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How important are classes/activities (ballet, swimming) for a 6 year old?

(8 Posts)
darthlou Sat 11-Aug-18 13:58:32

My DD is 6 and has been taking swimming and ballet lessons on & off since she was 4. She loves both. She's very shy and these have been great for improving her confidence. I'm a SAHM and can't afford to run a car, plus I also have a 2 year old DS, so she can only go on Saturdays when DH can take her (the logistics just don't work midweek).

Her ballet school only takes children up to 6 so if I want her to continue in September I need to find a new school. Her swimming school has also just increased prices to £10 per lesson, I'm considering giving up both, because:

1. I can't afford it
2. They take up our Saturdays
3. She starts swimming lessons with school from September
4. A more 'grown up' ballet school will have performances, which terrify her and I'm concerned about all the extra costs

On the other hand, I'm worried she'll become even more shy & withdrawn if I pull her out. All her friends do at least one or two of these kind of classes and I feel like she'd be missing out on the chance to socialise, learn new things, push herself...

Do all 6 year olds do these kinds of classes? Am I doing her a disservice if I don't let her continue? Any views welcome...

booellesmum Sat 11-Aug-18 14:04:13

They are not important at all.
You can take her swimming yourself.
She will socialise at school.
Children don't need pushing.
Activities are fun if the child wants to do them but are never a necessity.

Elflocks Mon 13-Aug-18 22:45:28

They are a nice extra but I would not put myself under financial pressure for them, if money was a bit tight.

NeverTwerkNaked Mon 13-Aug-18 22:51:24

It really does depend on the child. DD is an extrovert and lives for her classes. She’s counting down till the summer is over and they begin again!

In our house swimming is the only compulsory class. We live near the sea so water safety is vital.

I think most children benefit from having some kind of activity outside of school as they get older. It stops the school bubble feeling all important.

You could stop classes for a bit until they are more workable. But I do think doing something is good for their mental health. DSD was showing signs of depression until we nudged her into doing a theatre group- she comes out looking a foot taller each time!

aintnothinbutagstring Mon 13-Aug-18 22:59:02

Both my dc 7 & 9 do swimming lessons as their school only offer one term of swimming to non swimmers. I'm a bit of a crap swimmer, as although I did some lessons, it wasn't enough to make me a confident swimmer. Its great your school offers swimming, see how much she gets from that. Our lessons are approx £5.50 per half hr. Extra curricular is good for kids but only if affordable and if you can commit the time every week. Not all cost much, scouts, brownies (uniform can be costly but you could probably pick up second hand somewhere). Schools often offer cheap extra curricular clubs too, ours does termly clubs for £10 per term. I wouldn't over commit in time or money though as it just becomes a big headache.

Andthatsthat Mon 13-Aug-18 23:05:26

Personally, I think classes are important. They provide exercise, new skills, new friends, new experiences and greater confidence.

I really think swimming is non negotiable. At 4 there is no way she will have the necessary skills to be safe in a water emergency. It’s also great exercise for all round health. If I were you I’d stick with this one if nothing else.

Have you checked prices of local dance schools? They can vary hugely and provide different things. Different disciplines, exams, shows etc. Do a little research on prices and locations, there may be somewhere in walking distance so you could go during the week instead.

I’ve lost track of the various activities and timetables my dcs have been involved with over the years, but they have decided what works for them ( 3 activities each, spanning the week) and we’ve got our routine.

Yes it’s all pricey, and sometimes there is too much month left at the end of my money iyswim, but I feel it’s worth it.

Pinkvoid Mon 13-Aug-18 23:08:35

My DC have never attended a class, eldest is eight. I taught them to swim myself plus they go with school in year 4. They socialise with school friends, relatives and friend’s DC. Our weekends are spent walking, rock climbing, swimming, at the cinema, museums, art galleries etc. DP and I work FT and it just isn’t worth rushing around during the week and we want to spend our weekends with them. Plus none of them really have a particular interest they have expressed an inclination towards.

llangennith Mon 13-Aug-18 23:18:08

Not at all important.

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