What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me decide

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What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me decide

Postby atlanta_dad » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:36 am

I've a 9 year old daughter going to 4th grade. I'm having tough time deciding which activities to enroll her.
She seems to be interested in doing everything. I dont want to enroll in everything and make her extremely busy.
I want her to have enough time to play with her siblings and friends too.
She is more interested in going to activities that she has never gone to like Gymnastics. She has attended Arts classes, which she is always interested in.
And she is little less interested in going to activities that she has already gone like swimming etc.

Some of these activities comes with home work, so she will need to manage it along with the school home work etc.

From your experience please suggest how many activities are appropriate for this age and how to choose them. Please direct me to any online resource or book that gives good guidance on this.

    Swimming
    Arts / Painting
    Religious
    Cultural dance
    Our language class (she speaks fluently, writing will be taught)
    Piano
    advanced Math / English

Thanks a lot in advance.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby surfhb » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:41 am

Id just let her sign up for what she wants then set time aside for playtime....

Funny since I need to force my kids to do their homework. Just the opposite of your issue it seems :)

Its My opinion to let kids choose as soon as possible in life.....instead of asking us, ask her. ;)
Last edited by surfhb on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:44 am

In other words, she's a normal 9 year old interested in broadening her horizons and learning new things. So far so good.
I'd say let her choose what activities to pursue, I wouldn't want to force the child into an activity they would hate - like piano.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby mhc » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:50 am

Let her pick one. If the commitment for the one is small, then maybe pick another small one. The activity should compliment life and not cause an undue burden.

I have a 4th grader. His one activity this Fall will involve practice two nights a week and a game on Saturdays. I have a younger child whose activity is only once a week. The youngest is not currently involved in any. We usually limit each child to one activity at a time during the school year.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby cflannagan » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:21 pm

Yep, just let her pick. We have a 8-year-old daughter.

So far we have enrolled her into:

Horse riding camp (summertime)
Swimming (all-year except for winter)
Karate (winter)

And those 3 happen to be the ones she consistently want to keep going back on a regular basis.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby vveat » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:03 pm

Mine is a bit younger, so things may work differently with a 9 year old, but I do the following:
- use summer camps to let her try different things and see what she will like. She is generally enthusiastic about most new things, so I don't just ask her but watch out for true interest - does she talk about this, want to learn more, practice things now and then. As I said, she is younger, with older kids maybe asking is good enough.
- I am sticking so far to 2 activities (gymnastics and swimming), each 1 day per week, but could be potentially open to adding a 3rd one, as long as it's close to home and the location is such that I can sit down and work on my laptop while waiting for her.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby frugaltype » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:13 am

Another vote for letting her choose.

I don't think parents realize how soon kids really have opinions about what they like and don't like. I remember being required to take piano lessons as a kid. I was bored out of my skull then as I would be now.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby stan1 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:46 am

atlanta_dad wrote:
    Swimming
    Arts / Painting
    Religious
    Cultural dance
    Our language class (she speaks fluently, writing will be taught)
    Piano
    advanced Math / English

Thanks a lot in advance.


A great list, but just one observation: These are all individual or academic activities (I'm assuming religious is something like bible study). Granted there is often group socialization (even swimming can actually be very social) -- but the group doesn't work together to accomplish something to a large degree. Some possibilities are drama, orchestra/band/choir, basketball, soccer and scouting where there are more opportunities to develop skills working together with and leading her peers (and even being led by her peers). I think putting her into these situations is particularly important if she has an introverted MBTI profile (e.g. gets her energy from herself rather than from other people). Of course don't have her do something she doesn't like -- but try to give her opportunities to stretch her comfort zone.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:12 am

Another vote for letting the child decide. An example from our family:

My son and daughter decided that they wanted to play ice hockey. My wife and I had never played or watched the sport, had quite a few stereotypical views about what ice hockey entailed (many of those stereotypes exist because they're true :D ) and so were initially reluctant. My kids knew how to rollerblade, but ice skating is very different, so we told them that if they learned to skate we'd find them a way to play. Years later, it has become a focus for the family: we frequently watch professional hockey games together and my daughter still plays (my son was injured last year but intends to play in a "men's league" in college). I think it was especially useful for my daughter; for her it was a precursor to the balancing act she will likely have in later life: being a strong female.

I also second stan's observation. Team sports are valuable beyond the athleticism involved: teammates learn to sooth each other, push each other, graciously win and lose (celebrating the team and individual contributors in a victory, not blaming anyone's honest mistakes in a loss).

Of the things you listed specifically, I would love to see advanced Math moved to the top of the list. Anyone can benefit from that, but it is especially useful for a girl, since there will be pressures on her to have her become Math-ignorant.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby eddiejov55 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:23 am

I would definitely vote for piano. I played for 20 years and it enhanced my hand/eye coordination, my memory, the dexterity of my hands, my level of concentration, my ability to multitask, and provided experiences that were great for college entrance essays.

I would also vote for some type of team sport - great for youth friendships and present the potential of parlaying into some type of collegiate scholarship down the road!
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby frugaltype » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:55 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:Of the things you listed specifically, I would love to see advanced Math moved to the top of the list. Anyone can benefit from that, but it is especially useful for a girl, since there will be pressures on her to have her become Math-ignorant.


True. Having a science in there would be good, too.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby livesoft » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:03 am

What are her friends doing?
Brownies / Girl Scouts was not mentioned yet. Not for everyone, but something that might be going on in the neighborhood.

As for science and math for girls, this is only a problem in lower socio-economic demographic areas. Girls kick butt in wealthy suburban school districts and have even taken over the robotics competitions.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby Dave76 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:40 am

Dancing lessons (traditional styles)

Mathematics/natural sciences may be worth pursuing. If she's interested, perhaps you can sign her up for a junior fossil dig.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby Pajamas » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:39 am

I would encourage her to learn to write the non-English language because it is easier to learn languages when you are young and because it may mean a lot to her when she is older to have a stronger bridge to her cultural heritage.

It would be good for her lifelong health to participate in a physical activity.

Beyond, that let her choose whatever she is interested in. Her interests may change over the next few years, let her explore and learn what she would like to.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby 123 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:10 pm

I would suggest an activity that involves other children her own age instead of a likely solo activity such as taking piano lessons from an adult. Children generally maintain their interest and look forward to activities that include a substantial social component with their peers.

While some kids might prefer involvement in a more solo activity with an instructor that might be a good reason not to elect that. Effective human development requires the ability to socialize.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby texasdiver » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:39 pm

I have 3 girls ages 7, 10, and 15 and I teach at a local high school so we have been around, through, and over this issue many times. My thoughts are the following.

1. Most schools do pretty decently with academic subjects and she will get plenty of that as she progresses through school and starts to have advanced options available like AP and IB course at the high school level. So I wouldn't think of bothering with math/science/English tutoring and that sort of nonsense. Especially English. Just keep good books around.

2. Most schools (especially at the Elementary level) are weakest in music and physical education. A lot of PE classes don't involve much real activity and elementary school music classes are basically nothing more than music appreciation in large groups.

Therefore we have told our daughters that we expect that part of their education outside of school will include both sports and music but that they will be able to chose the sport and the music.

The 15 year old chose soccer at age 5 and has played ever since and now plays on a select club team and her HS varsity team where she was one of only 2 freshmen that made the team. She spent 3 years in Orchestra and private violin lessons before concluding that Violin and orchestra weren't really for her, took a year off an now is taking guitar lessons. She is not musical so I don't stress it but she likes guitar.

The 10 year old is less athletic than her older sister and has tried both swimming and soccer. She swam on the local club swim team from ages 6-8 but got tired of it, especially the demanding coaches and went back to soccer for a year but will be back in swimming again this fall instead of soccer. The local swim club has had turnover in the coaching positions and the aggressive male coaches have been replaced by some younger female coaches who are more fun and supportive so she likes it better. She also plays piano and is much more musical than her older sister and wants to play a band instrument and be in the marching band as soon as she can which will be one more year. This is Texas so marching bands are big.

The 7 year old is both athletic and musical. She has done both dance and soccer and seems to like soccer better than dance as she is social and likes the team aspects of the sport more than standing in line in a dance studio. I don't much care as long as she is getting exercise and staying fit. But it looks like she will stick with soccer for the time being. She also plays piano and while she isn't perhaps a prodigy she is getting pretty good and closing in on her older sister. We will see how far music takes her. She is the only one of my three children who practices on her own without being told to and she is the youngest.

Point is, our girls all know we expect them to be physically active and also study music but they know we will be flexible as to what sport and what instrument. Seems to have worked so far. If one of my girls wanted to do a completely different sport or physical outdoor activity or some other type of music I'd be completely supportive as long as it was realistic. I'm not going to pay loads of money or drive long distances for something esoteric.

I also agree with the upstream comments about group activities. Kids like sports such as soccer because they are on a team and have friends. This is important.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby ol_pops » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:41 pm

Both of my daughters were full time swimmers. It was a huge committment for them and for us. The joke was that we saw all of Florida, Colorado, and Texas from the parking lot of the swimming pool. BUT, I can't say enough good things about physical exhaustion as a moderator of teenage behavior.
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Re: What activities to enroll my daughter in -pls help me de

Postby Saving$ » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:36 pm

atlanta_dad wrote:
    Swimming
    Arts / Painting
    Religious
    Cultural dance
    Our language class (she speaks fluently, writing will be taught)
    Piano
    advanced Math / English


Life is about choices. She has choices to make...
One physical activity (swimming or dance)
One arts (art-paint, dance, language or piano)
Religious education was not negotiable in my family
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