After school clubs – Too much of a good thing?

/, Latest News/After school clubs – Too much of a good thing?

After school clubs – Too much of a good thing?

My 6 year old, who is in a pre-prep school in London, told me recently he didn’t want to go to any after school clubs – he wanted some relaxing time at home instead. My initial reaction was to tell him that all the other kids in his class go to after school clubs such as chess, martial arts, science, choir, drama to name a few, and since the other kids were doing it then he should too.
I then questioned my motivation for subscribing my child to so many clubs.
‘Was it fair on him to be doing so many activities, which meant a daily routine of 9am-5pm – working hours of an adult?’
Undoubtedly the answer is ‘no it is not fair on a child’, but I felt I didn’t have a choice and had to enrol him into all these clubs to stay competitive with the rest of his peers. However, I reasoned there is always a choice and I should not feel pressurised into following what other parents were doing. I reasoned my boy is too young to be doing such long hours at such an early age. He should be enjoying carefree time without having to worry about going from one activity to the next after school.
So I decided to ask him which clubs he wanted to continue attending and I would cancel the rest. To my surprise when given the choice he didn’t say what I had expected, tell me to cancel all the afternoon clubs but instead he told me he was happy to keep his chess and science clubs but wanted to cancel choir and drama clubs since he didn’t enjoy them as much.
From this experience I learnt that rather than compelling my kid to do everything I felt he should be doing he should also be involved in the decision making. And once you have your child’s buy-in and they are fully on-board with their activities it will be worth the extra time and effort for both you and your child.
My boy is much happier and more energetic these days after school to attend his afternoon clubs as they are his choice and something he genuinely enjoys. Less activities means there is less pressure on him after school to complete his homework since he has more focused time to do it rather than being rushed through it when previously he would be too exhausted to concentrate after the day’s activities – further there is now some time to practice the activities of his interest at home too, so he is progressing much better in them.

2019-05-23T23:29:54+00:00 February 24th, 2018|Admission News, Latest News|