When children spend so much of their time in school learning, it may seem unnecessary to enroll them for after school activities. In spite of this, after school programs are sprouting up in large numbers and most of these are fully booked. This shows that there is a real need for after school activities.source: humanipo
Many children spend about 20 or more hours a week unsupervised by parents and alone at home or with domestic staff. And as the saying goes, “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop”. Children who are left alone to contend with too much free time invariably fall into the wrong company. In todays world with access to cable that shows programs 24/7, access to the internet, blackberry and social media children can get themselves into all sorts of problems e.g. drug abuse, alcohol, smoking, crime, sexual immorality and other vices come knocking at their doors. One reason parents enroll children to various after school programs is to keep them occupied in a productive and supervised manner. Getting the children together under one roof and encouraging them to participate in a group activity offers protection and a conducive learning environment for the children. Children left at home with the domestic staff are usually not being mentally stimulated and perhaps even victims of unsavoury traits from the domestic staff (sometimes unqualified to raise children) as the sole carers for the children while the parents are at work.
Obesity is a matter of growing concern and it is noticed that more and more children are becoming couch potatoes. After school, many children relax on the sofa with packets of chips or biscuits, soda and perhaps chocolates while they watch T.V. or play computer games. An after school program ensures that the child shakes off his lethargy and keeps himself busy. This also helps to reduce the child’s reliance on T.V and computer games. The longer time children watch television and have access to the internet unsupervised, the more likely that they will be exposed to and be involved in harmful practices.
After school activities can also be used to promote social awareness and develop the children’s sense of social responsibility. It is seen that these sorts of programs not only keep kids out of trouble, but also help to produce responsible citizens. To that extent, they are valuable building blocks in a child’s personality. Times are changing and parents want their children to excel in academics as well as in other activities. Whatever the reason, parents today encourage their children to enroll in various programs and develop the various facets of their individuality. Children too seem to be comfortable learning many things at the same time, and gain satisfaction from this.
So extra-curricular activities can be a helpful source to expose children to other skills than those they pick up from school.