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Appleaday

How did you decide on extra circular activities for your child

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Appleaday

So I am wondering how other parents or guardians decide on which extra circular activities your child will do? Did you let them have some input or did you just decide? Do they cooperate with the activity?

 

Considering how many top sports stars, professional musicians and other talented people start young I can't help thinking how much the activities we pick for our kids shapes them. I also worry a bit that I will decide on the wrong activity and my child will miss their calling.

 

DD6 does swimming (since 4 months old) and just started drama but I decided on both these for her. We tried dance but I ended up having to bribe her with McDonalds to finish each lesson so we ended that pretty quickly. She wants to do singing but is pretty tone deaf so I haven't encouraged singing lessons and I try and change the topic when she asks. She has also expressed an interest in Karate but I feel that 2 activities is enough.

 

I can't help wondering how other parents decide. So how did you choose?

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tenar

It's a combination of factors.

 

Things I think my child may turn out to be pretty good at (it was clear from an early age that our kids are pretty musical), things that I think are healthy for them to do, things that we can afford and can manage the logistics of.

 

8yo currently does piano, circus and swimming, and chess at school.

 

6yo does piano and swimming, and orchestra at school, will do circus next year.

 

Everyone wants singing lessons. I'm delaying it, as the cost is becoming prohibitive. Will probably manage it in the future.

 

Everyone wants dance lessons. I'm not going there because I don't like the feel of the local dance school.

 

Most people who start this stuff won't continue.

Some will continue for a long time and get a lot out of it. Some will continue forever and make it their lives.

 

I'm hoping to hit something that's in the middle of all that, for my kids. If we're lucky.

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seayork2002

Swimming as IMO a must in this country and Joey/cubs/scouts because of the great skills learnt

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Meagan

My (much older kids) all do Scouts. My daughter tried Guides, but the group at the time didn't match with her needs. It is giving all of them access to a wide variety of activities and is beautiful watching them grow & develop and then become competent enough to teach the skills to younger kids within the group.

 

Joeys starts at 6 & Cubs at 8. I wish I could have started my oldest much earlier but with shift working parents and no family support, it was too hard.

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.Jerry.

We did the obligatory swimming lessons for DD when she was very young. Then we dabbled at the PCYC - a bit of basic gymnastics etc.

 

I have to say it was very much my choice to put DD into dance class pre-prep. I am sooooo not sporty, so she really didn't stand a chance with that. Luckily she loved dance, and after a year off in FYOS, she went back to dance and is still there six years later doing tap, jazz, ballet, acro, drama, singing and performance. It's her thing, and I was lucky to strike it easily.

 

She also learns cello, but I forced her into that and she isn't keen or good at it, so we will stop it this year.

 

I went through all sorts of things when young. I think many kids bounce around extra curricular activities.

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Sugarplum Poobah

Seriously?

 

She wants singing lessons and you won't let her have them because you think she's tone deaf?

 

She's 6!

 

It's not about becoming an Opera Australia principal when she grows up, extra curricular activities are also meant to be about enrichment. She might end up joining a community choir while she's busy finding a cure for cancer.

 

Don't kill her passion!

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Feral Grey Mare

DD was always going to be a horse girl from about age 3. We tried to interest her in swimming, dancing, tennis, netball, basically anything that would be cheaper than horses but it didn't work. She played saxophone in primary but gave up once she hit high school because being in the high school band was "lame".

 

DS started BMX racing when he was 5 and switched to motorbikes from age 9. He also did Joey scouts for a couple of years but they did too much indoor stuff for his liking. Rugby lasted one season (thank goodness- saw way too many injuries).

 

Neither of them were ever keen on team sports but as they both competed individually as members of clubs they still experienced a team environment.

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Appleaday

Seriously?

 

She wants singing lessons and you won't let her have them because you think she's tone deaf?

 

She's 6!

 

It's not about becoming an Opera Australia principal when she grows up, extra curricular activities are also meant to be about enrichment. She might end up joining a community choir while she's busy finding a cure for cancer.

 

Don't kill her passion!

 

Omg up the mummy guilt...

 

I feel so bad now.

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BornToLove

DD currently has lessons for swimming, gymnastics and violin.

 

We started out with ballet at 3 years old. It wasn’t a good fit with we thought was appropriate for a child that age, so we tried gymnastics the following year. It’s a much better fit for her (and more inline with what we want for our child). DD has been in it ever since. We have suggested other sports, but she loved gymnastics.

 

Swimming for us is a must. It’s a valuable life skill. DD has been in weekly lessons since she was old enough for independent lessons. Again she enjoys the lessons and hasn’t asked to try something different (although we would probably insist she stay in swimming for a few more levels).

 

This year she started violin. Her school offers it as an optional program for students in her year level. Most of her friends signed up, so we agreed when she asked.

 

I think 3 activities are our limit financially and logistically. When it’s time to sign up for another term or move up a level, we do have a chat with DD about how she is enjoying the activity and if she wants to continue or try something new. I know she is on the fence about continuing with violin and we have had a few chats already about her options (try another instrument, pick up an extra gymnastics session, guides, a new sport, art). Because she isn’t chopping and changing activities every few months, I’m happy to let her make the decision at this point. She’s aware of what other girls her are are doing and knows we support her choice. I think I would have a different outlook if she didn’t show commitment to the things she’s already doing.

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Sugarplum Poobah

Omg up the mummy guilt...

 

I feel so bad now.

Omg up the mummy guilt...

 

I feel so bad now.

 

Sorry. :bighug:

 

But please let her have the lessons if she wants and you can afford them.

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my3cubs

We did dance as I thought it would suit DD...6 years later we are still there & do 4 days a week including eisteddfods and exams. DD2 starting begging to do gym & now we find ourselves doing WAG Level 3 just 18 months later. They all do swimming & I chose tennis for DS as I felt it would suit him.

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Seven of Nine

We just do what our kids think they'll enjoy.

 

The chances of an extra curricular turning into a brilliant career are very very small. Extra curriculars are hobbies, maybe they'll continue into adulthood and maybe they won't. I want my kids to enjoy their hobbies now and then when they're adults they'll at least have a background of pursuing leisure activities even if they aren't the same hobbies they have as children.

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Elizabethandfriend

 

Sorry. :bighug:

 

But please let her have the lessons if she wants and you can afford them.

 

Actually private singing lessons are wasted at that age. Far better to join a choir and learn to sing with her peers. Most people can sing in tune with practice and a bit of support.

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chicken_bits

I waited until my daughter was old enough to express her own interest. We don't have a huge amount of money to spend on extra curriculars so it's one activity only. When she was 4 she asked to do ballet classes. I waited until she was 5 and had been constantly asking for a year and she couldn't be happier.

 

Not everyone's going to be a superstar... in my opinion, childhood is about encouraging passions whether they're any good or not.

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Sugarplum Poobah

Actually private singing lessons are wasted at that age. Far better to join a choir and learn to sing with her peers. Most people can sing in tune with practice and a bit of support.

 

I agree, its more that if she wants to sing then find a way for her to do it.

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EsmeLennox

I just let them pick. Except for swimming and swimming continues until they achieve their bronze medallion. That's not negotiable.

Edited by EsmeLennox
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Appleaday

 

 

I agree, its more that if she wants to sing then find a way for her to do it.

 

I have reminded her of the option of singing club at school which runs at lunchtime but I don't think she has been.

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TheGreenSheep

For us it’s a complex scenario of:

Their interest - DS2 soccer

Me deciding for them - DS1 basketball

Compulsory - swimming for both

Fits in with the other days, training, etc - DS2 tennis

And can afford it - no to guitar it was too expensive

I’m happy with it - no to scouts, the local group has lots of problems.

Kids love sport, they’re not stars, they just get a lot of pleasure out of it.

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Lifesgood
Not everyone's going to be a superstar

 

Almost none of our kids will ever be a superstar, statistically speaking.

 

I choose activities that the kids are happy to do and that fit into our lives conveniently. I also lean heavily towards sport/fitness activities. Maximum of two activities per child.

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CrankyM

Many things run here only run a term (sport mostly like Auskick, miniroos, hotshots tennis). So I ask if they are interested and we go. Other things we have done trial lessons. Most places offer them.

 

At the moment we don't have much at all (thank you god, last term we had heaps going on). It's probably due to term 4 being hot as hades. R (7) does piano. I am encouraging T (9 in dec) to start piano again next year because he was good at it but he wanted some time off. My kids aren't sporty, or necessarily talented but it's about having the option to pursue their interest and enriching their experience. We also did taekwondo for a year until the late timing drove me insane and made the kids cranky. We might pick it back up again.

 

With singing our local music school only does group singing lesson at that age. Individual lessons are offered from around 10.

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Mooples

Ds is only 2 so obviously I’m doing all the choosing at the moment. He does swimming because I think that an essential life skill and ready steady go which is a multi sports program which he just loves. We’ve tried gymbaroo, a different gymnastics program and mini maestros and RSG was the one he liked the best so I guess he sort of got to choose that. As he gets older I’ll let him take the lead on his selections.

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JRA

DS at that age was partially led by what his friends were doing, so he did the "multi sports" type things when younger, and then moved to auskick etc as his friends did them.

 

It became clear to him, and us, some of them were not for him, and then during a multi thing he enjoyed a sport and we said we would see if we could find that. No friends did it, and well, it stuck.

 

The cello he picked up as school had compulsory strings early on. He had done the piano earlier as well it seemed the right thing.

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EXU
Omg up the mummy guilt...

 

I feel so bad now.

 

Don't feel guilty, my kids do little athletics because me and DH did as kids and it's rather convenient for us with a large family. They all go to the one place at the one time.

 

 

They ask to do other things every now and then. If we did everything they decided they wanted to try, we'd spend every second outside of school/working hours doing after school activities. Depending on how they fit in with our schedule, and if the want lasted more than a couple of months, we'd sometimes do them. Some have done swimming, calisthenics, fencing, auskick, but it can get a bit much.

Edited by DegaC
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Agnetha

How did I choose ? I chose one ( swimming) , she chose one ( dance). We are now also doing milo cricket, relaxing Friday night where I get to chat with friends while they play.

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~Jolly_F~

I let them make the choice.

 

2 of my kids do nothing. If they wanted to do something they totally could but they prefer to chill at home.

 

1 does girl Guides. She loves it and we will continue to go until she doesn't want to anymore.

 

They all seem to be able to fill their afternoons with just being kids but it seems I have damned them for life as they will never be superstars.

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