Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How many extracurriculars does your kid really need?

Unlike many of her classmates, my preschooler takes Taekwando a couple of times a week -- but that's it. No art class, no ballet, no cooking seminars, no gymnastics, no "Mommy and Me" anything.

My older kids are plenty busy, but thus far I've been reluctant to sign my 4- and 2-year-old up for many extra curricular activities. Money isn't the only issue here... we're so busy during the week, I'm loathe to give up our weekend time as a family.

I'm not sure how guilty to feel about this. On the one hand, I'm all for kids having plenty opportunities to learn and grow and do things that have captured their interests. With older kids, there's a measure of self discipline, self awareness, and self esteem to be gained from certain kinds of extracurriculars -- team sports, for example, or Mock Trial or maybe even a part-time job. (Added bonus: If teenagers are super busy, maybe they won't find time to date until they're out on their own!)

But preschoolers? Toddlers? Do they really need extracurricular activities -- especially if they're already in preschool or daycare?... [More]

The discussion is going on at The Boston Globe's Child Caring blog; go over and weigh in. Are we overscheduling our kids?

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