Trying to get a handle on things here.
We've had the kids in gymnastics since September. They love it and I can see major improvements in their strength and balance. It's been a good thing really. But it has cost us over $700 for 3 sessions plus enrollment fees.
Then there's Music Together, which is just for Ian and I on Fridays while Gracie is at options. We did the fall session, the holiday mini session and now the winter session. That has cost us $360.
We also do 4-H but that is minimal really, $60 for both kids for the whole year.
So, approxiately $1120 on supplemental activities and it's only February. And we only have 2 kids!!!!!
Today was the last class of gymnastics for this session and I decided not to resign them up. I feel they are benefiting from it but just can't justify the cost again. Music ends in 2 weeks and I am also not re-registering for that. We've been taking that class on and off for the last 5 years and this last session was the only series we hadn't done so I don't feel to badly stopping that one.
Now they are asking for swimming lessons again, which is $160 for both kids to take a 2 week/4 classes a week session. Swimming is important though, right? I would even go so far as to say it's an important life skill. The cost is a pain but the drive even more so, our little town doesn't have a pool so it would be an hour round trip driving plus time at back to back classes. Does not sound fun to me, like at all.
I think I'm going to focus on the free right now. We are a one income family and I feel like our budget is constantly stressed, these classes add to that stress a lot. But are we bad home school parents if we don't get the kids out and about and doing activities? Granted Gracie does go to Options all day Friday (free via public school) and we have a weekly gathering with our home school group (usually free or fairly cheap), so they are out among the living at least twice a week. That's good, right? And the weather is getting nicer too, so we can get out to the park every now and then. Oh, and memberships! We have memberships to the zoo and 2 museums, so that's free entertainment and education.
I'm feeling a lot of guilt on this one. Why do kids activities have to cost so much anyway? What do you do to supplement what you do at home? Are extra activities necessary?