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Is this too much?

(50 Posts)
MaisyMoo123 Sat 04-Jan-14 14:53:43

Ok, so I'm worried 8 yr old dd is doing too much. She's very keen and tends to say yes to everything and preserve with it too which is great, but I'm a bit concerned that she is going to burn out! She does a lot more than her friends too. At the moment she does brownies, swimming, choir and ballet - that's not including after school clubs. She is working towards her grade 1 ballet exam now too which involves an extra lesson every week between now and march. I'm feeling overwhelmed about the logistics of it all too which doesn't help. Am I worrying over nothing, should I just be pleased that she's so keen and willing to stick at things or should I be encouraging her to be more selective. I'd really welcome opinions.

LadyEnglefield Sat 04-Jan-14 17:01:00

Hi Maisie.

Not sure if this helps but I have 8yr old twin DDs & we have recently cut back on activities as they have much more homework now they're in Y3 (tap, recorders etc)

At present DTD1 does swimming, ballet and Brownies.

DTD2 does swimming, ballet and gymnastics.

Both have violin lessons during school hours.

DTD2's ballet teacher has asked if she would like to have an additional lesson each week so she can works towards her ISTD grade exams (both are working towards their Standard 2 exams) but I've left it for the moment until we get into a good homework routine...and not leave everything to the last moment!

I think we've achieved a good balance for now.

MaisyMoo123 Sat 04-Jan-14 17:36:00

Thanks ladyenglefield. Interesting to have a comparison. Unfortunately we don't get a choice re. the extra ballet lessons. If she wants to take the exam (which she does) she has to have the extra classes. It is only for a couple of months in the run up to the exam though. Her best friend is in the same class and isn't doing the exam but she's still keen to do it despite this.

Dd is also in yr 3 and homework has increased but we do seem to manage it ok. She's very keen and doesn't need much encouragement to get it done so that's not really an issue at the moment.

We have 2 nights a week without any activities without any activities which I guess isn't too bad.

It's hard when they're so enthusiastic about things isn't it - I hate the thought of squashing that but I don't want to overstretch her.

LadyEnglefield Sat 04-Jan-14 18:13:43

I know how you feel, both DDs are academically hard working.

We're probably less well organised than you as I try to get them to do their homework separately. They have 2 lots of maths, literacy, spellings and 'talk homework' where we discuss a given topic and then they have to write about it later in the week.

Like you, I want to encourage them to try different activities but not to the detriment of their school work or time just to be children!

If I let them, they would want to do everything.

MaisyMoo123 Sat 04-Jan-14 19:36:48

It's a tricky balance to strike - and you're so right about it being important for them to have time to just be children, play and relax. We've had a long chat about it with dd this afternoon. She understands the issue which is good. We're going to stick with things as they are this term but keep it under review for next term. To be honest it's the extra ballet session that is making things feel a bit manic but that is only temporary I guess.

Heifer Sat 04-Jan-14 20:43:54

I think the key is ensuring you have at least 1 free from activity afternoon/evening midweek.

DD is now in yr5 and had to cut back last year. She was doing something every day which was just too much, especially as she has homework every day that has to be in the next morning...

Funnily enough things have changed now anyway and she is doing much less, so actually has
Mon - School Hockey straight after school
Tue - Free
Wed - Swimming
Thur - School matches (cross country, swimming or netball) then Netball Club
Fri - Free
Sat - Free
Sun - club hockey.

She also has choir and science club but they are at lunch times so don't count.

She wants to try Karate or similar or more swimming to we are going to take a look to fit what fits in where..

Sparklymommy Sun 05-Jan-14 08:23:33

My dd1, 11, does the following :

Monday: street jazz, ballet, body conditioning, contemporary
Tuesday: jazz, modern and a special student programme dance class (this is a class for children who think they want a career in dance)
Wednesday: ballet x 3 classes
Thursday: singing (and wants to add another ballet... We'll see!)
Friday: Greek, tap, song and dance
Saturday: ballet x2 classes and body conditioning
Sunday: free (unless there are group rehearsals, private lessons, workshops or auditions!)

Ds1, 7, does the following:

Monday: Ballet and street jazz
Tuesday: free
Wednesday: Greek
Thursday: free
Friday: modern, tap, song and dance
Saturday: ballet and body conditioning
Sunday: free.

Ds2, 6 has a timetable that reads

Monday: street jazz
Tuesday: free
Wednesday: Greek and ballet
Thursday: free
Friday: modern, tap, song and dance
Saturday: ballet
Sunday: free

Dd2, 4 does the following

Monday; free
Tuesday: free
Wednesday: Greek
Thursday: free
Friday: modern and song and performance
Saturday: ballet

Sounds a nightmare but when it's the holidays they are all bored! They all have homework which is always done and handed in on time to the best of their ability so I'm not worried!

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 05-Jan-14 08:47:19

Wow sparkl that lot must cost a fortune.

My DD does
Monday- Modern Dance 1hr
Tuesday- Tap dance 1hr
Wednesday- Grade 5 Ballet ( 1.5 hrs)
Friday- ballet Majors (1.5hrs)
Friday - show club dance ( 2 hrs)
Saturday- (street dance) 1hr
Sunday - Ice skating

She also does elective {PE and Dance at school- so 6 periods of physical activity there too)

There are always extra dance classes on top as she is usually working towards and exam or show- I'm glad I only have one dancing daughter- I don't think I could cope with more)

So many lifts everywhere- and the sewing!! DD has gone through 3 pairs of pointe shoes this year alone and ballet teacher insists the platform must be hand darned- no stick ons!!

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 05-Jan-14 08:51:04

I have to say my DDs school work does suffer- I have to constantly remind her about homework. I have asked her to cut back dance but she has such a passion that it seems a shame to stop. She is also sitting her ballet intermediate this year which is a vocational qualification and could form part of entrance requirements to University.

My DD (nearly 8) does nothing on Monday, Ballet and tap on Tuesday, Brownies on Weds, Drama on Thurs and swimming

ARealPickle Sun 05-Jan-14 08:57:45

Maisymoo it sounds like a lot if it's as well as after school clubs. If it was "just" swimming, choir, ballet, Brownies it would sound about right to me. A lucky girl to have such a good mix of activities.

What is she doing after school along side it? Do you think she's getting tired/grumpy/wearing self out or managing ok?

My DD (nearly 8) does nothing on Monday, Ballet and tap on Tuesday, Brownies on Weds, Drama on Thurs and swimming on a Sunday, will be 2 hrs instead of one from this term. She loves it all and never tires of any of it. I know what you mean about extra ballet lessons, she had to do extra for a few weeks prior to pre-primary and primary exams and will be doing grade 1 this summer. I think it's good to have ine or two days without structured activities otherwise it's hard to find time to see friends etc.

PiratePanda Sun 05-Jan-14 09:04:56

My rule of thumb is they should be doing something musical, something physical, and something fun that exercises their brain. And they should learn to swim and ride a bije. Anything on top is icing prob a waste of time and money , but if they love it and are thriving in school, go for it!

So swimming, Brownies, choir and ballet doesn't sound too much on the face of things, though on top of after school clubs it might be.

Sparklymommy Sun 05-Jan-14 09:25:11

It isn't cheap I must admit! Dd1 has just had her first pair of pointe shoes, and we have been warned that she will need several pairs (probably) before she takes her Interfoundation exam in the autumn!

However I work in the dance school office to offset the fees for classes.

For my children, it is a passion. I encourage it because I would rather that than them hanging around on street corners. And they have done so much with the oppurtunities that have come from the dancing.

Dd1 has tried other things over the years, ice skating, gym, archery; but it all goes by the wayside when it clashes with dance. The ice skating is probably the one she missed the most, but the rink was an hour away, and her coach wanted her more and more. He said she had potential and could have been an ice dancer, but at 5, it was just too much for her.

We went ice skating on Xmas eve, first time in at least five years, and she had retained what she learnt so that was good!

Sparklymommy Sun 05-Jan-14 09:26:34

She also had ukelele and cornet lessons at school. Amazing how much you can fit in to one week really!!!

lljkk Sun 05-Jan-14 10:22:07

DD did 10 activities/week when she was 8.
I was knackered running around but she was fine.
Now 12yo & down to just 2 things, she says she'll quit one in August, too, hooray!

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 05-Jan-14 10:29:15

My DD is nearly 14 and does more activities than ever- still it means no time for boys!! ;))

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 05-Jan-14 10:34:11

One of the issues we have found is that what doesn't seem like too much at 8 can get very unmanageable as they get older and get better at things. Each activity grows in time as their skills grow, so you have to be prepared for them to make some hard choices along the way about what they would like to specialise in, especially if the activities are very different from each other.

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 05-Jan-14 10:43:01

badkitten I agree- as my daughter is a dancer we also have to be careful to protect from injury as she is usually working towards exams- she has to be careful and avoid risky activities like skateboarding or skiing.

MaisyMoo123 Sun 05-Jan-14 10:52:55

Thanks. Really interesting to hear your thoughts. She doesn't get grumpy or fed up with it pickle, but she does get tired sometimes. When this happens we give something a miss as a one off, but that really doesn't happen very often.

At the moment her week is...
Mon - extra ballet lesson (exam coaching) and brownies
Tues - swimming
Weds - nothing
Thurs - choir
Fri - nothing
Sat - ballet
Sun - nothing

After school clubs vary and don't tend to run for more than a term at a time but last term it was football and gym. She's keen to take up an instrument too but that would be in school time so not too bad.

It's fairly well spread out really and hearing what others do I'm less concerned than I was...particularly you Sparkly! I don't know how you keep up! I have a soon to be 5 yr old ds too who only does swimming at the moment. I sometimes wonder how we'll juggle it once he's started doing more!

LauraBridges Sun 05-Jan-14 11:08:01

I think ours did just about nothing except what was done in schools but as private schools I suppose quite a bit was done in school.
It depends on the child really. Some want to do more than others. Our learned 2 instruments and were/ are also in school orchestras and choirs.

PiratePanda Sun 05-Jan-14 12:59:00

You do have to practice an instrument every day, however...

Cat98 Sun 05-Jan-14 13:06:35

Ds is only in year 1 but is very sporty. I think he does too much but like yours he loves it and thrives on them! He's also very good at sport and is being picked for academies/teams etc.
his timetable this term will be:

Monday - free
Tuesday - 4pm sport 1
Wednesday - free/play date
Thursday - 4 pm sport 1, then 6:30 pm sport 2
Friday - 6pm sport 3
Saturday - free
Sunday - usually sport 3 matches, occasionally sport 1 matches

He also wants to start beavers! It's nice having the 2 free evenings though. And necessary for play dates/homework/just chilling out. Like you I don't know when it's to much.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 05-Jan-14 13:07:43

At 8 dds schedule was something like this:

Monday : nothing
Tuesday : Tap & Modern
Wednesday :
Thursday : ballet
Friday : singing club (at scho)
Saturday : drama, dance, singing
She had piano lessons at school & did various lunchtime clubs too.

By the age of 11 this had increased to:
Monday : contemporary dance
Tuesday : Ballet, tap & modern
Wednesday : nothing
Thursday: Street dance
Friday: Drama, dance, singing
Saturday: ballet
Sunday : show rehearsals
Plus she continued piano at school & did choir at lunchtime

She's now at full time dance school!

MaisyMoo123 Sun 05-Jan-14 13:56:45

It's reassuring to know others do/did as much if not more. In comparison to her friends she does loads and friends mums often comment how busy she is - but I'm really not forcing any of it.

I'm really pleased she has a balanced spread of things for now too - it's not all sport, dance or music but an even spread. If course I appreciate this May change as she gets older but nice to try a range of things and find where your real passion lies at this stage I think.

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