20 Sept 2016

After School Clubs - Year One - Are they worth it?

Bubba has just started in Year 1 and it has been a slightly rocky start for her, she is finding the transition from reception harder than I thought she would (isn't that always the way!). We have tears every morning before school now and although she goes in, it's with a slight push and false smiles from me and her dad, she isn't taking well to the less play/more work balance.

So I was unsure whether to sign her up for after school clubs but when I got the letter I got really excited as gymnastics was on the list - she loves anything to do with leaping around, balancing and dancing...so for me it was a natural fit (plus the fact that she has such poise and a ram rod straight back...I could see us all off to the Olympics in years to come...tiger mom...me...nooooo!).

I also signed her up for ballet in the lunch time - she has also been having problems in the playground with her little friends, they are finding it hard muddling through as a three and often one of them gets left to play on her own (usually Bubba). So I thought getting her out of that situation one lunch time a week would be good for her and going back to the prancing and dancing aspect - this is a good fit again.

All was well...except Bubba hasn't bought in to my 'let's do some clubs' vibe and although initially happy for gymnastics she then changed her mind the night before to a definable 'NO'. With some slight coaxing and the promise of a cuddly toy thingy when she returned home having done the class, she relented. It was for an hour after school in the school gym and for myself and cub it was bliss...we didn't have to rush and do the calamity of the school run and for an extra hour there was no fight for tv rights, something to eat, general moaning at me...it was stress free. I did clock watch and miss all of the above (isn't that always the way!) and went a little early to pick her up, she came out with a big smile - I think mainly due to the fact she was getting a cuddly toy but I asked if she'd had fun - I got a big yes and asked if she wanted to go again next week?

"It was fun mummy but no thank you, I don't want to go again"

"But honey you said it was fun...sure you don't want to learn more?"

"No mummy, you said if I tried it and decided I didn't want to go back then I didn't have to!"

So that's where we are at, I'm not sure whether to push her to go one more time or leave her be and not try again. We've still got the ballet class to overcome and I'm sure I'll have a fight on my hands for that one too as she wasn't even keen on doing it.

My main worry is...is it worth pursuing or should I leave her happily without going to clubs, does it make any difference to how she grows up? I'm worried if she stops going and then suddenly decides she wants to go...we've missed the boat and she'll have to wait ages (there are lots of waiting lists at local gymnastics classes). Will she become to insular and introspective...very like me!

I hated going to clubs when I was a child and didn't go to any without a fight but I have memories for Brownies and Lamp lighters that are good and as an adult I'm glad I had those experiences...although my mum often had to cajole me into going.

So the really big question for me is...who am I doing it for? For me to have some peace and to feel smug that she is learning something new. For her to broaden her horizons and potentially meet new people.

Does any of that really matter? Should I leave it this year and try again next year?

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