Continued Learning: The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for Kids
Your kids spend 8 hours a day learning, playing, and socializing at school. But what they do in the hours after school and during the summer months is as important as what happens in the classroom.
Extracurricular activities have enormous benefits for kids, including helping them build self-esteem, resiliency, and motivation.
Here are just a few benefits of enrolling your kids in after-school activities and summer activities for kids.
1. It Encourages Them to Be Passionate
Kids are inundated with ideas at school, and they likely have a favorite subject or topic. But the rigor of modern curriculum often means they have little time to explore their interests deeply.
Without that further exploration, kids don’t learn what it’s like to have a passion.
Getting kids involved in other activities - whether new interests or school-related activities - teaches them how to find things they're passionate about and enjoy it.
The passion not only makes them more creative, but it builds their confidence and self-esteem.
2. It Teaches Kids How to Accomplish Goals
Goals are incredibly important in life, and hobbies and extracurriculars are a chance for kids to set their own goals and work towards them.
These goals are different from classroom goals set by the teacher. When kids are in charge, they learn self-motivation and resiliency - two skills they can use for the rest of their life.
3. They’ll Do Better in School
A common concern for parents is the worry that extracurriculars will take away from school time. If they have band practice, soccer practice, and language lessons, then where’s the time for homework? What about sleep?
Studies show that kids who participate in activities and hobbies outside of school are more likely to succeed in the classroom than kids who go home.
The cognitive development they enjoy from activities doesn't just benefit their grades. It also helps their socialization skills, and kids who participate in after-school activities also do better socially than kids who avoid social situations.
4. They’ll Have More Opportunities as They Get Older
Hobbies are fun ways for kids to socialize, learn skills, and get plenty of physical and mental exercise. As kids reach their teenage years, they receive even more opportunities.
The obvious example is the ability to apply for more college programs and scholarships. While this is important, the activities have benefits in-and-of-themselves for older kids.
For example, hobbies started at age five or six can take teens to regional and national competitions, which come with a whole host of new learning and socialization opportunities.
These are also excellent opportunities for leadership as well as productive breaks from the pressures of high school.
Start Extracurricular Activities This Summer
The benefits of extracurricular activities that your kids enjoy are almost unending. They're an essential part of helping parents raise well-rounded, sociable, and resilient kids.
Don't wait for school to start up again. Start your kids in activities this summer. For extra guidance, read our article on choosing the right projects, classes, and camps for your kids.
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