Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Activity Hustle and Bustle

I cannot bear to feel that my days are void of down time. Yet I always feel busy. This is probably due to the four children who are always with me rather than scheduled activities, but nonetheless, I crave more free time. As such, I try to limit our activity schedule. At the same time, I want the girls to have the opportunity to try new things and make friends. Here is what we have on our plate for the fall:

  • Music Lessons - DD9 (piano), DD7 (violin) & DD6 (piano), 1 x week
  • Swim Team - all DDs, 3 x week
  • Girl Scouts - all DDs, 2 x month
  • Various library programs - all DDs, 2-3 x month
  • Lego Club - all DDs, 1 x month
  • Homeschool Rollerskating - all DDs, 1 x month
  • Poetry Jam - all DDs, 1 x month
  • Various operas, plays, ballets, etc. - all DDs, ~1 x month (typically weekends as a family)

(Hmmm.... it looks busier when written in list form than on the calendar! Probably because most of these are only 1 or 2 times per month...)


  1. I like your list--it's a good list!
    Can I ask? How did you go about finding music lessons?

  2. Thanks!
    Ah, music - it started two years ago. We started at the local university's program (they offer lessons through their dept of music) and I think it was very good. However, we opted (for financial reasons) to have a student teacher (versus faculty staff) and the schedule had to change every time her class schedule changed. Plus I wanted to have more than one of my girls go at a time and it was virutally impossible to get two student teachers with the same openings. Plus it was a bit of a drive (although this is hard to avoid based on my rurual location). I knew it was time for a change.

    I didn't want someone coming to the house b/c our house it would be too hard with so many kids. I started visiting all the stores and studios (by searching via yellow pages and google) and I asked around to people I know. I ended up choosing the studio I did b/c I liked (a) that we could have multiple lessons at the same time (b) the teachers had great CVs and I clicked with their personalities (the piano teacher is actually a homeschooler herself).

    I found that the cost of music lessons was basically the same no matter where we went, but one big draw for me of the studio we are at is that it's monthly whereas the University and the other studios I looked at asked for either a semester upfront or the entire year. Yikes! I would ask/negotiate this if you can't find a month-to-month situation near you.

    I did find one teacher in our neighborhood, but I didn't feel comfortable. She teaches out her home and she is extremely religious - she has the kids do religious pieces, etc. Not a good fit.

    I may not have answered your question right - let me know if there is anything specific! It wasn't an easy search b/c of where we live. If I were willing to drive to the city for lessons I'd have more options - as it is, I tried to keep the options to 20 minutes or less, and I ended up choosing the store "in town" (the only store, but I'm glad there is a music store in our town - pleasantly surprised).