According to the Afterschool Alliance, children who are school-aged spend eighty percent of their waking hours outside of school. This means that what children do outside of school is just as important, if not more, than their time in the classroom.
After-school activities can help children develop essential skills such as social and emotional learning and increase their self-esteem. If you are curious about after school activities and would like to know how to choose the right one for your child, continue reading below!
Explore Your Child’s Interests
The first thing you should consider is what your child is interested in.
You can start with thinking about their favorite subject or what they are drawn to when they come home from school. There may be free after school programs at your child’s school that you can try out before committing to a monthly fee.
Involving them as much as you can in the process can help secure that they enjoy the activity and want to continue it. Starting with something you already know they like and having them try it first in person can allow you to watch and see how they interact with the activity.
This can push you in the direction of knowing what type of activity will benefit them.
Consider Their Strengths and Weaknesses
When choosing extracurriculars, you should consider your child’s strengths and weaknesses. You can start this by determining their skills, including academic, social, behavioral, focus, and fine motor.
Then, you should weigh their style of learning, whether it’s visual, aural, verbal, or physical. Do they do better working alone or in a group?
Out of school activities can promote new learning with your child, so don’t be afraid to put them in something new and see how they react. If you’re looking for them to do something solitary while learning a new skill, maybe sign them up for piano lessons in a music academy.
If you want them to be in a group and move their body while also learning discipline, that’s a great reason why you should enroll your child in a dance class at a dance studio.
There are so many activities out there, and while you should consider their strengths and weaknesses, it’s also a time to push their boundaries.
Factor in Costs and Time Management
Of course, a big part of child extracurriculars is cost and time management.
Think about what is realistic for your family, and research the average cost of certain activities. Some activities require rental equipment, and others often provide reduced fees depending on your income.
Then, factor in how much time you can realistically offer to each program, especially if you have more than one child. This is a great thing to consider before you sign up for classes you can’t commit to.
The Best After-School Activities
Choosing the best after-school activities for your child can be a fun and rewarding process.
Consider what they already like to do, their strengths and weaknesses, and what you can afford in both time and money. Don’t be afraid to introduce new things to them while ensuring they’re still enjoying themselves.
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