Thursday, 2 July 2020

Should You Fill Your Kids’ Schedule with Extracurricular Activities?

Extracurricular activities are a great way for children to hone their skills or develop new ones. But there might be drawbacks, too. We discuss them below.

Your child cannot learn everything they need to inside the four walls of a classroom. Besides, academic activities aren't designed to be a vehicle for children's well-rounded development. Fortunately, after-school or extracurricular activities promote further development among young people. These various camps and classes aim to hone children's talents and teach them important life skills such as teamwork.


In recent years, though, more and more parents have been feeling pressured into enrolling their children in various extracurricular activities, both in-school and out of it. The fierce competition to get into good universities have parents wanting their children to be well-rounded as early as possible.


While the benefits a child gains from joining clubs and attending special classes are evident, it's important for parents to realise that overloading children with after-school activities may be more detrimental than helpful.

With that said, let's look at the pros and cons of enrolling your child into extracurricular activities.


The Advantages


1. Extracurricular activities help develop a child's skills and interests

Cheer leading, sports activities, piano classes, ballet lessons-these are some of the most popular extracurricular activities children enrol in. The number of choices for activities your child has, allows them to explore their interests and gives them the opportunity to hone their skills on them.


2. Extracurricular activities instil responsibility

Like academics, extracurricular activities have stages of development, which a child can reach one by one through discipline. And when they learn focus, time management, and self-discipline, they are learning how to be responsible.


3. Extracurricular activities foster friendships

Making friends can either be easy or difficult for a child. But whichever way it is for yours, the key to making friends lies in one thing: sharing something in common. Through various extracurricular activities, children will meet people whom they share similar things with, which they can bond over.


The Disadvantages


1. Extracurricular activities can add pressure on children

Children naturally do not want to disappoint their parents, so they will be pressured to excel in school while also managing their after-school activities. The more things they have to deal with, the more pressure they will feel, which isn't good in the long run.


2. Extracurricular activities can result in exhaustion

While children are full of energy and enthusiasm, not everyone is built to manage their time and deal with multiple activities every day. If your child has to deal with school and more extracurricular activities than they can handle, it results in exhaustion, which can affect all aspects of their life.


3. Extracurricular activities limits unstructured playtime

Unstructured play refers to a set of activities children do without interference from their parents. These activities are crucial to children's development, especially younger ones. But when they're bogged down with too many scheduled activities, they have less time for exploring and developing on their own through free play.

Children's lives can be improved in plenty of ways, and enrolling in extracurricular activities is just one of them. But while these activities have valuable advantages, you must be careful not to weigh them down with too many activities at once and let them explore their interests.

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