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Entries in riding lessons (2)

Wednesday
Jan262011

Taking a Break from After School Activities

 How many extracurricular activities do your kids have going on at one time?

One?
Two?
Three?

How many of those activities are held more than once a week?

Riding lessons

I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, After school activities are meant to enhance childhood learning and exploration, not cause stress. When our family is overwhelmed by activities, it can make homework time challenging, dinner time challenging, and it can definitely challenge my no-yelling resolution.

Saying no to activities does not mean saying yes to mom guilt.

For the Twofer, they seem to have a limit of two activities.
I discovered this last year when we simply took a break from all but one activity, brownies, which only met every other week.

Here were the deciding factors for us:

The girls were enrolled in three activities- brownies, ballet, and riding lessons.

They started riding as soon as the farm would allow, age 5.

Horseback riding is not an inexpensive activity.

Most people who run horse farms have never heard of a twin discount.

Having twins is an expensive activity at the tender age of 6, can make you question just how much a 1st grader 'needs' that activity.

They loved it but we took a break.

I was worried they might be bored. I was worried they would miss horseback riding. I was worried I was forever damaging my children by actually telling them they couldn't do something {gasp}.

Who had I become? I tell my kids no all the time but because this decision was largely a financial one I felt guilty?

I realized my gut was right even if my brain wasn't entirely on board.
 

Taking an activity break can make life easier financially, and emotionally.


For us it meant an extra $1000 in our pocket (I told you riding is expensive between lessons, boots, helmets, and if you participate in shows). However taking a break from riding gave us more time to spend with each other. It eliminated the stress of having to rush through homework to get to an activity. It gave us more time to connect with each other at the dinner table. And mom didn't yell as much.


Here is what happened when we took the break.


As 'walkers' (we live close enough to walk to school) the girls had more opportunity for last-minute play dates with friends.

We rediscovered the local library weekly...something we had always done during preschool days.

We ran errands together and the girls often had time with The Mister.

We cooked dinner together.

Then we actually had time to sit down and enjoy it´╗┐.

Have you taken a break or cut back on your child's activity load? I'd love to hear how it went!

Janine

Friday
Jun192009

Twofer in their First Horse Show at Potomac Horse Center

M & L lookin' darn cute before their 1st horse show

Riding at Potomac Horse Center


As you may know, the Twofer have been taking riding lessons at Potomac Horse Center since September. It's a great place to start riding because they offer lessons as early as age 5 (Twofer have been asking since age 3!) and they are #1 in terms of safety and instruction. They offer a number of 'client shows' each year which are a great way to introduce kids to competition and showing horses.

Here are the details you need to know:
1. They were excited to sign up for the show...but then not very excited to participate the day of the show.
2. They looked darn cute in their white shirts and braids/pony tails
3. L got a 2nd Place and M got a 3rd Place!
4. This was their first ever competition...you know, where not everyone wins.

L- 2nd Place with Pumpkin

Here are the things you don't really need to know but I will tell you anyway
1. They did NOT put them in the same class (whew!)
2. I'm not sure they even knew it was a competition.
3. Afterward L was upset that s
he got 2nd place (the red ribbon) and not 6th place (the pink ribbon).
4. M handled the whole getting third while her sister got a 2nd place really, really, really well.
M - 3rd Place with Minnie

First competition = food for my neuroses


The neurotic me was thinking this could be a nightmare. The logical me realized this is something they have to learn NOW. Not everyone wins. Not everyone gets the same color ribbon. Some days you will perform better than other days. But going out there and having fun DOES matter because in the end, that's what you take home - a smile.

Here's a short video showing them hanging with their friend Jenna before their events, and then L walking and M trotting.

You might also like:
First we learn to ride a horse, then a bike

Feeling proud,
Janine