How Many Extracurricular Activities Is Your Child Involved In?

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 by 2 Comments
How Many Extracurricular Activities Is Your Child Involved In?

I felt like a jerk when my daughter showed interest in picking up piano lessons again and I told her no. Well, I didn’t exactly say no, but I did tell her she’d have to choose between that and dance, her true love.

I knew she wouldn’t take the piano lessons, but I also knew she would lose interest in them yet again, once it was too late to jump back into dance and learn the routines, order the costumes, etc, for the recital.

If she had it her way, she’d be in dance and gymnastics, take piano lessons, and attend “Wonder Woman classes” (aka: tae kwon do). That’s a busy schedule, a whole lot of money, and she’d be too tired to function.

For right now, she’s limited to one thing. She loves dance, so that’s her one thing right now. If she shows interest in something else, we’ll entertain the idea, but she always decides that ballet’s where her heart is and it always has been.

We limit the number of extracurricular activities for the sake of our sanity, her temperament, and finances. I’m also a huge fan of letting her come up with ways to entertain herself rather than having her in classes for everything.

Though I love and appreciate the arts, I feel like having random items, markers, glue, glitter, etc, around the house will do much more for her creativity in the long run than a hectic schedule full of classes with monthly tuition.

We have a keyboard but she rarely shows interest in focusing on what she’s playing, which was the problem when she was in lessons the first time (she’ll gladly turn the volume way up and pound on the keys on occasion, though).

Despite all the signs that we shouldn’t put her back in piano classes, plus all the practical reasons not to add to her schedule, I still have a little bit of mom guilt for not letting her explore more through classes.

During the summer, we’ll be letting her try out a few things through classes the town puts together for a lower price if she’s still interested, but every now and then I get that twinge of something that says we should let her do at least one more thing.

Once she’s a little older, maybe we’ll all decide she’s capable of taking on more. Right now, who knows?

How many extracurricular activities is your child involved in? How old is he or she?

Photo credit: Sarasota Dance Studios

Posted in: Entertainment, Love & Relationships
Crystal Schwanke

Crystal has been a freelance writer for 10 years and wouldn't change a minute of it. She writes about fashion, beauty, parenting, and health most often, but loves to explore new topics. She lives in the Atlanta area with her husband, daughter, and an 80-lb boxer mix who's convinced he's a chihuahua.

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  • Pauline Hawkins

    My son will 8 in a few weeks. He takes piano lessons, karate, and he is in Cub Scouts. He dropped hockey to take karate and he’s happy with that decision. Some weeks are busier than others, but he enjoys all of the activities. He also knows he has to drop something if he wants to try something new. So far, he doesn’t want to drop any of his current activities.

  • Emily (CityBaby Living)

    My daughter is 5 and we limit to one at a time although we just added swimming as a 2nd which we believe (while totally fun) is a necessary skill that needs to be taught young. I will never over schedule her. Keeping her activities low in numbers leads to her ability to make choices with consequences (ie you don’t always get everything you want) and I think boredom teaches them creativity. I also limit play dates after school. (I sound so harsh! I promise she has TONS of fun!)