Originally Posted by 22B
We're not going to get involved in this non-academic busy-work arms-race. My kids can focus on academics to the extent they want to, and can do whatever else they want for fun and fulfilment.

But the preparation for university should be academic.

22B, I'm not even close to an "arms-race" parent - re extracurriculars *or* academics. My oldest children are in middle school, and the way that the look forward to college impacts us is limited primarily to thinking about where their areas of interest are leading them and to financial planning. I do, however, do what I can to provide opportunities for my children to have meaningful extracurricular activities - because, jmo, academics can't be their everything - having a physical activity they can enjoy throughout their life is important, having hobbies that bring them joy is important, and having opportunities to be a part of a group of whatever (hobbyist, sport, etc) is also something that I see as important in life. My kids may be smarter than many other kids, but it's not just brains and academics that make for success in life, either in college or beyond - and that's the reason that most kids I know - in my little corner of the US - participate in activities outside of school.

When I went to college (back in the dark ages now lol!), the applications all included questions about extracurriculars etc. The school I ultimately went to (a well-respected highly competitive-admissions , extremely rigorous STEM university), was very up front in acknowledging their belief that the incoming students who had the most potential for success at their school were *not* the students who were strictly straight-A high IQ students, but were rather the students who had other things in their life than "only science" and "only straight As" etc, and jmo, but that vision definitely played out among the students I knew well in college. FWIW, I suspect that most of the kids I was in college with were at the very least MG.

Once we were at the end of the universtiy experience, and interviewing for our real-world jobs, there once again was the question of extracurriculars - and I know it was considered - I looked at it myself later on in my career when interviewing candidates for jobs coming out of university.

I wouldn't purposely choose my kids' outside-of-school activities to ty to pad a college resume, but I do believe they are important in their lives - and that's how most of the parents I know have approached parenting... including my non-tiger-mom friend who is sending her dd off to MIT this year smile

Best wishes,