8 Reasons to Get Your Children Involved in After-School Activities
Can after-school programs give your children an academic boost? According to a new study of after-school programs serving low-income elementary and middle school students, the answer is yes. Students who regularly participated in after-school programs surpassed their peers in academic performance. They also exhibited notable improvements in work habits and behavior.
“These findings underscore the importance of high quality after-school programs and activities for both elementary and middle school youth,” explains Deborah Lowe Vandell, PhD, Chair of the Department of Education of the University of California at Irvine and the study’s lead author.
It’s no surprise that after-school programs can do much more than keep your children occupied during the afternoon. In fact, after-school activities can help them in a variety of ways. Children develop time-management skills, build self-esteem, and practice goal-setting. While it may be tough to squeeze in after-school activities for your children, the benefits are well worth the extra effort.
1. Time Management and Prioritizing
Extracurricular activities teach children how to manage their time and prioritize various tasks and commitments.
2. Exploring Diverse Interests
The school band, drama club, or any sport may be an activity your children are interested in joining. By allowing your children the opportunity to explore diverse interests, you give them the opportunity to discover what they are passionate about. Once your children find an activity that they enjoy, succeeding in the activity could ultimately build their confidence and self-esteem.
3. Making a Contribution
Extracurricular activities allow your children to make a contribution to their school or community, which is an important step in preparing them for life outside of academics.
4. Building Self-Esteem
Mastering new skills can help build confidence in children. By participating in after-school activities, they can build their self-esteem in a relaxed setting as their activities provide the opportunity to be successful in something that they are passionate about.
5. College Applications
Another benefit of after-school activities is that they look great on college applications. In addition to academic performance, many colleges look at what activities students are involved in outside of school as a way to fully understand each student.
6. Setting Goals
After-school activities present opportunities for your children to develop their goal-setting skills. Most extracurricular activities involve reaching or achieving a goal, whether it be the lead actor in the school play, winning the state championship or coming in first place in the science fair. As a result, these activities help encourage students to work toward achieving those goals, while having fun at the same time.
Sports teams, clubs and activities, like dancing and music, all require children to work together toward a common goal. By participating in these activities, your children develop the skills they need in order to successfully work with others. In addition, extracurricular activities let children to build relationships and socialize with peers who share their interests.
As mentioned previously, recent studies show a correlation between improved grades, behavior and work habits as a result of students’ involvement in after-school activities.
Share some additional benefits your children have experienced as a result of their involvement in extracurricular activities.