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Would you drive 25 minutes each way for Karate? (M)


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No way would I be a slave to the car several times a week like that. I think it's unfair to the youngers, too. The impact on the family and environment wouldn't be worth it to me. I think young people today are fortunate to have the array of opportunities available to them, but they need to learn that it's not all about them. They can settle for less, if need be.

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I do it too. DH & the 3 boys have taken Shotokan for the past four years at a very unique dojo that used to be only five minutes from our house. We moved last summer, and there are other dojos that are closer to our current home, but the benefits of that particular dojo are worth my driving 20+ minutes each way to drop them off with DH for karate twice per week. (He only works 10 minutes from the dojo and then obviously drives them home after.)

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And have been doing it for 3 years. Having said that, I am VERY tired of it. After 2.5 years of going 3-6 times a week can be very tiring. (tho I will admit I am just very tired right now in general).

 

Think about how you would feel doing it 2-3 years down the line. It might be fine at first, but after a while? If it was just your TKD son you were taking, it would probably be good. Unfortunately, you have to consider the other children. It might help if there was something in the are they could do while their brother was at the dojang.

 

Being so close to black belt too....hard choice in the end.

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I wouldn't. It would be 25 minutes to get there + class time (45 minutes?) + 25 minutes to get home. This is at least an hour and a half , maybe more like two hours, when the youngers need to sit and be quiet. YUCK! And you are talking about doing this multiple times a week?

 

I think the big key is the other kids and what they are going to do while waiting. If everyone was doing karate, I might feel differently.

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We have to travel for everything it seems. The homeschool co-op group we attend is a two hour drive each week. Now there is a closer group about one hour away but their meeting time is inconvienent for us. I try to plan other things on the same day to make it a more productive day though. For example, my DS flute lessons are an hour from our house but I have planned the time so that when we are driving back from the co-op we stop and do flute before coming home. We also do school work in the car and listen to audiobooks. I don't think it would be that bad on your little ones if they were able to get out of the car and stretch while your DS does TKD. Maybe you can find a park or library near the TKD studio where you can entertain the little ones while the older one is in TKD.

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I tried this scenario for awhile, but eventually we stopped. It was 20 minutes there, 50 minute karate practice, and 20 minutes home. We did this one day a week for almost a year, and then the instructor suggested my older boys start doing this 2-days a week. My youngest was already sitting for an hour and a half one day a week; I didn't think it was fair to do more than that. In addition, it was a lot of time for me too, so we dropped karate.

 

Last summer My DH looked into the Presidental Fitness Challenge, and we now exercise as a family. There's a park close by where we can walk/run for about 1/2 hour every other day. It also has bars and other equipment so that the boys can practice flex arm hangs, sit ups, etc. We track their progress and encourage them to meet the average goals. It has been a great change for us because exercise is now a family event. I don't have drive and sit anywhere and everyone can participate; a win-win situation all the way around.

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We live 20 minutes from anything, though. All of our activities cost us drive time. Even when we lived in Salt Lake City, though, we drove 25 min. one way 2-3 times a week for Brazilian Jiu JItsu. It's a quality thing and my son really likes BJJ. We have a great studio here and I would drive even farther to take him to it. It is hard and sometimes I just want to stay home! When that happens I remember my parents driving me into town (20 min. one way) 6:30 am for marching band practice and picking me up from town at 4:30 every day for 3 years in mid high and high school. That's besides all the night time choir rehearsals/performances and church choir and classes. My grandmother is fond of saying that she wore out an entire car on my aunt's extra activities, but it was well worth it!

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I have 3 of my older boys in a free TKD class about 25-30 minutes away.

It's not a problem for us cuz we drive lots of places anyway --my guys have learned to keep themselves busy in the car like they would be expected to keep themselves busy and obedient in any other area. i don't see how a car would be any different.

 

We spend car time w/ lots of positive stuff-- fun cassettes, educational cassettes, singing, discussion, games, whatever. There's an entire genre of "carschooling" that's available if you want to maximize your car time w/ younger kids. You can be a slave to the car or use it as a tool. It's an inanimate object ;)

 

My younger two are 4 and 2. This is our second year making that drive. When i take them also [more often than not], i don't bother driving all the way back home. i take snacks and a tote of things to do with them while we watch the two hour class. I can spend time playing w/ them and still see how my older three are doing. Of course, our TKD class welcomes visitors and parents and siblings to stay and watch. they aren't rabid about a super quiet atmosphere. Or we can run some errands or play on the playground. It's a great way for us to all learn that it's not all about us. Adapt. Improvise. Overcome. Make lemonade outta lemons. All that jazz.

 

I guess it's all about how you manage the impact ;)

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I consider Judo part of our schooling and my boys are required to participate once they are old enough, so it's not "just" an extracurricular activity. I used to drive 20-25 minutes to our dojo 2X/week, but last summer it moved to within 10 minutes of our home. If they moved again I would make the drive again.

 

We don't do baseball or soccer or any other sport, though, because of the time that would be required.

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Peek was kind enough to offer me some positive rep when she read this post because she thinks I'm in a pessimistic slump. (Apparently she didn't read my running & eagles post.:)) Please understand, there is no pessimism in my response here. I'm answering a simple question. If my only choice was to drive that distance, I might consider it. But the original poster has many other options at her disposal, and I am one who does not find great worth in carting children around to activities for hours on end. It's common in our society these days, but I don't feel compelled to buy into it.:)

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I would have a hard time dedicating that much time and gas to anything, unless it were a looking to be a very important part of dc's lives. It would have to fall into the "considering this as his profession" or "possible scholarship material" camp for us to do that much driving more than once a month or so.

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If it's important enough to the child I would. We drive 25 minutes each way, 5 days a week for gymnastics. Some of those days we can carpool and only drive one way, but others we cannot. Often I can't wait around in town for the duration of the practice since each practice is 4-5 hours. On days that we can't carpool and I don't have enough errands in town to keep me busy, I make two round trips. I'd never do it if it wasn't something dd really wanted, though. I would just as soon have her playing outside in the woods, swimming in our pond, or riding. She does all these things anyway, but she could do a lot more without gymnastics in her life. Gymnastics is important to her, and she works very hard at it, though, so we'll keep doing this until we can't or she is ready to quit.

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Here in Northern Virginia that's about how long it takes to get anywhere. Here's how I evaluate that kind of time commitment. If it's a serious pursuit, something that the child intends to pursue as a long-term goal and the location is non-negotiable, then it's worth it. However, it might be nice to get to know other students in the class and arrange to share pick-ups and drop-offs with other moms and dads. If it is a limited-time only, special circumstances class it might also be worth it. Our family is just finishing-up our 12th week of Scottish Country Dance classes. This was something I had wanted to do for years and even though it has been a lot of trouble squeezing this into our week, we have enjoyed it and met new friends. And it was only for a limited time.

 

With some of our activities, I find that I am able to do school work with one child while the other is in class. DD and I practice phonics during DS' guitar lesson. If there happens to be a library or grocery store near the class, you might be able to combine it with other errands.

 

Good luck with your decision. Ultimately it comes down to your priorities, not what the rest of us think.

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Shoot, we drive 2x a week to drama (~25 mins each way), our HS Music classes another 20 mins each way. In traffic it can take us an hour or more to get across town. We just put on an awesome audio bk and relax through the drive. It used to take me 20 mins to walk to school as a kid; I think we want instant gratification these days and it's just not possible with the Earth's ever growing population.

 

Off topic...

I finally got out of the house today! I think this flu has seen its last days and I'm gonna live!

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YES!!! A quality coach or facility is worth its weight in gold (or driving). Some of our sports are nearby, but we've often traveled 30+ minutes each way for soccer and gymnastics. When my girls were in 1st grade, we did a 40 minute drive 4X/wk. Quality isn't always convenient.

Decide what is more important at this stage of DS' sport: proximity or the studio. Depending on our stage of life (changes often!), we vary in the mentality.

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If my only choice was to drive that distance, I might consider it. But the original poster has many other options at her disposal, and I am one who does not find great worth in carting children around to activities for hours on end. It's common in our society these days, but I don't feel compelled to buy into it.:)

 

I'm with Colleen on this one. First because I think our culture does way more driving than necessary. I would only do it if there were a number of things I could accomplish that far away that I HAD to do and couldn't do where I lived. We did Tai Kwon Do and my kids loved it. But other than for OT, I'd really make sure that the school isn't just into making money and that they're discussion of their values, etc, is more than just lip service, and it sounds like you've done that.

 

However, I make a point of finding good activities that are close to home. Gas is a resource, pollution a concern, but most importantly time is a valuable resource. I'd have to give up the computer, for one thing. Plus there are a lot of rude drivers in this part of the country (okay, in other areas, too, I know).

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Absolutely yes I would. I do.

 

Dd12 goes to karate 4 times per week. Two of her lessons are 1 hour and the other two are 1 1/2 hours each time. Her older sister also does karate and that adds another trip to the mix. It takes 20 minutes to drive there at least.

 

Gas (or diesel in my case) is incredibly expensive in NZ. Filling up the car costs about $95.00 and I have to do that about once every 5 days. It is a sacrifice we have chosen to make.

 

If I had to push the kids in the car to go, I wouldn't bother, but it is VERY important to them and they are often telling me to hurry up, they don't want to be late!

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Peek was kind enough to offer me some positive rep when she read this post because she thinks I'm in a pessimistic slump. (Apparently she didn't read my running & eagles post.:)) Please understand, there is no pessimism in my response here. I'm answering a simple question. If my only choice was to drive that distance, I might consider it. But the original poster has many other options at her disposal, and I am one who does not find great worth in carting children around to activities for hours on end. It's common in our society these days, but I don't feel compelled to buy into it.:)

 

You're right --I didn't read your running post. I'm still at the "couch" part of "couch to 5K' lol!

 

just to clarify--it was your references about "slave to the car" "several times a week" "unfair to the youngers" "[negative?] impact on the family and environment" "They can settle for less, if need be." Nothing in your post seemed very optimistic.;) but i do tend to be more of a "meet and exceed the challenge" kinda gal when it comes to taking advantage of a great opportunity.

 

I disagree that the original poster has "many other options" -- they have tried the other classes and obviously aren't options that would work for her family. I'd rather pursue a Good option in a positive manner than a questionable option in a pessimistic manner. If there were plenty of grocery stores w/in one mile and several organic food stands 5 miles away, I know many of y'all would likely choose the "5 miles away" cuz you believe the benefits of the food outweigh the pollution from the gas. It's a values judgment and as such can't really boil down to whichever is closest.

 

 

i do agree that time is a valuable resource, but as with many resources, there are numerous ways to use it well. But spending hours and hours of time at a place that doesn't fit exactly what you want IS a waste of LOTS of resources.

 

lots to consider and many ways to implement :D

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We drive 70 miles round trip to the Taekwondo school -- not because it's a better one, but because it's the only one. Being the tightwad that I am, I have a real problem, sometimes, with the cost of the gas, but I do multi-task. I run all my errands and do all my shopping on the two days that we go -- they are our "goin' to town" days.

 

It is definitely worth it to us. I tried reading while he was doing class and couldn't concentrate because I was too busy watching. So, rather than just sit there, I joined the class.

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I've had to go farther for decent speech therapy for one kid...actually, with traffic and all, it IS 25 minutes from the time we leave the house until dd's martial art class starts (twice a week). But I can leave all the other, older kids home alone while I take her. Back in the speech therapy days, I had up to 3 extra young kids with me, and would be gone from home five days a week for almost 3 hours at a time. Sigh.

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DS was a blue belt before we moved and very into TKD. We have checked out a dozen studios closer, all but one taught a different style, he's tried a few classes of the other styles and wants to stay with TKD. The TKD studio here is a joke. This one IS very nice and I think would be a great fit, but is it worth 50 minutes in the car several times a week (and with two younger siblings not doing karate)? WWYD?

 

...it was more than six years ago and we were driving over an hour, round trip. This was true for most of our activities, because they are, for the most part, in a town that is some miles away. The only thing that's changed is that we have moved so the distance is now half what it once was for us.

 

That said, we joined karate as a family. The girls had tried ballet and found it much too "calm" for them. They were asking about signing up for separate dance classes (one wanted modern, the other jazz) which would have meant two different one hour trips for me. I said, "no". In an effort to find something they could both do at the same time, we chose this karate dojo, and it has turned out to be a great fit for all three of us. However, though the class meets twice a week, we rarely attend more than once a week. It's just too much for us to do that and everything else, too.

 

How old is your ds? His siblings? I'd have to think pretty hard about taking only one child that far thrice a week while the others were required to just go along for the ride. I'd either seek out acitivities for them that could occur simultaneously, limit the number of classes I was willing to drive to for the one child, and/or make sure I had really excellent car schooling materials available to use. The time expenditure is great, so the return has to be great for me to feel that it's the right thing for everyone. I think that priorities shift as kids get older -- for instance, we now drive or carpool our 13 year old to practice (half hour round trip) four times a week during rowing season. She was not allowed to start rowing until after the move which put us that much closer to the practices, and I didn't feel it was as necessary for a 12 year old as I do for one who is 13.

 

Just some of thought processes I use to try to sort these things out.

 

HTH - and good luck!

Doran

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You're right --I didn't read your running post. I'm still at the "couch" part of "couch to 5K' lol!

 

;)

 

just to clarify--it was your references about "slave to the car" "several times a week" "unfair to the youngers" "[negative?] impact on the family and environment" "They can settle for less, if need be." Nothing in your post seemed very optimistic.;)

 

It seems pessimistic to you because you do choose that lifestyle. Saying "yes" to that commitment would make me feel like a slave to the car ~ so I avoid it. "Several times a week" is simply a repeat of what the original poster said; I'm not sure why you consider that acknowledgement to be pessimistic. Driving uses fuel and does, however you want to view it, have an impact on the environment. "They can settle for less" ~ I should have worded that, "They can accept something else."

 

i do tend to be more of a "meet and exceed the challenge" kinda gal when it comes to taking advantage of a great opportunity.

 

As am I. Again, though, it's all perspective; we have different views as to what constitutes a great opportunity.

 

I disagree that the original poster has "many other options" -- they have tried the other classes and obviously aren't options that would work for her family.

 

It's not "obvious", in my opinion. Were it me, I would likely offer my son the option of switching to different style and attending a studio closer to home. Alternatively, I might consider the more distant studio on a weekly basis ~ certainly not several times a week, though.

 

Again, my choice feels negative to you because it's not your choice. And vice versa. But to label my choice and reasons as "pessimistic" is just plain...pessimistic on your part.:p

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We do it two days a week. I probably would not do more than that. The kids have to be able to drive themselves before they can bump it up to three or more days.

 

That said, we have dropped everything else including our homeschool co-op. And karate is right across the street from the post office so I am running an errand at the same time.

 

I consider karate to be worth the drive. My children have grown in their respect of their elders, self-respect, self-confidence, awareness of their surroundings, and physical well-being. Plus we can start at age four, so three of my children are in the program and the fourth is looking forward to joining in a little over a year.

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He takes dance classes three times a week at a school that is 17 miles through downtown traffic (anywhere from 30-60 minutes each way). He takes classes there because it's the best dance school in the region and has an especially good program for boys. People actually move here from other states to bring their boys to this school, so I would feel like a wimp complaining about our commute.

 

He sings with an excellent boys' choir, again, the only one of its kind in the area, that is 14 miles along the same basic route as the dance school. They rehearse regularly once a week, with an additional Saturday-morning rehearsal about once a month and performance gigs (weddings, concerts, etc.) also about once a month.

 

On the remaining day (Monday), I drive him about 20 minutes in one direction for a piano lesson, then 30 minutes the other direction to rehearse a play, then about 20 minutes back home.

 

In the coming weeks, in addition to these regular activities, he'll be rehearsing as part of the children's choir who will sing with our local opera in an upcoming production. They are in the same building as the dance school, fortunately, meaning we can combine some trips. However, several of their rehearsals will be on Saturdays and will require making the drive yet again.

 

So, sure, I would drive 25 minutes each way for the right karate school. But, then again, I may not be the right person to ask for perspective!

 

--Jenny

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It seems pessimistic to you because you do choose that lifestyle.

 

...not really.... what i meant was your wording seemed "pessimistic" *to me*-- I can appreciate a difference in values and choices :) Your choice and reasons don't seem pessimistic, just your general tone in that particular post. You usually don't sound that 'pessimistic' *to me* in other posts that involve value judgments :D But perhaps I am overanalyzing, lol.

 

I'm guessing the OP has gotten enough replies by now tho to cover a multitude of options, eh?

 

i will add to the general mix that the family aspect is important to us. If the class was more hardcore about the presence and noise of siblings, I wouldn't be very amenable to making the drive cuz I am super picky about activities being family friendly. as it is, the head guy that watches the black belts teach [Grand Master, right?] is always mingling among the parents and siblings that aren't participating and asking [kinda jokingly] if we want to get the toddlers out there too....or encouraging US [seriously] to get out there, lol. If i was more disciplined at committing to attending w/o the younger ones more often I would --but that would mean a babysitter for three hours each week that dh wasn't home. that's not acceptable to me right now. Taking advantage of dh being sporadically at home on those nights isn't my style of learning :cool:

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Our swimming trip takes us three and a half hours. By the time we have walked there, changed, showered, swam for about an hour, showered, changed and walked back (about four miles round trip) three and and half hours pass. I can never believe it, but I time it every time and it is exactly that.

We do this twice a week. It is pretty tiring but I think it is really worth it. The walk gets us out and about seeing new things and my son relishes the exercise. My daughter enjoys the swim but doesn't like being torn away from her books/crafts much.

We don't go on days we have Danish lessons in the evening (these last an hour and a half to two hours), otherwise we wouldn't be a pretty sight!

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Ds' dojang is about 20 mins from here. Luckily, dh can take him some nights. I drive him on Mondays, Wednesdays and we are there on Saturdays from 10-1. He is on the demonstration team and there is a competition coming up, so right now he has classes six days a week. My little one loves it there. There are a lot of other children and I like interacting with the other parents. Ds really gets a lot out of TKD and I feel it is worth the trip for something that is so important to him. If he wasn't so dedicated, I am sure I would feel differently.

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I do this all the time. Youngest is on a swim team --- 30 min drive each way, 2x a week. Then there are all those Science Olympiad practices we go to; don't even want to add up all the time spent in the car.

 

Going to the grocery store is 20 min. Going to the library is 20 min.

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