It all started the year that Aaron was 5 and Jonathan 7 and they were interested in baseball. So Ken thought we should sign them up to play. That was what most people did - wasn't it? So we signed them up. The schedule ended up being so that I needed to take them 4 mornings a week for 6 or so weeks. It took a large chunk of my morning (as I was not inclined to just drop them off - I had seen one poor boy get dropped off and then it started raining hard and they cancelled and he didn't know what to do - that was not going to happen to my boys.) and it was cold pretty much the whole time - we do live in Northern MN after all and it was fairly early mornings in June and July. Also it was gardening time - this was taking valuable gardening time. The other thing - it was during the day so Ken was at work. He did take off time some to take Jonathan to some games but mostly it was me going out with all the kids.
I know that all sounds pretty complaining of me - and it is. I could have totally made it work if I felt it was really important, but I didn't. So I decided there must be a better way - at least a better way for my family - obviously the normal method works for many people. So I thought about it and thought why not have a once a week (more manageable for us) baseball time that would be done in the evening so those dads that are really interested can come. We could invite others from our homeschool community and the parents could be the coaches/pitchers. We would have it all summer so there would still be a lot of opportunities for playing but it wouldn't be so overwhelming.
|A picture of kids in the dug-out a few years back.|
We have once in a while had a very small crowd and the kids really get to bat a lot, but generally we have good sized gatherings and have enough kids to split into two different age groups on two different fields. The most we have had was around 60 kids. This year so far we are running between 30 and 40 kids playing (and lots of little ones running around outside) - as the summer goes on it will probably get bigger. For the smaller kids we use a soft baseball so that nobody gets hurt (at least not to badly).
Besides the fun that the kids have playing baseball it has also been a very fun way to build friendships in our homeschool community. Many people (probably especially the moms) seem to like that aspect of it most. It has been a big blessing in our life and others have told us it has been for them as well. I am so grateful that we were able to figure out something that would work for us.
That is one of the things that homeschooling can help you to realize - just because it seems like everybody is doing something doesn't mean it is right for you too. It is important to truly consider what is best for your family. Don't be afraid to step outside the norm and do what works best for you - you might find that others will really appreciate your leadership in that way.