This isnt really a debate.....but we could make it one!
I am wondering how much after school activity your kids do. I am having to register DD for dance in the next few weeks and her teacher suggested I bump her up to two days of ballet a week (they only do one up till now) so that is what I was planning to do. But when I mentioned it to DD she said she wanted to do Tap and Jazz, which is a combo class once a week. So I think we will either do two ballet and the combo for three days a week, or one ballet and the combo for two days a week. The other option is to not let her do the combo and just do the original two days of ballet.
I am worried that 3 days a week might be too much for her at this age (she is 6, going into grade 1), not to mention how inconvenient it is for me. Another Mom and I have discussed carpooling if she does 2 days of ballet. There is a possibility that Tap/Jazz will fall immediately after or before ballet on one day which would be ideal, but they dont decide the schedule until after registration.
This is the only after school activity we do most of the year as there isnt a ton available during the winter. We are going to try DS in Karate next year though, but they wont commit to keeping him since he is pretty young.
ETA: Sorry this is rambly. Basically I dont want to burn her out and have her hate something she loves right now. How much do you think is two much for a young elementary kid?
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
Mind you DS is only about to turn 4, but we do one activity at a time right now, but it can be 2 - 3 days a week.
Soccer right now, 2 practices a week (only one required) and a game on Saturday. We rotate between soccer, swimming and t-ball. While I am on maternity leave soon, I have signed him up for summer swim lessons total of 3-4 weeks, 4 days a week. They are in the mornings so it won't be too bad.
I think it is whatever works best for your family's schedule and for your kids. When I was in middle school and high school I did dance 4-5 days a week plus sports and other extra curricular. My brother played sports. I have no idea how my mom didn't only feel like a chauffeur!
I really do think it depends on the kid. My daughter (who is turning 6 this summer) does well with more activities, more structure. My son needs more down time. It varies a lot!
And consider yourself too. My brother and his wife do GREAT things for their kids but I think they add a lot of stress to their lives by overscheduling too.
For my family, I think 2 days a week would be the max at that age. But I agree that it's probably different for every child/family!
CARRIE and DH 7/14/07
Warning, rambling information ahead.
I would play it by ear.
When Emma was in 4th grade or so, she was over scheduled and it was causing problems. She was taking a gymnastics class once a week. She was in girl scouts. She was in youth choir. She was taking piano lessons and swimming lessons. There was a point where it became obvious that it was too much. So we ditched the gymnastics and the girl scouts.
Fast forward to this year...lots of things change in two years. She is great about planning and scheduling her homework...at this point in time she seems to need less sleep (although that is likely to change back again soon) and she is just generally better at managing her time and has some very devoted interests. She has been dong more again. She still does youth choir and takes piano lessons. She did cheering which met daily over winter. Cheering is over but spring rec soccer is back in session and now I've signed her up for a tumbling class...because if she is serious about the cheering, then she will need to know how to tumble to do it long term. She's handled this year great. No major stress, homework done on time. Very happy....no signs of burn out. So we are going to carry on as we are. At this point i don't suggest stuff to her, we go with what makes sense given her interests. But she's almost 12...so its different than when they are little.
As of right now
My 5 year old. She has a swimming lesson once a week and dance once a week.
My 8 year old is only doing farm league baseball, which usually amounts to a couple of evenings a week. If she wanted to do something else like take a music lesson...i'd be open to it.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, both of the above were going to religious education after school once a week.
My almost 10 year old. Little League which is about 3, sometimes 4 nights a week. Guitar lesson once a week.
Cecilia(3YO) does nothing but I'm going to sign her up for swimming lessons over the summer. Summer sessions meet twice a week.
So while it all sounds crazy...its really only because there are so many of them. Aside from Emma most of them are signed up for one, maybe two activities at any given time, with the commitment in days increasing by a day or so every two years if that makes sense.
In my case, i would not sign up my 5 year old for three nights of dance a week. I don't think she would personally enjoy it at that point and would also feel the effects burnout. But with all the activities going on in my family, I also have to factor into it that she gets dragged around to other activities on a regular basis.
With all of that being said, aside from Emma who was busy all school year long, i actually scheduled it in such a way that Monday's and Fridays had no activities planned amazingly enough. THAT was a huge help. If i had all that going on above, but it was spread out across 5 days instead of three, it actually would have been more stressful for both me and the kids than it was with a few days off. I plan to do it that way again next year if it is at all possible. Unstructured time is important IMO.
Cecilia Marie 1/10/10
Photo By Anne Schmidt Photography
ETA: Kind of funny to use that idiom when i think about it...as I"m doing anything these days but laying down haha.
Last edited by KimPossible; 05-30-2013 at 12:20 PM.
I think we are lucky in that there are a lot of things around here that we can walk to. The driving around can make you crazy. Juliet does yoga, that's a 5-minute walk, there's an Art Center about 2 minutes farther where the kids have taken classes after school, I think Juliet wants piano lessons so we'll try that next. But I see the stress it adds to my brother & his family, all the driving everywhere, and I don't want that! I probably can only postpone it for a while, once the kids get older they'll be into more activities.
That is awesome that you have so much so close to you...walking distance no less! Emma's tumbling class is about a half hour away from our house, maybe i tiny bit more. Thats the extreme end of our traveling. Baseball is the best as its local and some of the files are 7 minutes away, the furthest one away is about 15.
The driving around really sucks. I've always loved considering the pros and cons of city life vs. rural life (I love both)....city life definitely wins in this category.