Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Are kid's lessons and enrichment classes important?

The summer that my second daughter was born, I enrolled my older daughter in no less than four different lessons at the same time. I had pulled her out of preschool for the summer since I was off on maternity leave and felt that she needed the stimulation that several classes at the rec center could provide. She took swimming, karate, art, and gymnastics. Even I was exhausted taking her to all these different classes, and we were within just a short walk from the rec center. It was definitely too much. She didn’t enjoy the karate and ended up going to less than half of the sessions. I didn’t get her to all the swim lessons and she ended up stopping the gymnastics class. It was a waste of money to enroll her in all those classes and it took an otherwise relaxing summer and turned it into a constant barrage of classes.
 I learned from my mistake. She hasn’t taken more than one class at a time since then. She has since taken violin, gymnastics again, yoga, art, and science classes. She has enjoyed many of them and done repeat sessions of gymnastics, yoga and art. She hasn’t been enrolled in a class since she stopped taking gymnastics in January (of her choice). She’s now asking for either art or as I suggested modern dance classes.
Now, I wouldn’t even try to argue that these enrichment classes are a necessity, far from it. However, with the reductions in investment in public education, she isn’t being exposed to the arts. School curriculum focuses now completely on the basics. I want her to be exposed to various things. I believe that she has quite a bit of talent in dancing. I think she should at least try a class for a few months.
I’ve held off in enrolling her in classes because of the financial impacts. The modern dance class will cost $35 per month and the art would be about $70 for the next two months. It certainly isn’t within our new monthly budget since I’ve yet to figure out how we’ll be supplementing our income. However, I strongly want her to have the experience. Are these lessons and enrichment activities important?

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