Act 121

Take the season off.

If you have kids, as I do, you know that after school activities can take a serious chunk of your disposal income and leisure time.

While I sincerely appreciate the work of the volunteer coaches and organizations that manage community sports, I made a decision this spring to take the season off.

Normally, signing up for soccer and/or lacrosse would mean two evening practices and most of Saturday on the go. It’s good fun and good exercise – but it comes at a cost – registration, transportation, snacks and time away from home.

I feel, to a great extent, that we over schedule our kids. So I scaled back to one activity – piano. They don’t learn it at school, so I’ll provide it for them. Music training helps with math, believe it or not.

What’s more, studies show that children need more unstructured play. My kids are just as happy going for a bike ride or jumping on the neighbour’s trampoline. We’ll try it for a season. Save the money and spend the time instead. Before I know it, they’ll be grown ups. I want to make the most of their leisure time – and sometimes, that just means time together.