Now that we’re two weeks in to the new school year, we’re starting to get all the leaflets and hype about all of the various out of school activities that our children should be doing.
We’ve had leaflets sent home from school, leaflets through the door and even some recommendations in the weekly school newsletter and honestly, there’s so much choice that you could easily be doing something after school every day and at weekends and still not fit them all in!
My two have tried out lots of out of school clubs and activities since they started school but if I’m honest, they’ve given most of them up for one reason or another:
Violin and orchestra were fun but the violin lessons clashed with PE every week and the school couldn’t reschedule so we stopped them….
Dancing was great fun until they merged the older children in with the younger ones which didn’t please Miss Frugal as she felt a bit intimidated by the older, louder girls….
Gymnastics was great until it stopped being fun because it got all competitive….
Trampolining was fun until the classes stopped so we now have a 10ft trampoline in our back garden which is used almost every day….
Karate was never fun so we only stayed for a few classes….
Football was great but cold….
Rainbows were great but Brownies not so much….
I could go on!
I’m happy for them to try different things and if they don’t enjoy them or they stop being fun, we hang in there for another couple of weeks to see if things change and then if they don’t, we just stop going. I don’t see it as giving up, just them knowing that they’re not enjoying something and moving on to something else.
It makes me sad to see children at horse riding who hate it but their mum’s make them go because it’s what they want for their children. And don’t even get me started on the parents at football who stand on the sidelines and tell their children off for missing a shot or not tackling someone.
Children should be enjoying what they’re doing, not doing something to fulfill a parents dream or because their parents think they should be doing a certain activity!
This year, Miss Frugal is going to be doing horse riding again (when she gets back to the top of the waiting list), guitar lessons and Saturday mornings at a primary school university. Master Frugal is going to an after school judo club but he’s not too bothered about anything else just yet. They’ve chosen everything that they want to do and I’ll happily taxi them around and encourage them but if they ask if they can stop going, I won’t be forcing them to stay!
Cost is an issue but horse riding we just do once every two weeks and guitar lessons we’ve booked her in to a group lesson so although she won’t learn as quick because it’s not one on one, it costs just £3 a week as opposed to private lessons which would cost us £20 a go.
How do you choose what after school activities your children will do?