i think one of the most challenging aspects of parenting
is helping our children find their way through the maze of opportunities
both afforded in academics and in extra curricular activities.
finding their 'thing' if you will
& yet not overcrowding their schedule.
if anything, i've always leaned a little more towards
the 'let's not overdo it' end of the continuum.
especially when they were younger.
in fact i vividly remember the days when the girl's schedule & obligations
ended by 5
dinner before 6
& baths and books read by 7
& lights out by 8.
i remember seeing families with older children and wondering
how on earth dinner schedules had gotten so wonky
& maybe just maybe
even criticizing ( in my mind. quietly) choices that seemed
to make their children appear over scheduled.
yeah. i learned quickly the reality of life with multiple children
in various sports and activities.
sports are so much more intense & competitive now than when i was growing up.
little girls are shuffled into gymnastics and ballet at age 3.
if they have talent or natural abilities
placed on , or encouraged to join,a competition squad or company by age 10 with classes 5 days per week.
travel ball. tennis. they're all like that.
our community is a very competitive one regarding sports.
to play recreation soccer or take dance just to take a dance class is almost
dan & i
desire for our girls to find something they love
& if it's something in which they excel
well that's icing on the cake!
trying to balance their 'thing' with rigorous academics
is a whole new ballgame.
so fastforward to caroline.
she danced when she was 3 for a season.
she also took a tumble class.
nothing crazy just a little something to do.
& honestly, being the 4th of 4
i didn't go overboard with her schedule.
she began to dance again last september.
she is a natural in dance.
she is a natural with tumbling.
she loves both. intensely loves both
she also has a very rigorous school schedule with every academic
being an advanced class.
throw in the middle school program at our church
which we value very highly
she is packed out.
i wish her homework schedule was lighter.
i love when little ones especially can come home & just play
after being in class for seven hours.
however, we're also seeing the benefits of hard work & rigorous academics
as savannah attends a college whose admissions alone was competitive
she has academic scholarships & is in the honor program.
not trying to stir up everyone's views on education & extra curriculars
just journaling my thoughts on decision making.
i know it's completely different for each child.
not knowing whether this 'thing' is something that they will love for years.
something that besides the obvious benefits of the particular sport,
an opportunity where they learn leadership, commitment, how to work well with others.
just to name a few.
is it something that will overwhelm them with expectations.etc.
sports, academics, homeschool/private/public
all aspects of parenting where we can easily judge others
who may be doing things differently.
i don't have a clean cut template for this one.
i don't think there is such a thing.
over here, we're just trying to do the next best thing
for each of our girls, individually
& taking it one year at a time.
all the while, planning for the future
enjoying and making the most of the
madison danced for 11 years.
dance has been a sweet connection for them
madison is modeling several pieces of John Wind
& featuring a piece from the new equestrian line
soon to be released from John Wind.
another fabulous piece of modern vintage glam!
follow John Wind Maximal Art on facebook
be sure to check their retail website in the coming weeks
as they receive a fashion makeover!
(image from john wind)