If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument...

Posted by: ultramarina

If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 06:00 AM

...or similar, and loves it, how much time per week do you permit/encourage him or her to devote to it? I include practice, play, lessons, etc.

Age would be helpful here as well as reasoning.
Posted by: NotSoGifted

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 07:06 AM

My kids are not gifted at sports, but they do play them. My two older ones play softball. Last year, when they were both in high school, they played for school and on a travel team (well, different travel teams in different organizations, which just makes schedules tough).

In the late spring, when both are going on, they would have HS practice and/or games 2 hours a day, M-F. Travel would be 1 or 2 practices a week, 2 hours each. Travel involves tournaments on the weekends, which means a minimum of 4 games. It is an all day Saturday thing, then hopefully all day Sunday (single elimination, keep winning and keep playing).

So in late spring, they probably practice anywhere from 10-15 hours a week, and play 5-8 games per week.

Winter is easier, usually just 3 or 4 practices (indoors) a week. And maybe a one hour batting lesson.

I will also say that this is a minimum for the sport. Some kids devote a lot more time to it.

Middle kid also plays volleyball. I'm not going to count those hours too because she no longer plays club, just HS.
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 07:06 AM

DS13 is a wonderful musician, he probably puts in 15 hours a week for lessons, practices, ensembles, theory and composition work, etc. In terms of academics, he is not learning much at school so he does lots of academic stuff at home--online courses and projects, so this makes his day very uneven--too relaxed at school and a lot to do at home. He has chosen a high school that is academically strong (the strongest in our area) so we hope he will actually do some solid academics in school in high school, and this will enable him to keep all the music studies (and all the other community affairs and volunteering activities that he is involved in).

DS9 is also a wonderful musician, she puts in about 10-15 hours a week. She is also a little actress, doing theatre work maybe 3-4 months a year. Within those 3-4 months, the time she spends on theatre is probably 150 hours. Things might change when she goes to middle school and there is more academic work--right now she hardly needs time for the homework from school and she is a few grade levels ahead anyways, so we let her spend as much time as she wants/needs on music and theatre.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 08:23 AM

DD has done three things that seriously.

1. Dogging, as Jon puts it. This one is year-round, and it's a minimum of 6 hours a week, but during the "season" it's a lot more time than that. If she's competing in freestyle and agility as well as obedience and conformation showmanship, then she bumps up the time commitment to about 10 hours a week-- mostly in short bursts, since a dog really can only train hard for maybe 45 minutes at a shot. DD also builds a partnership with her dogs-- the current model, a herder, goes running with her every morning for an hour. That's not training time, that's just "being with me" time for the dog, though DD also works with her (but more subtly). DD started doing this when she was about ten years old. She's put more time into it as she's gotten older-- she also has grooming-intensive dogs, so that's another demand. We do have to remind her about the grooming, which neither she nor the dogs enjoy. wink

2. Rifle-- this is 6-10 hours a week. This is range time.

3. Piano-- at (almost) six, she began formal lessons. Practice time was LIMITED at that point to 6 hours a week, and never more than 30 minutes at a time-- in order to protect her from over-use injuries to her hands.

Now at 14, she SHOULD probably practice about 14 hours a week, but doesn't. More like 5-7 hours weekly, and a lot of that is in short sessions (15min) and is improvisational and "just playing" so not what I'd consider "practicing." I've posted about her love-hate relationship with piano. It tweaks her perfectionistic streak, and she wants to be "perfect" but also wants to eliminate the stimulus that says she IS NOT perfect (ergo-- stopping the inputs that she gets when she sits down and plays).


None of those things is permitted to interfere with the core things that DD finds personal passions--

community service/volunteering
and
reading.

She regulates it pretty well on her own, truthfully.
Posted by: polarbear

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 09:03 AM

One of our kids is passionate about a sport - I wouldn't say they are gifted, but it's what she loves. She's on a team and practices 4 nights per week, for 3+ hours each night, as well as competing on weekends during the competition season. This isn't the only sport she is involved in either - she dances and is in her school band. Plus she is 2e and has tutoring associated with her challenges after school. She does her school work on Sundays mostly. It's an insanely busy schedule from *my* perspective but it fits her personality perfectly and gives her a really important outlet for dealing with life's frustrations, such as wishing math class was harder and more interesting and also being frustrated because she's challenged with her extra "e".

Both of my other kids have hobbies and sports they enjoy, but neither one is driven to put so much time into it that I'd think twice about it.
polarbear
Posted by: Sweetie

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 09:08 AM

14 year old started at 10 club swimming will add high school swimming plus club in the fall.

His participation has grown over the years.

Age 10....up to 4 days a week one hour plus once a month meets we started by only doing one day of the meets. Sometimes missed practice for homework/school related activities.

Age 11...up to 5 days a week, 1.5 hour practices, sometimes missed practices for homework/school. Once a month meets sometimes doing one day sometimes two.

Age 12...up to 6 days a week 2 hours a day including half hour of dry land training. Once a month meets two days at the meets.

Age 13-14...6 days/2.5 hours a day which includes 1/2 hour of dry lands. Up to two meets a month and sometimes three days of meet sometimes two.

During summer last summer he trained with 3days a week two a day practices.

During high school he will continue to train with the club and just practice a bit with the high school team. The high school coach is okay with that because the club swimmers run over the new to swimming high school kids and the club swimmers get longer training sets with the club that the new swimmers on the high school team couldn't handle.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 09:13 AM

Thanks for the input so far. This is regarding DS6 (in K). He would like to increase the time he spends on chess. There are several levels of commitment at his school--short chess club, longer chess club, and a more serious chess club for competitors. He has done the first and second this year, but is pushing for all 3. That would be three afternoons per week (I think about 7 hours? might actually be more 8-9, since one day is very long) plus occasional weekends, though I don't think we HAVE to do all those (I will inquire). He would also like lessons with a coach. A lot of this desire is coming from his exposure to other children who do all these things...but most of these children are significantly older.

DS absolutely has talent and potential in this area, but I feel a little concerned about a child of his age spending so much time on something like this. At the same time, I don't really know what kids who are seriously committed to a sport/instrument do at his age, since DD has never wanted to get "into" something in this way and we don't tend to run in those circles.

The ultra-competitive aspect of chess does concern me a little. DS has gotten more "into" this part of it recently. Much is expected of him by his coaches. We had one hard tournament where there were tears and he took one loss hard. But he really wanted to come back to the next one even after I was very clear that we did not care at all if we did so or not. He handled loss much better at that one (although it was a "better" loss). He is currently mad at us for not taking him to various regional and state tournaments in the offing. Again, these have been talked up at his club, so to some extent he just feels left out.
Posted by: lilswee

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 09:34 AM

My 9yo DD is "dogging" @ 3 hrs per week and maybe some weekend activities (with me) as well along with Piano (@ 4-5 hours per week including practice). Also, soccer in the Fall depending on the timing of practice it may delay the dog training which is probably 4-5 hours a week. I don't know that she's gifted at any of them but she likes to try things and I think it's OK to encourage that as long as you aren't driving yourself nuts with schedules (which only you can decide what works).

My 13 yo tried soccer and guitar at about the same frequency but really didn't find her passion until she started band. She now spends a lot of time on practicing that including during school since she has band for study hall. She gets lots of downtime which has been filled with recreational reading lately....
Posted by: Dude

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 09:36 AM

Our DD9 is something of an activity butterfly. She doesn't wholeheartedly commit to anything, but she always has different things going on. Currently it's down to gymnastics and Girl Scouts, but she was in a couple of plays over the last three months. She's taking a break from theater and plans to drop Girl Scouts soon. She has expressed an interest in beginning piano lessons (she had previously taken guitar) and has decided to jump back into soccer this year, after having taken the previous year off.

Our DD was 6 when she started pushing to have more activities, just like your DS is doing now. We warned her that it might be too much, but we did enroll her in enough things that she had one activity a day for at least an hour 6 days a week. It was very easy to let her have that experience, let her learn from it, and then work with her in transitioning to a lighter schedule. Armed with this experience, she largely self-regulates (as you can see above in her method of dropping things before adding), and we let her lead in this within our boundaries of respecting time conflicts, higher priorities, and price limits.
Posted by: Cecilia

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 09:39 AM

Hmmm…I never really thought about the time put in until you asked the question! My son's sport (baseball - he's 15 - wants to play in college) is very competitive where we live, so the time dedicated is not out of the ordinary.

So here's what I came up with -
Spring (school ball) - Practice/working out - 30 hours/week with games totaling around 20 hours/week.

Fall/Winter (traveling national team) - Commuting/practice/working out - 26 or so hours a week. He also travels to at least 4 out of state tournaments a year, including Puerto Rico.

Summer (VFW team) - Practice/ working out - 20 hours a week with games around 25 hours a week.

smile
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 09:46 AM

I guess my DD10 probably does about 5-6 hours of activities per week (so, I guess about what your DD does, Dude). For her, that's plenty--she will say as much. They're all different, and none of them have much intensity (two do involve performance, but it is low key and she isn't competing in any way). It's the single focus on one competitive thing here (for a little guy) that I wonder about here for DS. He does actually have some interest in sports, too, and I feel like a heavy chess schedule kind of precludes that.
Posted by: polarbear

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 09:52 AM

ultra, my dd who I mentioned above could have easily handled that type of time commitment in K, as well as the competition aspect. I think so much depends on the personality of the child - my dd is passionate about whatever she's passionate about and she throws her full self into it. She also likes to be busy, and she likes to compete. OTOH, not placing in a competition also doesn't bother her, she just goes from wherever she lands and works to improve.

One way to look at it might be, if you worked (I am not sure if you do? this is just a hypothetical example)... but if a parent works during the day, they often have to leave their child at after-school care for 2 or more hours until they can pick them up. It's probably not the ideal thing for some kids, but most kids I know handle that a-ok, even in K-1. Is spending 3 days a week after school playing organized chess that much different in terms of time out of a child's week? The main difference would be it's organized and focused and a learning experience... plus most likely a lot of fun for your ds smile So from that perspective, I wouldn't worry too much about it. When I *would* worry is if it became so all-consuming that he's practicing constantly at home and refusing to do other things like play/exercise/enjoy just hanging out with your family etc. (and... I wouldn't spring for anything that financially is a strain either.. which I have no idea about chess, but sports can get to be pricey as kids get more involved).

Best wishes,

polarbear
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 10:08 AM

I work half-time. Yes, I see your POV in terms of the comparison to an after school program. It's just very...single-minded?

Quote:
When I *would* worry is if it became so all-consuming that he's practicing constantly at home and refusing to do other things like play/exercise/enjoy just hanging out with your family etc.


Frankly, yes, this is a bit of an issue. We're an outdoorsy family, and these days there is a conflict between DS wanting to stay inside and play chess (and other games--he is very game-focused, so it's not just chess) and the rest of us wanting to hike and so on. I mean, it's not a major issue, and it may have been this way anyway due to him being slightly different in his preferences.

Cost is also an issue. Club is not expensive; coaching can be, depending. Travel to state/national tournaments can of course be very expensive.
Posted by: GF2

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 10:27 AM

Basketball (ages 9-11): 2 hours/day individual practice + 6 hours/week games/team practice

Swimming (ages 12-16): 14 hours/week team practice + meets + dry land training (another 4 hours/week)

Piano (ages 8-10): 30-45 min practice per day plus weekly lesson

Two musical instruments (HS level): 25 hours/week (2.5 hours daily practice; orchestra, theory, two lessons per instrument per week, additional lessons for reed-making, etc.)
Posted by: polarbear

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 10:32 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
I
Quote:
When I *would* worry is if it became so all-consuming that he's practicing constantly at home and refusing to do other things like play/exercise/enjoy just hanging out with your family etc.


Frankly, yes, this is a bit of an issue. We're an outdoorsy family, and these days there is a conflict between DS wanting to stay inside and play chess (and other games--he is very game-focused, so it's not just chess) and the rest of us wanting to hike and so on. I mean, it's not a major issue, and it may have been this way anyway due to him being slightly different in his preferences.


The one thing I do *not* like about my dd's being in a sport after school 4 days per week is it has changed the dynamics of family time after school. In some ways it's been good for our family - my older kids come home and do their homework and have time to just hang out. There's less chaos with that third child out of the house wink OTOH, it plays complete havoc with our "family" dinner, which was important to me. We either have to let it go until late (which doesn't work for anyone else in the family - we would starve *plus* stay up too late after eating) and dd doesn't have anytime to just hang with her siblings during those days. Plus my dh either stays late at work so he can pick her up on the way home (which means less dad time for our other kids at night), or one of us has to leave home during after-dinner prime-time to pick her up, again, less parent time for the other kids. Looking at any one night, it doesn't seem like too big of a deal, but the many nights do add up.

I also like to get my kids outdoor to hike/bike/play/whatever. I think exercise is really important too. If my dd wasn't in an active sport, I'd probably not let her devote so much time to it each night.

We've also had to talk finances (in general, not specifics) with our dd. She would like to participate in competitive dancing, and we just can't afford either the travel or the private (extra) lessons that would be a part of it. Or the costumes lol! It wasn't an all-or-nothing type of thing, we just explained that (whatever) cost $, and we had so much $ per child we could spend on activities, and that meant we all had to make choices. We let her choose - she could have opted out of her 4-night-a-week sport entirely and focused on dance, and participated up to a certain point and that would have been ok with us, but she made the choice not to get more involved with dance, understanding that we just don't have the $ to go "all in".

polarbear
Posted by: binip

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 10:34 AM

At my kids' age we only have an hour a week for each in lessons but they practice on their own. They both practice their instruments for about 5 hours per week including the lesson. Their teacher has said both of them have an exceptional capacity for melody and rhythm.

For sport, the little one has been said to be very advanced in martial arts--she is a lefty and has a lot of those typical lefty traits. However, she doesn't practice at all so it's a mere 2 hours a week.

I'm sure if I were a SAHP they'd do more because they'd come home and have "free time" after school.

GF2 Do you homeschool or are you guys just incredibly well-organized?
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 10:54 AM

I'm really surprised at the large numbers here. Many of your kids are spending longer on a single activity than the number of waking non-school non-travelling hours my kid has in total!

DS10 spends about 7 or 8 hours a week between 2 instruments, including lessons, ensemble and time snatched in school breaks. Not sure I'd describe him as really committed in the sense meant here; he's keen and conscientious and good for his age (but not the way he is in maths), but not straining to spend all the time he can on music; he still wants time for maths, computing, and games!

FWIW, I think if ultramarina's son were mine, I'd allow him to do the amount of chess he's asking for to the extent that its impact on other family members was acceptable, but I'd try really, really hard not to get invested in his success myself, and not to assume he'd want to do X this year because he was doing it last year - make sure the way is clear for other interests to rise up if they will.
Posted by: Zen Scanner

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 11:04 AM

As a focus, it sounds like 15hr/week is the bottom end of "dedicated" whether sport, music, or other. Which from age 5 to 18 ends up near 10,000 hours of practice.

My rough estimate of 3 hours a day on weekends, 1.5 hrs a night, and 1hr a day in class has DS8 at 18.5 hours a week doing math. Since the home part is self-directed, it's interesting to see that range line up from his own instincts. This year with math at school closer towards his level, his home time has dropped a bit.
Posted by: Dude

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 11:14 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
I guess my DD10 probably does about 5-6 hours of activities per week (so, I guess about what your DD does, Dude).


On average, yeah, with some significant fluctuations. She can easily get to 10-15 hours in a week with just theater alone, in the final run-up to a performance, but that does temporarily crowd out some of the other activities. Right now she's at only about 1.5 hours a week, as she waits for those other activities to ramp up. We haven't identified a piano teacher for her yet, and soccer doesn't start until around August.

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
It's the single focus on one competitive thing here (for a little guy) that I wonder about here for DS. He does actually have some interest in sports, too, and I feel like a heavy chess schedule kind of precludes that.


Yeah, I totally get your concern there. We have always insisted that at least one of DD's activities has to be an athletic one, for health reasons. This policy has proven itself to be good for her in other ways as well.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 11:22 AM

Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
I'm really surprised at the large numbers here. Many of your kids are spending longer on a single activity than the number of waking non-school non-travelling hours my kid has in total!


Well, in the case of things like dogging, a lot of it is travel time, so you spend 12 hours in a van with dogs in crates.
Posted by: binip

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 11:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Dude
Yeah, I totally get your concern there. We have always insisted that at least one of DD's activities has to be an athletic one, for health reasons. This policy has proven itself to be good for her in other ways as well.
Originally Posted By: ultramarina

It's the single focus on one competitive thing here (for a little guy) that I wonder about here for DS. He does actually have some interest in sports, too, and I feel like a heavy chess schedule kind of precludes that.


Couldn't agree more. They don't have enough PE and recess in school for a child to develop a healthy amount of coordination and heart strength. Not to mention, it's good for more academically-oriented kids to do something that is not their forte, to strengthen their mettle.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 11:27 AM

Yeah-- we've made the more physical activity not really negotiable with our DD, too-- so she runs every morning with the dog.


We don't do what Jon posits-- I only count active dog-time. But we aren't really into AKC conformation events, and only do AKC companion activities. All of this is local, and most of it is training time.
Posted by: Loy58

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 11:30 AM

OK, LOL! I guess I am involved in "dogging" (and just hadn't heard the term before!), and was looking to get DD involved with our next dog, too! Great activity for kids, IMO.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 12:14 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Yeah-- we've made the more physical activity not really negotiable with our DD, too-- so she runs every morning with the dog.


We don't do what Jon posits-- I only count active dog-time. But we aren't really into AKC conformation events, and only do AKC companion activities. All of this is local, and most of it is training time.


All the cool doggists championize their dogs.

Don't you want to be cool?
Posted by: Val

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 12:26 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
I'm really surprised at the large numbers here. Many of your kids are spending longer on a single activity than the number of waking non-school non-travelling hours my kid has in total!


Well, in the case of things like dogging, a lot of it is travel time, so you spend 12 hours in a van with dogs in crates.


The dogs must really love that.
Posted by: Loy58

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Yeah-- we've made the more physical activity not really negotiable with our DD, too-- so she runs every morning with the dog.


We don't do what Jon posits-- I only count active dog-time. But we aren't really into AKC conformation events, and only do AKC companion activities. All of this is local, and most of it is training time.


All the cool doggists championize their dogs.

Don't you want to be cool?


There is an OTCH and a MACH to championize companion dogs - those are cool. wink

And I apologize for getting off topic.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 12:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
I'm really surprised at the large numbers here. Many of your kids are spending longer on a single activity than the number of waking non-school non-travelling hours my kid has in total!


Well, in the case of things like dogging, a lot of it is travel time, so you spend 12 hours in a van with dogs in crates.


The dogs must really love that.


Oh, the crates are their little homes!

You haven't truly lived until you spend 12 hours sandwiched in a van with a half-dozen high-quality purebred championship-ready dogs in crates.

Don't worry, you get to get out and walk them every 70 miles.

There are little fences you can buy so that you create a little dog activity area whenever you stop at the rest areas on the interstate.

Also, bully sticks.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/01/28/dog-treat-made-from-bull-penis-may-pose-health-risks/
Posted by: aquinas

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 12:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
I'm really surprised at the large numbers here. Many of your kids are spending longer on a single activity than the number of waking non-school non-travelling hours my kid has in total!


Well, in the case of things like dogging, a lot of it is travel time, so you spend 12 hours in a van with dogs in crates.


The dogs must really love that.


They do. It looks great on an application to Ruffgers. wink
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 12:50 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Yeah-- we've made the more physical activity not really negotiable with our DD, too-- so she runs every morning with the dog.


We don't do what Jon posits-- I only count active dog-time. But we aren't really into AKC conformation events, and only do AKC companion activities. All of this is local, and most of it is training time.


All the cool doggists championize their dogs.

Don't you want to be cool?


Oh, I think that ship sailed the minute I took up a band instrument, and DD was doomed right from the start. I tried to stop her from laughing at Far Side anthologies, but she wouldn't leave them alone....

Have I mentioned that our high school aged doggers are kids who also like playing Cards Against Humanity, do math for fun, and kick butt in robotics competitions? Have I? There are three early college entrants/accelerants among them, including my DD, too, so clearly the nerdy, smart kids all dog. But let's be perfectly honest about this-- "Cool" it isn't. If you haven't seen Best in Show, I highly recommend this painfully true window into dogging.

@Val: some dogs share better than others when it comes to crate space. I have photos of our Sheltie happily curled up sleeping with DD at the end of a state fair day-- with DD fully inside the crate with her. This probably means I'm an awful parent, but I thought it was funny. whistle

Sheltie considers herself most Cool of all when Master deigns to give little Dobby clothesssss.. (for Freestyle). We're the other kind of dog activity people. It's a little like being Grateful Dead groupies.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 01:03 PM

DS is actually naturally athletic so in his case, it's not an thing where he should so sports to be, you know, sort of humbled. (I don't mean to sound flippant. I get it.) But I just can't commit to both chess and sports at the same time. However, he might just enjoy sports just as much. We really probably need to give it a whirl. That does factor in...

Quote:
FWIW, I think if ultramarina's son were mine, I'd allow him to do the amount of chess he's asking for to the extent that its impact on other family members was acceptable, but I'd try really, really hard not to get invested in his success myself, and not to assume he'd want to do X this year because he was doing it last year - make sure the way is clear for other interests to rise up if they will.


I thought I wasn't invested, but I came to see pretty quickly how that happens. It was the coaches freaking out over him that got us invested! The second tournament, where he didn't do very well and got upset, was a good wake-up call for me. He needs to have fun doing this and we need to keep an eye on the whole thing for everyone. At this point I think I've readjusted my attitude. But, and this is important, I don't think DS has. Much has been made of him by friends, coaches, and family members (I don't mean me as much as grandparents). That has also been annoying for DD10, though some of this is just, you know, life with siblings and it happens. For these reasons, I have some interest in tamping down the whole thing.

But, see, he loves it. He's been crying about not having chess club over the summer.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 01:18 PM

BTW, the really nerdy people drive those kinds of distances to show... RABBITS.

(Yes, I know someone who does this-- 22hr drive in the winter? 20 to 50 rabbits in cages inside of a minivan... now THAT is crazy.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyway. Back to various activities.

For anyone that is into dogging and obedience training, here are some fun things to try in training:

http://championofmyheart.com/relaxation-protocol-mp3-files/

This will result in ROCK solid stays for obedience. Even in the face of minor explosions inside the ring, probably. Dogs also love watching their handlers do frankly weird and amusing things while all they have to do is enjoy the show and get fed treats. LOL.

http://www.clickertraining.com/node/289

That's instructions for target-training with a 'stick' (a retractible pointer) but other trainers use a "tile" or "spot" target that rests on a surface.

Clickers are very basic operant conditioning-- it really is just as simple as in Skinner's original constructs. Some HG+ kids will do well to understand what they are doing using behavioral shaping tools. Both of the following give a good overview of clicker methodology.


http://www.dog-training-excellence.com/dog-clicker-training.html


http://www.dog-training-excellence.com/target-training-with-a-clicker.html


The single most pragmatic, useful analogy about clicker training that I have ever heard comes from an expert on the subject, and a border collie trainer/rescue operator. She suggests that trainers/handlers view the clicker as a "camera" that takes snapshots on the "click." When you click, you'll get MORE of what you just took a snapshot of-- so timing is really critical-- only take pictures of your animal doing what you are LOOKING for them to do, particularly if you are free shaping a new behavior.

One really awesome thing about this kind of dogging is that ANY dog can now be entered into AKC events with a companion registry-- and you can train in tiny amounts of time, really-- a few minutes here and there. Yes, it adds up-- but it is seldom a ton of time at ONCE, so it fits nicely around other activities and commitments.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 01:22 PM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
DS is actually naturally athletic so in his case, it's not an thing where he should so sports to be, you know, sort of humbled. (I don't mean to sound flippant. I get it.) But I just can't commit to both chess and sports at the same time. However, he might just enjoy sports just as much. We really probably need to give it a whirl. That does factor in...

Quote:
FWIW, I think if ultramarina's son were mine, I'd allow him to do the amount of chess he's asking for to the extent that its impact on other family members was acceptable, but I'd try really, really hard not to get invested in his success myself, and not to assume he'd want to do X this year because he was doing it last year - make sure the way is clear for other interests to rise up if they will.


I thought I wasn't invested, but I came to see pretty quickly how that happens. It was the coaches freaking out over him that got us invested! The second tournament, where he didn't do very well and got upset, was a good wake-up call for me. He needs to have fun doing this and we need to keep an eye on the whole thing for everyone. At this point I think I've readjusted my attitude. But, and this is important, I don't think DS has. Much has been made of him by friends, coaches, and family members (I don't mean me as much as grandparents). That has also been annoying for DD10, though some of this is just, you know, life with siblings and it happens. For these reasons, I have some interest in tamping down the whole thing.

But, see, he loves it. He's been crying about not having chess club over the summer.


I have mixed feelings about not being willing to allow DD to commit to piano like that back when she expressed interest in doing so.

She's lost that passion for it, now, but there was a time when she was experiencing that. We felt that it was just too young to specialize and close off other possible pursuits without even exploring them.

I don't know if we did the right thing, honestly. frown
Posted by: DeHe

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 01:31 PM

UM,
My DS isn't into anything like this and we have to drag him to physical activities and insist on them or else he would be a puddle of goo on the floor, but, we live in a chess intensive area and have seen much. I would second Colin's mum, and your own instinct here about it being fun for him - my DS had a brilliant chess kid in his K class, older brother played and the trips to nationals and regionals were big family outings. The kid hated it - he was brilliant at it - but hated it - the kid is no longer at DS's school - but his brother, who got much less attention for his chess, is still doing quite well and placing statewide - the younger is nowhere to be found. Refusing to play, throwing fits. So I would say that his interest and willingness to be coached is a good sign of passion. Now, you still have to balance allocations of family resources, family time, and physically activity. But I think you are on the good side of things focusing on happiness, so long as nothing else is being dropped.

DeHe
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 01:36 PM

Oy, HK--you're not helping!

Yeah, see. We're right there with it. DS is placing right below the top tier for his age, and where we live is very competitive for chess. If he wants to go to the next level, he needs to get a coach, etc. Note that I don't THINK, at this point, that he is a major big-deal chess wunderkind. I think he's gifted in it and is going to do well for his team and school, but not be top 100 for his age or anything. I am a chess dolt, though. This is speculation.

But, I mean, it is CHESS. Some part of me feels like it's a bit...I dunno. I would take an instrument a little more seriously, I think? I guess my own snobbery/preference is showing.

Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 01:48 PM

I know exactly what you mean. It was the same feeling that we got re: the classical musical, er... 'regimen.'
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 02:28 PM

IKWYM too. I consciously didn't encourage DS to get serious about chess (not encouraging his programming, either) but do encourage music and maths.

But... mine was never that wild about chess anyway, and yours is.

Does it help to think of a decision, either way, being just for the next six months or year, and put a date in the diary to reconsider?
Posted by: GF2

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 03:22 PM

Yes, binip, we homeschool. :-)
Posted by: binip

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 03:42 PM

Thank you for replying. I feel much less inadequate now. How great that your kid can have those in-depth experiences.

*Edited to say... not because I feel homeschooling is inadequate, but because the level of organization required to do institutional schooling AND all those activities is so beyond me I couldn't even fathom it.
Posted by: KnittingMama

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 04:05 PM

Wow, this thread makes me feel so...inadequate! DD and DS each have two activities they're doing this spring, and that adds up to only a few hours a week total; DD occasionally asks to add dance or gymnastics, but she also really enjoys being at home after school and not having to go anywhere.

Not helpful to the OP (sorry @ultramarina!), but encouraging me to try pushing our family a little bit. Maybe we'll try adding something and see how it goes. (Of course it would help if they were interested in the *same* activities, but that doesn't seem likely.)
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 04:59 PM

I don't think there's any reason to push it, though! DD10 isn't and hasn't been interested in specializing like this--she really values free time to putter around, hang out, play in the yard, and pursue her own creative stuff, most of which goes unfinished--so that's part of why this is foreign to me.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/21/14 05:02 PM

Quote:
Does it help to think of a decision, either way, being just for the next six months or year, and put a date in the diary to reconsider?


It feels slippery-slopeish. I mean, in September I thought it was completely bizarre/hilarious that his school coach kept telling us he should go to private coaching. (Because he was five!!) Now it's March and I'm like, yeah, the coaching. Maybe we should do that?
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/22/14 01:55 AM

Maybe deciding not to do coaching right now, but telling DS you'll talk about it again in September and if he still really wants to do it then he can, would help you feel you have some control? Or maybe that thought experiment leaves you unable to imagine him not still wanting it in September, and that helps you decide to do it now?

I do sympathise! It's very tricky.
Posted by: Dude

Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... - 03/22/14 11:25 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
DS is actually naturally athletic so in his case, it's not an thing where he should so sports to be, you know, sort of humbled. (I don't mean to sound flippant. I get it.)


Our DD doesn't need to be humbled, quite the opposite, as she's her own worst critic. Sports is an avenue for her to build her self-esteem, because she is good at athletics, and she's hearing encouragement from people who aren't her parents. She thinks we can't be objective about her, so she tunes us out.

It's also good for her to learn that other people are good at things, too, because she may make a great play on the soccer field, only to be stopped by someone who also made one.