Extracurricular Activities During The School Year :: Yay Or Nay?

Extracurricular Activities During The School Year :: Yay Or Nay?

Growing up, I tried a few extracurricular activities, but never really stuck with any of them. I had plenty of interests and hobbies, but nothing I was really great at or wanted to spend the majority of my time doing. I wish I had tried more things and stuck with something I was passionate about.

Now that I have my own family, I want to encourage my own kids to follow their interests. I’m looking at their strengths. Things they excel in and also the things they enjoy doing. Whether it’s gymnastics, dance, 4-H, scouts, art classes, piano, soccer, or something else. I want them to build confidence and learn team work. Mostly though, I want them to have fun and learn not to give up on their dreams whatever that may be.

I don’t want to run myself ragged either.

At the beginning of last school year, we had just moved back to Lafayette. Things were a bit chaotic. My girls were starting a new school. They wanted to do extracurricular activities, but I felt our schedule was too busy. Plus, moving is expensive, and we couldn’t really afford to have multiple kids in multiple activities at the time.

This year things are different. We know what to expect at their school. We’ve adjusted to our new home. So we’re adjusting our plan and throwing after school activities into the mix. If we see grades are slipping or kids are overtired, then we can always eliminate something. Right now though, my plan is let each kid pick ONE activity they are most interested in for the year. If they want to try something new next year that’s fine, but my limit is one activity per week per kid for my own sanity.

Extra Curricular Activities During The School Year :: Yay Or Nay?

My younger daughter is starting pre-k this year. Since I’m sure that will be a big adjustment, we will probably wait to start an extracurricular activity during the summer for her. As my kids get older, I’m sure we’ll have to adjust again to whatever their schedules entail. For now, I’m happy with our plan of one activity per kid.

I’m adding all of the kids practices and meetings to our shared family calendar. That way my husband knows when he has to watch a few kids after work. Or I know when he has a work commitment, and I’ve got to bring all the kids with me. We’re in this together so we will be taking turns at dropping kids off, picking them up, making dinner, doing homework etc. I’m happy that my kids get an opportunity to learn and grow and also build their skill set. I think it’s worth the extra bit of chaos involved.

Do you let your kids do extracurricular activities during the school year? Let me know your tips for balancing school and activities.

Sicily Smith
Sicily grew up in Acadiana and graduated from UL Lafayette in 2011 with a degree in fashion merchandising and design. She has spent the last decade moving around the world while her husband served in the military. She returned to Lafayette in 2022 to raise her four daughters in Cajun country. Her daughters Evie(9), Talulah(6), Gemma(4), and Sylvie(1) keep her house messy, her schedule busy, and her heart full. These days she’s traded her fancy clothes for a strong cup of coffee, comfy leggings, and a good book. Her hobbies include going to local music festivals and farmers markets, trying new restaurants, running, and starting a bookclub with her daughters. She is also currently writing her first children’s book.


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