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to book 6 yr old into an extra-curricular activity 30 miles away?

(22 Posts)
FigRolls Thu 14-Nov-13 12:19:15

DD adores gymnastics and currently attends a local club. She also does acro dance classes and has been wanting to train in trampolining for a couple of years now. There are no local classes unfortunately, but there is one 30 miles away which trains from 5-7 p.m. I can afford the fuel, there would be time for her to have tea first, I could take her pj's in case she fell asleep on the way back but that is very unlikely - she'd probably use the car journey to practise spellings, read her reading book etc. I also have a 17 month old to consider but elder dd is very good at helping to entertain her in the car, and I could also take her pj's should she fall asleep. It sounds like a long way to go, but it's a route which has little traffic, whereas sometimes it's taken 20 mins just to get home from school in traffic. She really really wants to go, and I feel that for two hours training it is worth the journey. She never ever tires and really wants to train and compete but my friend thinks IABU and that it's too far to go after school. AIBU?

DeWe Thu 14-Nov-13 12:30:42

I wouldn't myself.
30 miles away, lets say that takes you 45 minutes each way, assuming traffic isn't bad. It's not going to be worth you going home, even for two hours training. So that's 3 1/2 hours in the evening for one activity. For my 6yo that would be too much, and he's generally full of energy and ready to go.

I'm assuming she's your only, otherwise you have other children to think about.

FigRolls Thu 14-Nov-13 12:33:01

It's just under 30 miles, Google says a 35 minute journey. I don't mind staying and watching.

TeaJunky Thu 14-Nov-13 12:34:41

Why not try it out. If it works it stays, if it doesn't work, at least you tried?

JackNoneReacher Thu 14-Nov-13 12:35:36

Once a week?

I wouldn't because its not how I want any of us to spend our time and certainly wouldn't push them towards a professional gymnastics career.

But I don't think its U. If you're all ok with it and theres something for the rest of you to do for the two hours.

FigRolls Thu 14-Nov-13 12:37:34

It could be more than once a week JackNoneReacher, as they have more classes - just don't tell dd that wink

I wouldn't necessarily push her towards a gymnastics career, but she does really enjoy it and would like to compete for now.

NoComet Thu 14-Nov-13 12:41:07

13 miles to gym took 45 minutes on a bad day, when DD did the 5.30 class.

Only 30 minutes now she goes to one at 6.30.

2hrs gymnastics at a properly set up centre is so much better than our a hour at our local hall, it's worth the fuel.

DD absolutely loves it.

But beware, DD started to late to compete, but two hours at six may well escalate. Gym takes over lives

Seeline Thu 14-Nov-13 12:42:30

My only worry would be the possibilty of letting DD down if I couldn't get her there one week. eg if I was feeling poorly, I'm not sure I'd want to drive that far and hang around for 2 hours trying to entertain a fractious toddler. Similarly if DC2 was poorly - not really fair to drag them along then. What happens in the winter weather? What happens as DC2 gets older and really doesn't appreciate watching DD do pike jumps for 2hrs? grin Local activities you can usually find some else to pick up/drop off if necessary.

NoComet Thu 14-Nov-13 12:45:41

grin Xpost, you have considered the danger. I know someone, who learnt to coach beginners, because she spent her life at the gym with her DD.

Although serious swimming is pretty all consuming too and nothing like as good for showing off/ frightening parents on the trampoline.

kiriwAnyFuckerwa Thu 14-Nov-13 12:46:27

A 60 mile round trip in bad weather can take a lot longer than 35 minutes. It's the long term commitment that I think you'd have to be careful of. If your DD loves it, you could find yourself doing that trip for years to come. What's going to happen when your younger DD starts school?

alwaysneedaholiday Thu 14-Nov-13 12:46:42

I think I would give it a go, just once a week though.

See if it genuinely does take 35 minutes - I think that is unlikely, but you never know! That's doing pretty much 60mph door to door.

We have similar commitments, and it can get wearing after a while, especially when the younger ones get a bit older and take exception to sitting in the car for hours.

FigRolls Thu 14-Nov-13 12:47:55

Starball - there is a 6.30 - 8.00 p.m. one too which is an option as they don't usually go to bed until 9.00 p.m. anyway. It looks like a really good centre. Her current class is at a leisure centre and is good but one hour per week is not enough for her.

I see your point Seeline. I don't mind going if I'm poorly, younger dd is very easy going and would be fine (unless poorly, in which case dd would understand) though dh has regular weekdays off and so she could stay home with him on the days he is off.

marmaladeandguitars Thu 14-Nov-13 12:48:38

I would, I live in a rural area about the same distance from the nearest town, and lots of DCs travel up and down, both after schools and at weekends, for different activities that can't be accessed in the village- swimming and ballet for example

FigRolls Thu 14-Nov-13 12:49:29

The problem is, dd doesn't know about the class at the moment. If it's BU to take her and not fair on one/both of them then I'd rather just not tell her about it. It's trampolining in the abstract she's desperate to go to and she'd just at the chance to go.

SweetApril Thu 14-Nov-13 12:50:00

My 6yo would cope fine with this but my toddler would create merry hell at having to tag along! But I don't think YABU. No harm in giving it a go. Although maybe also consider how achievable it would be in the long term if it turns out your DD loves it and/or is very good at it. I have a friend whose DD does a sports activity a similar distance away. She started at aged 6 and turned out to be very talented. Her mum is still making that drive 11 years later and often more than once a week!

Idespair Thu 14-Nov-13 12:50:02

If you can manage it without much hassle, I'd do it. You can agree with dd that you will give it a try as it's a long way to go and see how it goes.

NoComet Thu 14-Nov-13 12:51:31

All seelines problems apply to local stuff to. Here local lanes are worse than main road.

Gymnastics is in town so supermarkets, Mc D's etc are open, so waiting around is much better and most people don't stay.

ShawnSpencer Thu 14-Nov-13 12:51:55

I travel 5 hours round trip once a week for my 8 year old's activity. Go for it I say.

But bear in mind by the age of 8 training hours will be 11-15 a week.

thebody Thu 14-Nov-13 12:52:08

yes of course, we spent evenings at all sorts when ours were that age and then weekends at footi/ cricket and rugby.

it's what you do if you can as a parent.

you can afford it and don't mind then go for it. hope your dd loves it.

SweetApril Thu 14-Nov-13 12:52:12

Xposted with loads of people! Very slow typing today!

Blu Thu 14-Nov-13 12:55:42

I would not do this - partly because of needing to entertain the toddler for 2 hours, and also because what happens in the longer term? Will the toddler be dragged to these activities as a pre-schooler? In Reception?

But you sund as if you will do it anyway, so give it a try.

Theas18 Thu 14-Nov-13 13:00:02

My parents did a 45 min each way trip for me and my sis to attend music school for years. I really wanted to do it ( started at 8 or 9) and I am grateful they did. We did share transport sometimes. Eventually they bought a camper van- I'm sure it was mostly so dad could sit and read his book with a cuppa in comfort - now there are decent cafés!

I've done similar with the kids - not the miles but the time commitment and I don't regret it. It was nice sat on the train with just 1 child to chat to. We didn't do homework but again they were a bit older ( there was 1 instance of me tossing a coin sat on the platform an ds gathering stats for school maths though!). The waiting is easy. It's an excuse to relax a bit !

DH works on lesson prep on his tablet in Nero these days! Though there isn't so much waiting as they go themselves on the train most times, still weekends though are a waiting thing.

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