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Sharing - Too many activities?

  1. #9
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Tuen Mun, Hong Kong

    Thanks ladies. All very well said. After reading your views here, I believe I shall just leave the Sat & Sun be our family time.. no more classes/extra activities for him...

    Another point is: If I were a full-time mum, I might not enrol him to any pre-nursery class. I am working full time so during the day my son is looked after by his granny and I just don't think his granny provides enough "stimulation" to him.

    Every weekend he is just so happy to be with me & my husband.. and I think that's what I want to see...So Monday morning is always a hard time for him to be back to his class..

  2. #10
    AmyH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Gold Coast

    I think that because you are working full time, and you feel that he is not getting enough stimulation by his grand mother then you are right to enrol him in the week day classes. It will probably be good to get him in to that routine before your new baby arrives.

    I am very lucky that I have the opportunity to stay at home with the children and If I were in your situation ,where you are working during the week, I would not do any classes during weekends.

    Take advantage of the fact that you can spend some quality time with him, just being together as a family.

  3. #11
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Hong Kong

    My daughter has just turned 2 and is attending pre nursery 5x a week. I plan to enrol her for some activities in the pm after her naps, not to 'make' her learn anything in specific, but that she enjoys being out and being with others. She always has fun at the little gym or the music class and looks forward to them :) weekend is family time, we take her swimming every sat morning (Harry Wright). She loves that too.

    thanka2 likes this.

  4. #12
    charade is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Thank you voices of sanity. I was recently asked if I am looking into classes for my kid (he is 8 months old!). I think the penchant in Hong Kong for sending kids from one class to another is ridiculous. Most of us grew up without all this and are doing very well in life, and probably had a happier childhood too.

    And then I read somewhere that to get into primary school (local EMI/DSS system), kids need a 'portfolio' of activities so suddenly I was wondering if I would be forced to send my kid to activities just so that he can have the necessary certificates to get him into school. That may be the only reason I would send my kid to activities (if the system forced me to) though my husband says he'd rather we just move out of Hong Kong then to our home country, which though "third world", at least would allow our kids a normal childhood.

    The person who suggested my kid go to a scheduled activity at 8 months said that he would get used to other kids. Well, he goes to the park and playroom in our building every day, and seems to already have 'friends'. Another weird thing in HK is that even if there are kids in the same park/estate playgroup, often it will be parents playing with kids instead of the kids playing with each other. But luckily, thanks to my helper I guess, my son knows some of the other kids in the park.

    Anyway, I'm glad there are parents who opt out of the 'activities' trend. Curious, does ESF require a portfolio of activities for kindie/primary?

    miran likes this.

  5. #13
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point

    In response to the original poster:

    I don't think that 5 days of nursery school is necessarily "too much" for a 2 year old. Perhaps for some 2 year olds it is, but it isn't for every 2 year old.

    My daughter (nearly 3) has been in school 5 days a week, 2 hrs a day, since she turned 2. She LOVES school and really enjoys it. At the time, I enrolled her because I was at the hospital with my 2nd daughter every day for practically the same hours. I figured she might as well be doing something instead of just sitting at home with our helper.

    In addition to school, she does swimming lessons. That's all at the moment - but we have done different trial classes and she seems to really like gymnastics, so we are thinking of enrolling her in that as well.

    She regularly has playdates before or after school, and really she is quite busy - but she LOVES being busy. She hates it when she is stuck at home for more than 24 hours at a time.

    Other kids I know are homebodies and would just LOVE to play at home all day every day. Perhaps for these kids having extracurricular activities would be unhealthy.

    YOU know your child best and you can decide for him/her whether it is beneficial to have lots of activities or few. One child may thrive with lots of activities and be bored at home. Another would thrive at home and would be overstimulated by too many activities.

    There's no right and wrong on this issue - weigh it up for yourself and decide what is best for your kid, but don't "judge" those who choose either extreme - to schedule every morning AND afternoon, or to do nothing at all... as long as they are doing it with the child's best interest at heart, then they're doing their best.

    AmyH, thanka2 and rebekah like this.

  6. #14
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Totally agree with some of the previous posters in that it's hard to say what is "too much" for each child. Some people think that by sending your child to pre-nursery at 2-years-old that you're overwhelming them but like Nicole said, my son LOVED pre-nursery and for me it wasn't anything about explicit learning for him. It was about letting him socialize and that's what he loves to do most. As soon as he was in the nursery doors he was off--off to play and explore and spend time with his friends.

    I never had these types of things when I was growing up, but then again, I also grew up with a fenced-in spacious backyard and as much dirt as I wanted to make mud pies, trees I could climb, a playhouse I could play in and neighborhood children a doorstep away to play with. My son has none of these in HK so I don't feel one bit "guilty" about "keeping him busy" with activities--if he's playing and enjoying himself. He also gets really grumpy if he has to stay at home for more than 24 hours at a time--for example when it's really typhoon weather or something.

    I don't think sending one's child to pre-nursery at 2-years-old is forcing them to "grow up too soon." It all depends on the type of setting of the pre-nursery. In the same way I don't think it's a bad idea to take your child for formal or informal playgroup meetups. As long as there is no pressure it's not a bad thing to keep your child busy. The bonus for my son is that he sleeps REALLY well at night and has since he was a toddler and was into all of these activities. He plays so much he wears himself out and even at nearly 4-years-old he takes a rather long nap in the afternoon and sleeps 12 hours at night. He's in kindergarten now and he is often already asleep on the bus when it returns after his 3 hours of school. Additionally, since he really loves sports (as does his dadda, who plays a lot of sports with him--he learned to kick a soccer ball when he was probably about a year old)...we sign him up for a lot of YMCA classes. He's taken gynastics (liked it), taekwondo (not so much), basketball (really liked it), soccer (really liked it) and is now taking swimming (really likes it). Sometimes his classes are on Saturdays but they only take up like an hour and we accompany him so it's a family activity. Sunday my son attends Sunday school with his dadda and has a father-son day with him.

    nicolejoy likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #15
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South District

    as a teacher myself and a full time mommy - i have succumbed to the fact that you need to work with the system and not against it...what i mean is that though i could teach many of the things my kid is learning in pre-nursery, if i were to not enroll her now, the chances of her getting into the school she is in now (and no, it's not one of those famous schools) the chances of her getting accepted would be much lower, as the amount of spaces open for enrollment decreases as you move up the system...that is why i am working with the system, rather than against (lack of a better word - but you get the meaning) it.

    lucky for me, schooling is a very positive experience for my daughter, who attends classes M-F for 3 hours / day and loves seeing her friends and teachers - something, i would be unable to provide her at home. so, i guess there are benefits to schooling at such a young age. she has 3 activities apart from school - swimming, soccer and gym (which is parent-child so it gives hubby a good chance to bond)...she's got gross motor issues and so these help her in that area...lucky again that she actually has fun going to them, or else i'd have to find another way to help her develop her gross motor skills.

    kids do need to be kids but as long as they find learning fun and enjoyable, i don't think you can really have too many activities - at least at this age...

  8. #16
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    just to clarify, i NEVER said that school 5X/week is too much. i said that overwhelming him with extra activities when he's already going to school 5X/week MIGHT be too much. he DOES need time to chill out and play with mummy and daddy, too!

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