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Lesson Learned

by Lori Sciame | March 9th, 2012 | Elementary

Piano lessons, dance lessons, karate lessons, gymnastics lessons…the list goes on and on.  If you are the parent of an elementary age child, you fully understand the sheer amount of lessons available for your son or daughter to participate in. Sometimes these lessons can be costly, and sometimes they are free, but in all cases they take time and energy – both on your child’s part and on your part.

Where do you draw the line?

First, understand that your child can’t do everything.  There are only so many days in a week and so many hours in a day; therefore, your child should not be overscheduled with these types of commitments.  Children benefit more from participating in fewer activities, rather than doing too much and not enjoying any of it. Let this fact help guide you in your decision on how many activities to allow your child to take part in.

Next, realize that costs will increase as your child grows older for certain types of lessons (and surrounding activities), including dance and hockey.  Because of this, you should think twice before signing up for lessons that can become very expensive down the road.  Maybe this isn’t a concern for you, but for many parents, the economy can dictate which lesson types his or her child can participate in.

Another concern centers on the amount of practice time involved outside of lesson time.  For instance, if you child wants to take piano lessons, realize that he will have to practice each day to improve his skills. Similarly, if your daughter wants to learn ballet, she will need to rehearse more than once a week.  As you can see, not only the actual lesson time is involved, practice time can eat up a large portion of your child’s time as well.

Finally, even if your child has taken piano for five years, if he or she loses interest and quits practicing, you may want to consider stopping the lessons altogether. There is nothing to be gained from forcing a child to continue to try to learn a skill once he or she no longer enjoys the activity. Parents want the best for their children, and lessons to build skills are no exception.  Having a child learn how to dance, kick box, and even speak Japanese will only build his or her self-esteem and knowledge base; however, remember that sometimes you will need to draw the line on these lessons.

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