When you Google “Overscheduled children,” more than 200,000 results show up.If you’re not familiar with the term, it applies to children who are spending most of their waking hours in school and involved in organized activities (such as enrichment classes, sports teams, and lessons).
I’m proud to say that my son is not an “overscheduled” child.He’s a ten-year-old fifth-grader who goes to school until 2:30 pm (1:30 pm on Tuesdays), and then spends the rest of the afternoon at home doing homework, playing, and relaxing (except on Tuesdays when we pay a visit to the public library).
You can learn about our family’s decision not to have Ryan become an “overscheduled child” by clicking here and reading my recently published essay, “Why My Son Doesn’t Need ‘Enrichment’ Classes” at RoleReboot.
On the second day of this school year, my son’s teacher asked if I was available to help chaperone field trips.It was before school, a minute before the bell was to ring.There wasn’t time for me to give her a medical explanation so instead, I gave a quick reply, “It depends.”
How was I to tell my son’s fifth-grade teacher that just because she saw me every day (at drop-off and pick-up times) there were medical reasons why I couldn’t help on field trips.
During the second week of school, my son had his first field trip.A walking field trip.Again, his teacher asked if I was available to join their class.This time, I said, “No I’m sorry.I can’t do it.”
Which was true.It just wasn’t the whole story.And most of the time the whole story is much easier for me to write than it is to say.
Click here to read my personal essay (written when my son was a second grader) that explains “Why I Don’t Volunteer to Chaperone My Son’s Field Trips.”