The After School Sign-Up Race

Why After School Programs Are Important

But Hard on Working Parents to Coordinate

This is the last in a 5 Tips Series, looking at the positive role Lead Dads can play when it comes to kids and sports. The first tip looked at the cost of kids’ sportsThe second tip talked about scholarship hopes. And last week’s talked about the benefits of dads coaching kids’ sports with some humility. The fourth talked about the value of sportsmanship over all other athletic lessons. This week we’re looking at what Dads can do with activities for kids. 

I live by my calendar, to my joy and other people’s consternation.

And never do I live by it more than at the start of a school year. What my kids want to do after school gets set for the fall, if not for the whole year.

They have core activities they want to do – drama, art, swimming, and horseback riding – and also one-offs like lacrosse training or a drawing class.

Midsummer we sat with our three daughters for a game of after-school jenga – what did they want to do, what could we get them to and from, and what worked with everyone’s schedules.

No easy task. Did I mention that they’re at three different schools this year with three different bus schedules and school start and end times? Oh, and they have no after-school interests that overlap!

Yet the various groups that sponsor these after-school activities could be my biggest frustration. I want to get the activities my daughters want to do but it’s not that easy.

The various groups all have different ways to sign-up. Some by lottery. Some just sign and go. Others so loosey-goosey with when you’re in or not that they make signing up for other activities even more difficult.

And then there are the type-A groups, the few that use a system akin to a Black Friday sale, the ones where people end up being stampeded. It’s like, 8am. Tuesday. First 20 get in. Everyone else has to explain to their kids their ineptitude at navigating an internet browser with skill.

Not sure what this says about me, but these Game of Thrones style, live-or-die sign-ups – well, I prefer them. (Tell me I’m not alone for having dozens of messages on my calendar to know when to sign up for kid things.)

But here’s my question: Isn’t there a better way to do this? I don’t have it but I’d like to hear how other Lead Dads figure out the juggling.

Please let me know below.

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