We're not even in the city! But our town is small and we live right in the heart of it.
Although i used to live in Chatham, NY before i lived here. Rural village, but we lived in the heart of it and very much benefited from things being in walking distance. Actually, that setting was my favorite living setting of all.
We keep things super simple right now. I believe in underscheduling. I refuse to live my life in the car. I also have the luxury of my gym where my kids can be doing activities while I am working out, so that makes things way easier for me. No way would I give three nights a week up to driving around one child for one activity at the age of six. Thats just me, though.
Our school recommends no more than two after-school classes for kinder & 1st grade, and that if you have other non-school activities there is enough of a break for homework, rest & a good snack before the activity. At that age for Tiven, she had soccer (1 hour practice once a week after school, plus a 1-hour game on Saturday) and swimming lessons (one hour in the evening) and we signed her up for one after-school class both those years. For 2nd grade, when Tiven was 7yo, we added a second after-school class.
It takes 12 pounds of grain and 2500 gallons of water to produce ONE POUND of beef.
Livestock generates 65% of all human-related nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more warming to the environment than carbon dioxide; 37% of all human-related methane, which 23 times as warming as CO2; and 64 percent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.
"If you care about the planet, it's actually better to eat a salad in a Hummer than a cheeseburger in a Prius."
-- Bill Maher
On the flip side i'm hoping it starts to get easier in some ways as well. Because carpooling becomes more feasible and so many of the activities can be done completely independently compared to when they are younger. Maybe i'm just kind of in a 'crunch' stage.
I remember distinctly many years ago having a debate with someone here (pianomom?? or something like that i think? I could be making that up) about extra curriculars. And I passionately argued how extra curriculars aren't a necessity and that spending too much time on scheduling is bad and that you can create valuable and enriching experiences for your kids without sending them to this thing or that thing for $$$$ a month. Yet i find myself now between a rock and a hard place as my kids get older and can show me definitively that they want to invest time in certain things.
It's a tough one. If my kids started expression passion for multiple activities I'd want to encourage them....luckily my son is lazy.
Probably. Luke is super athletic. Not being braggy, he is just a really good athlete. I think that he will excel at whatever sport he ultimately dedicates himself to. I also believe that whatever he ultimately dedicates himself to will reveal itself way down the road, and that these parents who are already single sport focusing (common in my area as young as six) are insane, good athletes don't need that and will suffer from that (IMO). I'm not putting my kids at risk for overuse injuries by playing year round sports or just one sport like I see so many of my peers doing. Its nuts and many kids come to hate the sport by the time they are actually scholarship candidates. That is not what you are talking about though, so forgive the tangent. Pet peeve of mine as someone who was a college athlete and who married a college athlete.
Yes, it will get harder as they get older, but like anything, only as hard as I let it get. I have little sympathy for my friends who complain about being in the car all the time, when its their own fault and they have really young kids in like 4 activities. Like anything (birthday parties, christmas presents, etc), when you set the bar to that level, kids come to expect it. My 5 year old is upstairs taking a nap, she naps because she doesn't know differently. She loves it and its good for her. She was in one art class this spring, and it ended back in April and we didn't sign her up for anything. She has thrived with all the free time, and I've really enjoyed the extra time with her. We cook together all the time and have spent a lot of time in the garden. Today we will spend the hot afternoon at the pool and eat dinner there, instead of having to run around in 95 degree weather taking somebody to one sport or another. I just see how relaxed we all are with less, and how it works for us. I really don't believe that any huge life lessons come from these 3 or 4 year old ballet classes or "soccer shots" or whatever program parents feel that they "have" to do for their childs enrichment. Truly I feel like my kids get as much or more out of being with my husband and I, or their sibs, or their friends, at those ages. As they get older we will allow them to do things that they want to do, and we feel blessed to be able to afford, but we will do them in moderation and with a mind towards the overall well being of the entire family.
DS1 really wants to play ice hockey. I have a good friend whose sons play. They frequently have 5 am practices and games out of state and whatnot. That simply is not something that I am willing to do for a 6 year old. I think that its crazy. I have no problem saying no and explaining why.
It was insane. These are 9 year olds.
The pressure up here to put all man-cubs into hockey is INTENSE. Girls too, plus ringette. Ice time at like 11:00 pm for a 6 year old?????? Get bent. All the prime ice time is taken by the bigger kids and men's rec leagues.
Kyla, if you're going by the Participaction recommendation for activity for kids we'd all like have to have them in some activity every.single.night. Jeez, 7 solid hours of physical activity a week is hard for a 2-income family. It's do-able, just really really hard.
Ugh! I refuse to do Hockey, or Ice skating. It is just too much of a time suck!
I always said we wouldnt put the kids in activities unless they asked for them, but DD asks for everything! Up till now there havent been a ton of options though. For under school age, our town pretty much has ice sports, dance and soccer. When she started dance, she wanted to be a ballerina, so thats what we went with. DS is pretty desperate to do something of his own, so we are going to try him in the new Karate program next fall. They just opened up and he may be too young, but they said they would try him on a trial basis as sometimes kids his age are good, and sometimes they just cant pay attention enough. I could put him in dance too, but there are no older boys still in dance (they tend to do the preschool program and then move on), so I dont think he would stick with it. Karate seems more like something he would do for a few years and actually retain some skills from. Other than that we do soccer two nights a week, but it starts as the regular ballet season ends so there is just a short conflict, and this year DS is doing a 'mini sports' program through the city that teaches soccer and baseball skills as he is still too young for soccer.
There is so much more that I wish they could do....it is especially important to me that they learn to swim, but It is hard to find time to fit it all in, without over scheduling and stressing us all out.
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)