Monday, October 15, 2007

To sign up or not to sign up

that is the question... This was a recent conversation in our house.
Mom: K, do you know what theater is?
K: it's where you go to watch a movie.
Mom: Yes, but what else do you think it is?
K: Like plays?
Mom: Yes, where people dress up in costumes, and act out stories. Does that
sound like fun?
K: Uh huh
Mom: Would you like to take a class where you do that?
K: No
Dad: I swear I didn't tell him to say that.
Mom: What about chess? Do you want to take a chess class?
K: Yes!
Mom: And I didn't tell him to say that.

Guess which after school activities are offered for kindergartners at K's new school.

It's not like I think a kindergartner really needs after school activities, and he already goes to YMCA after school care and "pick up soccer" twice a week with dad and some other kids from school. But I've been trying to get K psyched up for an after school theater class, both because with his imagination and sword fighting skills I think he'd like it, and it might help him come of his shell a little bit. As you might guess from the exchange above, Dad doesn't like the idea of either class.

I really don't think my kids are in danger of the over scheduling that seems to be a hot topic around here. I don't have the time, money or organization skills to plan very much, and have specifically picked a school where many of the families are in the same boat. Although K's got one friend who's signed up for everything (including Chinese when they are already in Spanish Immersion). Last Saturday we managed to get to the pancake breakfast at the fire station in time to pose on the motor cycles, but miss the wooden fire engine models and truck ride, stop by a park before haircuts, miss the library story time, but run into a school friend to join in the "who can pick out the most books" game and do "experiments" at the community garden.
My grand thoughts on after school activities run more towards helping the kids find their passion. My husband found his at 7 years old, and I swear 40 years later he'd be happy if all he did was coach or watch soccer the rest of his life. I haven't found my passion, but can't be worrying about that. With all the academic focus in class, are these "enrichment" opportunities the path to passion, or just a means to a well-rounded college application? Or should I be honest and realize I'm missing my fun childhood and I'm living vicarously through my children?
Cross-posted and Nicole's other blog, Not Just a Working Mom, where she's trying in vain to document the other fun stuff she manages to do with her kids.

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