Music, Gymnastics, Dance, Sports

Updated on September 12, 2008
L.K. asks from San Antonio, TX
5 answers

Can anyone point me in the direction of free, yes, free lessons of any sort for my three children? I have a 5, 4, and 2yr. old. We live in the NE area of SA but do not have the income of most of our neighbors. There are several area private programs and schools for all sorts of activities and sports but all cost an arm and a leg. My children are very talented and athletic but my husband and I feel horrible that we can't afford to provide them with these extras. We would also be interested in classes that offer lessons on a sliding scale or are just a heck of a lot less expensive than what I'm finding out there. All of the schools or gyms listed in San Antonio Our Kids mag. cost an arm and a leg. Do any of you know something I don't? Please share your knowledge. My kids need something to do.
Thanks so much.

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answers from San Antonio on

Hi L.,

I'm writing this as a soccer coach of 4-7 year olds. I agree that at 5/4/2 your kids don't necessarily need to be in organized sports, especially if it would strain your budget. They'd get just as worn out (because that's our goal, usually!) going to the local park every other night for an hour or two. Just let them kick/throw/climb/dance. Pick up some sports equipment at yard sales. Unless you're grooming your kids to be the next Nolan Ryan or Shawn Johnson, they can wait a few years for the team sports.

For that matter, how about forming your own personal league of (insert sport here)? If you or Dad can't be "coach" then maybe ask a middle or high schooler in your area that plays sports. What you would pay them will be cheaper than in an organized league. Invite your children's friends and your neighbors... maybe they're sick of paying those high prices too! Practice regularly and you'll see if paying for lessons would be worth it next year (or the year after).

From my six seasons as a coach, the kids don't "get it" until about age 7 anyway. And no one ever lost a college scholarship for not playing YMCA t-ball when they were 5. Don't beat yourself up over it. Your kids will love it if you just spend time playing with them. They are only young once!

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answers from San Antonio on

Hi there. Cub scouts and girl scouts (brownies) are very inexpensive. The annual dues is $10. You can check on-line at for your nearest troops. They do all kinds of activities and sports and it doesn't cost you hardly anything. My son loves it and I too live in NE San Antonio.

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answers from San Antonio on

The YMCA is always a good place to start. One response mentioned the Community Bible Church off 1604 and Redland Rd. They are wonderful over there as my daughter is a member and they have so many acitivies for the kids, however be careful as they do charge for some but I am sure they will work with you. If not they also have daycare while you are at the church, they have the children's choir and many more things that are free. You might also call the Chamber of Commerce and ask them. I know the city does provide many free services for children's activities. Good Luck.



answers from San Antonio on

I feel your pain. The only thing I have found is through the YMCA. You can apply for scholarships for programs where they discount your rate for sports. You can also apply and get a discount on memebership to the Y. Our family gets 40% off and then we get an additional discount as Y members on there sports.



answers from San Antonio on

I hear ya...but haven't found anything like that...the cheapest sports events stuff that I have found is a group called upward which is a christian organization. It's out at Community bible church, you could call and ask if they could help out. I think basketball isn't too far off. I wouldn't be in a rush to start them at organized sports, I have put my kids at this age and it's really more for me than them. I think anything that they actually retain from these ages, they would easily pick up in a couple years. Another suggestion for when they are older, is only let one of them do something at a time...then next season let the other and so on. The schools sometimes send flyers home for less expensive things, but it's school aged kids.

Good luck,

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