Tips for Back-to-School: How to Choose the Right After-School Activities for Your Children
As you begin to plan for the new school year, keep in mind that what happens after school is of equal importance to what takes place during school hours for children. As a parent, you might need to make the final decision for your children, but they can be part of the process and help choose their after-school activities. Have regular conversations about each child’s interests and goals, go over the family calendar once a month together and keep the planning positive. This article provides tips on how to communicate with your children about their interests and evidence on why these activities are purposeful and fun. Decisions, Decisions With so many options to choose from, the task of selecting the right after-school activities for your children may seem overwhelming; however, if you ask the right questions and work together, you’ll find the perfect activities to benefit your children in both the short and long term. Parents should weigh the pros and cons of each activity. Will your children be over-scheduled? Will the travel time to and from the activity become an issue? Will your children truly enjoy and benefit from this activity? These are just a few questions that you’ll need to address when making your final decisions. Use this helpful extra-curricular checklist to narrow down your selections. Activities should challenge your children, while offering a new and exciting environment in which they can grow. Finding the Perfect Fit Sitting down with your children to discuss their interests will help you narrow down the options when choosing extra-curricular activities. If they love rock music, think about signing them up for drum lessons. Maybe you have a sports enthusiast. Trying a new sport will keep him or her healthy and fit, while socializing with new friends who share a common interest. Believe it or not, some children want to learn more about a certain subject in school. Get them involved in a science camp, math league or even Kumon to explore their favorite subject. Furthermore, if they are lacking confidence in a subject, sign them up for a math or reading program like Kumon to give them a solid foundation and newfound confidence. Talking to your children will be the key to finding the right fit! Benefits of Extracurricular Activities In the age of computers and video games, participating in after-school activities is the key to getting children back out into the world. While there’s a time and a place for computer-based entertainment, activities outside of the home are important to the development of all children. These experiences can help children improve their:
- Physical development
- Stress relief
- Team spirit and camaraderie
- Time management
After-school activities are fun and entertaining, and they can teach important life skills, preparing children to become responsible, well-balanced adults. Many activities in which children begin to participate at a young age will continue into adulthood, providing lifelong enjoyment. Work as a family to create a schedule that will get your children excited for the new school year.