School doesn't cover all the needs of developing children. Here's why your child would benefit from enrolling in an extracurricular activity (or three!).
Did you know that 57% of children between 6 and 17 years old participate in at least one after-school extracurricular activity?
There's reasoning behind this statistic!
The variety of after-school activities ranging from physical to mentally stimulating activities, think piano lessons, to dance classes or even martial arts. You have options from sports to music and more.
School doesn't always cover all the needs of developing children. Here's why your child would benefit from enrolling in an extracurricular activity (or three!).
Extracurricular Activity Options, Before Benefits
Before we launch into the benefits of extracurricular activities, let's take a brief look at how you explore your options.
First off, you're going to want to talk to your child. Not all children are the same, some will gravitate more towards a craft-based, or art-based extra-curricular activity. Other children are more physically inclined and would benefit more from a sports or physical-training based after school program.
Now explore your options, spend some time researching what programs are available in your area. You don't want to spend hours traveling to and from after school activity centers. So, narrow down your choices by convenience as well, and then give your child the options from the shortlist.
Now, let's look at the benefits.
1. Encourage Positive Habits
Children are often at their best when they live within a routine. Children who have a structure in their lives perform better in their academic environment as well.
Participating in an extracurricular activity helps encourage positive habits in our children. They learn about commitment and dedication once they've been signed up for a particular program.
2. Helps Them to Learn Time-Management
Once a child is enrolled for an extracurricular activity, it means they will have to juggle schoolwork, chores and their newfound passion.
The positive part of a child having a full schedule is that they'll be able to learn time-management skills from early on in life. They'll learn to prioritize activities and deadlines, which as we all know, is an immeasurable skill for them to take forward later into their life.
3. Building Social Skills
Being in school and juggling family time can make it difficult for children to create, foster and maintain their own social relationships.
Extracurricular activities outside of school are a great way for your child to meet like-minded kids, ones who share their interests. They will definitely improve their social skills, if not create friendships that may stand the test of time.
As a side note, extracurricular activities are a great way for a child to start building their networks early on, which could mean greater opportunities for them after graduation.
4. Expanding Their Life Experience
Extracurricular activities will most definitely allow your child to expand important life skills, and build on them. These skills can include:
Teamwork skills, Time Management skills, Leadership skills and Communication skills.
Many employers or universities will view an extracurricular activity as an advantage as they will know that participants will have gained these skills as a result of their participation.
5. Cultural Integration
The thing about most extracurricular activities is that they know no gender, race or cultural differences. This means that your chosen after school program will open up windows to different cultures and customs through the other children they will get to meet.
This is a great benefit particularly if you've just moved to a new area or country, as being surrounded by locals can allow your child to quickly adjust to different cultural customs.
Simply have a look at the faces within your local martial arts class, how many different faces do you see? Boys, girls, younger and older participate!
6. Build Up Their Confidence
Extracurricular activities will most certainly help your child to build confidence.
Introverted children might find it easier to come out of their shell if they're shown that they can excel at something in a team environment after school. With their ability to participate and potentially showcase and be congratulated for that, children will often enjoy the activity more as they build their skills and start to be rewarded.
Once this happens, their confidence levels will soar. You may even find that they're wanting to join another club or activity, and participate in more activities as a result of this.
We all know that confidence is key!
7. Having a Creative Outlet
Depending on which after school program you've chosen, the activity can surely be a creative outlet for your child.
Even a sports program can be a creative outlet for your children. As they learn and grow, they'll have the need to research more of the activity they're participating in.
If its an art class or a dance class they're signed up for, they'll be tuning in more to creative mediums and music, learning about the history of these things and fostering an interest in the activity itself
8. The Chance of a Lifetime
The thing about choosing the right extracurricular activity is that it could potentially become a lifelong interest.
Some after-school activities can light a spark that will burn a fire that never goes out!
How often do you hear about children who've been dancing since they were 5 years old? Or baseball players that have been playing since they started kindergarten?
Often, these children turn into adults who still have a passion for the clubs and activities they participated in as children. How can you put a measure on sparking a lifelong interest?
Embarking on an Extracurricular Activity Journey
Whilst you make the choices on which extracurricular activity you're going to sign your child up for, you need to remember a few things.
Children may not immediately fall in love with the class or activity that they've been signed up for. So give them some time to adjust. Even consider doing a trial period before you commit to a longer period of time, be as patient and encouraging as you can.
Head on over to our programs page to see what options our center has for your children!