What are the benefits of extracurricular activities for your kids?When my daughters were young, I'll admit that extracurricular activities were as much for me as they were for my kids. I appreciated the chance to socialize with other adults. I sometimes got a tiny break. Even if I had to participate with my infant, toddler, or preschooler, I didn't have to be in charge. Extracurricular activities benefited me, as well as my kids.
As my children get older and begin to participate in extracurricular activities without mom by their side, I've really begun to notice just how much these after-school activities really do for my daughters.
Interacting with peers in a non-educational setting is often lost after a long school day, lengthy homework assignments, and the increased use of technology among today's youth. If nothing else, children are interacting with one another in an entirely different way than I did when I was a child. It's not good or bad, but it's different. And there's room in the schedule for my daughters to sit with their friends playing basketball, chess, or working on the school newspaper together. It's how they'll learn to work with others and to make (and keep) real-life friends.
It's important for children to learn about who they are, what they like, and how to handle unique situations without mom and dad by their side. Children learn to respect their teachers, and need to learn to do the same with coaches, for example. Kids learn about how to be independent when they're given opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities. It's this independence that will later prepare them for high school, college, and adult life.
The exercise your child gets from his or her extracurricular activity can rival the physical education curriculum they receive in school. Running laps around the soccer field before practice, doing suicides at basketball practice, and lifting weights before football practice are all great ways that sports help your child get the 60 minutes of exercise that many specialists recommend.
Is your child involved in piano lessons or a member of the chorus, instead of out on the field? These extracurricular activities can add to your child's physical activity level, too, especially if they walk to their lessons or play outside with their friends before rehearsal starts!
Extracurricular activities have the potential to mentally, as well as physically, stimulate your child. Some, like chess, may require your child to think outside of the box. Writing for the school newspaper allows them to improve their writing skills. Playing on the football team requires them to learn and memorize plays. Kids who are involved in extracurricular activities are thinking-there's no doubt about it!
Employers and colleges look with favor upon a student who has excelled both inside and outside of the classroom-there's no doubt about it. It's hard to imagine when your child is five or six, but the truth is, learning a sport or a skill at a young age will allow your child to cultivate it over the years and use it as an extra skill or activity on their college or job application, one day. It's hard to imagine when your child is young. Consider it anyway.
Extracurricular activities can benefit your children in so many ways. As a parent, you should encourage and support your child as they learn and grow inside and outside of the classroom!Content by Kelly Herdrich.