Are enrichment activities good for your child?
Updated: Sep 27, 2018
You are not alone if you are feeling as you’ve somehow become your child’s personal chauffeur, constantly driving them to numerous after-school activities, while juggling your career and making sure you have balanced control at home. I don’t blame you if you are wondering whether after-school activities are worth the hassle and I can’t stress enough on the positive impact it has for your child and your family. Having school schedule and after-school activities structure was very beneficial for my children as they looked forward to social interactions, burned their “never ending” energy and explored their interests in various subjects.
Boosts Academic Performance
As researchers point out, children more involved in extracurricular activities tend to have better academics than children who spend free-time using electronics and avoiding unhealthy social situations.
In second grade, my son could care less if he got good or bad grades in school and was always disruptive. Through weekly karate classes that teach him valuable life lessons about respect/life/built confidence and math classes that improved his math skills, I am noticing his commitment to school is changing. His experience in class is much more positive and grades are starting to improve. Overall, I think he is truly is starting to care because he is gaining his confidence back through activities that are helping him in life. Don’t get me wrong, we still have our daily struggles and constant talks, but I do see a light in a tunnel and we are working towards that goal together.
Improve Social Skills
Extracurriculars programs are fun and offer students the opportunity to spend time with others of similar interests. Kids can meet friends from different social groups and build sense of their own character.
A year ago, my 9-year-old would only want to sit in front of his iPad playing games and watching movies but after enrolling him for after-school activities which helped him to explore new interests like karate, math, swimming, soccer and built his overall confidence. When he is with his friends, he has opportunities to talk about the hobbies he is interested in which is helping him to build his confidence and has significantly improved his social skills.
Can Foster an Open Mind
Extracurricular activities offer positive setting which allows children to work off their extra energy, explore in an new environment they may not encounter in school, and encourage their curiosity.
I am noticing a pattern where my children are asking less for electronics (maybe its my weekly ground rules of NO electronics during the week) and are exploring the way they play with LEGOs. For instance, my son can build LEGO's throughout the whole day but I am seeing for the first time where he is building his own characters and became curious of how he can re-engineer some of the sets. I truly believe through extracurricular activities we have done over the years, their minds are starting to wonder and their true interests are beginning to be developed.
We went through times where I noticed some activities were not the right fit or my children where not ready for them and that's ok! This is a journey that both kids and parents go through and we learn along the way.
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We would love to hear from you! Tell us about your kids journey and what worked for your children. As always, unless your kids activities!
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