Family Life

Surviving the madness of afterschool activities!

after school activities

Even being a professional organiser I often find it difficult at the start of a new year or school term to settle into not only the routines of school but after school activities as well.

Keeping kids active with extra activities is great but advance planning and thought needs to be given to this particularly if you have several kids involved in different activities.

This year I am faced with a larger dilemma than I have had for some years now with the announcement my two boys will be having soccer training on separate nights twice a week. Therefore we will have soccer Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights with games on Sundays. Somewhere amongst this I have to fit in swimming for my youngest and the other battle is fitting in cricket training and games, as the season is not yet over.

Do you face similar issues with your family this year? If so what have you done about it?

My suggestion, as I do at the start of the year or term, is try and spend a few quiet moments nutting it out on paper. Following that I usually try and work out what will work best for the whole family before discussing it with each member. It has to work for all of us and it is important for everyone to be involved in the final plan (naturally for younger children this is unnecessary). Involving everyone means they too have the opportunity to learn valuable skills in time management.

Once a decision has been made I usually put all the entries into my personal calendar and on the family calendar on the wall for all to see. It is a good idea to put the family calendar in a central location as it will assist the whole family with time management and ensure no one double books activities.

Select a calendar format that works for your family – it could be a paper calendar with large squares or spaces for each family member. You could even colour code entries. White board calendars work very well too as they can be revised easily. For older children,  electronic calendars are a great idea as they can be easily synchronized between all family members.

Now I am off to put all of the above into practice to solve my own dilemma!

{photo credit: Oude School via photopin cc}

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  • Lisa Barton-Collins

    I am lucky so far in that my oldest child is out of school, and my youngest child has not yet started extra curricular activities (although my days are numbered here). It’s only my middle child who has Baseball at this stage. The younger two are keen on music, so ask me again in 6 months and I’m sure I will tell you how much I love my diary!

  • Trish

    A RAK gifted me a kikki calendar , now I have to use it . I am glad my boys are in the same soccer team and swim class. Wow – you must be busy sorting that out and still getting homework done and dinner on the table.

  • Tat

    We don’t do a whole lot of afterschool stuff, so it’s not too hard to organise, but even with the little we do – sometimes it’s exhausting (for me more so than for the kids). Rushing from swimming to dinner to homework… not fun!

  • Janet aka Middle Aged Mama

    We had a policy of only one extra curricular activity per child at a time. At one stage our two were learning an instrument (piano & guitar) at the same time, but usually they alternated. So one year or season Mr 19 played soccer; a couple of years later, Miss 17 played volleyball. That way it wasn’t too full on. I don’t know how people do it with more than 2 kids!

    Visiting today from #team IBOT xxx

  • themisscinders

    We don’t do after school activities living so far from town. I don’t think I’d be able to find enough hours in the day if we did though!

    I have to agree though, can’t go past the family calendar to keep everyone in the loop!

    MC #teamIBOT