From birth until Drew was 3, he spent approximately five days a week in a “school” setting from 9ish to 5ish. They were long, full days. After I quit my job, it seemed extreme to cut his day from a 5 day a week 9-5 one to a 3 day a week 9-11:30. So I extended his day until 1, included a supplemental class and felt a little more at ease with his schedule.
Next year, this upcoming school year, pre-school is five days a week but only 9-11:30 again. During our end of the school year conference I asked his teacher and social worker if they thought I should extend his five day a week schedule until 1. They suggested that I instead sign him up for classes that allow him to exercise his interests – sports.
I’ve expressed my concern before about being over-scheduled but I also feel a benefit of keeping my children properly engaged so that they get all they can from their days. Not to mention, mama gets tired of trying to entertain them without activities. So I’ve been hard at work, planning, scheduling, rescheduling, juggling their upcoming fall plans.
I never thought I would fall for it but I have resorted to a color coordinated spreadsheet of who’s doing what when. It’s complicated! I want there to be suitable activities for my little one that are more stimulating than her permanent residence in the gym daycare. I want there to be activities for Drew that he has already shown interest in but also activities for those interests that he has yet to be exposed to. It needs to work with the school shlepping plans, the toddler nap schedule and be flexible enough to allow me enough time to hit up the gym so I don’t crazy. Tall order you say!
So now that I think I finally have it all finalized, I started to think (and that can be so dangerous for me). Am I under-exposing Drew to his educational side while over-exposing him to the sports side? Historically when the class starts with handwriting activities, math type challenges, etc. Drew has the most trouble. It has made me think that perhaps his maturity hasn’t evolved to a more school curriculum setting yet. Possibly because he’s a boy and possibly because he’s just not there yet, and maybe just a little of both.
As his parent, do I owe it to him to push him in that direction? Do I try to encourage him to enjoy those things too by exposing him to classes that he is less interested in but will potentially “help” him in kindergarten? Or do I let it go and fall back on the fact that all these educational skills will come when he is “forced” in a school setting as he gets older and more mature? Does my color coded spreadsheet need some rework after all?!?!