As our son closes in on his 6th birthday, the phase of parenting called "driving to lessons" has begun. We did not take the typical approach of many contemporary parents these days -- at nearly 6 he is in his first set of "lessons". Many begin as young as 6 months! From a child development perspective children do not "learn" much before age 5 or 6, so we saved time, money, and our mental health by avoiding the class circuit.
However, it was time to begin exploring more of life. And karate was his choice. We knew this, we thought about it, and then one night my husband and I were at a fundraiser gala. There sat a bit sheet for $500 worth of karate lessons. My winning bid of $100 was frugal music to my ears.
We took a chance, not knowing much about the venue, location, etc., but it paid off. The center is near our home, lessons are twice a week for 30 minutes each. Focus is on respect, discipline, health, and not rah-rah fighter man aspects of karate. We may or may not sign up for more lessons, but for now we have a summer of karate.
As a parent I feel it is my duty to show my children the world. Thus, I do not want a child to be too narrowly focused before he/she is in middle school. This season it is karate. Next it might be swimming or yoga or music. But I can guaranty that I will shop around, use coupons, and avoid the "high pressure" techniques of companies......and the other parents who set the stage for "keeping up with the Jonses" when it comes to lessons. Life is short, focus on what makes you happy -- that is the message I want our children to enter adulthood with. That, and a soundly funded college fund thanks the the frugal and savings minded parents.