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On preschooler activities and quitting

You may remember I was writing that my preschooler was losing interest in all of her extracurricular activities, in particular gymnastics and dance.

I was planning to have two recitals this year – one in the dance studio through Masha’s school, and the other through a separate dance studio Masha was attending the entire year. My preschooler had different plans. She quit one of the dance studios a couple of months ago leaving me with a useless hundred-dollar-worth dance costume. She quit gymnastics too. Not that it concerns me much – she is entitled to make her own decisions which classes she wants to go to.

Even though I still cannot understand why she quit those, you cannot imaging how liberating it is not to have a bunch of activities lined up on the weekend, not rush anywhere early on a Saturday morning, not to pack different activities bags on a Friday night.

So, here I am, proud of my Ballerina and very happy with the one recital we had this year in her school (pictures below). Plus, I took her to a recital her friend had in a large Performance center. She enjoyed watching other girls dance on the stage as much as her own recital.

And here are the pictures from her recital this May:

Masha (on the right) with her friend:

Recital in school:

Posing after the performance:

Here is what I learned from all our adventures:

If kids like to dance and do summersaults, it does not mean they have to be enrolled in a dance class or gymnastics. Because as opposed to spontaneous dancing at home, participation in class requires ability to listen, focus, and follow directions. Moreover, participation in class is HARD work. And if my kids are not ready or just too tired after school, maybe we will just keep dancing at home for now.

Here is my checklist which I will use next time I enroll my kids in any activities:

  • Read the withdrawal policy (will I have to pay a $300 withdrawal fee, or pay for three more months after my child quits?)
  • Compare rates on an hour bases (Is 20 dollars per 30 minute or an hour long class?)
  • Check what the costume and recital fees are.
  • Check which holidays does the studio observe? Do they take 2 week long vacation in December and May, but I have to pay a full month fee?

Are you planning any activities for your kids this summer?

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