The Club de Amigos is similar to Toronto's Boulevard Club (perhaps not quite as chi chi), and was recommended to me by another English-speaking, home schooling family who lived and blogged in BA last year. Apparently, her friends' kids had loved it, and she wished she had found it sooner. So, off we went, to see whether a) the boys even liked it, and b) whether we could afford it!
The boys liked it. They were keen to run on the track, play basketball, check out the tennis courts, and hang out on one of the two playgrounds the club -- which caters heavily to families -- offers. We decided that it would be an optimal location for the bi-weekly afternoon phys ed classes that Tatiana is going to run for the boys. (It is two-three subway stops plus a short walk away from our apt.)
The space is also fully wifi-equipped, making it an ideal study spot and general escape for Tats while I am home schooling in the mornings, or on days when she does not have the boys at all.
Next came the question of price. For all of us, including some basic activities and equipment rental until May 2014, the price would come to about $1000 US, depending on the exchange rate of the day.
Living on a restricted budget is an interesting experience. Spending a dollar here means taking it out of there, not just in theory, but actually! Signing all four of us up for the club would mean we can't buy a decent frying pan, cheese grater or a pot with a lid that works. And I don't know if I can live with the crap currently in the kitchen for the next 6 months!!! It would also mean fewer visits to the zoo, which the boys have already fallen in love with. When a stack of bills is spent on one thing, it isn't there to be spent on another. Although we are certainly not living in poverty, our budget is pretty strictly organized; there is really very little wiggle room, especially for large expenditures like this one.
In the end, we decided to sign up Tats and the boys, and that depending on week to week finances, I would sometimes come along on a guest pass.
The boys are looking forward to their new club membership, Tats is looking forward to a fully equipped gym class and safe, quiet study place, and I am looking forward to the possibility of them making some similar-aged friends there.
Viva La Club de Amigos!