It’s almost the end of the school year and I am so excited. What? you say. WHY? you say.
It’s not the end of the school year itself that excites me. It’s the end of the DANCE school year. I am so over taking my girls to dance class it’s not even funny.
Having lots of commitments and always rushing around to meet them all is not my idea of good life. But enriching my girls’ lives and giving them the opportunity to do and learn things they have an interest in is definitely part of my good life plan. It’s just that sometimes those ideas don’t play nice together.
I (mistakenly!) thought putting the girls in back-to-back dance classes on a Monday afternoon was a decent idea. We check that box all on one day and don’t have to worry about the rest of the week, right? It turns out, no: this is not a great plan. Why? Because picking up the little one early to get in the car line in time to make it to the first dance class is extremely unpleasant, for one. For two, the waiting area for the parents is so crowded and loud during the first one’s dance class, I am really surprised I survived this long.
So we probably won’t be doing dance next year.
The question is: do we need to do anything?
I really want to say no. I really don’t want to support the case for making my children’s days (and therefore mine) any longer than they already are. But if I say no, where in their lives are they exposed to organized physical activities, encouraged to try new things, or allowed to excel in something other than classwork?
I should know better than to argue with myself.
But I am still absolutely against overly scheduled and unnecessarily busy lives. So I am left with the conundrum: do I or don’t I?
I didn’t have ANY extracurricular activities growing up. I’m sure one reason for that was we were definitely on a budget when I was kid. Because these outside activities are NOT cheap. I don’t even want to think about how much we’ve spent on recital fees and dance costumes alone, not to mention the cost of the actual class. And is it worth it?
NO. Dollar for dollar it is absolutely not worth it. Not for us. Not dance class. But, we had to go through the experience to know that.
For the summer we will be activity-free, save for a science camp and an art camp. But both of those are for my eight year-old. My four year-old just gets to be neglected and forgotten with no special activities of her own. Poor girl. I hope she gets in to college.
Realistically, our “good life plan” as a family is much greater than after school activities. Having a multi-cultural family means we can travel and experience things not everyone gets the opportunity to do. Regardless of what “activities” we pay for, we are always trying to encourage our girls to try new things and we support their strengths and interests. I hope that counts for something in the long run.
What’s your take on this? Did you have activities as a kid that made a difference in your life? What about your kiddos – do you have them in activities? Why did you pick the activity you are in?