When it comes to the pursuit of extra-curricular activities, parental anxieties run deep.
It’s not unusual for kids to do lessons such as ballet, martial arts, gymnastics, maths tutoring, football, tennis, piano, chess, drama or cricket, every afternoon after school. Some kids do multiple classes on the same day.
I know kids who don’t make it home before 7pm every night of the week. And then they’re doing more classes or formal sport on the weekend.
Despite research showing that homework for young kids does not deliver the imagined academic benefits, parents demand it from schools.
And then some insist their kids do even more work by setting their own homework and taking them to private maths and English classes. Even pre-school children are being sent to private tutors.
Extra-curricular activities have become an arms race. We fear that our children will miss out or be left behind. We don’t want our kid to be the only child who can’t do a cartwheel, shoot a ball into a hoop, play Bach’s English and French Suites on the piano or do multiplication in Prep.