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Without looking for sympathy - I lost my husband this year and have 3 children 8,10 and 14. We have always done quite a lot of 'extra' stuff swimming, judo, youth club, tutoring and stagecoach in various combinations. I am however finding now on my own this quite a heavy schedules as we are rural and it involves quite a bit of travel. However the kids enjoy everything they are doing and it is maintainable if I decide it is. But I also have a streak on me that thinks all this organised stuff is too much and want to simplify our lives. Convexly the kids do have lots of free time and spend allot of time outdoors as we live in a beautiful rural setting and don't really watch much TV, live quite close to school and friends So what I am getting round to saying is -can you as teachers see the difference socially and academically positively or negatively in children that do a fair amount of activities ? Also any evidence statistically either way anyone knows about?
It was being on a couple of really good HE forums on facebook that introduced me to unschooling etc - I know it would not suit us as a life style totally but I have taken some ideas from it and its really made me think about all the structured stuff we do and along with the time an energy it takes for me to get everyone everywhere, if it was worth it =- Its difficult with Aspies to tell if the improvements in social skills are due to clubs or just maturity and I wondered if teachers could tell the difference
As a single working parent I do find it difficult to lots. My dd does three things including stagecoach which is really good for the depth and she has done some spin off stuff as a result. My ds only plays instruments now and at school but is always happier just sitting and reading so no commitments for me. We have one night when we do something as a family which to me is more important than activities every night which some kids do and it gives me time to do something I enjoy too. Our night is weds and we either go swimming or to cinema and always eat out. I do not understand the need to over schedule as it creates a lot of stress for the parent usually the mother and this cannot be good for the family as s whole. Again swimming club actually put my ds off swimming as too competitive and need to go five nights a week which is a huge commitment. Both can swim better than me so family swimming now much better for us all. My dd has time to play with her dolls rather than continually rushing around. Since giving up a lot of things, both are more relaxed, have a few good friends rather than lots of acquaintances. My advice would be to ask them to pick no more than two each and see what the school has to offer to avoid the need for the younger ones to be dragged around everywhere. We did no extra curric stuff at school but enjoyed trying new things when older. Life is not a race and you need to do only what is manageable to allow you to relax too as I am sure the kids would rather have time with you than another class.
Yousmell - yep sort of what we have discussed - just going to swim as a family as and when - tutoring and one youth club dropped - going to do stagecoah till end of summer as going to euro Disney with them and then will reassess. Kids hae been great to be honest and understanding