Here’s Why Kids Should Participate in Extracurricular Activities
Most parents ignore this, but playtime activities significantly contribute to a child’s overall development. The key to raising children successfully is acknowledging that learning doesn’t take place only within the classroom environment. Similarly, academics aren’t the only key to success in the future. That said, below are a few reasons your child should actively participate in extracurricular activities:
1. Gives Kids a Break from Their Academic Studies
As mentioned, kids don’t learn only by listening to lectures and reading books. Classroom activities aren’t enough measure of their brightness and abilities. This explains why most high schools and colleges now include extracurricular activities when evaluating admissions. That said, young and growing children need a break from academic studies.
This reduces boredom, helping them focus and concentrate on their classwork. Unfortunately, not all schools offer extracurricular activities. Some are focused on classroom learning, which isn’t healthy for students.
Not all schools offer extracurricular activities that suit your kids’ interests. For instance, very few schools offer piano lessons. If you’d like your child to learn piano, South Shore Piano School in Boston offers remarkable piano lessons.
2. Improves Academic Performance
Extracurricular activities also affect academic performance. Recent studies found that students who actively participate in other activities outside class improve academically. However, the academic performance of these students depends on individual abilities and the type of activity they engage in. Students who actively engage in co-curricular activities show:
- Improved grades: Extracurricular activities enhance academic performance. These activities impart essential skills like time management, critical thinking, and problem-solving, which are transferable to academic work.
- High education aspirations: Students who actively participate outside the classroom often have higher academic aspirations. Extracurricular activities expose students to new possibilities and interests, inspiring them to aim higher.
- Reduced absenteeism: Active students also rarely miss school and are always motivated to attend their classes.
However, this doesn’t mean extracurricular activities can lead to poor academic performance. Some students drop academically once they take active roles in music, football, and other activities. Teachers should guide students on how to balance classwork with extracurricular activities for success.
3. Helps Children Develop New Life Skills
Learning new life skills shouldn’t necessarily be done in the real world. Children of all ages learn various beneficial life skills by engaging in extracurricular activities. Key life skills acquired from most of these activities include problem-solving, creative, technical, time-management, and practical skills.
Technical extracurricular activities, such as Google coding for children, help kids to get started with technical skills for the future. Music clubs also help children build confidence that might come in handy as they grow and focus on their passions.
Extracurricular activities are undoubtedly beneficial for children of all ages. However, the challenge is picking the right activity for your kid. You should observe what they are good at and consider their interests and passions, even at a young age. Obviously, the options available in your child’s school or local community may be limiting. Fortunately, you can explore the endless options available online.
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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.