The Importance of Extracurricular Activities
Although extracurricular activities are difficult to manage while juggling school, a social life, and other activities, it is an opportunity that should not be ignored. School provides students with a plethora of activities that could benefit your child in the future, as the skills taught are transferable to other aspects of their life.
Kenny Smith, a school counsellor in Thatcher, Arizona, claims that students in extracurricular activities are able to achieve higher academic grades.“They learn to manage their time, relieve stress and learn to strive for excellence in more than one thing”
There are also programs which are designed to assist at-risk teens, such as Students Keeping Attitudes Towards Earning Rewards and Success (SKATERS). Faye Arco, the counsellor for this program demonstrates how children that are involved in extracurricular and school club activities have a higher GPA, fewer suspensions, and better attendance record than those that are not involved in such activities.
Unfortunately there are those that are unaware of the benefits of extracurricular activities, and assume that they will distract the student, rendering them incapable of doing well in school. Researchers such as Erin Massoni describe why this has been disproven, as extracurricular activities can increase self-esteem and time management skills. Also such activities teach the value of organization, which can transfer to school and also to their room!These activities ultimately provide your child with a heightened sense of belonging, which results in better behaviour.
George Bergstein, a University of Toronto Student claims that “extracurricular activities really helped me feel like I belonged somewhere and motivated me to do well in school, while meeting really great people. I will always value my time at hockey practice making friends”
Extracurricular activities are also beneficial for applications to university, as participation in such programs tell more about your child than grades. Many universities seek out students who are able to make a contribution to their school, as universities gain respect through their extracurricular programs.
There are many ways you can help your child become involved in extracurricular activities:
- Be a role model – It is commonly known that children emulate their parents; learn something new with them so it seems more like a group activity, allowing them to alleviate any pressure they may feel.
- Stay supportive – If your child does not seem as excited about their new extracurricular activity then they were two days ago, stay supportive! Show them how they will improve if they keep at it.
- Keep up the encouragement – It may be difficult for your child to become involved on their own, so give them a helping hand. Ask them about any activities that are in their school, and why it would be exciting for them to try. After all, extracurricular activities provide a great way to meet people!
By Shelly Koren