It’s hard to believe Term 1 is now well underway, with kids and parents everywhere finally getting back into that old ‘school routine’. After a long stretch of Summer Holidays, it can sometimes be quite difficult getting back into the swing of things. The routine you had perfected in Term 4 (in which you worked hard all year to instill) has completely vanished, and you are now back to forgetting lunchboxes, not being able to find shoes in the morning, and arguing each afternoon about homework and reading and “What day do you have football training again? Monday…? I thought swimming was Monday and Football was Thursday? What about you guitar lessons, when are they again?”
There are so many extra activities kids attend now in addition to school that sometimes keeping them all in order is a full time job in itself. There are many arguments over how much is too much in terms of after school activities, but in my opinion I think that as long as the child is enjoying what they are involved in, it can be a really good thing. It teaches children to be busy, and gives them different circles of peers and friends. It teaches them commitment and perseverance, both wonderful skills to have as they grow older. For those children who have that extra bit of energy to burn, being involved in a sports team or a multi sports program can be really beneficial. Kids who have an interest in something more creative can look into learning a musical instrument, or joining a dance school. Circus and acrobatics classes are really popular at the moment, as are arts and craft workshops and cooking lessons.
I’m all for encouraging children to participate in these great opportunities, ensuring of course that their schedule is not completely ridiculous (because let’s face it – you as parents are the ones that will be driving here there and everywhere). It has been shown that these activities give students more drive in their schoolwork, eventually leading to better academic results. Starting them off in these teams, classes or clubs from a Primary School age will ensure that they discover what they enjoy early, and will lead to a better involvement throughout their high school years (and later life) as well.
There are so many great activities to choose from here on the Mornington Peninsula – everything from football clubs, little athletics, music tuition, acting programs and surf schools. Check out http://www.peninsulakids.com.au/ for a great listing of these local clubs, classes and activities. There is definitely something for everyone!
Lauren is a teacher and tutor who works with primary school aged children. Lauren has a Degree in Education from Deakin University, and is currently studying a Diploma in Counseling with AIPC.