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Extracurricular activities for Kindergarten Kids


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#1 chelley

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

Aurelia currently does ballet, tap and jazz for 1.5 hours on a tuesday. Next year she begins school and so would need to do her dancing from 4-5.30pm.

I have taught Kindergarten before and was of a fairly firm belief that kindergarten students shouldn't do extra curricular particularly in the 1st term as they are just too tired from school.

However she LOVES dancing and she is awesome at it. She is comfortable and confident there.

Today at dancing I was thinking perhaps when she is about to start at school where it is all new and perhaps anxiety provoking it may be wrong to take away what she loves and is good at.

So did you stop all activities? How did your kids cope?


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#2 flowerrose

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:51 PM

They just do swimming and ad hoc kindy sport. I just don't take them if I think they are too tired. When Sophie starts school full-time next year we will probably just do swimming after school.

I would just see how she goes. If she needs to miss the odd lesson, I'm sure her teacher would understand.

#3 claire_p

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:22 PM

Last year Keira did Babies Ballet (4 yrs) for 45 mins on a Friday afternoon, then this year (her first year at school) she decided she wanted to do Ballet and Jazz which both go for 1 hour each on a Monday (4-6pm). She has coped really well with it. That first week of school she would come home very tired and fell asleep on the floor shortly after she got home on the first day (which was a Tuesday, she had dancing the day before) but after that she was fine. I think it helps that her dancing is on a Monday first day of the week after the weekend. On a Friday she has a 30min swimming lesson. And next year Swimming will change to a Wednesday arvo to make way for 1 hour of Cheerleading on a Friday in addition to her monday classes.
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#4 chelley

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:33 PM

Claire you have given me the idea to try and get her into a Monday afternoon lesson now - when her energy levels should be at their highest. Great thought.

After the current friendship issues at her preschool, and her school will most likely be single stream next year I don;t think it will hurt to have a different cohort of friends too.
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#5 aChocLover

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

Our girls were in long day care from about the age of 1 so I'm not sure if that helped for us. When we transitioned to preschool/prep, we did lots of extra curricular activities.

For the first term whilst the girls got used to the new schedule, we were pretty light (they were tired enough), but by term 3 we were up to 4 different activities each week, but no more than 30-45 mins/lesson).

If they were too tired/ratty we didn't go (with the exception of the club sport). I usually find that my kids get pretty exhausted towards the end of school term and need the break, so we usually ease off then as well. On the days that are pretty intensive, we do a fairly relaxed meal and early bed etc.

#6 Mel B

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

I didn't sign Rosie up for anything in term 1 of kindergarten. She just did a half hour swimming lesson on the weekend and that was it.

Tem 2 she started going to ballet on Monday afternoons (45 min class) and I switched swimming to Wednesday afternoon. We ended up moving swimming back to the weekend for a couple of reasons, one being that she didn't like going after school but loves the weekend class.

She isn't tired exactly but she really craves the down time of doing nothing after school. Just playing and mucking around. School is pretty full on and she's a very dedicated student so I think her brain needs a rest when she gets home.

Eddie starts next year and I think I'll follow the same strategy of minimal extra curriculars for him in the first year. Although if R does gymnastics I'll probably sign him up too as otherwise he'll be sitting around waiting for her to finish (curse of the young child!)
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#7 tastebud

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:31 PM

Unfortunately for my husband, his grand idea of TWO football codes + swimming lessons AND swimming club AND nippers for G's first year of school next year, was shot down in flames.

I knew it was too much but had to recruit teachers, professionals and friends of ours with older chidren to convince him. Along with a tanty from me ;) I am the one dragging toddler and baby around and likely dealing with a tired / emotional / cranky 5yo. So...erm, NO.

It's very important to me G has the opportunity to enjoy school and equally, that he gets enough rest. Additionally I do not want to be stretched to the limit, dragging small children here there and everywhere. Several times a week. It would most definitely affect the atmosphere and running of our household. I am also conscious the running around will increase more and more as time passes so why start earlier than needed?

You know Raya and your family and what she and you can cope with. Perhaps you approach term 1 as a trial and see how it goes? And talk to her about that idea, the priority of school and how tired she may be. Let her know it's ok if she ends up taking a break for a term or two.

Next year for G will entail:
+ swimming club
+ one code of football
+ swimming lessons (T1) OR nippers (T4)

I'm dealing with Turbo Dad here so I've had to lock it all down early!

I'm yet to decide whether I will start the H (3.5yo) at ballet in term 1 or term 3. On top of her half hour swimming lesson.
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#8 Porthos

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:44 PM

Interesting thread.

Cate has just turned four and is finishing up a year of 3 y.o kinder x two 2 hour sessions a week plus a 30 min swimming lesson once a week. She is keen to start dancing lessons but I am not sure I want her to do 15 hrs of 4 y.o kinder + 30 mins of swimming + 45 mins of dancing per week...it seems like a lot for a four year old. Like Tastebud I don't want to be dragging the other little children here there and everywhere either. I also don't want to fall into the co-curricular activities trap too early...I want my kids to have plenty of free time.

So I am quite undecided...but I read this thread and it seems lots of little ones do lots of co-curricular activities. Perhaps I am being a bit of a fuddy duddy then?

Definitely keep us posted Chelley on what you decide and on how she goes. I would be loathe to take away something she adores but I guess you will have to see how she copes with everything.

#9 em2007

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:41 PM

QUOTE(Porthos @ Nov 18 2012, 02:44 PM) View Post

Interesting thread.

Cate has just turned four and is finishing up a year of 3 y.o kinder x two 2 hour sessions a week plus a 30 min swimming lesson once a week. She is keen to start dancing lessons but I am not sure I want her to do 15 hrs of 4 y.o kinder + 30 mins of swimming + 45 mins of dancing per week...it seems like a lot for a four year old. Like Tastebud I don't want to be dragging the other little children here there and everywhere either. I also don't want to fall into the co-curricular activities trap too early...I want my kids to have plenty of free time.

So I am quite undecided...but I read this thread and it seems lots of little ones do lots of co-curricular activities. Perhaps I am being a bit of a fuddy duddy then?

Definitely keep us posted Chelley on what you decide and on how she goes. I would be loathe to take away something she adores but I guess you will have to see how she copes with everything.


Remember Kinder is NSW (that Chelley refers to ) is like our Prep. I don't think 4 yo kinder, plus swimming, plus dancing is too much. Many kids I know do similar.

However, I'm in two minds about extracurricular activities for the first term of Prep. I tihnk continuing something they already do and enjoy would be fine though.

I think it depends on the child how well they'll cope. My neighbour's prep boy did basketball, swimming and something else and got a bit tired but was coping. She did cut back though and he's now doing art and swimming. Will wouldn't cope with that though - he gets overstimulated very easily, and found 3 days of childcare hard this year. I think going to 5 days of school will be a big transition for him and I don't want it to effect how he settles in to school.

Will currently does swimming. I'm not sure if I'll book him for term one next year. He's not that keen on it - and I'm not sure he'd get much out of it if it was held after school...


#10 ~steph~

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

First term of Kindy (we are in NSW) H did swimming on a Friday afternoon after school, which he was happy about. But then he seems to be a bundle of energy after school even after the first day, so it was never really an issue. Second term he did soccer as well as swimming. So Monday after school was soccer training, Friday afternoon was swimming and Saturday morning was soccer game. Again he seemed to cope really well.

It is actually fourth term that we are struggling a bit more with. After a full year at school he is ready for a rest, however DH insists that he is getting cranky because he is bored not tired, but then he would like to be like to take after 'Turbo Dad'!!! It doesn't help that his brother is waking him up early most mornings so we are now endeavouring to get them to bed earlier to compensate.

Another thing to consider is to make sure you leave some afternoons free for playdates. I deliberately leave Thursday afternoon free so we can catch up with a couple of his friends from school for a regular playdate as it suits all of our work schedules.


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