There are so many options when it comes to extracurricular activities available for kids. The list includes sports, dance, gymnastics, scouting, music, karate and yoga. However, with increasing academic demands for primary and secondary school children – combined with busy life schedules – afternoons filled up and down with extra activities can leave little time for homework, time family and leisure.
Here are some tips to help you develop a realistic schedule of extracurricular activities for your child.
Schedule time to play
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents give children plenty of time to play freely or freely. Make sure your child has enough free time at home to play and relax.
Choose extracurricular activities that your child is passionate about
Children choose to participate in activities for a variety of reasons, including leadership development, exercise, making friends, having fun, and learning instruments. Find out why your child wants to enroll in an extracurricular activity and make sure those reasons are valid. For example, if your child isn’t really into the guitar—but his best friend is—there’s no point in signing him up for guitar lessons.
Tip: If your child is interested in a new activity, find out if they can take a free trial lesson. This way they can see if they are really interested in the activity.
Consider financial and time commitments
The cost, length of practices, and daily and weekly time commitment of after-school programs vary widely. Are there any fees for renting or buying sports equipment? Can you provide your own transportation, or do you have trusted friends or family who can help? All of these considerations will determine whether or not this activity is viable for your family.
Help your child choose a maximum of two activities
A good balance could include a physical and artistic element. Music, art and drama can help your child find and cultivate their talents and develop their resources, which will make them more balanced and confident. On the other hand, fitness and muscle-toning activities can relieve stress by releasing feel-good endorphins, and they teach social skills like sharing and following rules.
Encourage them to persevere
Once your child has made a decision, encourage them to continue for a season, or at least long enough to gain a fundamental understanding of the activity. If they aren’t satisfied, ask yourself if they just need a different teacher rather than a change in extramural activity.
Remember that every child is unique
While some kids thrive on busy schedules, others struggle. Remember that every child is different, and your choice of how many extracurricular activities your child should do is determined by their personality type, motivation, and developmental stage.