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Making Decisions About After-School Activities

The following post is from Bernice Wood of Living the Balanced Life:

source: woodleywonderworks

As many of us prepare to return to school, (some earlier than others, our county started yesterday!) thoughts start turning to the busy school days, the hectic schedules, and all the activities that come along with the school season. As this time comes upon us, I encourage you to look at some ways you may be able to make your life just a little bit easier.

Choosing and Coordinating Activities

Our families are inundated with a multitude of opportunities, especially at the beginning of the school year. Many sports, clubs, dance, and other types of weekly (or more often!) activities usually kick off around the same time.

Nearly all of them are very good opportunities for our children, and that is where mommy guilt can come in. We want our children to have opportunities we didn’t have.

Don’t let that guilt get in the way of reason. Think through what you really want for your kids and make decisions based upon those things.

10 Tips to creating a less hectic week

1. Ask yourself: Does my child really want to dance? Or do I want them to dance?

2. Does my child need to take gymnastics at this high profile gym, or would she be just as happy taking classes at the Y?<

3. Is this activity in an area that is a strength for my child? And therefore important to help continue to grow? Or is it a waste of his time?

4. Or, is this an activity that is a weakness for my child and one they NEED to grow in? Or, is it something that will just frustrate him?

5. Can I enroll several or all my children in the same activity to make the schedule easier? (my 3 kids played on a church softball league)

6. Research programs and classes in areas that are VERY convenient to you. Maybe you can group activities, or shop for groceries while they are in class?

7. Check with programs and see how flexible they are for scheduling. I was able to request my children be put on a team that practiced a certain night of the week.

8. Try to group several activities into one or two evenings a week. This works well for some families. Makes for a hectic day or two, but calmer remainder of the week.

9. If your children are involved at a daycare or afterschool program, see what additional classes and programs they may have available there. Many daycare centers have a ballet or gymnastics teacher come in once a week.

10. On the afternoons and evenings that you do have activities, plan ahead and make easy meals, have something in the crockpot, or something you can take with you on the road.

source: mikebaird

And remember, life is not ALL about doing. It is also about BEING.

Leave space for your child to just be. To explore and read and paint and run and play. Space to just be a kid.

How do you plan to combat the busyness of activities this school year?

Bernice Wood is a mother of 4 young adult kids, plus Nana to 7 grandchildren. After a major lifechange summer 2010, she began blogging to journal her personal struggles and transition. She blogs at Living the Balanced Life and she in process of launching a resource site for busy women, The Successful Woman’s Guide.