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reading tiger

thinking out loud about parenting

I am having a slight twinge of middle-class parenting guilt at the fact that I don't have the kids enrolled in any enrichment classes. I'm thinking about it, but right now the budget is stretched so tight just to cover preschool. And also I don't drive. (Gotta work on that.)

I am assuaging this a bit by reminding myself that we do a lot of one-shot "adventures." Like visiting elusis's class on Tuesday, say. Which brought us past Pier 39, which is right next to the Aquarium by the Bay, which might be a fun outing on one of our remaining sunny days. Or visiting wild_irises' office, though if we go back for a return trip I'm afraid the kids may be disappointed to learn there will be no ice cream sandwiches waiting for them.

And we do art at home. We make carrot soup, sort of. We grow our garden. We go to the library. We meander up hidden staircases in our neighborhood and skip across the highway bridge. And the zoo.* And the botanical gardens. And I think there will be pumpkin patches and farm day and Dia de los Muertos and suchlike coming up. And I could be up for some public transportation day trips here and there too.

Still, I think some physical activity classes will be in order when I can make them happen.

(Also, I think I will compile a rainy-day activity list.)

* Simone: "Mommy, you wrote zoo. Why are you writing zoo? Why did you write Simone? Mom?"


I am fiercely protective of free time for kids. For two years the only non-preschool/school activity Max had was swimming once a week because in my book, learning to swim is non-negotiable. (And if something more important came up, I never felt bad about missing a lesson.)

Last year we added chess because it was during after care hours at school anyway.

This year I might add Spanish if it is during after care hours, and we've added Boy Scouts twice a month, though that's not a drop-off activity.

He wants to do karate, I want him to have piano lessons, but mostly I want him to have free time, so we're taking it easy. They will be in longer and longer school days. I say take it easy while you can.

Simone's comment reminded me of when Max's preschool teacher said that Max, at age 3, would be an early reader, and I said it was too late for that, seeing as my niece learned to read before 2, how could he be an early reader at 3?
I'm certainly wary of overscheduling, but on the other hand they've loved the drop-in classes we've taken before (music and yoga). And they are *so* physical. Walking everywhere helps!
We are also in the very entertaining stage where she writes a random string of letters and tells me she's made a word. Then, of course, I must pronounce it and tell her what it means.
Well, at least you're practicing to be on Says You.
Feeling a little of the same guilt, I signed 3 of my kids up for preschool gymnastics because it's in walking distance of our house and all 3 of my bigger kids can go. Neil sits and watches because he won't participate. Zinnia runs around because she can't follow complex directions well enough to do a whole obstacle course. All three of them melt down on the way home because they're way too tired to do an organized activity after school / preschool.

On the other hand, swim lessons during the summer and library story time on non-preschool days (they go 3x per week) work very well.
Simone: "Mommy, you wrote zoo. Why are you writing zoo? Why did you write Simone? Mom?"

Pardon me for having a good laugh here.

I believe the "writing things down you don't want kids to know about" trick became a complete failure with me fairly early as well, though cursive stumped me for a good bit.
I don't write in cursive. I am doomed.