Finding time for clubs!(12 Posts)
I have 3 DC - age 7, 5 and 1. I find extracurricular stuff a real struggle - how do people manage it?! The DC are tired after school and it seems a bit much dragging them to clubs on a week day. How do you keep the younger DC occupied during clubs? I'm on my own during the week so no option to leave the other kids and take one DC on my own. How do people fit clubs in, and still keep on top of school work? We have tea at 5 and bath at 6 so not sure when we would have time after school! I don't want to let the DC down and not have opportunities though.
If they are too tired and have no time left after school, there is no need for them to take up any extra activity? They can enjoy their relaxing evening at home? They have each other to play together too.
DS did all sorts of baby/toddler/primary school age activities combined with lots of playing in the park/forest everyday but mainly because he was super energetic. DH often took him out all day for me to have a rest at weekends... He still could get on with school work after all the activities.
He was also always super keen on any activity introduced. I never had to persuade him to try. In fact, I had to persuade him not to try nor continue as doing all he wanted to do was impossible.
One of his best friends was a total opposite. While he was happy to have a play date, he wasn't keen on any fixed activity. He was also prone to get tired after school. The mum listened to him and was happy to wait for him till he showed any interest or physically ready. He hasn't missed out anything and gone to a top boys independent school from an ordinary state primary.
The boy started with something he could do at home such as piano lessons - the teacher visited him weekly so the mum didn't need to take him out after school. This kind of arrangement could be a solution for tiredness and sibling issues?
Mine never did many clubs when younger, as they are tired. At 7yo they might do a couple of clubs, but at 5 mine would only have done swimming lessons and nothing else.
They won’t miss out, wait until they express an interest in something and if it works for you and your other little ones then maybe consider it. But don’t feel that if It doesn’t work for you they will miss out. There are lots of overscheduled kids out there imo. Time at home with family is just as beneficial if not more so.
If your 7 year old has never had swimming lessons and doesn’t go swimming with you then that could be an idea as that is a life skill. You could include the 5 year old and try to get them in at the same time so you only have your youngest to entertain.
At this age we just had swimming on a Sunday morning. At 8 this swapped to tap on a Saturday and having 'clubs' only really started in year 6. Now we are in year 10 there are we have 6 clubs a week, 5 focused on drama/music/musical theatre.
Weekends. Ds does a martial arts session and a swimming lesson at the weekend, and I make sure he uses his half terms.
But week nights are for homework, relaxing & family time.
if they are tired then I don't think they should be doing clubs. they could do them in the future/do something at lunchtime at school/after school on school site possibly?
at 7 mine were dancing after school a few hours a week and one was in a professional production for 6 weeks at that age which involved very late nights and very long weeks of school as well as performances. She loved it so it obviously suited her but it isn't for everyone at that age.
I struggle to juggle everything personally, If I had a 1 year old as well then my others would be lucky if I took them to anything at all to be honest.
Give yourself a break, leave clubs for another year or so and then review it then. if the elder one begs to try something before that then you can think about it at the time but I think we (us as well as children) are under far too much pressure nowadays to be rushing from activity to activity and that makes life a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
Thanks so much for the reassuring messages. Where I live people are a bit crazy in their after school activities, it probably skews my view. Some people do a club (or 2!) every single day after school. Mine love being at home after school - I know when I was growing up I really loved the time at home after school. Something at home would be ideal if I could arrange music perhaps. Thanks for the reassurance!
oh some families must spend their entire lives out of the house, I don't know how they do it. My two love their dancing and they choose to spend their time doing it, one would do more if we let her but the other is starting to streamline her activities a bit as she now wants more time at home and she is getting more homework to fit in as well. They do really appreciate the couple of days where they aren't going out after school and can just sit around watching TV or go on the computer etc. That time to just relax is so important, equally so to doing an activity. And remember even if you just have an activity you do at home it is still just as valuable. Perhaps get a sciencey type kit or optical illusions or something that you can do at home, still exploring and doing something different but without there being that commitment for the whole family. or set one afternoon aside for doing craft or art at home or baking. so it becomes a bit of a routine in the same way a club would but easier to manage. If that goes well then when one of them really wants to do a club they will be used to having that routine of on tuesday you do x y or z. But don't beat yourself up for not being able to take them all over the place. raising 3 kids is hard work especially when one is still very tiny.
Thanks! It's not like after school they are just slobbed in front of telly and they don't have iPads or video games or anything. They dress up, make up games, do LEGO, make stuff. The older 2 love to create games and it's really nice to see. Don't get me wrong, the do watch some tv too but no more than 30-45 mins
When my youngest was 7 there were activities he wanted to do after school nearly every day. We let him try and soon realised it was way too much for him and had to cut right back. If there are one or two things they become especially interested in then see what works and take it from there. Summer term is a good time to pick things up!
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