Thursday, February 18, 2010

Overscheduled

I was looking at our calendar this morning after signing Noah up for yet another "class" and wondered this: when is it too much?  He's only 19 months old and already his weekly schedule is packed with playgroups, music classes (twice a week no less), an open gym at the park district, and playdates with friends when we can fit them in.  I've been contemplating a toddler soccer class that is on Saturdays so he has an activity to do with Tim.  Most of these classes are 8-12 weeks but when one ends I've got another ready to fill it's slot.

At playgroup (which I do love) we all talk about the classes, the instructors, where the next best class is (art for toddlers!  for the low, low price of $200 for 8 weeks!  um, no, just no).  When one session of classes starts, we're already discussing the next session 8 weeks from then.  It's pretty ridiculous, agreed?  If it's this bad now, what will it look like in two, five, ten years?  How does one stop the madness?  I was reading  a post/article the other day (forgive me, I have NO idea where it was from to link it) about hyper-scheduled kids and how they've lost the ability to play independently and imaginatively because they don't have the time to practice those skills.  Well, huh.  At first I thought they could really only be referring to older kids who are trying to fit soccer in with choir practice in with boy scouts in with youth groups, not to mention that silly thing called school.  Then I took a look at OUR calendar and felt a wee bit sheepish.

Come May we'll be finished with classes.  I don't think we'll be signing up for anything else.  It IS summer after all and with summer comes parks and walks and the lakefront.  Oh wait...there is a pretty great pool not too far from here...I wonder if they offer swim lessons...KIDDING.  We already did those...last spring.

8 comments:

Mary said...

Hear you! We just signed Harper up for ballet, at $27 a class. I must have lost my mind. Winter will do that, though. Soon, we'll all be able to just walk out our doors and have some good spontaneous free play time. Until then, you gotta do what you gotta do.

k said...

I agree with Mary. I think it's the winter time and the fight to keep from losing our everloving minds cooped up inside.

CassJustCurious said...

We do a library sing and read class on Monday's and then swimming class on Saturdays and a play date on Tuesday and I think that is perfect for us. I tried to add a class a few weeks ago at the childrens museum and it just didn't fit....it felt very rushed and tense so I cancelled it - we didn't get all of our money back but I'd rather have a little more peace then a little more money.

AndreAnna said...

I figured with the two kids and two working parents, they each get one activity.

Right now, C does karate and S did swimming lessons. I wish things weren't so damn expensive here.

parkingspot said...

I think swimming lessons sound SUPER, but I was waiting and waiting. We still haven't started. I didn't realize I was so late getting on the bandwagon. Heeee! I read that article, too!

Julie said...

You may want to read "Nurture Shock" by Po Bronson. It's backed up by a ton of research and I have absolutely no connection to the book or the author. I picked it up at the library and loved it.

Hillary said...

This is one of the perks of working outside the home: Most classes aren't an option for us and I covet the time I have with the kiddos, so I don't have to worry about the overscheduling issue. I also purposely picked a daycare that is more play and less education.

bessieviola said...

Madeline is two and I'm currently fretting over adding one class to her life. I love my time with her and time at home, and so does she. We do a lot together that I think would happen in classes: reading, painting, lots of imaginative play. The only worry I have is that we need to get her around a large group of her peers since she doesn't get that at her dayhome.

Oh, it's a fine balance, isn't it? I think you're doing great, though - if he's happy, that's your best indicator!