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Wild Lupine 05-10-2014 06:17 PM

Just wondering about the range of time kids spend in activities after school/on the weekends. My 1st grader does gymnastics and dance, my kindergartner usually just does gymnastics, but he's doing T-Ball this month, too.

Mylie 05-10-2014 07:46 PM

My first grader does T Ball..she has practice one Night a week and a game one Night each week...

jmarroq 05-11-2014 07:39 AM

My 5th grader does scouts once a week for about 1.5 hrs, with monthly camping trips, and occasional community service projects. He does a short, non-competitive soccer season once in a while, with one practice a week and one game a week. He sees a tutor once a week. He's done lots of stuff on and off, but not more than two things at a time.


My daughter does gymnastics once a week right now. 

limabean 05-11-2014 07:45 AM

Usually just one.

Right now my 4th grade DS does baseball (3x per week), and my kindy DD does gymnastics (1x per week). In the summer they add swimming.

contactmaya 05-11-2014 07:47 AM

3rd grader does dance, choir,  soccer, chess. Kindergarterner does dance, soccer, and art and chess. I will enroll them in karate  next semester.

quirkylayne 05-11-2014 09:23 AM

My dd is in kinder and does tumbling one night a week. She could do more but I haven't let her yet. My 2nd grader does a "club" at school but more than that is too stressful for him, he needs downtime. I don't really count the club since it is a continuation of the school day.

KSLaura 05-11-2014 10:26 AM

Second grader does gymnastics 3 nights a week (plus seasonal weekend meets), dance once a week, girl scouts 1-2 times a month after school, and violin lessons once a week after school (only during school year). She also has after school care one night a week at the school. Not really an activity, but a chance to finish up homework or study.

Soon-to-be kinder does gymnastics 2 nights a week and dance 2 nights a week. She'll add once a month girl scouts in a few weeks.

snarfmcgarf 05-12-2014 01:34 PM

Dd7 does equestrian vaulting for two hours once per week, and takes riding lessons on Saturday mornings. Two days a week is enough for us.

USAmma 05-13-2014 10:14 PM

My 13 year old does piano lessons once a week, guitar lessons once a week. She is expected to practice 6 days a week. We have a contract that if she wants lessons I will pay for them but she has to practice. She can back out any time. I don't force the lessons, but neither will I pay for them if she's not doing her part. Next year she will hopefully be in Jazz band and that is 3x a week after school.


My 10 year old does piano once a week and basketball (in season) 2x a week plus games on Saturdays.


I can't imagine doing any more than that-- I'm already very busy with just those activities and normal life.

LaughingHyena 05-14-2014 01:45 AM

My 10 year old is currently doing three, swimming lessons, Woodcraft Folk (similar to scouts) and an after school practice for the school football club.


They are all fairly short, and other than the football club (which is straight after school) her brother does the same. That's probably the key for us, I'm OK taking them both to something but it's much more challenging when the other child is  being dragged out on drop off/pick ups or having to sit through their siblings activity.

transylvania_mom 05-14-2014 06:36 PM

Two activities during the school year, hockey and an instrument.
But hockey is twice a week, and so is the instrument (individual and group lesson). This doesn't include tournaments and concerts.
Two activities is plenty for us.

missnoodlesmom 05-15-2014 06:07 AM

1st grader - soccer, piano, art class

Kindergartener - soccer, piano


They will both be joining scouts next year. :)

meowmix 05-16-2014 05:05 AM

DD1- just horseback riding, though she does run her own business with a friend and that takes up time.  

DD2- field hockey once a week (a clinic before the season starts), lacrosse, girl scouts.

DS is homeschooled but he does lacrosse, DJ lessons and a homeschool history class.  

Skippy918 05-17-2014 12:39 PM

My kindergartner has been doing gymnastics for awhile and we just started a summer swim team. The swim team is sucking up a lot of my evenings and Saturday mornings, but he's loving it so far.

JudiAU 05-17-2014 08:25 PM

One or nothing. School and homework for school are enough. He likes a lot of down time for his interests (drawing/reading/fantasy play/etc.). I can't even imagine how kids handle the schedules I I hear about. My kids are even tv-free and still never have enough free time.

pastamama 05-23-2014 11:26 AM

2nd grader: scouts and piano. He did 3 last year, he was in a boys choir as well, but 3 was just too much. 

kindergartener: 1, dance. She will start piano this summer and is doing gymnastics for summer instead of dance, but we will keep it to 2 for her in the fall. 

leahr 08-14-2014 09:33 AM

DD9 Has been doing gymnastics and horseback riding for about 4 years. Only once a week for each. she just started the clarinet which is once a week lessons but practice everyday. This spring she did Softball and is starting soccer here in a couple of weeks. Softball was a lot 2 practices a week and 2 games that schedule had her doing something every night of the week. Soccer is only one practice and one game which should be easier. I know this is alot and more than most people would do but DD is good at all of it and likes to do it all I don't put any pressure on her except when she makes a commitment to some one else. If you join a team sport you have to finish the season but you don't have to sign up again next year.

Tella 08-14-2014 04:26 PM

just guitar classes after school

meowmix 08-15-2014 04:53 AM

Wow.. I came back to this thread because we are crazy and got busier. This fall:
DD1 is in horseback riding still, she will play soccer (2 practices and 1 game a week) and still has her business. She will also be in Odyssey of the Mind, I'm sure, because we love the program. And she plays viola at school.
DD2 will be in field hockey (2 practices and 1 game a week), girl scouts and also Odyssey of the Mind.
My homeschooled son will continue DJing (which takes up most of his free time), play soccer (2 practices and one game a week), he'e also in a homeschool book club this year and his studies will be more rigorous since he plans on going to high school at this time, so we want to keep up with the high school schedule.
My husband will be assistant coach for DD2 so that saves me some driving to practices since he will be there.
I plan on training my dog and taking her through agility so that will take up some of my time. And I'm hoping to pick up a class again to work on my degree at some point.

I don't know how we're going to juggle all these sports practices. I love kids' sports, though and am looking forward to our busy, crazy fall.

Melinda1980 08-19-2014 06:07 PM

A hectic life is not something I am comfortable with. Ive told my kids they can each choose one activity. So far only my DD (9) was playing soccer, which is practice one night a week then a game on Saturday. The new season starts in a few weeks and my DS (7) has decided to play also and will have the same schedule, tho his practices might be a different night. In the Spring I let DD do Glee also but it was only one day a week right after school for an hour so it really didnt impact our schedule at all.

NiteNicole 08-21-2014 09:19 AM

I don't know how people manage after school activities. By the time my daughter gets off the bus, does her homework, eats, and showers, there is very little time for anything else like playing and kids need to just play sometimes. Every single moment of the day does not have to be productive. It sounds exhausting. Last year she broke down sobbing the second week of school because she said she felt like her brain never got to rest at all, all day long, so we moved her bedtime back by half an hour to get her ONE free HALF hour on week days. It's not even like she has tons of homework.

She does Scouts every other weekend and takes violin at school. She has to practice on weekends and "light" homework nights, and she does chorus before school one day a week. I thought about adding cheer on Friday nights and gymnastics during the week because she's been asking and I'm so glad I didn't. She is SO tired by 8.30 every night, I don't know how we'd fit in another hour (hour and a half including drive time) anywhere in the week. She'd hate it.

I'm not criticizing, its great that other people can manage all that, I just can't imagine how.

limabean 08-21-2014 07:35 PM

NiteNicole, what time does your DD get home from school? My kids get out at 2:30 (and 1:00 on Wednesdays), so although our sports nights are busy, they're not unmanageable.

DD's gymnastics is easy -- one hour every Saturday morning and that's it.

Now that DS is getting older, his baseball takes up more time -- usually 2 midweek practices and a Saturday game. The practices typically start at 5:00, so DH comes home a bit early from work and takes him. So between 2:30 and 5, DS does his homework, has a snack, plays, and then has a light dinner or another big snack right before practice. Practice goes until about 6:30, then he still has 2 hours before bed to shower, eat if he's hungry, and do whatever he wants.

Wild Lupine 08-22-2014 02:57 AM

NiteNicole, how much homework do your kids get? Do you feel it is an age-appropriate amount? Mine get a packet for the week, which allows them to do it when it suits their schedules. They do their HW on afternoons they don't have activities.

Peony 08-22-2014 12:23 PM

I seem to be in the minority, we do a lot of activities. There are many reasons for this. I was never allowed to do any sports, clubs, hobbies, etc... after school or on weekends as a child and always desperately wanted to do something, anything, besides sitting around the house. And my children thrive and even need their activities. We fell into this rather innocently. Signing up for one class here, one class there, it just snowballed after multiple interests, multiple children.

DD1 has had many interests over the years but now as a middle schooler has firmly decided on only two interests. She is both a competitive gymnast and a competitive snowboarder. We not only allow it obviously, but encourage it. She is severely dyslexic with an anxiety disorder. School is torture for her everyday, but sports is where she thrives. She throws her entire heart and soul into them. She trains many, many hours a week, has little free time, but refuses to give up anything.

As I've had more children, they have wanted to do their own thing. DD2 is 7 and in 2nd grade. She takes a tumbling class once a week, and then we drop into karate 2-4 nights a week as our schedule allows. She is starting to show her own signs of a struggle with anxiety but becomes so confident in karate. She is working on her purple belt and was asked to be part of a karate demonstration team over the summer. The training for that has been minimal. She is heavily into dance. I'm almost scared to say how many classes she is signed up for this fall, I'm not really sure anymore. It is a lot. She is on a little mini dance team for the first time this year as well. Her favorite is hip hop and break dancing but she loves her musical theater classes as well.

My only other child that is old enough to have his own after school schedule also has ASD and other issues. We use some activities like therapy. Ballet is amazing for his low tone legs. Gymnastics helps with his balance. Karate helps with his motor coordination and vocalization.

I guess in a nutshell, we don't just do sports just to keep busy. Sometimes they are therapy or better then some therapies for some kids. Gymnastics has helped DD1 so much that our local city called last week and asked to do a story on her and how far she has come.

Nightwish 08-22-2014 06:54 PM

I limit my kids' activities to two during school year and one in summer. Most of them take place on Saturdays - so evenings are relaxed, but our weekends are crazy.
NiteNicole, I'd rather my kids do arts or sports than homework. They study 6+ hours in school, no need for them to bring work at home. I don't bring work home, why should they?

P.J. 08-24-2014 03:55 AM

My son is now four. When he was three I signed us up for a (pre-) swimming class (that we went to together). He really didn't like it and refused to participate in most of the games, songs and activities. So I decided from now on these extra-curricular activities have to be his idea and not mine. I can present him with ideas but I'm not signing him up unless he's into it. We don't have the money to throw away on courses he's not interested in. I do want him to learn to swim as soon as he's ready, which the instructor reckoned would be at five, so I'll encourage him to try again next year. But besides that I don't mind if he's not in after-preschool courses. He's at preschool from 9-3:30, 5 days/week which is more than enough activity and interaction for a four year old IMO. I think kids are too busy these days and I'm in no hurry to get mine on a tight schedule.

KSLaura 08-24-2014 07:54 AM

So... does anyone notice a correlation between introverts/limiting activities and extroverts/lots of activities?

Some people (both here and IRL) can't seem to imagine why anyone would want a hectic lifestyle with lots going on.

My family THRIVES on this. All of us. We love being around people and being involved in lots of things. I can't imagine taking my kids home after school every night and just sitting at home. For some reason, that just doesn't seem appealing to me. I can see how introverts might appreciate it, though.

My third grader does 9 hours of gymnastics a week, the kinder does 3 hours a week. Older DD does 1 hour a week of ballet, 1 after school violin lesson per week, once a month girl scout meeting, and will likely perform in the Nutcracker again this year (1 hour a week practice till the show). Younger DD does 2 dance classes per week, and once a month girl scouts.

So, we go straight from school to gymnastics most afternoons. The kids start their homework at school, as soon as the bell rings. They usually have a good 10-15 minutes to work on it before I pick them up. They normally finish homework on the car ride to gymnastics. The kids play/chat with their friends before/after class and during breaks. I chat with the other adults while I watch my kiddos. Its usually my favorite part of the day. :) I take younger DD home after her class ends, and DH picks up older DD on his way home from work. We usually eat dinner at 7:30 or 8. Honestly, the biggest problem we have is coming up with quick/easy dinners and healthy, non-perishable afternoon snacks. We do a lot of crock pot meals.

KimPossible129 08-24-2014 03:20 PM


Originally Posted by KSLaura (Post 17948594)
So... does anyone notice a correlation between introverts/limiting activities and extroverts/lots of activities?

Some people (both here and IRL) can't seem to imagine why anyone would want a hectic lifestyle with lots going on.

Actually, the correlation I've seen in real life is that the kids who are introverts are being thrown into multiple activities by their parents. But by and large, most people I know (introverts and extroverts) are over-scheduling their kids. Since I don't know any of you in real life, I can't agree or disagree with what's best for your children and families. I just know what I see in the real and "Facebook" world. It's really overkill for so many people I know.

I agree with the parent who stated that their child really needs to want to do it in order for her to say yes to it. I know at a young age, most kids cannot fully express what they want, and many of them just say yes as mommy says "sweetie, you want to go to dancing AND gymnastics, don't you?" And the kid just nods her head.

I was witness to a child have a full-on panic attack this summer. As the camp nurse, I ruled out anything physiological when she came in gasping for breath. After talking to her for great lengths (in an effort to distract her and calm her done), she basically told me what her life is like. You name the activity, she does it. And she is the best in everything she does. The amazing thing about it is, that she did not see a thing wrong with her lifestyle. But this was the night before she was going home for her session... Back to her wonderful, over-scheduled life.

As a mom of a child with anxiety (and recently added on depression), I'm learning the importance of the balance between structure and down-time. When my dd14 isn't doing anything, she is mopey, unmotivated and anxious about the things that are upcoming. When she's in her activity (musical theatre- drama and singing), she is happy. This is all she wants to do. It's hard to juggle more than one of these activities at a time (with money, my job, hw) so there are times when she has more downtime than she should. Since she's 14, she doesn't "play"; playing is internet/phone, and will eventually become 'hanging out' with HS coming.

I may think it, but I would never tell anyone how many or few things they should have their kids doing. I would just encourage them to listen and closely observe their children's level of comfort and interest in the activities. Don't do it for you (because it's what you always wanted to do as a kid), or for Facebook brag rights, or to keep up with the joneses. You may be putting so much pressure on your child. And they have no idea how to tell you, because they either cannot express it, or are afraid of disappointing you.

NiteNicole 08-25-2014 07:36 AM

The reality is there is just no time in our evenings for extra activities and my daughter has been pretty clear that she already feels almost too busy. She is in violin at school, but practices at home. She does chorus before school. She's in gifted so the academics are challenging, and she has Girl Scouts every other Saturday. That's enough for me and she has been clear it's enough for her. I'm not going to drag her to gymnastics or softball when she doesn't even want to go. She makes every effort to get an hour swimming or otherwise playing outside every evening. It sounds like so little but she is very protective of that "turn my brain off and be silly" time.

I know so many over-scheduled kids and they seem miserable. I am sure some kids thrive in five activities but I don't actually KNOW any. I can understand being pretty devoted to one activity he or she loves or is especially good at, but I don't see the need for extra activities every single day after school as well as Saturdays. I do not understand cutting into sleep or homework for the sake of making sure he or she doesn't "miss out" on anything.

She does try different camps in the summer so if there were anything she LOVED, we might give it a try but so far she has been happy to do dance, karate, etc.

KSLaura 08-25-2014 09:01 AM


Originally Posted by KimPossible129 (Post 17949282)
and many of them just say yes as mommy says "sweetie, you want to go to dancing AND gymnastics, don't you?" And the kid just nods her head.

And conversly, there are children who have been asked to drop an activity or 2 and child begs to continue.

Each family must find the balance that works best for them. Kiddos having panic attacks probably indicates something needs to change.

I haven't heard any anecdotal stories of kids who are left home alone every afternoon with tv as their only activity. That was my childhood. :( The kids across the street is left to her own devices most days. She's expressed interest in other activities, but her mother won't take her, isn't home, and has no interest in kid activities.

One more point- overscheduling to one person may be underschduling to another. Individual perspective and personality play a pretty big role.

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