How do YOU keep your child balanced between school and activities?
It's hard enough to find family time with children who are good students and participants in multiple activities?
It is very hard to keep the balance. I think the trick is in not letting the child get overloaded in the first place. I raised four children so I had to keep a really tight and functioning schedule to accommodate them all. In our household, we had a hierarchy of priorities with regard to school and after school activities. The number one position was school attendance and completion of homework. Second on the scale was after school activities. Each child was "awarded" one after school activity that they were entitled to attend (assuming they attended school and completed their homework that day). Every child was aware of each others activities and was able to get involved in a secondary activity, however, they had to be cognizant of the time and effort involved with the other child's activity. If a secondary activity could be fit into the schedule, then there was no problem. On the other hand, if the secondary activity interfered with another child's activity, then the secondary activity would either have to be deleted from the schedule, or the child would have to find his or her own way to attend the activity. Somehow, it all worked out with carpools and all the other parents who worked together to help each other out. I'd have to say that when you have multiple children or multiple activities, it really helps to have a cooperative group of like-minded parents who work together to make it all come together.
I encourage my children to pursue their natural interests and support them in that as much as I encourage them to be thorough in their school work. So far I have not had any problems. My kids all do very well in their academics and they are involved in activities that do not take away from the other important things they have to do. If activities start taking away from school work or other important things then it is time to sit down and make an assessment to see if such an activity should be pursued at the expense of other things. For the first two teenagers, it has worked well, I am yet to see how it works out with two younger ones.
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