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Extracurricular Activities (or: the dilemma on how to fill up your kids' days)

Are you there too? Trying to put together that giant puzzle called "extracurricular activities " for your child, or even worse, children? How on earth can he do music class in the 5th and swim class in the 15th, on THE SAME DAY?

How many activities can one fit into one Wednesday afternoon or Saturday morning. Do we really want to screw up our weekend, screw up EVERY Saturday for the near future? Thinking about rushing them across town, right after school, when they should be doing their homework. Or heck - play!! But no, we need them to excel in a sport, play an instrument and of course, master their "other" language.

But how to fit it all in? There are only seven days of the week! And school is in session until the late afternoon. We should just give up and make the week consist of ten days instead. Nobody REALLY believes that God created earth in seven days anyway.

Then you have an epiphany. You think you figured it all out. If you move soccer to Mondays and tennis to Wednesday lunch you might just be able to pull of two music classes, solphege and choir, in one Friday night. Hurray your sanity is safe.

However you meet your next door neighbour, who tells you about this EXCELLENT art class, with a teacher who studied under Monet and there is only one spot left. But you have to bump swim class. Your husband will never let you bump swim class. Knowing how to swim is ESSENTIAL. What if your school goes to the public pool to teach the kids to swim and your kid DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO SWIM. And gets poked with that wooden stick swim instructors use. And yelled at.

What are we going to do with ourselves? How are you surviving? And I'm not even talking about the COMPETITION there sometimes it to get a spot; at the conservatoire, the multisport class or musical acting course. Watch out for e-mail alerts, register online RIGHT when registrations open up, register to a LOTTERY to POSSIBLY earn a spot later. To then stand in line with others, hoping the time slot will fit into your already complex puzzle of madness.

I wish you all the best, fellow mamas, papas, grandmas and granddads (yes those sometimes have a say in this jungle too). Viva Vacances!


The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Message.

1 Comment

Laura  Guillaumin
Laura Guillaumin
Oct 28, 2023

Great blog post and it’s so true! I loved the many activities for my kids and was impressed by the array offered within Paris. What I hated was the homework load in French public schools? I was one of the few anti-homework parents at my school.

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