Pass a slice of humble pie, please. Over-scheduled 11 year old? - Mothering Forums

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Child's schedule seems pretty typical and do-able. 10 100.00%
Seems ok but take caution before adding any additional activities. 5 100.00%
Seems ok but don't add anything and watch to see if you need to cut something. 2 40.00%
Consider limiting something from her schedule. 3 60.00%
Definitely too busy - cut something, maybe a couple of things. 1 20.00%
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#1 of 25 Old 09-30-2012, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I always take note whenever my "I'd never's" come back to in the form of humble pie. I think it's a good exercise in humility and personal growth. orngbiggrin.gif  

 

...

 

We've been an open, relaxed schedule family ever since our now 11 year old was born. Reading articles over the years I suppose I patted myself on the back that we were doing well by our kid in this regard. Fast forward to 11, 5th grade and a kid who as a few more interests than in years past and we suddenly have a rather full calendar. And wouldn't you know it, DC just this morning told me she wants to join drama club. 

 

I'd love to share our schedule with you for some feedback. Maybe she isn't all that scheduled for your average 11 year old - maybe some of you think she is. Maybe you have some suggestions about how to either cut back or create time to "just be". 

 

Her schedule is: 

 

  • Monday - a free program for young kids offered by one of the best schools in the city / something DC tried-out for and got a space in - a wonderful opportunity and a priority for the year. 
  • Tuesday - carpool and alternating (2x/month) game night with school 
  • Wednesday - soccer (for the fall) 
  • Thursday - homework club for 45 minutes after school followed by carpool / DC had a reading delay 2 years ago and I'd like her to do this club / if she gets into drama club she will do this on Thursday instead of homework for the month of the club 
  • Friday - free and school gets out at 1:15 / 1x/month playdate and frequent impromptu playdates 
  • Saturday - soccer and frequent play-dates / birthday parties 
  • Sunday - free / often plays with neighbors 

 

  • Homework - this year is the first year that DC will have homework. It will come home on Monday and be completed by Thursday for homework club. 
  • Chores - DC has a small amount of chores, which we've been slacking on because she's been busy. I don't want her to not have household responsibilities just because she has an active life. I'd love to hear opinions and thoughts on this issue. 
  • Neighbors - we have lots of neighbor kids so DC is never without someone to play with. Sometimes this seems a blessing and a curse because when she's getting (what I think to be) much needed alone time/head space there are often neighbors stopping by to play. 
  • This early in the year there are likely to be more activities offered that DC wants to add. Our community offers so many free activities that it's sometimes difficult to pass up. 

 

So, what do you think? Does this seem like an ok level of activities for an 11 year old? 


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#2 of 25 Old 09-30-2012, 12:21 PM
 
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It really depends on the child and family. At 11, my DD was putting in a good 20+ hours a week outside of school (theatre kid actively working.) At 15, the last month, she's only had  5  hours of commitment outside of school. That will jump drastically in January when rehearsals for her next show start but then will drop back down in March when it's closed. Same with my current 11-year-old. He currently devotes about 2 hours a week to outside school interests. That'll change in October with basketball league starts up and then more when rehearsals for his next show start. That's just how it works for us.... a couple months of frenzy followed by a couple months of mild. 

 

To me, your DD's schedule seems very tame. I'm sure to others, it's too much. If your family is happy and having fun, I think you are doing well. If that changes, cut-back. 


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#3 of 25 Old 09-30-2012, 01:56 PM
 
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I agree that it seems fine. My DS is nine and has similar commitments. I think as long as your DD is happy and it works for your family, there's no problem.


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#4 of 25 Old 09-30-2012, 07:16 PM
 
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It sounds fine to me. One of my DD's liked being very scheduled at that age. She's 14 now and prefers a lighter schedule. If your DD is happy, then all is well.
 


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#5 of 25 Old 10-01-2012, 06:20 AM
 
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Sounds very doable.

I think things really get to be a problem when you have several kids with such schedules. I also have a large gap between kids. With my oldest, I had her involved with more activities than my baby. The baby gets plenty of interaction with all the running around for the older sibling. Nice, but just different.

My oldest only complains if she doesn't get enough downtime between school and activities.

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#6 of 25 Old 10-01-2012, 06:38 AM
 
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I don't think it's "typical" because schedules vary widely, but I think it's very doable.

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#7 of 25 Old 10-01-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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Seems reasonable to me.

 

ETA: I didn't vote, because I can't say it is "typical".


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#8 of 25 Old 10-01-2012, 07:44 AM
 
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It seems do-able, as long as your DD isn't stressed and as long as you are comfortable too. With one caveat about Drama Club. If she has to read plays, memorize lines and prepare scenes outside of attending the club afternoon, she may find it is more work and takes more time than she anticipated. Dd attended an extracurricular theatre group for years and she is a Drama major at a performing arts high school. The kids are not happy when someone shows up unprepared. OTOH, if the club is more relaxed and the kids are doing mostly short improv skits and a bunch of acting exercises, then there won't be a lot of extra work or stress. I would ask the director/instructor about expectations and time commitments.

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#9 of 25 Old 10-01-2012, 04:55 PM
 
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having a 5th grader myself i would say it is doable.

 

however....

 

how much hw does she get? dd somedays gets TONNES of hw where she has to work at least 2 hours on the hw. with out twice a week afterschool debate class, that takes a significant amount of time out of dd's hands. it IS tough on dd because she is a typical unstructured child who needs a lot of time afterschool to recover from a structured day. 

 

i am so grateful that dd has friends to play with too. THAT i find for dd is far MORE important than any scheduled activity. if she doesnt see them at least once a day - it shows. she is a reader so it really takes a lot out of her reading time. but i like that balance because she doesnt have to get lost in a book which i dont like. however all the kids will be in my living room silently reading when dd is in a mood to read her book. i love that they share the silence together. 

 

so this is my attitude towards chores. i think chores are different than responsibility. her things - chores - like putting her stuff away, etc - dd HATES doing. but she LOVES responsiblities that she feels i guess contributes to the family. so she will happily do laundry and cook a meal or vaccum. so what i do is give her more responsibilites and dont really stress too much on the chores (unless they pile up of course).

 

but honestly dd has TONNES of hw most days. due the next day. just finishing hw (perhaps it takes an hour to do it, but she may take longer for her to do it at her relaxed space) takes up most of her time. thankfully her friends join her and they do hw together. that is REALLY helpful in not making hw such a chore. 

 

coming home at 5 after a long day twice a week is i think all dd can take. she might enjoy something on saturday but we havent found anything convenient yet. 


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#10 of 25 Old 10-01-2012, 05:25 PM
 
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I also have a 5th grader and your schedule seems pretty typical.

 

Does she still have time to get her homework done? Does she seem stressed out with running too much?

 

For comparison here is my 5th graders activities.

- He does 45 minutes of homework, instrument practice, etc. after school every day, except the two days he has after school activities.

- He has Chess Club after school on Mondays.

- Once a week he meets with his LEGO League team after school. 

- He does Cub scouts approximately weekly on Mondays

- He was doing gymnastics on Tuesdays, but they changed the schedule to a time that doesn't work for us so we will replace that with taekwondo which he has been asking to try

- Thursday's he does Chinese Class.

- Saturdays involved activities for some of the above groups, family bike rides, sleep overs with friends, etc.


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#11 of 25 Old 10-01-2012, 07:35 PM
 
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I think if it interferes with other things (mainly homework, or getting enough sleep, or family meal time) then it's too much, but if it doesn't and she enjoys that level of activity then it's fine. Here's what I get from your list:

 

 

  • Monday - a free program/great opportunity
  • Tuesday - school activity twice a month
  • Wednesday - soccer (for the fall) 
  • Thursday - school activity
  • Friday - 
  • Saturday - soccer 
  • Sunday - 

 

So she's got soccer two days a week which could be a bit much or could be just right and the rest seem to be all school activities or a great opportunity. Is there a reason you included carpool as an activity? Does it take a lot of time? The homework club sounds great. Drama club, am I reading right, would just be a month? 

 

I think it's all fine as long as she's happy and can get her work done.


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#12 of 25 Old 10-02-2012, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, DC decided to put her name in for drama club and got a slot...oy! We're going to give a very active October a try and see how it goes, I guess. 

 

Now, she's got: 

 

Monday: Program at the Highschool until 5:30 

Tuesday: Drama until 5 and 2x/week game night from 6-8

Wednesday: Soccer 6-8

Thursday: Drama until 5

Friday: Half-day from school - free 

Saturday: Soccer in AM 

Sunday: free 

 

Because drama is something DC really wanted, I let her go for it. We'll just have to see - it's just one month and I think we can structure things so it's ok for her. I'm open to the possibility that maybe she does well with this sort of thing. This summer she was stressed by the lack of structure so...

 

Beanma, we won't carpool when DC is in drama club but carpool often involves a playdate or me providing child care for the kid I'm driving home so it's sort of an activity in itself. Plus, it takes away some of our time to chat in the car, which is an important part of our day. When we didn't have much going on, carpool was a very welcome activity but now it just adds to the scheduled feeling of the week's activities, yk? 

 

DC got her first homework packet. It took her a while to do 1/3 of it (Monday's portion) but there's a lot I can do to help her move more quickly though the material. She ALSO signed up for stage crew with her school's talent show but I spoke with the person organizing it about my concerns about DC's schedule and they are going to let her begin working on that project in late November, at which point soccer and drama club will be over. 

 

And now, as I type this out, it seems like this rapid change in DC's activities has turned me into a mother who spends an inordinate amount of time planning my child's life. Any tips on helping an older child take more of an active role in her/his calendar would be most appreciated. 


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#13 of 25 Old 10-02-2012, 07:38 AM
 
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My kids each play an instrument (older kid - two morning practices; younger kid - will be during school day), each has one "fun" class for one hour once per week (yoga/ceramics) and we all do a cultural/language activity which takes up most of Saturday. That's about our limit. So, I don't think your schedule sounds outrageous *BUT*

 

it sounds like YOU smile.gif are overscheduled for your own taste - just judging from the way you expressed yourself in the above posts. I think it's perfectly OK to say no to activities if it's something your kid wants, but it's going to make your life too stressful and take up too much of your own time. I have done extra stuff for short periods, but at some point something has to go to make the schedule saner for everyone. For me it was actually one of my own activities - teaching at our Saturday program. I was also relieved DD1 decided not to go out for the sports team she was on last year because it was 2-3 months of crazy activity. I vetoed a second sports team, but in the end it was a moot point since she didn't make the team.


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#14 of 25 Old 10-02-2012, 07:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

And now, as I type this out, it seems like this rapid change in DC's activities has turned me into a mother who spends an inordinate amount of time planning my child's life. Any tips on helping an older child take more of an active role in her/his calendar would be most appreciated. 

This is relative depending on your exact situation, but you could have your DD put her own stuff together for school - either make breakfast before school & clean up or make her own lunch & clean up (or both) - or be in charge of her own stuff for activities. My DD is 12 going on 13, and she helps out by either making her own breakfast or lunch (transitioning to doing both), doing her own laundry, and walking to yoga after school w/ friends in the class. She also does her homework independently with no reminders, and we don't interfere unless we see grades slipping in the online gradebook.


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#15 of 25 Old 10-02-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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Well, DC decided to put her name in for drama club and got a slot...oy! We're going to give a very active October a try and see how it goes, I guess. 

 

Now, she's got: 

 

Monday: Program at the Highschool until 5:30 

Tuesday: Drama until 5 and 2x/week game night from 6-8

Wednesday: Soccer 6-8

Thursday: Drama until 5

Friday: Half-day from school - free 

Saturday: Soccer in AM 

Sunday: free 

 

Because drama is something DC really wanted, I let her go for it. We'll just have to see - it's just one month and I think we can structure things so it's ok for her. I'm open to the possibility that maybe she does well with this sort of thing. This summer she was stressed by the lack of structure so...

 

Beanma, we won't carpool when DC is in drama club but carpool often involves a playdate or me providing child care for the kid I'm driving home so it's sort of an activity in itself. Plus, it takes away some of our time to chat in the car, which is an important part of our day. When we didn't have much going on, carpool was a very welcome activity but now it just adds to the scheduled feeling of the week's activities, yk? 

 

DC got her first homework packet. It took her a while to do 1/3 of it (Monday's portion) but there's a lot I can do to help her move more quickly though the material. She ALSO signed up for stage crew with her school's talent show but I spoke with the person organizing it about my concerns about DC's schedule and they are going to let her begin working on that project in late November, at which point soccer and drama club will be over. 

 

And now, as I type this out, it seems like this rapid change in DC's activities has turned me into a mother who spends an inordinate amount of time planning my child's life. Any tips on helping an older child take more of an active role in her/his calendar would be most appreciated. 

 

We have found google calendar a great tool for the family. Each member can handle their own entries on their own account but we can connect them and so all are calendars pop-up-- each person in their own color. We can access it on any computer, smart phone or ipods with wifi present. I didn't expect my eldest to take over her own calendar until she was 13 and in 9th grade. At 15, it's still a work in progress but she's getting better at inputting activities when she learns of them and not the day before. DS 11 keeps track of what is on his calendar but I still input his stuff. The kids are involved in that they choose their activities. They come to us with shows they want to audition for, sports they want to try, instruments they want to play, friends they want to spend time with, school events, ect. They show me how it can fit on the schedule and we decide as a family if we can make it happen. 

 

Oh, and agree with PP that your kids should be doing their own prep. My kids handled their own breakfasts, lunches, packing their bags, getting their gear and instruments and all that starting kindergarten. Obviously, back then, they needed more reminders and a little supervision but they've been totally independent in that regard for many years now. It does cut down on family frenzy tremendously.


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#16 of 25 Old 10-02-2012, 09:42 AM
 
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Oh, and agree with PP that your kids should be doing their own prep. My kids handled their own breakfasts, lunches, packing their bags, getting their gear and instruments and all that starting kindergarten

 

 

For us, the key is to make it part of the bedtime routine. We have a set time every night when the TV and computers get turned off, and we pick up and get ready for the next day. Part of that is checking the calendar to see what is happening and then making sure that all necessary items are laid out.

 

I use a big calendar on the fridge and write everyone's stuff on it, and we look at it together. I do feel my kids are old enough to have the primarily responsible for packing their lunches and getting things ready, but I provide the scaffolding to help make that happen.

 

I've never tried Google calendar -- we might have to check that out.

 

How much time I spend planning my kids' lives varies a lot. More time at the beginning of the school year and the beginning of the summer. Not that much time the rest of the time.


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#17 of 25 Old 10-02-2012, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, great! This all sounds like we're more in a good place or at least going in the right direction. I don't know what I was expecting -- maybe I was just having worries that one gets when entering new territory. DC already does her own lunch, often breakfast (depending on what we have to eat). She's amazing with organizing her space and taking care of her clothing, baths and etc. She puts her laundry away and the dirty in the bin. I've decided that I can't do laundry every week so we're going down to every other Sunday. DC will be in charge of being sure she doesn't go through all her clothes before then and telling me if we need to make any changes to this new plan. I have the calendar printed on the fridge and I'll ask her to be aware of her own activities and plan for them.  I'll leave the drama club chores/responsibility up to her because it's something that is less important for her to comply with. She can also be in charge of soccer and her dad can also help with that. 

 

I think I'll need to help her with homework because it's a new thing and I can tell there are some essential skills that she's lacking as far as getting it done quickly. I feel the need to supervise her work for the Monday thing (it's a coveted spot that I want her to be invited back for). 

 

I'm becoming less worried about this new lifestyle we've got going on and am a bit excited for having such a heavy routine. DC seems fine so far - hopefully things will remain good for her. 


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#18 of 25 Old 10-02-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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Glad to hear it sounds like it's going to work out!!
 


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#19 of 25 Old 10-02-2012, 02:01 PM
 
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 I've decided that I can't do laundry every week so we're going down to every other Sunday. DC will be in charge of being sure she doesn't go through all her clothes before then and telling me if we need to make any changes to this

 

 

You could just show her how to throw in a load if she's running low.

 

I may be a bit of a hardass, but at about age 11-12, I teach my kids to do their own laundry. Mine do theirs together (their choice) on Sunday night.

 

Our only issue is that I often find the last load still in the dryer on Monday morning, but we are working on that!


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#20 of 25 Old 10-02-2012, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You could just show her how to throw in a load if she's running low.

 

Unfortunately, not. I've heard of other kids DC's age doing laundry but DC is too short. twins.gif  I could  come up with some sort of thing where she neatly goes through the laundry to select one load to do mid-laundry week and start it for her and ask for her to take it out of the dryer (she can reach that) and fold. 

 

Part of the laundry issue is that I'm still learning to do laundry. Sigh. 2whistle.gif


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#21 of 25 Old 10-04-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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Ok, great! This all sounds like we're more in a good place or at least going in the right direction. I don't know what I was expecting -- maybe I was just having worries that one gets when entering new territory. DC already does her own lunch, often breakfast (depending on what we have to eat). She's amazing with organizing her space and taking care of her clothing, baths and etc. She puts her laundry away and the dirty in the bin. I've decided that I can't do laundry every week so we're going down to every other Sunday. DC will be in charge of being sure she doesn't go through all her clothes before then and telling me if we need to make any changes to this new plan. I have the calendar printed on the fridge and I'll ask her to be aware of her own activities and plan for them.  I'll leave the drama club chores/responsibility up to her because it's something that is less important for her to comply with. She can also be in charge of soccer and her dad can also help with that. 

 

I think I'll need to help her with homework because it's a new thing and I can tell there are some essential skills that she's lacking as far as getting it done quickly. I feel the need to supervise her work for the Monday thing (it's a coveted spot that I want her to be invited back for). 

 

I'm becoming less worried about this new lifestyle we've got going on and am a bit excited for having such a heavy routine. DC seems fine so far - hopefully things will remain good for her. 


Sounds like things are working out great. My DD is a freshman in high school and she has a lot going on. Every time she wants to add a new activity we have a discussion about the time commitment and what she will do if she gets stretched too thin. It sounds like your DD is handling it great and that she will let you know if it gets to be too much.


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#22 of 25 Old 10-10-2012, 11:20 AM
 
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That sounds like a very reasonable fall schedule to me.

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#23 of 25 Old 10-11-2012, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone! It's working out OK. This week was a bit hectic so far with one day that DC only had like 10 minutes to herself before her bedtime. Then last night she was really dragging at soccer and had to come home and go straight to bed. It's only a month of this busy schedule though so we'll see...


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#24 of 25 Old 10-11-2012, 11:08 PM
 
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My 12 yr old has something almost every afternoon.  (he does homeschool) but there is still planning and time constraints.

3 nights a week there is swim team.  

2 nights there is a library trip (min 2x a week).

1-2x a month there is a swim meet - this can be 1 or both weekend days, it can be 1 hr or all weekend long.

 

After swim team my kiddo is exhausted, hungry and cranky.  He really needs to go straight home, take a shower, have dinner and rest for a bit.   

 

Some weeks we have extra activities but mostly I can plan on every evening being out of the house from 330-6pm,   DS would love to add theater back into the mix but I just don't see how to fit it in right now.


Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

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#25 of 25 Old 10-24-2012, 02:30 PM
 
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Honestly, this is the time to be doing these sorts of activities. Now that both of my girls are out of elementary school, I am realizing how poor their time management skills are and I wish I had gotten them more involved at this age. They have come to feel entitled to a certain amount of down time and cut corners on homework and chores just so they can have the same amount of time they used to for screens and other activities that aren't really bettering them much. When they were little (5-9) they had piano lessons, dance class, and other activities to keep them occupied. Once they hit 10 or 11 and started getting "real homework" it tapered off a little. They are still required to do music of some kind, but we can go to the gym as a family now that they're older so we don't have the physical requirement anymore. They aren't much for team sports anyway, so it works out. Honestly, dd 14 has so much homework that the only extracurricular she does is cake club (they make baked goods for the entire school bi-monthly, so it's strengthening her cooking and community building skills, so I'm happy with that choice) and she is in theater and wants to try out for a play next year. I wish she had the time to do other stuff, but she goes to a super competitive magnet school so if she does well, she really could go to Yale like she's always wanted to. My younger dd just started middle school this year, so we're not pushing her to do anything besides choir since its been a rough adjustment. Next year we want her to do something more, even if its just a dance class or something once a week, since she still has a little bit of free time left til high school.

(gender)queer vegetarian artist co-parenting DDs 14 & 11 with DP and TTC  little peanut #3 3rdtri.gif

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