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Do u sign up your kids for extras, sports, dance, etc?


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Anybody feel like their kids will miss out if u don't enroll them in extras? I want quiet evenings at home to cook dinner and have down time. So my 7 and 8 yr old don't participate in many extras. My 12 yr old, that's another story, she's involved in everything...4H, soccer, youth group, choir. We live in a very small rural town and have to drive to a neighboring city 20 min away for all these extras.

 

Does everyone else get tired of the driving? I am curious if others skipped the extras and their children turned out just fine.

 

Thanks for letting me vent.

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It depends on the kind of child(ren) you have, I think.

 

DS is now 8. I have been signing him up for soccer since age 3. He does or has done that (Fall and/or Spring), Flag Football, Basketball, Swimming Lessons, Gymnastics, AWANA, Co-op, Chinese Class, and Guitar Lessons. I *think* that's all.... plus we go on field trips.

 

I tried, TRIED mind you, to take a few months off... last fall?? That child drove. me. bonkers. He is extremely fit and full of energy, he jumps out of bed in the morning ready to go and doesn't stop until I force him to go to bed. He's always moving, playing, running, jumping, etc. He's also VERY extroverted. For HIM, (well for me too!) it's just better to have long, full, productive days that are filled with activities; sports, classes, lessons, walks, runs, bike rides, swimming, school work, science experiments, craft projects, building legos, etc.

 

If he was in school all day and participating in sports and stuff, I wouldn't have to sign him up for stuff, but he's not- so I gotta do what I gotta do, for our sanity and his happiness. He just really gets stir crazy and starts climbing the walls after a week or so of non-activities. This is the main reason that I think we will HAVE to put him in Private school (luckily, we have a GREAT classical school near us) once he hits middle school. I just don't think I will be able to keep up with the activity level it will require to keep him happy, and I'm not sure I want to try, LOL, especially since I am pregnant with Boy #2!!

 

So, LONG story short, I think it depends on your kids.... are they happy with more down time at home and less activities? Have you tried it before? It looks like the 7 and 8 year old do just fine without all the extras... but have you ever made your 12 year old go for a set time with no activities? Did she adjust, and was she happy? Or did she drive you up the walls?? You could always just sit out the one half a year, like I did. It gave me a break, in one way... but irritated me in another ;)

 

Also, I live in a suburban area... many of our activities are a 5-10 minute drive, while only a few are as far as 20 minutes away... I might have a different view if that were the case, so keep that in mind :)

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On a very limited basis: dance class (Highland dance for many years, then ballet); soccer twice; 4-H; Camp Fire (some as an independent, and then I was the leader of a club for a couple of years). But dance, soccer, and 4-H were late afternoon/early evening, so that children who were in school could be there--no homeschool classes during the day (homeschoolers hadn't started doing that yet). We also only did soccer twice, because the game schedule was too much for us. Camp Fire as an independent meant we could do our badge work during the day as part of our curriculum.

 

When I was growing up I did zip. Not a single outside activity. And I lived to tell about it. :-)

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I used to take every other year off from sports, or at least every other season. Now, as teenagers, that doesn't work, and yes, I get burned out. At 7 and 8 though, I would consider 1 season per year of soccer, not spring and fall, and upwards sports, becuase they are so low key, and have such a short duration, that they aren't as stressful as some city league sports. hth

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This is always a tough question. And I agree with the OP, it depends on the kiddo. It also depends on the family dynamics, number of children in the household, availability of parents or hired drivers, and finances.

 

If one buys into the various theories of multiple intelligence, then extra-curricular activities, whether taught by others or the parents, is essential. There are also health benefits to the extra-curricular activities which are heavily physical. Finally, one could argue that many of these extra activities are preparatory for future job skills, i.e. the theater kiddo who becomes a college professor.

 

Nonetheless, it is quite possible to succeed in life without extra-curricular activities, as we all know. And, if extra-curricular activities are stressing the family dynamics or wallet, then at what cost is the benefit?

 

:001_smile:

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We do-

Tap- Every tuesday for 1 hour

Art- Every Wednesday (takes 2 hours because I teach, so I have to set up and tear down)

PE- Every Thursday for 1 hour

 

and baseball in the spring- 3 times a week for about 10-12 weeks.

 

I have two boys who participate in the same activities.

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I agree that it depends on the Dc. I do think a lot of teenagers need something physical to do if they aren't active at home---something that involves hard work. Also think teens benefit from outside activities to help prepare them for relating to others who may not think like them.

 

I took entire years off from extracurriculars (except 4H which was low commitment level when they were young). As another poster mentioned that's not so easy to do once they enter teen years.

 

I try very hard now to be home during school hours. As a general rule, we have no outside activities during the day. Dc participate in extras that serve a need, further a skill in which they are gifted, or add significantly to their education.

 

Here's our list...

 

Ice skating - for exercise, stress relief (I have one with some anxiety issues) & interest--this one is during the school day, but is so close by that we are only gone for a little over an hour. It is the only day time activity.

 

4H- Ds is president and gains experience in organizing events, managing people, advertising, public speaking, etc. that he would not gain anywhere else and he is very good at these skills.

 

Dd is the club reporter which gives her some nice real life writing practice. She submits articles to the county newsletter. She also gets public speaking experience especially through the yearly presentations 4H encourages (and I require).

 

Dog training & showing for 4H & AKC - b/c that is the focus of their 4H club. Dd especially benefits from the focusing required to train her puppy. That focus has carried into her schoolwork so that she is not as easily distracted. Dog training provides so many practical life experiences that I can't even possibly list them all here. They take classes and train at home and 4H meetings.

 

Piano - Dd is gifted in this area, Ds has the desire to continue to learn though he does not pay as well.

 

Sewing -about every other week. This is for Dd b/c it's practical. I want her to be able to sew enough to do basic repairs. She enjoys it and our local librarian teaches excellent classes that are free. I am already there getting books or planning anyway.

 

Choir - this is a 2X month commitment during the school year, but it may get cut this year. They have an interest, but something has to go!

 

Ds volunteers almost every Sat for about half a day at a local therapeutic riding program. He took many years of riding lessons and was in a horse 4H club, so he can help exercise the horses, muck stalls, and help with the lessons.

 

In summer both participate in County Naturalist programs with local park rangers. These are serious lessons and hikes and they learn a ton and both love it. They add a wonderful supplement to science and are nearby and free. They also have swimming lessons in summer. Both of these end during the school year.

 

We are active and sometimes tired, but Dh and I see all this as education. It's simply part of their homeschooling. Sewing and choir may not be continued, but if they stopped the rest, yes, they would definitely miss out on a huge part of the education they are receiving.

 

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We do. My kids start out trying a lot of different things and have chosen the following activities to focus on:

 

Ds16: Karate, rowing, work (he has a parttime job)

Ds14: Karate, rowing, baseball, piano

Ds12: karate, baseball, archery, violin

Dd6: Gymnastics, karate

 

These don't overlap a whole lot. Karate is year-round, but their instructor understands if my kids have to take time off in the fall for rowing or in the spring for baseball. It helps that their karate studio is a mile from our house.

 

Gymnastics is by FAR the biggest commitment. My dd is really good (I'm not just a proud mom!) and I cannot imagine not letting her do it.

 

Dd wants to try soccer this fall. It's once a week and the practices/games are across the street from our house! It doesn't interfere with her other activities, so we'll let her. She also wants to try swim team next summer. It's just a couple months, but she has been going to the pool every night with friends just to practice!

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But I will admit I do not like driving a lot. I look for stuff as close by as possible.

 

:iagree: It's not the activity time, but the whole total elapsed time that can ruin my family's rhythm.

 

Whoops forgot the rest: I do buy into the concept of multiple intelligences, and I do think something physical should be going on with all people. Young and old. I'm planning on running until I get smart! (Don't ask how many thousands of miles I've logged in the last few years...apparently, I'm a tough case! ;) )

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Yes, I'm sure there are some people who skip extras and have kids who do just fine.

 

I was just babbling to my husband the other day about all of the people, historically, who've accomplished wonderful things without the benefit of activities and resources and experiences we consider essential now.

 

I think all of us have to do what's right for our own families and that the rest of the world should begin from the presumption that we know what we're doing.

 

With that said, yes, I do think my kids would miss out on a lot and would not have the opportunities they need to be happy, healthy people if we skipped/had skipped extracurriculars for them.

 

My daughter did lots of theatre, took a few dance lessons, sang with two choirs, took piano and then glassical guitar lessons, participated in the church youth group and belonged to the local anthropological society. My son dances, does theatre, sings with a choir, does some model rocketry, participates in youth group and volunteers for the science museum and for theatre summer day camps.

 

For this year, so far, his schedule looks like this:

 

Monday

- choir, two hours

- tap, 1 hour

 

Tuesday

- ballet, 1.5 hours

 

Thursday

- co-op classes, 4 hours (including lunch break)

 

Saturday

- science museum volunteer shift, 6 hours once per month

- additional choir rehearsals, 3 hours once per month

- model rocketry club, 3 hours once per month

- dance competition team rehearsals, details TBD

 

He's cutting back on theatre this year to make room for the competitive dance stuff. We know the team will perform three shows and attend two competitions (weekends) and one convention (also a weekend) during the school year, but I don't have specifics yet.

 

We also don't know yet exactly what his volunteer commitment to the theatre will be during the academic year. (He just finished five weeks of volunteering for their summer day camps, but they haven't told us how or when they will need him between now and May.)

 

Mine are older than yours, of course. I don't necessarily think the under-10 crowd needs a full schedule of outside acitivities. When mine were that age, it was pretty much just music and/or dance lessons and homeschool group stuff.

 

I do a LOT of driving, too. And, yes, I do get tired of it sometimes. But I remind myself that this is just a season of my life. My kids won't be here and needing me to do these things for them for too many more years. And I'm grateful I have the opportunity to provide these experiences for them.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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My kids do a lot.

Boys 16 & 13 do travel soccer 2 nights per week and scouts(in public school)

Girls 12 & 8 do dance-about 6 classes per week plus competitions(IEW classes alternating Thursdays)

Younger 6 yr old son just does soccer

Little man (3) is along for the ride.

DH handles the big boys and I handle the girls. We try to preserve a few nights per week for down time. This year it is Friday, Sat, Sun nights.

Works for us and it gets better when the days are shorter and winter comes and soccer takes a break for the winter.

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I lamented in a thread earlier that finances and opportunity are both slim in our area. Historically we've allowed for one activity at a time. Ds is introverted and doesn't crave activities and he dislikes sports (we walk and hike together).

 

But over the weekend and last night he spent hours working on computer programming. Last night he had to troubleshoot something wrong and spent from about 4-9 on it, taking a short break to help with dinner.

 

Even if he had a choice, he'd choose the computers as his extra curricular. He's at the age where we are discussing long-term goals and this fits with his life plans, so, unlike last week, I'm at a better place with it. I have little mommy visions of Bill Gates sneaking into a computer lab to work and that seemed to work out okay for him. :tongue_smilie:

 

We let ds try things when was younger. He did Upward basketball, which was good, but he doesn't like team sports. He did YMCA baseball a few years. They tried l.ittle league, but that didn't work out, he's just not competitive.

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A LOT

DS8 does violin every other week, Soccer in spring/fall/winter, Tennis year round, ski in winter for 7 weeks and he add ice skate with his sister but I don't think I will contiune on that.

 

DD4 does piano every other week, swimming, ice skating and we just sign her up for gymnastic. you know Olympic heat. We might give swimmer a break for 2 months for her to try gymnastic, I just don't have that time and energy and I can see she get burn out with all 3 at the same time. She also did ski last winter, and don't know what we gonna do this winter,

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My kids are pretty quiet and low-key. My five year old is a soccer enthusiast and we do sign him up for soccer in the fall with the local YMCA, but that is his only activity. There isn't much in our area that is affordable that interests him.

 

My almost-nine year old isn't interested in that kind of thing at all. We usually encourage her to sign up for at least a six week class of something once a year but while she will go without much complaining she hasn't found anything that she cares to continue with. She has her own hobbies and likes to have time to pursue those, like reading and singing. We have a local homeschool group that gets together a few times a year, but other than that we don't do anything. The kids do get outside almost daily to play but we don't live in an area with a lot of kids so often when they are outside there are no other kids around.

 

If they wanted to be involved in more activities we would have to balance that with our family time and our finances first, but if that part worked out then it wouldn't be a problem. Dh is a social worker, so we don't have much of a budget for that kind of thing, and there isn't much to begin with in our area. Driving any kind of distance isn't something we can do on a regular basis either. I would be okay with adding in a few more activities for each of them, however, if they were interested and we could afford it. This year we are encouraging dd to try girl scouts. Ds is of course planning on starting soccer next month. There isn't anything else at the Y that interests them. I bought a keyboard and plan on inflicting music lessons on them....but unless they show a little enthusiasm we won't be paying for professional lessons (dh is a musician and can handle the basics). They both can swim, but loath the idea of the local swim team. Dd hated dance class, wasn't interested in gymnastics, and dislikes team sports (she would rather cooperate than compete). Most of what she is interested in, like CAP, she is too young for.

Edited by Rainefox
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Mine are signed up for extras, but I do get tired of driving and tired of all my hours outside the house. DD will be taking 3-4 dance classes this year. DS will take gymnastics, possibly martial arts, and Lego League. Both do Spiral Scouts as well, but that's every-other weekend and our friends lead the group so it's more like a social time for all of us.

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We do quite a few activities. Quiet evenings at home are nice, this is just not our season for them. ;)

 

Of course, we really only have one thing in the evening (American Heritage Girls and Boy Scouts, they meet at the same time and place). Most of our activities are in the early afternoon.

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Ah, 20 minutes is nothing. :D

 

I've driven 2 hours one way to get dd to dance. I've driven her 1.25 hours one way twice a week to get her to dance and TKD.

 

Finally! Finally I'm two blocks from dance and tai chi. I do have to drive 15 minutes to get her to guitar. I'm not sure where drama will be this year, but hopefully within a few blocks at the high school. I'm also contemplating driving 20 minutes (and crossing the border into Canada) to get her to the pool once a week.

 

Life is good. :lol:

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I put my kids into various activities, how many each year depends on my time availability as well as finances. Like you we live in a little rural town and have to head to other towns for things. Last year was a down year meaning only girl guides and scouting.

 

This coming year will be an up year, scouting, cadets, TKD for all, music lessons for all, gymnastics for all, swimming for all, spring sports (soccer or baseball). We usually have 1-2 years like this and then we have a year of down time with fewer commitments to make life easier.

 

My kids love their extracurrics and have a hand in choosing them. I like being able to give them other experiences that I can not normally. I was a scout leader last year, and this year am trying to create a whole new group out here in my rural town to make it easier on us. So I stay rather involved too. I am hoping that this year I can have 2 of my own extracurrics away from the kids with the pottery guild and the quilter's guild.

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Ah, 20 minutes is nothing. :D

 

I've driven 2 hours one way to get dd to dance. I've driven her 1.25 hours one way twice a week to get her to dance and TKD.

 

Finally! Finally I'm two blocks from dance and tai chi. I do have to drive 15 minutes to get her to guitar. I'm not sure where drama will be this year, but hopefully within a few blocks at the high school. I'm also contemplating driving 20 minutes (and crossing the border into Canada) to get her to the pool once a week.

 

Life is good. :lol:

 

Sounds like my life lol. DD desperately wants to go back to cheer, and it is 2 hours away. I have been seriously contemplating it for this year (the first year here I thought about it, last year said h*ll no, this year is a solid maybe), and ds wants air cadets and that is 2 hours away the other direction, and medvents which is back in the city where dd's cheer was so I may be willing to make that drive for them to have these activities

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We allow two nights/week of outside activity and that's it. Thankfully, one such activity is done at 5:30 and involves 5 of our dc so our evening is still protected. Wednesday night is our busy night but I can deal with it since it's only once/week (plus our 5 oldest dc are in the activity together). I love our evenings as a family at home and imo nothing is more important than that time together. Thankfully, our dc are in agreement. ;)

 

There was one fall I got caught up in the whole, "My children must be in soccer/drama/dance/swim" thing. Oh.my.goodness. That was the craziest, most disjointed few months! I saw my dh in passing, our evening time was nonexistent and even our weekends (which I refuse to schedule things on) were taken up with games. Never again will I do that.

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We are very busy. The kids various activities get us out of the house every single afternoon. When I put up the schedule for July (on the whiteboard calendar which is essential for keeping track of who needs to be where and when) the kids laughed because there was only one day on it when we could be home the whole day. August, thankfully for me, has been a bit better but that will end come Sept.

 

We are fortunate because we live near so many affordable activities.

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Well, with multiple kids and living rurally we cannot afford, nor do I have the energy to do a ton of different things. We are doing co-op every other week and that is more field trips and fun stuff. Ds started Cub Scouts last year and dd will start American Heritage Girls this year as well, they both meet on the same night and at the same time (thank goodness). I'm considering doing 1 sport this coming spring, perhaps letting ds do swimming if I could arrange some help w/ driving but we will see how that goes. We've done swim lessons in the past but didn't this summer.

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My children have a lot of activities. My oldest is in theatre, choir, possibly a second choir, dance (group and private), voice lessons, piano, and he is thinking of adding band. My middle son loves baseball. He practices two or three times a week in town, goes out of town once a week, and plays in tournaments about every other weekend. He is starting guitar, or band this year, too. My youngest does theatre and tennis. He plays tennis three to four times a week, and has started playing in a tournament here and there. He wants to add choir and an instrument to his schedule this year.

 

I do miss the easier evenings at home with everyone here, but I love that they have so many interests and work hard to do well in them. If they goofed off, or only wanted to participate in rec level activities, I would probably limit their time spent, but they are learning so much and have the chance to learn from some amazing people. As long as they have the interest, we have agreed to help them participate.

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I've been contemplating this a lot lately. I guess I should say I've been worrying about this a lot lately. Ds would happily stay home all day playing on the computer. Dd likes to go out and do things with other people.

 

They are both pretty young but I feel it's important that they are around other kids and we don't have many the right age in our neighborhood. In the past year or so we've done homeschool gymnastics and homeschool bowling for both, and baseball and soccer for ds. What we've learned is that ds is not at all into team sports or group activities. He's a little quirky and socially awkward (most likely adhd, gifted and who knows what else) and there always seem to be problems with group situations.

 

They do 4-H Cloverbuds (I run it) and ds plays Minecraft on a multi-player server of homeschoolers but I feel like they need more interactions.

 

I really wanted to sign him up for martial arts but we were at a party at a karate studio the other day and ds decided after that he has no desire to do karate (the people running it were a little harsh). :glare:

 

We're thinking of joining the Y and then there are a variety of classes they can do, plus ds is old enough to go into their kid's cardio arcade, which is right up his alley. He's too young for the formal clubs for most of his interests (Minecraft, Pokemon, robotics). They do fine when we are around other kids in non-structured activities so maybe we just need to try to get out to playgrounds more often.

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Over the years my dc have done many activities and many activities at one time. I live in a densely populated suburb, so there are many choices of activities to try. Last year was the first year any activity was a 30 minute drive. Most activities have been a 5 to 15 minute drive from our home. Drive time has been a definite consideration for activities. Choosing things close, so I can leave some dc home while drop one off or so I can coordinate dropping one, then another and do the reverse to begin picking up makes it easier.

 

I made an except to my drive time rule this year for my youngest. He has intellectual disabilities. I have to drive greater distances to find places that will accomodate him in activities.

 

As the dc got older they started to narrow their interests, so they only needed to go one or two places to pursue their interest. Even if a dc needs to be at a dance studio several times a week, it seems easier than if I'm driving to dance on Monday, somewhere else on Tues and yet another place on Wed.

 

As the dc got older I didn't need to hang out at practice, I could schedule my weekly library or grocery trip at a nearby venue thus coordinating an errand with a child's practice schedule.

 

As they got older they could adjust to my needs. If something else is going on on Mondays and I can't pick up until 15 minutes after class, dd has a book and can sit down and wait. Ditto if the schedule needs them to be dropped off early.

 

I know it doesn't work for every family, but for us I want to cultivate their interests. Most of dc activities promote physical fitness as well.

 

It won't long before I have many quiet evenings in the kitchen--I will work out the organization it takes to help the dc pursue these interests while they are still here.

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My DD does quite a bit-she's an extroverted only child, so outside activities with other people helps to fill that need, especially since there aren't many kids in our neighborhood. We're fortunate in that there is a community center very close to our house that offers a range of classes and activities, including a good dance program.

 

Right now it's

 

Dance 2x/week, 2 hours at a time

tumbling 2x/week, 1 hour at a time

Cheer 1x/week, 1 hour at a time

Piano lessons 1x/week 30 minutes

All within about a 5-10 minute drive.

 

Co-op one morning a week, 3 hours. (about a 30 minute drive)

 

Science every other week, 1 1/2 hours (about a 30 minute drive)

 

Every other week Classical-ed group that meets at our house (0 minute drive, but other prep for mommy since I lead it!).

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I have them signed up for physical extras because they need the exercise, and our climate does not allow much outside play for half of the year. I try to have them doing at least one extended physical activity per day, and this will include 3-4 coached extracurriculars per week for the coming school year. The way I figure it, this will add maybe 1.5 hours of driving per week over what we're already doing (which isn't so bad, come to think of it).

 

I also have them in piano lessons, but I'm hoping to be able to have this done at school so it would not require extra driving. We also try to go to museums once a week, which is a 20-30 minute drive each way.

 

It's become my norm over the years to take my kids somewhere after school. We generally find ways to enjoy the drives. Since I work at home, it's nice to get out of the house.

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I thought it was a given, but just in case I'll add that I check in often with both Dc to see if they still want to pursue the activities. Even when they are very busy, they still say they wouldn't want to change anything---except Ds may want to drop choir.

 

Also for most of our activities we don't travel far. Skating is 5 mins from our house. Piano teacher comes to us. So, we only end up traveling if we decide to go to a dog show, but even those we limit our distances and how many weekends we allow them.

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What does Tiger Mom say, or Malcom Gladwell?

 

There is a certain amount of time one needs to devote to become excellent at something if that is the goal.

 

Do I think 3 year olds need Kindgergym 3-5 days a week? Not really. Is it fun? Sure. A new Mom might want Kindergym so she can meet other moms, and the child may enjoy the activity. There is no right or wrong.

 

Yet, as children get older, I don't see how we might get away with Zip. Most kids enjoy something. The challenge is to find a bit of a balance. Of course, if one is a Phelps, then you are going to have a child living at the pool or whatnot.

 

My experiences /advice re activites is to start slowly with younger children. Keep a day or two (or three) where you don't have outside commitments. All too soon, you won't have a choice. If your child dances, or does theater, there will be performances and practice 6 days a week several times a year. If the child is a musician, there will be extra classes and recitals, gigs etc. In our case, to deprive our dancer and musician of these opportunites would be cruel. Often, I do find myself wishing to stay home...not another performance! Yet, when our family is sitting together in that theater or auditorium, watching that child do she/he loves, I know staying home would not have been the better decision.

 

I do think there is great value in certain activites. But I also think people grow up" fine' without them. It depends on what you want for your child, what your child wants, and their degree of talent or interest.

 

Also, you don't know what you can do unless you try to do it. I want my kids to challenge themselves; move out of their own comfort zone as they get older. It builds confidence in young people. I'm here to help them grow, and outside activites and people beyond Mom or Dad can help with that.

 

So. Do less with the very young, as someday it could change, and there will be nothing you can do to stop it without doing your child a huge disservice. All those athletes we saw in the Olympics, with their parents crying and cheering in the stands, gave up many dinnertime meals together. (Although they probably bonded in other ways. Some of the best discussions can take place in the car, listening to audio books on long rides is enriching etc.) I doubt any of those families would say it wasn't worth the extraordinary experience, medal or no.

Edited by LibraryLover
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I think that kids can do fine without these things, but there are some things that make it more difficult than in the past. The main one is that in a lot of places there just aren't gangs of kids playing around the neighbourhood for kids to pal around with. If your child wants to play a game of hockey, there is no chance of a game of pick-up on the pond, it is something organized or nothing. Even letting you kid out alone may get you some raised eyebrows from the neighbours.

 

So without entering organized activities, kids in a lot of places just don't get any opportunity to play with other kids, play outside, or pick up the kind of skills they would have doing so in the past.

 

Most kids of school age do really enjoy some time spent outside of the immediate family, and if they aren't in school they may not easily get that.

 

We've tried to keep activities low key. Some, like music, are non-negotiable - I consider it part of being educated. I do wish I could get our lesson in the afternoon rather than the evenings. I have used daytime activities for homeschoolers if they were a good fit - there is a very well run art class available here.

 

We've also had good luck with doing some activities for shorter durations, like march break camps. My dd has done theater camp for a few years now in the summer and it is a lot of fun and a great way to learn about theater without running around all year to classes.

Edited by Bluegoat
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My kids have been taking swimming. I also started taking them to language classes outside. They have benefitted greatly. I don't like driving all over the place, though. I have done some intensive short term things too, like during spring break or a two week swim class 4 days a week.

 

My kids have a group of neighborhood kids they play with. The boy two doors down is always looking for them. If they didn't have a place outside to play, I would have very different plans. I hate winter.

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I want to point out to all that don't want to do outside activities--PLEASE teach your children to swim! Even if they never do team or whatever--it was so scary to watch several boys last night who can't swim (whose parents SWEAR they can)! And these are 11yos and up. I saw boys who felt left out, who were frightened, etc. That's my rant today; I hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears.

 

I never did learn to really swim well growing up and so wish I had. Swimming is one thing I want the kids to know even if they don't make it to lifeguard level or such. We have done some classes and may do swimteam later if it works out but regardless we will teach them one way or another.

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I want to point out to all that don't want to do outside activities--PLEASE teach your children to swim! Even if they never do team or whatever--it was so scary to watch several boys last night who can't swim (whose parents SWEAR they can)! And these are 11yos and up. I saw boys who felt left out, who were frightened, etc. That's my rant today; I hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears.

:iagree:

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Yep, and I am already wondering how well this fall will go or if we will get overwhelmed!

 

So far it looks like this:

 

Mon night: DD-American Heritage Girls

Tue afternoon/evening: DS1&2 Tumbling, DD Violin, DD and DSs Swim Lessons

Wed: nothing thank goodness!

Thur: afternoon/evening: DD Violin, DSs and DD Swim Lessons

Fri: another evening of nothing!

Sat Morning: DD ballet

Sunday: DAY OF REST (and planning for the next week)

 

Now this may not seem like a ton to some people, but we are rural, so commute times have to be figured in. Fortunately the tumbling, violin, and pool are blocks from each other and are back to back. The other thing that makes it exhausting is the fact that I have to cart a 6mo around to all this and my other sons are 3yo and 5yo. When they are not included in the activity (like at violin) I have to keep them quiet. That is no easy task:glare: but I will make it work because I do think it is important.

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We have always had our kids in activities. They love to GO and DO. I would rather stay home all the time, but I figure there will be time for that when they leave the nest. Our schedule for this fall has me driving people around to drop them off for 2 1/2 hours, and then my dh doing the same in the evenings. They will all get home at 8:00 every night, so that is when we will eat dinner.

 

It goes like this:

 

Monday-Friday: Leave at 2:15, drop dd off at gym 2:45 east of town, drive downtown and drop dd off at dance 3:15, drive south of town to drop ds off at rowing at 4:00. Drive 40 minutes home (we live north of the city).

 

Saturday: dd to gym by 8:00, ds to rowing by 9:00.

 

Wednesdays my 15yo doesn't have dance, but she has voice lessons that day.

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My dh really regrets that his parents didn't get him involved with anything- be it sports, Scouts, or any other activity. He thought I had a much better deal with all my activities. He was all for our children to do activities and we think it is one of the best things about homeschooling- we have more time for other activities. This year, my youngest will do Venture Scouts, youth group, Dive team, Service Group and Robotics plus private trumpet lessons. My other kids did things like Scouts, other music lessons, choirs, soccer, art lessons, debating and speech, theater, etc. It really has been very important in our lives.

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My kids have to try each sport for a season. They also have to do martial arts until I am satisfied that they can protect themselves, especially dd. Now that theyre done with that activities are whenever they want.

 

But right now they don't do anything extra. As soon as ps lets out daily they roam the neighborhood with their friends until dark. I felt bad for taking them away from their friends so activities are on hold until after we move.

Edited by dawn8500
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I do what I do with my children because, basically, I enjoyed participating in extracurricular activities as a child. I definitely found that those experiences helped shape and develop my interests into adulthood. Even in my professional career, there were things I did that still benefit me in my occupation.

 

My own children have been in and out of various activities over the years, but they aren't allowed to quit an activity mid-season.

 

They've done everything from gymnastics to swim team to ice-skating to soccer to volleyball. Currently, DD14 participates in HS marching band, youth group, and volunteers. DD12 participates in youth group, choir and has music lessons. DS 7 is in scouts, swim team, and youth group.

 

The only areas where I have trouble scheduling are the groups that do require volunteer hours. I'm a team parent for the swim team, den leader for scouts, (infrequent) booster member for band, and help with the youth group. I love, love, love being involved with the groups, getting to know the different families, and just generally helping... but this does add to the craziness of our schedules where I have to actually be physically present and can't just drop and run.

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I want to point out to all that don't want to do outside activities--PLEASE teach your children to swim! Even if they never do team or whatever--it was so scary to watch several boys last night who can't swim (whose parents SWEAR they can)! And these are 11yos and up. I saw boys who felt left out, who were frightened, etc. That's my rant today; I hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears.

 

 

I agree. Right before family camp ds8 finally passed swimmer 1. It only took 6 tries. Now he is in swimmer 1 adv. (well in the fall he will be in it for the 2nd time) he really struggles to learn to swim. BUt I keep enrolling him. As long as he can be safe I will be happy. Thankfully he has no adversions to wearing a PFD when heading for water above his chest, so he goes off the diving board etc with everyone else and has a great time. Don't get discouraged if your kid does not pass lessons the first go round, it is never a waste of money to pay for those lessons over and over and over. Eventually they will pass, and if they never do they generally pick up the basics to be safe in and on the water.

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I agree. Right before family camp ds8 finally passed swimmer 1. It only took 6 tries. Now he is in swimmer 1 adv. (well in the fall he will be in it for the 2nd time) he really struggles to learn to swim. BUt I keep enrolling him. As long as he can be safe I will be happy. Thankfully he has no adversions to wearing a PFD when heading for water above his chest, so he goes off the diving board etc with everyone else and has a great time. Don't get discouraged if your kid does not pass lessons the first go round, it is never a waste of money to pay for those lessons over and over and over. Eventually they will pass, and if they never do they generally pick up the basics to be safe in and on the water.

 

:iagree: My (very small) 11 year old was the oldest in his level 4 class this summer. It took him a few times before too, but now he's level 5 and I'm feeling much more confident with him. My parents forced swim lessons on me too and I HATED them. I have zero regrets about learning to swim. Swim teachers these days are much nicer than the ones I had anyway. My younger child is learning to swim easier than my older. My older has no body fat and no natural flotation, and the strokes just don't come easy to him. BUT they are coming.

 

My kids do many activities and I do think they're important. We go in waves too. Theater and dance performances are very intense for 6-8 weeks and then we enjoy some down time. Music is part of our school day. My youngest does dance. My oldest does theater. Both take circus arts classes (like acrobatics, unicycle, trapeze). We'll see what fall brings. Still waiting for some schedules here!

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Ds started with Cub Scouts in first grade, added trumpet in fourth grade, then just continued with Scouting and band/marching band/jazz band through high school. He never wanted to do any organized sports. He's more a biking and hiking kind of guy.

 

When both girls were younger (5/6/7/8) they were in Girl Scouts and took a ballet class or two each week. They added an instrument in fourth grade.

 

As a high school senior dd17 is involved in Girl Scouts, chorus, Concert Choir (10 person ensemble), our church adult choir, and every single theatre production put on by her school.

 

Dd12 takes classical ballet four days a week (she will be going on pointe before the new year). She is on a First Lego League team with some neighborhood kids. She is on the homeschool group's Science Olympiad team (academic but does take up much more time outside of school hours). She is still involved in Girl Scouts though her troop is very low-key. We're trying to find her a new flute instructor for a weekly lesson.

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yep.....my kids have always done all sorts of stuff....

 

This year we took a break from kid activities and it was definitely a breath of fresh air! We NEEDED that break. Come fall....we will be back in the saddle. I just sent out the check for Drama....DD will be doing a writing club....boys a Lego club and probably a martial arts class.

 

We will add short 6 week activities from the Y along the way and as they come up. I am actually really looking forward to our new start....

 

Oh, I put 74,000 miles on my car over the past 2.5 years....

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Well, I'm the type of person that thrives on going and going and going. :). So for me, I don't mind being busy multiple nights per week and such. DH is more laid back than me, though.

However, it has always been our plan to have each of the kids involved in one extracurricular per season for spring, summer, and fall. In the spring Link did swimming and Astro did soccer. In the summer both did swimming. I was planning on starting Pink in dance this fall, and Link wanted to do baseball, and Astro was still deciding.

Now, because money is tight, I ended up not signing Pink up for dance after all. :glare: Link probably won't be doing baseball for the same reason, and Astro therefore won't be doing anything since a. The other two aren't and b. he hadn't decided on anything anyway.

The boys will be in a homeschool PE class at the Y this fall and that is it. I'm not too pleased, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

 

Eta: I never count church because I don't consider it extracurricular, but I see a few people have counted Awana programs and such. We do church on Wednesday nights which has programs for the kids where they complete work for particular badges and stuff. I have no idea what Awana is, but I guess maybe it is similar to that?

I also have 2 kids who want to learn to play the piano, but I can't really justify the expense of that right now, either. So I may try some with them at home. Idk. But I wouldn't count that either, because it is still with me.

Edited by PeacefulChaos
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Margaret, I completely agree about swimming. I don't think DS will ever be interested enough to swim on a team. But we recently joined the YMCA so he can do lessons several sessions per year and have a chance to practice. (The way other swim lessons are done here, two weeks in the summer once per year... well, that wasn't cutting it for mastery of the skill.)

 

Wendy and Paula, I have one who would rather program and play and interact on the computer. Wonder if we could get them all connected somehow...

 

I only have one child, so I'm pretty open to doing things for him... the trick is finding his passions!! This year, we're going to do an outside art class and swimming lessons in the fall, once per week each. Come November or January, depending on season, he'll do a basketball league... he's kind of lukewarm about that, but still enjoys it enough I'm encouraging it. In the spring, he may do another art class and he'll do golf or tennis lessons, then in the summer he does a golf league, and a couple week long classes. He also does 2-3 library programs each month.

 

I'd like to find one other hobby or physical activity for him to be involved in... we've thought about Tae Kwon Do, 4H, Chess Club (which I would have to start, there isn't one around) and a few others. Plus we've considered getting him involved in Awanas... our church doesn't have the program but there are many in the area. I don't want to *pack* the calendar, but I would like to give him more opportunities for interaction.

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I agree. Right before family camp ds8 finally passed swimmer 1. It only took 6 tries. Now he is in swimmer 1 adv. (well in the fall he will be in it for the 2nd time) he really struggles to learn to swim. BUt I keep enrolling him. As long as he can be safe I will be happy. Thankfully he has no adversions to wearing a PFD when heading for water above his chest, so he goes off the diving board etc with everyone else and has a great time. Don't get discouraged if your kid does not pass lessons the first go round, it is never a waste of money to pay for those lessons over and over and over. Eventually they will pass, and if they never do they generally pick up the basics to be safe in and on the water.

 

I'm curious about swim levels. My dds have been through swimmer 1 three times, I think, and my youngest has finally been recommended for level 2, but the eldest (the skinny one) was recommended for level 1 again (supposedly there is 1 stroke she needs to improve). I plan on putting them both in level 2 next time around. The classes are 8 weekly half-hours each. How many times does it normally take to get through a level? (I know kids are all different, but what's average?)

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I'm curious about swim levels. My dds have been through swimmer 1 three times, I think, and my youngest has finally been recommended for level 2, but the eldest (the skinny one) was recommended for level 1 again (supposedly there is 1 stroke she needs to improve). I plan on putting them both in level 2 next time around. The classes are 8 weekly half-hours each. How many times does it normally take to get through a level? (I know kids are all different, but what's average?)

 

I was told that it is not only different for different kids, but for different levels. Level 1 is apparently one that sometimes takes longer because there are some important core skills involved.

 

I think it also makes a big difference if they swim outside of class.

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RED CROSS SWIMMING LEVELS

 

 

LEVEL ONE: WATER EXPLORATION

The objective of Level One is to help students feel

comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water

safely. Students will learn elem entary water skills

which they can build on as they progress through the

various levels.

1 - Become oriented to aquatic environment

2 - Fully submerge face (3 seconds)

3 - Experience buoyancy (bob 10 times)

4 - Supported float on front/back

5 - Basic breath control (bubble blowing)

6 - Enter and exit water independently

7 - Move through water comfortably

8 - Supported kicking on front/back

9 - Introduction to alternating arm action

10- Familiarize with getting help

11- Reaching assists without equipment

12- Learn how to release a cramp

13- Wear life jacket and enter shallow water

LEVEL TWO: PRIMARY SKILLS

Level Two is to give students success with

fundamental skills and learn to float without

support. Learn basic self-help rescue skills.

1 - Fully submerge head (hold 3 seconds)

2 - Retrieve objects in chest deep water

3 - Orientation to deep water with support

4 - Front and back float unsupported

5 - Unsupported back float or glide (5 sec.)

6 - Leveling off from a vertical position

7 - Rhythmic breathing (bob 10 times)

8 - Step-in entry and side exit

9- Flutter kick on front/back

10- Back crawl arm action

11- Combined stroke front/back using kick/arm

movements (5 yards)

12- Turning over front/back, back/front

13- Become familiar with rescue breathing

14- Perform reaching & extension assist from deck

15- Float in life jacket (1 min, face out of water)

16- Assist non-swimmers to feet

LEVEL THREE: STROKE READINESS

Students learn to coordinate front and back crawl.

Introduce elementary backstroke and the

fundam entals of treading water.

1 - Retrieve object, eye open, no support

2 - Bob and submerge head completely

3 - Bob in water slightly over head to travel to safe

area

4 - Jump into deep water from side of pool

5 - Kneeling dive and compact dive from side of

pool

6 - Front/Back glide w/ push off (2 body lengths)

7 - Coordinate arm stroke for crawl with

breathing to side

8 - Coordinate back crawl

9 - Elementary back stroke (10 yards)

10- Reverse direction while swimming on front/back

11- Tread water

12- Jump into deep water wearing life jack et

13- Learn how to open airway for rescue

breathing

14- H.E.L.P. position (1 minute)

15- Huddle position in groups of 3 (1 min.)

...

 

Hmm, this seems different from what they test on in my kids' classes. Their requirements for passing Level 1 include, among others, "Frontcrawl 10 ft unsupported" (this is the one my eldest supposedly couldn't do on the test, though I've seen her do it).

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Anybody feel like their kids will miss out if u don't enroll them in extras? I want quiet evenings at home to cook dinner and have down time. So my 7 and 8 yr old don't participate in many extras. My 12 yr old, that's another story, she's involved in everything...4H, soccer, youth group, choir. We live in a very small rural town and have to drive to a neighboring city 20 min away for all these extras.

 

Does everyone else get tired of the driving? I am curious if others skipped the extras and their children turned out just fine.

 

Thanks for letting me vent.

 

It's hard. It interrupts our school day, especially this fall. Our music teacher isn't available in the afternoons, so we have to meet her at 9:30. We do one sport, they chose gymnastics, and music twice a week; that's it. I even think that's too much. If we were in school, I don't know if we would do any extras. Don't feel bad. We live in a rural area and it's a drive for us to do anything. It's a minimum of 20 minutes for us.

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It's hard. It interrupts our school day, especially this fall. Our music teacher isn't available in the afternoons, so we have to meet her at 9:30. We do one sport, they chose gymnastics, and music twice a week; that's it. I even think that's too much. If we were in school, I don't know if we would do any extras. Don't feel bad. We live in a rural area and it's a drive for us to do anything. It's a minimum of 20 minutes for us.

 

I'm glad to read this, I don't feel like a weirdo! Lol

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