We are sure all parents are aware that children, in their formative years, need more than academic education for enhanced physical and mental development. Today, you have so many after-school options for kids to enroll in; there are music classes, sports activities, camping, and more. While it’s great to think about your child’s overall development, do you really know why these activities are important and why all pre-schools are encouraging you for them?
After-school programs are so important today because they literally help you tear your child away from the smartphone addiction. Apart from this, involving kids in such recreative activities has proven social, physical, emotional, and mental benefits that can help your child become more competent.
The importance of after-school programs
Here’s why after-school activities are beneficial and impact your child’s development:
- Teamwork skills
Many times, people’s skill is regarded as more valuable compared to academic skills. In fact, communicating clearly, understanding people’s emotions, and POV, among other things, are a few skills that don’t come by easily for many, let alone growing children.
Involving your child in after-school activities can inculcate people’s skills in your child that can help them throughout their lives.
Making good life-long friends isn’t exactly a cakewalk. And, developing the skill to socialize in the later stages of life is all the more difficult. By enrolling your child in group activities right from a young age, it is likely that they will develop good social skills. Being surrounded by other kids who share similar interests will prompt them to initiate conversations and make friends.
- Boost confidence
One of the major reasons why you should include your child in after-school programs (if you haven’t already) is because it can have a direct effect on their self-esteem and confidence. Developing a new skill that’s outside of the academic room can make them feel confident and proud about their new learnings. A good after-school class like arts and crafts, music, or sports will not only develop specific skills but will also make them satisfied and content with their progress. Hence extracurricular activities are often great to boost children’s self-esteem.
- Positive adult influence
It is important for children to widen the circle when it comes to role models. Having role models outside the home and school will increase positive influence in their lives. Another benefit of extra non-academic classes is your child will get support, encouragement, and take inspiration from different figures. The after-school coach/instructor has the potential to build a deep relationship with your child so that they can discover where their interests and talents lie.
- Nurture curiosity
If you think your kid’s current schedule is pretty hectic to manage, there are still ways you can engage them outside the school classroom to enrich their development. Not all after-school classes need to be about learning a new skill or sport. At times, all you need to do is get your child thinking, reasoning, and questioning. You can create a plan where you take your child out to exhibitions, gardens, libraries, or museums to keep them occupied and expose them to other environments. The purpose of after-school programs is to widen your child’s horizon beyond academics. All you got to do is just look around and find something your child is proactively interested in.
After-school program options for your child
Now that you know the benefits of after-school activities, it is time to enroll your child into doing something they enjoy. But is it really that easy to figure out what ticks your little one?
To reduce your confusion, here are some common things you can watch out for when choosing an interesting after-school program that your child will really be interested in.
- Focus only on what your child actually likes doing. If your child likes to listen to music, dance to rhythms, mimic a role model, or simply play in the dirt, pay close attention to that activity and design a program that sits in line with it.
- If you have no clue whatsoever about your child’s interests, simply go with the trial and error method. After school, spend some time with your little one and then explore different talents. By doing this, you may even find a new, hidden interest your child enjoys.
- While it is good to keep your child busy and engaged, it is also important to be sensitive toward their needs. So, if your child is strongly expressing dislike toward an activity, sit patiently and talk to them. Understand what their concern is, and if need be, even drop that activity out of their schedule.
- Lastly, if budget is a concern for enrolling your child into an after-school program, then you can simply look for communication-based camps or organizations that are ready to sliding scale fees for families. Some organizations are also ready to waive off fees for families that really need it.
After-school activities not only promote your child’s development but also build their confidence and social skills. If you haven’t enrolled your kid in one, we strongly recommend that you do so for their brighter future.