Having spent the first week of term trying to work out how to juggle the Littlesheeps after school activities I thought I’d write a post about the benefits (and pitfalls) of extra-curricular activities.
After school activities definitely offer opportunities to children – reports suggest that children who participate in extra-curricular activities have better school attendance, are less likely to get into trouble and are at a lower risk of obesity. They give children the chance to try new things, develop skills, meet new people and develop social and leadership skills. The flipside to this though is that the activities can be expensive and time-consuming (especially if you have more than one child) and don’t allow children the time to play, do homework and relax after school.
This year we’ve had a lot of juggling to do: Biggest was invited to join a performance squad for tennis (three times a week plus an individual lesson) plus he has Cubs. Sadly going up a swimming group meant his swimming lesson clashed with his continuing tennis squad. Middle has just joined Beavers, started the flute and had a swimming lesson and Littlest was possibly going to start swimming lessons…
We’ve taken a compromise option on the tennis (2x a week plus the lesson so only an increase of one session) and decided to not start Littlest’s swimming lessons yet which means I’m not trying to be at swimming / tennis with two children and Beavers with the other at the same time. I’ve moved Middle’s swimming lesson so he does that whilst Biggest is doing tennis giving us an evening off and flute is done in school time (phew!). We’re also going to get Biggest some individual swimming lessons to get through this next level and hopefully back into a group he can make in a term or so.
I still wonder if they are doing too much but then realise that it isn’t one child that is doing a lot it is lots of children doing a little and the juggling is getting them all to the right places at the right time. I’m wary about over committing to the tennis but it’s what Biggest wants to do at the moment (he thinks he’s going to be the next Andy Murray) and I’ve explained to him that doing that much tennis means no school football and we’ll see what happens next term!
What out-of-school activities do your children do and how do you juggle it?
If you are looking for extra-curricular activities for your child – check out our “Featured on Littlesheep Learning’s blog” series and if you run any after school activities and would like to get featured on Littlesheep Learning (no charge – just contact us with the details as explained here).