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Evidence for /Teacher experience of children who do quite a bit of extracurricular

(29 Posts)
raspberryroop Thu 27-Dec-12 00:29:51

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?

raspberryroop Mon 31-Dec-12 13:29:52

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

yousmell Sun 30-Dec-12 18:28:56

can they continue with the things they most love and leave out the least interesting activities?

losingtrust Sat 29-Dec-12 18:41:31

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.

raspberryroop Sat 29-Dec-12 17:42:13

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 smile

morethanpotatoprints Sat 29-Dec-12 15:30:29


Hello, did you mean that it was H.E that made you realise that your dc had little free time or when you moved from school and started H.E.
I ask as we are finding far more free time now and dd is hardly ever too tired for anything.
I think flexi school is a good compromise for some people and it certainly gives you more choice in the education they receive. We didn't look at private schools because dd has tutors for music that are beyond those teaching in private schools, and are very specific. She is very fortunate but alas hasn't realised this yet. I'm not sure what we will do for GCSE/ 16+ yet, but dd is only nearly 9.

This should really be on another thread, sorry for the Hijack

Raspberry and MrsSham, the H.ed threads are very informative and people are lovely there. Its great for asking questions and understanding different peoples perspectives.

raspberryroop Sat 29-Dec-12 10:44:46

morethanpotatoprints - I did HE my oldest but he is in a small private school now 2 days a week and has tutoring for the rest as I really couldn't face 3 science GCSE's but we really enjoyed it while it lasted but he really wants to get qualifications. I flexi school the other 2 but my middle boys high school next year wont allow it. Its actually HE that has made me think how much extra stuff we do and how it limits their free time to just be.

MrsSham Fri 28-Dec-12 22:27:34

Thanks morethan thanks aim loving it, it has given me so much more time than working full time, but have had sacrafice a lot financially but well worth it. I'm on a full time placement after Christmas break so that will be more pressure, like full time employment plus study, but I keep telling myself it will pay in long run.

I would like to keep updated with your dds progress, I hope it goes well and I will look out for you.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 28-Dec-12 22:19:39

thanks MrsSham. Its early days yet, but she seems fine, although still not too keen on Maths and English if done formally. My plan is to keep it informal and "catch her learning". smile
I used to work, for a while as a lecturer and A level teacher, but couldn't hack it. I have a lot of respect for you studying as I know its not easy with dc. I too did degree and PGCE post dc and the workload is unbearable at times. Good luck

MrsSham Fri 28-Dec-12 22:07:30

Good luck if she is anything like. My dd im sure she will strive and archive her very best. My dd I know very well would do far better out of school, however I need to study and eventually work my self or she will be far worse off.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 28-Dec-12 22:03:32

MrsSham smile

We have done a full term now and dd is happy she can continue all her activities and practice during the day. Some people are judgemental and think we are mad, but she is so determined and focused on where she wants to be etc, we felt we had to give it a try. If it all goes wrong, she can go back to school and nothing lost. smile. I just thought it would give posters an idea of extra curricular activities taken to an extreme grin

MrsSham Fri 28-Dec-12 21:56:57

Morethan dd would love that, just wish I was in a
Position to do as you. Dd would love to give up school grin

morethanpotatoprints Fri 28-Dec-12 21:36:01

I can certainly relate to the negative aspects of extra curricular activities posted by wellthen. I think it is important to do what is right for your children and you, especially since you are all still grieving. Practicalities would suggest perhaps seeking help from other parents and sharing lifts. Ask your dc which activities they enjoy the most and see if anything needs to go.
As a parent with a dd who does something most nights I can sympathise with you, at times it is never ending.
I don't advocate this at all but for us the extra curricular became the curricula and dd now is H.ed because she just took on more and didn't want anything other than school to give.

raspberryroop Thu 27-Dec-12 21:02:51

Trinity0097 - I'm friends with the school secetary and a TA and a few teachers - they had a disco dance club for 6 weeks and gardening club for 6 weeks - run by teachers and both of which my hyper dd did but they are always short term.

kslatts Thu 27-Dec-12 20:27:38

my dds (13 and 10) have tried lots of activities, however 2 years ago I got a new job which meant working until 6pm instead of 4pm, both the dd's chose the 1 activity they wanted to carry on with (dd1 chose irish dancing and dd2 chose drama). They both gave up swimming club, they had learnt to swim and we now go together as a family. They can also do activities run by the school. Dd1 plays in the school football team and dd2 does science club.

I think doing some activty is important but we found reducing the amount of activites meant we could do more as a family.

trinity0097 Thu 27-Dec-12 20:15:52

Are you sure the school has no extra curricular things? (and must be more than one school with kids those ages), don't just rely on what your children tell you!

raspberryroop Thu 27-Dec-12 18:16:24

Nothing - small rural school - one reason we do stagecoach even though its more expensive is that its 3 activities in one place - so much level travel. i would love them to give up Judo but my middle boy is very good and shows alot of potential

trinity0097 Thu 27-Dec-12 17:28:22

Unless your child has a real chance of being world class give up swimming lessons once they can swim! By all means swim as a family for fun, but no point with the club swimming!

Check out what things they can do after school which mean they can do something and you just pick them up later than usual, less travelling about for you.

raspberryroop Thu 27-Dec-12 11:47:59

We live in Wales on top of a hill half an hour in a car away from all activities .HAve thought about moving to town but love having a big garden and space ~ we have just had another chat and agreed to drop tutoring and just do some work at home ! so another night clear

learnandsay Thu 27-Dec-12 11:37:01

We lived in Norfolk when I was fourteen and I cycled to my group activities.

mrz Thu 27-Dec-12 11:31:49

auntevil Thu 27-Dec-12 11:27:03

Not a single parent, but work and do all the after school childcare, it can get OTT and relentless.
Last year I made a decision to reign in the activities a bit. We kept the ones they would apparently be 'lost' without, and factored in some free time.
This free time is now used for having friends over (I lucked out on this one grin ) . Socially I think that they have benefitted at school. Many of the children in their classes don't do the same activities out of school and it was a chance to get to know them better.

raspberryroop Thu 27-Dec-12 11:22:05

mine I suppose are middle class but have 2 aspies which I suppose is why We started doing a lot as they are cheaper and more fun than ' therapies' we have had a chat and are going to do swimming on a more casual basis and also drop one of the YOuth clubs - my oldest does need more down time now for home work as will my 10 year old as he goes to high school next year

Wellthen Thu 27-Dec-12 10:59:31

Oh should also say, you can sometimes see negative impact. Children who are really tired or very stressed and say things like 'The only day I'll be able to do my homework is tonight cos I've got ballet, gym, football, brownies, St John's ambulance and piano lessons the rest of the week.' I think its a lot of time management for a 9 year old!

Wellthen Thu 27-Dec-12 10:57:41

The difficulty is a lot of these activities are often done by certain 'types' of children - sociable, confident, middle class, involved families - and it is these things that have more of an impact.

I certainly couldnt look at the class I have now and think 'I bet he/she does lots of stuff out of school.' Ocasionally you notice in areas that directly relate - I have found children who play for teams tend to have a better attitude on the field/pitch and children who play instruments naturally know a bit more about music.

Do what you can do and don't feel guilty. Your love and commitment to them is so much more important, especially after losing their father.

MrsSham Thu 27-Dec-12 01:14:07

Art terrible post autocorrect.

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