Well, it's that time of life. It's time to start letting the kids get in on the busy-ness that we call SCHEDULED FUN! We've always been cautious about jumping on the activities wagon--more so than we probably would be if we had only one or two kids. But with 3 so close in age, we decided it would be unwise to begin T-ball, dance lessons, or any other type of activity when they were still so young.
Well. Enter our new neighbors, whom we have grown quite close to in a short time. The kids adore playing together, and it's a wonderful thing for a homeschooling mom to be able to host playmates for her kids, thereby giving her some much-needed freedom. (Is it sad that I feel "free" to do cooking or housework or even business activities while my kids are entertaining and being entertained by other children?!) Joe, the soon-to-be step-dad of Braden and Mikaela, is a black belt in taekwondo, and he had been talking to Carmen, the kids' mom and my new friend, about getting the kids in lessons. He personally knows a family who has a studio in the area, and he regards them very highly.
Coincidentally, Ted and I had been thinking for awhile that some kind of martial arts training would be very good for Tobin. So, with the interest of our friends and the recommendation for this particular studio, off we went for a trial session. Despite a very squirmy, fussy Kenna who would NOT be contained in the small seating area of the studio (she and I walked the strip mall multiple times), what I was able to see did impress me. I went ahead and signed Charis and Tobin up for the 2-week trial so we could see how they liked it.
Though it was difficult to say NO to Arden (he's too young for the class the other 4 kids are in), he took it quite well. And I have to confess that I probably would not have even considered this activity if it weren't for Carmen's generous offer to take my kids to lessons. They meet 3 times a week for 45-minute sessions, which isn't a big deal until you consider the fact that this particular studio is a good 25-minute drive WITHOUT Las Vegas evening traffic! After prayer and discussion, Ted and I decided to sign the older two up for 6 months. They already have their first belt test on June 19, and I confess I'm getting pretty excited.
From everything we checked out on the web site to the training DVD, I am quite impressed. I also have to say that I have seen a NOTICEABLE improvement in Tobin's self-control overall. The activity also seems to be very good for helping Charis in the physical coordination department, which is not her strong suit. She faithfully practices her forms each day, and I love watching her!
Arden still gets in on the action by going along now and then to watch the class with Carmen--he does great sitting still and watching. He's learning, too, and Joe is working with all 5 of the kids to help them. We'd love it if they all pass their belt tests and can move on to the next class together...otherwise, we'll have to figure out a way to carpool!
So, we'll see where this all leads. Right now is a great time to try it out, since it's summer and AWANA and Bible study sessions are on break.