Any not put their kids in afterschool activities? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 09-21-2004, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like to have my boys in sports and boyscouts, but I honestly think that it would be too much for them after a long day of school, then homework (about 1/2 hour everyday). So, I don't have them do anything else. The only thing that I might do for them is have them take swimming lessons on Saturday.

Anyone else have problems with putting your kids in afterschool activities?
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#2 of 21 Old 09-21-2004, 12:58 PM
 
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I sort of feel the same way you do. OTOH, my dh would have my girls in every activity under the sun. He understands the overstimulation/time crunch factor, but he gets carried away by the activities themselves. My dd is a very high energy child and she likes doing a variety of things. I just think it is good to have some down time, and she needs to learn to entertain herself. I also am only willing to cart her around just so much.

So, my 7 yo takes Chinese lessons on Sunday (the whole family does this). She does gymnastics on Monday evenings. She and dh do Y Adventure Guides, which is one night a month, the occasional event and three weekend campouts.

Every time he brings up a new activity, I say... Fine, which activity are we dropping to accomodate Tae Kwon Do, Hockey, music, or what have you? That ends that conversation.
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#3 of 21 Old 09-21-2004, 01:32 PM
 
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My son is only in K but we have not enrolled him in anything to date-no soccer, swim lessons, etc. We just wanted him to play! We asked a few times when his friends were taking soccer or tae kwon do but he always said "when I get bigger" which was fine with us. I just asked him about swim lessons this week and he said "I'll think about it" LOL
My Dh and I have talked a lot about this and though time will tell-we've agreed to just 2 things each for the kids when they get to the point when they want to be involved. Which may still be alot to juggle but at least it's a goal not to exceed.

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#4 of 21 Old 09-21-2004, 07:34 PM
 
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I hear ya! I try to limit what my kids are involved in. Last year when my ds started kindergarten, there was a point when I just had to refuse to enroll him in an enrichment class - because it meant that he would be in a class every single day. That is just too much for a 5 yo.

But it is hard, he so wanted to be a Tiger cub this year. And religion classes, gifted classes and swimming... I have to consider my time and the younger kids who get dragged along too. There doesn't seem to be enough time for everything, and I hate nights when we have stuff to do, everything is so rushed. I have contemplated homeschooling just to have more time during the day for my kids to play and for other activities I know they would like.
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#5 of 21 Old 09-21-2004, 08:02 PM
 
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Rachel is only 2, but we are surrounded by parks that are filled with little soccer players every evening it seems. There are also karate places and dance places. I'm tired just thinking about it.

DH doesn't want to put DD in sports, but I told him that she may want to do it. We'll just see when we get there.
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#6 of 21 Old 09-22-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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I have my K student in two activities. He started asking to play soccer when he was two years old and this year he's old enough. He's been asking to take Karate lessons since he was three, and since that time we've told him he could begin when he was five. So on Thursdays he has an hour-long class for Karate, we come home to eat, then he has an hour long soccer practice. He has another Karate class on Friday afternoons. On the one hand it feels like a lot, but on the other hand, he loves it. He practices what he learns in both activities without prompts--he's eager, kwim? He loves to be in the front yard kicking his soccer ball around with our neighbors, etc. He does the stretches he learns at Karate at home and practices his "forms." I like that it's only one long day a week and one short hour on Fridays because this gives him every day of the week to play except for Thursday afternoons. Luckily soccer ends in December too.
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#7 of 21 Old 09-22-2004, 02:57 AM
 
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I took dance and gymnastics once a week when I was a kid. I don't remember it making me overly tired, but then again, I also don't remember having homework (at least not a lot) at young ages.

Maybe you could try to find a free or really low cost activity for your kids, and that way, if it becomes too much for them, you can pull them out without being out a whole lot of money.

Of course, I also don't see anything wrong with *not* enrolling your kids in any activities.
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#8 of 21 Old 09-22-2004, 08:40 PM
 
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I have not enrolled my ds is any activity yet. I took him to the Y to check out their basketball beginners class and he told me that he will do it when he is 5(he is 4 now). So i let it go. I may ask him if he would like to try any music lessons. I will leave it up to him. He gets lot of outdoor and free play time in general. I don't feel it is necessary to force him into anything. If he asks me to enroll him in something like some of the kids mentioned in the posts here, i would be more than happy to do that.

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#9 of 21 Old 09-24-2004, 09:56 PM
 
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When I was teaching piano in upstate NY, I had a little 6yo boy as a student. For a few weeks in a row, I noticed we were making little to no progress in his lessons, so I asked him, "Aaron, what's going on? Are you able to practice?" (I asked for 10 minutes of practice a day, 15 if they felt like rolling with it.) He turned to me and said, "Oh teacher, I am so stressed, I just don't have time. I have school, and homework, and Hebrew lessons, and [other activities I can't recall.]" I was astounded! He was SIX!

I already felt odd about all the after-school activities that ran rampant in that affluential area, but that was when I decided all that would not be for my young children. Later, as a nanny, I implemented that with the 9yo boy who just wanted to play in the yard with his dog. We got him to that point 3 days a week, and it helped him find a focus and talent for lacrosse (he was doing so many sports and activities he couldn't focus on any one of them). He's 14 now and a great young man still.

Our after-school activities will be light, I think.

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#10 of 21 Old 09-24-2004, 10:56 PM
 
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My almost 9 year old has been involved in sports since K (he's 3rd grade now). My rule has always been one activity at a time. It's usually 1 hour, twice a week so not too bad.

Now, though, was the first year for flag football and he wanted to try that along with his beloved soccer (which he excels in) so we're giving it a go. He was forewarned that if he didn't get regular homework done or put up a fuss or was grumpy, he'd have to drop one but he's doing great.

...and it keeps him from fighting with the neighbor boys. UGH!
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#11 of 21 Old 09-29-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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My dd is in 2nd grade this year. We haven't signed up for any extra activities and she doesn't even have homework! (waldorf school)
After a full day from 8:00am to 3:15, she is ready for some down time. We ride bikes or walk to the park, sometimes have a friend over. Usually by dinner time, she is wiped out. She is a busy girl, playing hard much of the day.
She did a two week gymnastics camp in the summer and we have thought about pottery class. Maybe in the winter when there is not so much outside time.
Children today seemed to be so overscheduled. :
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#12 of 21 Old 10-01-2004, 05:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnR33
My son is only in K but we have not enrolled him in anything to date-no soccer, swim lessons, etc. We just wanted him to play! We asked a few times when his friends were taking soccer or tae kwon do but he always said "when I get bigger" which was fine with us. I just asked him about swim lessons this week and he said "I'll think about it"
My son says the SAME things!!! When I'm bigger and I'll think about it. He is also only in K. I think kids do TOO much these days and are overscheduled!
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#13 of 21 Old 10-05-2004, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethHG
I would like to have my boys in sports and boyscouts, but I honestly think that it would be too much for them after a long day of school, then homework (about 1/2 hour everyday). So, I don't have them do anything else. The only thing that I might do for them is have them take swimming lessons on Saturday.

Anyone else have problems with putting your kids in afterschool activities?

here.My daughter does nothing...when anyway?She comes home at 4: 30 being only 7!Add homework and dinner and the day is nearly over

TC,
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#14 of 21 Old 10-08-2004, 07:10 PM
 
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I worry about my kids getting overprogrammed. Last year I limited them each to one afterschool activity. This year it has grown to two. DD#1 is in 2nd grade and really wanted to do soccer this year. So that involves a 1 hour practice 1x per week and a 1 hour game on weekend. She also wanted music lessons, so she has a violin lesson on Friday afternoons and is supposed to practice a little everyday but I am loose about it. DD#2 (4 yr old) is taking swimming lessons 1 x per week b/c I feel it is really important and wanted to also take a 1 hour theater class 1 x per week. That's it. It sounds like a lot, but it is all on different days and I've worked it so I don't have to drag either girl to the other's activity, which makes it less stressful on me. DD#1 wanted to do other things as well, and I said when soccer season was over we could see or she could do it in the summer (like doing gymnastics camp instead of during the school year).

It's not perfect, but it works for us.

Miriam
Mom to two daughters born in 1997 and 2000
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#15 of 21 Old 10-09-2004, 12:19 PM
 
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DS just started chess afterschool on Fridays. He was wiped out after it was over, but he's just so happy to be able to play chess with *actual* kids (he doesn't seem to mind that they're all older than he is) instead of just Mommy that he slugged through it and wants to keep it up. We're definitely limiting him to that.

Afterschool clubs, sports, classes, etc. are HUGE out here - every week, the school sends home more sign up sheets for intramurals, scouts, gymnastics, you name it. There's a constant pressure to sign kids up for everything under the sun (even for my DD, who's only 2!!!

If it wasn't chess, he'd have nothing extra scheduled. More time for being silly!

Jaime
DS - 5 y.o., DD - 2 y.o., Little One arriving in January
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#16 of 21 Old 10-16-2004, 08:04 AM
 
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DD was at one point overwhelmed by afterschool activities but now I limit her to 2. She does karate and she is in a drama club for 8 weeks. My ds doesn't do any afterschool activities yet, although he is showing and interest in karate (like his big sister). I may sign him up for that when he turns 4.
Too many afterschool activities can be overstimulating for a child, and in my experience just not good for the child (ie. tired, irritiable) and can cause too much undo stress (both kids and parents.
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#17 of 21 Old 08-18-2014, 10:43 AM
 
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It depends so much on your kid's energy level. I have friends whose kids are in multiple sports, dance several days a week, etc. and love all of the activity, but my kids need down time. Because we do a Saturday language program, the other weekday activities we have participated in have been offered at school during the school day, or at school or in the community right after school. My kids have tried a variety of stuff but haven't continued consistently with anything in particular except the language program on Sat. They aren't interested in sports either, so we manage to get activities, if any, out of the way before dinner, and then they have time to do homework (if they haven't done it after school), eat dinner, watch some TV, etc. before bed. That's what works best for us.

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#18 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 06:15 PM
 
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I personally don't know how some families do it. I know families where they are running 7 days a week to non stop activities. Then with more then one child the scheduling conflicts were insane and coaches having fits because kids are late or exhausted.

We used to do boy scouts (1 day a week for the older and 1 day month for younger) and karate (two days a week at the same time) with our two boys. It is very hard to get the kids up at 6, get them at 4 off the bus and then try and stuff dinner, homework and activity all into 4 hours or less. My youngest was going to sleep by 7:30.
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#19 of 21 Old 08-23-2014, 10:11 PM
 
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My kids haven't really done any yet. I am considering it this year, since budget and everyone's health allow for it. It will only be my 4th and 2nd grader. I have a kindergartner and preschooler, they will do things on weekends with the family. I feel the transition to all day school is big enough.

Since this will be new, they can be in one thing in any particular time period. I will have them finish out what they start unless there are huge problems with school and/or a teacher/coach who shouldn't be working with kids. (I dropped band because of a director who would come in and greet us all by telling us to shut up. That combined with an erratic lesson schedule that I couldn't keep up with along with the transition to middle school...I quit.)

I have no problems pulling them from an activity or refusing to bring them to things where games/practices are just too late for their age and school. I did it when my son was in kindergarten and they scheduled a couple of the games for 7 or 730 PM. No. My kid did not go play soccer at that time for 45 minutes and then get driven 30 minutes across town. He was getting ready to go to BED at 730 PM!

I also won't have them in stuff that takes up the entire weekend or many evenings. They need to be home having dinner with the family, doing family activities, doing homework, and doing chores at home to prepare them for life, thanks. There won't be traveling whatever league in elementary school. Not happening.

If they fight about doing homework and chores, I will take it as a sign that they are overscheduled and will not be able to sign up for another activity for awhile. We'd talk about it before I did it, and probably they would finish out the current activity because there may be a team depending on them or the spot could have gone to another kid, but I won't sign them up for things that are expensive enough that I would be afraid to drop it.

I want them to be able to focus, enjoy, practice for their sport or whatever, and have time to get bored and creative, and not be so stressed out that they don't want to learn life skills like basic cooking. I want them to learn balance. They can't learn that when they are constantly rushing from thing to thing.

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#20 of 21 Old 08-24-2014, 08:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post
I want them to be able to focus, enjoy, practice for their sport or whatever, and have time to get bored and creative, and not be so stressed out that they don't want to learn life skills like basic cooking. I want them to learn balance. They can't learn that when they are constantly rushing from thing to thing.

Interesting perspective... I think parents model their life preferences for their children, and that may be reflected in the amount/type of extracurricular activities kids are signed up for.

I've always been on the go, and value that lifestyle, so life skills like time management, interpersonal skills, hard work, and executive managemet skills are at the top of the list for my kids. I've never really thought about teaching the kids how to cook (other than, hey, why don't you make the eggs while I do the dishes). Boredom=depression in my family, so that isn't something that we value.

So, I'm guessing, that kids who follow their parent's personality and tempermant would be inclined to agree with parental decisions about type and amount of out-of-the home activities.


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#21 of 21 Old 09-08-2014, 10:08 AM
 
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My son is in 4th grade. So far he has never been in any "activity" that would require a parent to take him somewhere on a regular basis. He has joined clubs that meet at the school after school, so he just stays late and walks home afterward. This year he wants to play an instrument, but that's mostly class time during the school day and practicing at home on a flexible schedule--the concerts are infrequent enough that we feel we can handle it.

Because I have a full-time weekday job, I will not let him do any activity that requires weekend sessions on a regular basis. There are two children's drama programs in our city that my son probably would love--he enjoys performing and stagecraft--but they require consistent attendance for several hours every Saturday all school year. Same thing for the excellent art classes at the museum. When I was a Girl Scout leader, I had girls who were in each of these programs, and it was a real drag because they missed a lot of the things the Scouts did on Saturdays.

I'd be happy to have my son join a Scout-like group that does a variety of interesting stuff and requires a small weekly commitment **if that was within walking distance of home and school** and occasional weekend activities at varied times. But he was so appalled that the Boy Scouts wouldn't let our gay friends be leaders that he is unwilling to join no matter how much they loosen their policies now, and anyway he's not keen on an all-boy activity. He'd like to earn badges, though, so maybe something else like that will come along.

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