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After School Activities – how much is too much?

Posted by School Run Mum on 17/11/2010. Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageI was reading a blog recently where the mother listed an alarming schedule of after-school activities which her seven year old daughter participates in. From art to swimming to violin to dance and drama, the week was completely filled with somewhere to be, every afternoon/evening of the week (except Sundays). Her opinion was that these activities were giving her daughter an all-round education.
I’ve talked to friends and family about this before; parents driving themselves into a ball of stress because someone needs to be picked up or dropped off, borrowing friends to mind younger siblings….it all sounds totally crazy!
As our children reach their secondary school years, it is inevitable that more and more after-school activities and hobbies will be taken up, and while I will certainly encourage my children to spread their wings, try new things and find the activities they like, I also think there is a lot to be said for giving your children some down time after a busy day at school; younger children especially.
I also think it’s far too easy to mistake the organised activities which you have to pay for to be of more value to your children than the simple things you can do at home. Instead of the type of activities listed above, what’s wrong with baking some biscuits on a Monday, going for a walk and kicking a ball on a Tuesday, mooching around the library and feeding the ducks on a Wednesday, arranging a play date on a Thursday and dressing up like superheros and bouncing on the beds on a Friday?
What do you think? Do your children have a relentless schedule of after-school activities or do you think there is too much pressure on parents/children to participate in organised activities?



(17-11-2010 16:33)

i dont believe in children going from one activitie to another every day.they need to have a little r & r after school before home girls dance on a tues & i think thats fine,but i wont have them running from a to b because i dont think its fair


(07-12-2010 08:29)

Thanks for raising this topic. I was feeling a little guilty that I had not yet signed my son for after school activities but I think too much is just as bad. Life as an adult is stressful enough; let's keep our children free of it as long as possible. I've decided that swimming classes once a week will be enough for my 6 year old right now.

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