|Those age limits really hurt my ds' feelings. We go someplace new, he sees something neat, and for no apparent reason, he isn't allowed to check it out. He doesn't understand how he is different from a three year old.
Yes, mine too, and I think this is what bothers me most about it.
|The age segregation really bothers me. The ages of my children range from toddler to ten, so there is a lot of stuff we're restricted from doing. But also I just think it's a bad idea to segregate people in general. It reinforces the idea that certain activities are for certain people only, and that different ages shouldn't interact. My older children get a lot out of being around younger children, and the younger children get a lot out of being around them. If there is conflict, that needs to be dealt with by those who are supervising -- the rest of us shouldn't be penalized for it. As far as I'm concerned, it's a kind of discrimination, against those of us with larger-than-average families and who are homeschooling.
I don't like the age segregation either. Both of my kids enjoy interacting with very young and older children. It's ironically one of the reasons we wanted to homeschool in the first place!
|The town I live in has a recreation dept that offers a lot of nature and art classes, and I've rarely found one I can bring a 3 & 6 year old to together. Whole family programs are even rarer.
I understand about the possibility that some big rowdy kids will scare little ones, or little ones might disturb things that older kids are doing, but why penalize families whose children enjoy doing things together and are well supervised?
Yes, this really bugs me. Why lump all kids in together? Why not let them figure out how to play together in a respectful, gentle way? A 4 year old can be physical and rowdy and a 7 year old can be gentle and calm.
And I too have had a hard time finding a class I can do with both of them. We found one gymnastics place where at least the classes are at the same time, so I can drop ds1 off at his and participate in one with ds2 at the same time. But this will be the last semester we can do that, because then ds1 will be 6yo (they check birthdays at registration), and all those classes are in the afternoon, while the little ones are still in the morning.
The Discovery Center one really bugs me: First of all, they check at the entrance. They have someone sitting there to check height, and expect that child to sit with them and draw while the parent brings the younger one in. Yeah, right. Secondly, when I took ds1 there as a toddler, there was no age/height limit. Rarely were there problems with older kids being too rowdy, and if there was, it was handled. My toddler ds learned to be really gentle around the babies as well. And third, I have mentioned this issue to them. They are standing by their rule. In fact, they even had a homeschool day, and in the literature for it said straight out that families with toddlers and older children can just play elsewhere!
But another thing I hate about this is that everything is not determined by a child's age. My ds1 is the perfect example. He has always been beyond his years in sharing well, listening to directions, behaving appropriately, etc. But, he is a young 5/6yo in the sense that his play tends to be less sophisticated than other children his age, and he lacks the savvy that a lot of older kids seem to have. So like the gymnastics place for instance: He does a little half day camp for a week that he loves, and it's for 4 and 5yo. Well, as of May, he will be too old for that, and will have to go to the one geard for 6-12yo! I don't feel comfortable at all dropping him off at a class that is geared for such older kids. But yet based soley on their age, that's where all 6yos are supposed to go, with no regard for where they are in their individual development.