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Thread: Extra-curricular activities - how do you do it?

  1. #1

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    Question Extra-curricular activities - how do you do it?

    DD1 is about to turn 6. There has always been reasons why she hasn't been able to attend any classes or do any activities like that. She did used to do swimming, but hasn't since we moved back to Melbourne just over a year ago.

    I wanted to get her in to do Little Aths. She loves running, I think she would really enjoy it. Missed the enrollment last year, as she didn't turn 5 until November (season runs from September onwards through summer) so waited until this year.
    Except now I am working full time (so I can afford for her to do some activities), and just checked out the website, and training is Wednesday nights from 5-6pm! Competition night is Friday, but they start t 5:45pm. I could get her to competition nights, but I don't finish work until 5!

    Also looking at ballet - she has been asking for 2 years - and the places I can afford either don't have classes on Saturdays or they are full.

    How do people do this, single, working full time, and still manage to have their children attend any kind of extra curricular activity? As it is we get home at 6, do dinner bath and its bedtime. And DD1 needs her sleep, otherwise she is falling asleep in class, so I have to be quite strict with the bedtime as it is.

    I am feeling really ****house about this - she desperately wants to do some things, I can afford for her to do them and I *want* her to do them, I think it is really important - but I just don't know how I can physically do these things on my own.

    How do you do it? Can it be done? Or do I just need to suck it up and accept that she won't be able to do anything?

  2. #2

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    Are the girls in afterschool care or with a family day care?? Could whoever cares for her in the afternoon get her there?

  3. #3

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    My youngest (2.5) is at day care (centre), my eldest is goes to after-school care after school everyday (at the school) and I pick her up t 5.30, then the little on at 5.45pm. I don't have anyone else to pick them up - my brother and sister both work full time also and don't finish until later than I do; no grandparents; ex-husband lives in Perth, so he isn't an option either. :/ Feeling rather defeated.

  4. #4

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    Does your DD have a school friend who does something and you could organise with their mum/dad/whoever to take your DD too?

  5. #5

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    Things have changed this year but...

    It was hard for us. We don't get home before 6.30pm so afterschool stuff was really limited. Then, weekends were out too because DD used go to my ex each fortnight (and he refused to take her).

    We just couldn't organise anything for a while. We had to cancel swimming lessons and she couldn't do sport or Guides

    Thankfully, though, a dance school started in her school hall midweek and I was able to arrange for the aftercare staff to take her and we would pick her up. I also found a horseriding school that would accept giving her lessons on Saturday fortnightly.

    She no longer goes to the ex and after a lifetime of working fulltime I decided to cut back to three days so she now does drama as well on Friday nights.

    My only suggestion for your situation is arrange with another parent to take her. Perhaps you could pay for their child if the can do the pickup/drop off, etc

  6. #6

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    We take DSD to activities that we can do on the weekends, yes she misses those weeks when she's with her mother (although she is with us most weekends) but we accept that... There are activities on the weekends, you just have to search a bit harder.....

    I did my thesis of adolescent participation in extracurricular activities..... And I found that those kids who were going out with friends socially were less lonely than those who didn't.... But those who participated in extracurricular activities were no less or more lonely than those who didn't.... While this can't be generalised to everything.... I think it shows that its connection to people that's more important...NOT the stuff you "do".... Quality time....


    So.... you know what.... You are doing your very best... That is the most important thing. All the extracurricular activities in the world mean nothing if mum is stressed and worried... And a walk around the block or play date with a friend is far more important than how many activities she does.


  7. #7

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    Could you start half an hour earlier on a Wednesday morning and finish half an hour earlier? Would that get her to training in time? Or ditch your lunch break if you can't start earlier? I know it'll depend on what sort of job you do but it was my first thought.

  8. #8

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    Although not a single parent, I have dd1 go to gymnastics with a school friend - so the dad does school pick up and drops the girls off. I then pick up at 6 and bring them home. I would ask around to see if anyone lose is doing it?

    Another day I start work early and finish early so I can do the pick up and take the girls swimming. Our pool has classes that go until 7pm so there's always a later option if we need to have weekday classes after work.

  9. #9

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    It's a tricky situation and I really get how hard it is. When I was single parenting with little ones working and caring for them had me at my limits. She is only 6, so she does have plenty of time to start extra curricular activities. My children started when the eldest was 10 and the next sister was 8. For me starting later allowed time for rest after school and my work.

    If she really wants to start something would you consider an instrument instead and tell her that when she is older she can start a physical activity?

  10. #10

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    Default Extra-curricular activities - how do you do it?

    Ok, so this is not exactly the same, but when DH was working away frequently, we faced a similar challenge, esp because I was also studying (adds in another layer of time juggle). What we did, instead of saying "I want to do x or y" and then looking at when that thing was on, we identified times in the week when we could create availability to get to things, and then looked at what activities were on during those times. For things like guides, there may be another group another suburb over that runs at a better time, also find out when Scouts/sea scouts/variants etc run. There may be other varieties of dance instead of ballet, including bush dancing, folk dancing, etc which runs in weekends. We also deliberately opted to include a single "late night" once a week in order to include an activity - best when this is a thurs or fri evening. As your DD gets a little older she will develop more stamina to be able to stay up that bit later, but when my DD was younger we restricted her to one activity a week, and added another in when she got older.

    ETA check surrounding Little As as they often run on different days/nights too. And don't forget school holidays. DD1 has had exposure to lots of different activities through attending full-day holiday activities. It's not the same as doing something every week but it broadens their experiences & if there's something she develops a passion for you can look for specific pathways.
    Last edited by AnyDream; September 12th, 2013 at 10:07 AM.

  11. #11

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    Both my parents worked, and I was one of 4 kids and we had one car.

    We didn't do anything co-curricular during the week that we couldn't get ourselves there and back by ourselves, we didn't do anything that cost much money.

    There were heaps of opportunities through school for music and art and sports and swimming - other things like ballet and violin lessons just weren't on the cards.



    We all turned out ok

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