Friday, January 20, 2012

10 Sips for the Weekend: 10 Children's Classes to give a try

ice skating, children's classes, kids classes, yoga, soccer, art class, swimming class

After Luke was born, as soon as I had mastered the changing, feeding and life without sleep schedule, I moved to the next step. Finding children's classes for Luke to attend. Because aren't kids supposed to be speaking a few Mandarin words by two years old? Or playing an instrument by the age of 3? Or being part of the swim team by four? Luke was my first and I wanted to do it right.

So at three months of age, as soon as he could spend more than an hour awake during the day, I dragged him to story time at the Library. He was probably the best listener in the room as the other kids, already able to crawl or walk, had a big interest in keep moving. He would just sit there, wide eyes, staring at the story lady. I felt like the best mom ever, introducing my son to literature at such a young age!

Many other classes followed, some he loved, some he could not care less, some he hated and cried. More than anything, the classes taught me. They taught me to slow down, enjoy the moment, and not to speed into the future, or day dream about his college graduation. They also taught me that each child is unique and any class should be there to enhance a treat, not to traumatize, to force or to please the parent.

So here are 10 classes that Luke attended during his lifetime and his reaction to each one.

  1. Library Story Time: Besides the first one he took as an infant, we tried again when he was about 2 years old, but at that time his legs were already trained in running. The door was his goal, and he kept trying to escape. After a few times, I just gave up!
  2. Swim Class: The first time Luke attended it, he was too young to assimilate anything. So, we had fun during the class, but I doubt that he learned anything from those first days. 
  3. Soccer Class: Luke was 3 when we tried this one. He would hate the first half of the class and love the last half! I guess it took him a while to understand how to follow orders and what to do with the ball. We may go back to this one in the Summer and maybe now that he is older, he will have a better time.
  4. Art Class: This class was very open and flexible, outside at a park, and more play oriented than art oriented. Because the art area was always very crowded, Luke never enjoyed the craft making, he just had fun with the other play activities.
  5. Music Class: I would say that from all the classes, this was his favorite. He just flourished inside the classroom. He was completely comfortable and having a great time. The one he attended was about learning how to play the Ukulele. He felt like a rock star!
  6. Yoga Class: This was a drop off class, so I was just present during the first few minutes. According to his later report he did not like the soft music, the feet massage (or whatever happened in there) and the smell in the room. I was hoping he would like the class and learn how to relax, but apparently not his thing. 
  7. Movement Class: Another sample class, like the Yoga Class, we went for a trial. It was a Movement Class for boys to teach coordination, movement and focus. Luke is usually a very outgoing child but for some reason he got extremely shy and did not want to leave my side. Slowly he started to warm up towards the end and to join the other boys, but he did more for pear pressure than for pleasure. 
  8. Ice Skating: This happened two weeks ago, it was not a class, we just went as a family and tried to teach him how to ice skate. Well, my husband tried to teach him, as I have yet to learn!! I felt his pain, as I was also trying to balance my body! At the end he was enjoying it, and I had also lost my fear, two points up!
  9. Cooking Class: He attended a free trial this week and told me that he enjoyed it. I am still deciding if he will join it for the full term or not, as he said he would rather have music class again. I guess his love will always be music!
  10. Sibling Class: I thought I would add this daily learning as a class, even though it is free (if you don't count all the extra diapers!) and without any exit in sight! Luke has daily classes with Mark on sharing, learning how to deal with a toddler and being patient when his towers get destroyed. To have a sibling is a daily reminder that the world out there is cruel, hard and competitive. And yet, there is also love, friendship and lots of laughing together. 

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