The benefits of school clubs vs the potential for overwhelm
After months of encouraging our now 8 year old to join in with some school clubs, we found ourselves with an uber-enthuastic daughter on our hands!
Due to after-school childminding because of work commitments, she was limited to what she could do. But come year 3, she wanted to try every club going – gymnastics, dance, science club, cheerleading, music, youth club… which was great but we had to fit homework in somewhere too. How inconvenient!
We didn’t want our weekends taken over with homework.
When she asked if she could do this club and that club, we told her that if it fits around work and homework, no problem (so long as she got in!)
She did get in to all but one due to numbers. And she loves them all!
Year 3 saw her classes shuffled around and she wasn’t with her bff. Cue very sad face! Cue youth club re-starting in our town! Her bff’s Mum and me, we sorted it out and now (apart from the playground), she sees her for a couple of hours once a week. It’s a sweet-filled sugar high, I can tell you!
And then she has her 2 other clubs and music lessons in school.
Inevitably, when term draws to an end, she’s tired and my diary (and my head!) is full of pick-up times for various clubs but hey, she’s having fun and building those vital social skills…
Which is why, when I asked hubby and indirectly myself, if we had overdone the school clubs, tipped the balance between her bieng a recluse and sociable, brought on unnecessary overwhelm, the answer was ‘no’!
Like I say, it’s vital for social skills, lovely for her to see her bff (aside from the odd weekend play) and it *might* give me a bit of a breather when I would be otherwise doing the post-school-run every day.
Talking of which, none of these clubs are about winning. Yes, she’s working towards her gymnastics proficiences but they’re individual achievements; her dancing is a collective effort; her music lesson a whole new way of working her brain to make the grade.
We’ve encouraged her to join these clubs and will continue to do so. Her confidence has soared, especially after obtaining her 2nd gym badge. Her concentration has increased with her music, her co-ordination improved with her dance. And she lets her hair down with her youth club friends.
To answer the question
To answer the qustion at the beginning of this post, I think we’ve still got some balance here. After all, the clubs don’t go on forever and, trust me, we down-tools in the holidays. Good. And. Proper. PJ day anyone? (yes please!)
It’s also worth adding a couple of points here: she’s excelling at school, so her education is not compromised and to discourage her could be sending her the message that you shouldn’t push yourself; that resing is as good as a change. But no, a change is often as good as a rest and if she can do it, we let her.
What do you say? Do you encourage school clubs to the point of near overwhelm or are you strictly one a week? I’d love to hear! Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere