Extra-curricular activities such as sports, drama, music, dance, and other clubs are an important part of the education system and a child’s experience in the school system. And while parent involvement in education is extremely important, parent involvement in extra-curricular activities is also important. It is often through volunteer time of active parents that we even have access to extra-curricular activities.
What are the benefits of extra-curricular activities?
There are so many benefits for children who have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
•Excelling in a specific talent. With the exception of a few students, most children are among the average when it comes to studies in school and getting good grades. It is in the area of extra-curricular activities that students can really find what they love and what they are good at. Whether it is through music or dance, sports or drama, finding that niche can make the difference between a confident, well adjusted child, to a child with very low self esteem.
•Confidence. This brings me to the next great benefit of having extra-curricular activities for students. There’s nothing more pleasing to a child than accomplishing something and doing well at a particular activity. Extra-curricular activities can help children gain confidence not only in the activity itself, but in other areas of their life.
•Keeps kids out of trouble. Most extra-curricular activities take place after school hours, which happens to be the time when most kids get into some serious trouble because they’re bored. Extra-curricular activities gives kids something to do after school when, for a good majority of the children, their parents are still working. Parents can also feel good about where and what they child is doing for that hour or two until they get home from work.
•Forming healthy relationships with committed adults. Many of the children involved in extra-curricular activities come from homes where the adults may not be trustworthy or committed. The relationships built with adults in charge of these activities can give the child support they need later in life and in forming other healthy relationships.
How can parents help children take advantage of extra-curricular activities?
It might sound like a silly question because to a parent, what child in their right mind wouldn’t want to do something fun? Well, for some kids that’s how they think, for others however the idea of participating in extra-curricular activities takes them out of their comfort zone. So as a parent here are some tips to getting your children involved and taking advantage of extra-curricular activities:
Tip #1: Be willing to provide transportation. With gas prices on the rise weekly, the last thing you want to do is drive all over the city dropping off and picking up kids for a million different activities right? While it may seem like a chore to do, try and remember that you’re helping your child get involved in a different aspect of education; one that may prove to be very worthwhile to them.
Tip #2: Find a balance. Some children are so excited about extra-curricular activities that they end up being involved in much more than they can handle or have time for. Help your child be realistic about what he or she will be able to do. Help them make a good sound choice about which activity they would like to pursue first; then others can be pursued later.
Tip #3: Help them decide which activities would be good for them. You know your child best and with so many exciting choices it can be difficult to make just one. Find out who’s in charge of activities, what days they are on, etc. to help narrow the choice down. Talk about strengths and weaknesses and determine what they could excel at or maybe learn something new.
Parent involvement in extra-curricular activities is just as important as a formal education. Many children thrive on those activities and can gain the needed confidence to succeed in the classroom. Make sure as a parent you help them get involved and love what they do.