Wednesday afternoons

While French schools tend to provide very little non-academic education, such as music, art or sport, extra-curricular activities are generally very well catered – and subsidized  across the country.
Children do these on Wednesday afternoons, Saturdays and, as they get older, in the evenings.
Apart from the fact that physical and creative activities are an essential part of any child’s development, there are other reasons why it is a good thing to join local sports, art and music clubs – especially if you are new to France:
Sport, music, art, dance etc demand very few language skills.If your children are struggling with French at school, it is great for their confidence to be able to be able to get involved in activities where they are not handicapped by a (temporary) lack of language skills. Being able to be good at something and integrate with a group of children other than their schoolmates will make them feel more confident at school as well as speeding up their language learning in a no-pressure, fun, setting.
(Taking them to classes. matches, competitions will also help your own integration and language skills and give you another group of parents to get to know.)
Throughout your child’s school career – and long after they have mastered French – it can be a great comfort to have an alternative group of friends and peers to spend time with after a bad week, as inevitably happens from time to time, at school.
Both physical activity and creative expression are therapeutic for children as a way of getting rid of aggression, in the first case, and expressing themselves emotionally in the second. Creative expression such as music or art, is particularly valuable in the emotional development of boys who often find it harder to express their emotions verbally.
September-October is the time to sign up and you can usually pay in several installments over the year. Most activities are inexpensive and sports teams may be free to join. Ask at your mairie what is available in the area - for adults as well as children.

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