE enjoys writing encouragement for moms in which God is glorified at her blog, Children are a Blessing. She is wife to Rusty, and mom to eight sweet children. Nicole has been a homeschool mom for thirteen years, and is currently a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. When Nicole isn’t homeschooling, you can find her writing, reading, sewing, or blogging at www.childrenareablessing.org. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Related posts:

About Nicole

NICOLE CRONE enjoys writing encouragement for moms in which God is glorified at her blog, Children are a Blessing. She is wife to Rusty, and mom to eight sweet children. Nicole has been a homeschool mom for thirteen years, and is currently a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. When Nicole isn’t homeschooling, you can find her writing, reading, sewing, or blogging at www.childrenareablessing.org. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

8 Thoughts on “How Our Family Chooses Childhood Extracurricular Activities

  1. I had a similar situation when my children were younger. I finally had them quit dancing after a certain age because the dance, music and costumes were inappropriate. They were ready for sports at that time so it worked out well. You may enjoy my post on teaching your children to sew in the form of a Summer Sewing Camp.
    http://www.thelostapron.com/2013/05/summer-sewing-camp-materials.html

  2. Vickie on May 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm said:

    We have had similar issues to yours but my oldest is a boy. T-ball, baseball, karate, & jujitsu were his favs. With T-ball it was ok but when it got up to baseball I couldn’t believe some of the parents. He played so well though and all the coaches hoped he got picked for their team. (I realize now my ego played a part in it too. I enjoyed proudly walking around with my shirt that said _’s mom on the back & having everyone compliment him) My husband was actually thrilled when our son decided he didn’t want to play anymore. The karate type stuff was pretty good. Self-control is what they boast upon. It is, but after 2 years at one place that we really liked, we found out that the teacher was brought up & eventually convicted of improper conduct with a female student!!! (never would I have guessed he would have done something like that) Thankfully he will never teach again.
    With my daughter, she’s never really wanted to participate in a lot of things like that. There is a little group for girls only that meets 2x a month but unfortunately I’ve found the kids very cliquey and even though it’s suppose to be Christian homeschool group it never really felt like it, even with the moms. We did 1 year of dance classes and they were ok but very expensive and I really didn’t see her get much out of it. Now we consider our homeschool co-op that meets once a week an extra curricular activity. I allow my children to chose the classes they want to take & they are usually more “fun” than academic. That’s ok for me though we do our academic things at home. We also meet occasionally with friends to go to the movies, skating, bowling, etc. Between those and the fact we live on a small farm we keep busy. I don’t want to be overly protective, but at this time I like that mostly where my daughter goes, I or another trusted mom goes. (My son is now an adult)

  3. I grew up taking dance,so of course, I wanted my little girl to take dance. But I worry about the same issues – music choices, costumes, conversations with other girls. Right now, she is taking a break from everything and is going to enjoy summer. During this time, I am going to research more studios and I hope to find a better one.

  4. Love to hear about these life changes. We had a very similar one with gymnastics that my daughter wrote about on my blog. I would love to send you the link to further encourage you. You are doing a great job Mom! You will be richly blessed, Found you through The Modest Mom.

  5. We have always monitored our kids activities throughout the years. We once attended a Christian dance studio but left because they were doing just as the non-Christian studios were. It was sad to see that what they claimed was not to be. We just believe it is for the child’s benefit that we always be aware of how each activity presents itself and whether is is what we want for our child. Good post. Thank you for sharing at WJIM. Blessings.

  6. Andrea B on May 30, 2013 at 10:05 pm said:

    One of the mostmoving dances I have ever seen was a dance some teen girls made up to the song Via Delorosa (sp?). It depicted Christ carrying the cross and dying, and it was incredible. Dancing to bring glory to God is a beautiful thing.

  7. Courtney on June 17, 2013 at 12:38 am said:

    In years past one of my daughters also was involved in competitive dance. We came to many of the same conclusions you did, however another one that you did not seem to touch on was… how can this be used to minister to others?
    We chose to move to music lessons: piano, guitar, and violin for our children because they could use this skill at nursing homes, church, even family gatherings. We did not see a future in my daughters dancing at our family gatherings. Now with a family of 7, we have music teachers that come to our home making ‘lesson day’ MUCH easier on the whole family.
    Great post and encouraging blog

  8. Trish Weber on June 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm said:

    thanks so much for sharing this. We are right now trying to make these decisions and finding the line between going overboard and being righteous. It is appearing to me more and more that it is hard to be too over protective. The world goes more to hell everyday and it is scary sometimes the things you encounter just by doing simple activities such as going to the park or the grocery store. Things that I have to explain that I wasn’t prepared for because my children are ages 6,5,4,2,1 and three months so I thought I would have more time especially as we homeschool and have a wonderful church but that just isn’t the case. Even in our church we stand out for the choices we have made mostly for modesty. Most people we meet think that we are baptists. But we are non denominational. My daughter was very stuck on ballet and at first we encouraged it as I always loved dance but then I felt convicted in my heart about the way men and woman touch each other in later years and it is hard to stop something once it has started. I now feel less weird after your article. Thanks for affirming me. We need that these days especially when we are swimming against the main stream.

Post Navigation


Hit Counter provided by orange county divorce attorney