I’ll be honest, when it comes to our children’s extracurricular activities, we have had it pretty easy thus far, compared to a lot of other families we know. Whether this is by design or by the kids’ choice I am not exactly sure. Maybe a little bit of both.
For how much of a sports fans we are, the kids have not really ‘fallen’ into any one particular sport/activity, yet. A lot of their friends have found their one sport/activity that they are very much committed to, whether it be hockey, soccer or baseball for the boys, or soccer or dance for the girls. Ours on the other hand have been taking it slow, and have been trying out different things which is great. There is one exception to this however, the kids have been going to swim class every Saturday for the past 5-6 years. To us, swimming is just a part of our Saturday routine so it doesn’t count as their extracurricular activity. We want them to be great swimmers and it guarantees to get them out of the house and do something active at least once over the weekend. They have obviously passed all of the levels that the swim school offers years ago, and we have been asked quite a few times to move them onto the swim team. But in all honesty, we are just not quite ready for that kind of commitment (both time and money).
Every semester (season) we let the kids pick one sport/activity that they would like to do, in addition to swimming. For the past several years the Boy has played flag football for 3 seasons, then declared that he was done with it at the end of the 3rd season. He then picked up basketball and has taken a liking to it. He’s been playing in the city’s youth league since 2nd grade (currently in his 4th season), though he doesn’t really play for fun between seasons. We are plenty happy with him wanting to keep doing basketball because not only we love the game, the commitment of the sport is really minimal. Each season (fall and winter) is only 7 or 8 weeks long. Much more manageable in my opinion comparing to other sports’ almost year-round like schedules. As for the Girl, she is not really into sports and has been doing gymnastics on and off in the past couple of years. She is more into alternative activities such as rock climbing and ninja warrior training (thanks to her dad), although for this winter season she has picked up basketball as well.
Of the two kids, the Boy is the one who usually needs the extra nudge to try new things. He likes his routine and if leave it up to him, he would gladly spend all of his free time playing on the iPad. And this is why on the rare occasion when he asks to do something new, we almost always let him. For example, he wanted to take the after-school drawing class and the chess class this winter, in addition to basketball. Normally we limit them to one after-school activity per term, but like I said, it’s so hard for us to turn him down because he NEVER asks to do anything on his own. And in the spirit of being fair, the Girl also gets to take the drawing class with her brother, along with a mad science class that she wanted to take. This means they now have something going on after school every week on Monday (drawing), Tuesday (science), Thursday (basketball), Friday (chess) and then basketball games on Saturday. Oh. My. God! What the heck did we get ourselves into? You probably won’t be seeing much of me here for the next two months at this rate. We will just need to survive all of this craziness until before spring break at the end of March. May the force be with us!