Many of today's children are so caught up in the grind of preparing for standardized tests and making good grades for college and their life's work that they miss out on being kids. Having them participate in extracurricular activities is one way to help them live in the present, where they can be themselves and do things they enjoy. But all fun aside, there are some inherent benefits to getting involved in these functions. Following are some key reasons why you should let your child participate in extracurricular activities.
Extracurricular activities can motivate children who may struggle with the academic part of their education, giving them more confidence and a sense of accomplishment. This, in turn, puts them in better spirits for learning in the traditional classroom setting. But as a parent, it is more advantageous to allow your children to participate in sports or clubs they want to join rather than force them, according to The New York Times. They are more apt to stay in those extracurricular activities longer.
Extracurricular activities, especially sports functions, can improve your child's agility, coordination, and overall health. Sports also help kids build stronger bones and muscles and can set them on the right course to lead healthier lifestyles as adults.
The most successful people in life aren't always the “straight-A” students. They're individuals who know how to work and get along with others. Extracurricular activities teach kids how to interact with their schoolmates. And when they are assigned specific projects in certain clubs, they learn how to work cohesively as team members, solving problems to achieve common goals. Most importantly, your children can meet new friends in these outside-school functions, which further enhances their social development. Some schools have extracurricular activities built into their scholastic curricula, where children can learn about music and movement, arts and crafts, preparing certain foods, and exploring the world of science.
Like adults, children need breaks for their classrooms and studies. Otherwise, they can get stressed out, irritable, or depressed. Extracurricular activities are a great way to enable your child to relieve stress and recharge their batteries for learning.
In a symbolic sense, because most children don't have resumes, the extracurricular activities of today and tomorrow look good on college and job applications. If a college recruiter is choosing between two candidates of equal academic standing, for example, he may likely choose the one with the litany of impressive extracurricular activities.
Be open-minded about allowing your kids to participate in extracurricular activities, but let them come to you instead of forcing them into something. That way your child will gain the most benefits from these after-school functions.