The Importance of Extracurricular Activities

Are extracurricular activities important? They are. The importance of extracurricular activities is sometimes misunderstood.

Back when I was in junior school, I learned how to use a computer, use the internet, cook basic meal and play some musical instruments like the keyboard, recorder etc. So by the time I got to high school, I already had an edge over some of my mates when it came to such non-academic activities. It was easier for me to improve on my interests. Apart from paying my school fees, my parents encouraged me to embrace at least one extracurricular activity.

Why ExtraCurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities are as beneficial as academics. An extracurricular activity simply means something that a child engages in outside of a core curriculum. It could be based on interest, passion or talents. Some parents might be wary of their child not focusing on school work because of their extracurricular activities. On the contrary, students who engage in non-academic activities do not fall behind in their school work.

Extracurricular activities develop talents and could take place before school, during school (in the form of clubs) or after school (in the form of summer schools) depending on the school or organizer.

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There are countless benefits to extracurricular activities and it is advised that as parents, you encourage them. Children have enough science, literacy, numeracy, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, home economics, social studies etc. for a minimum of 6 hours every day. Sometimes, they need a break – a healthy break to explore an outside activity and interest. Engaging in carefully selected after-school activities goes a long way in exposing children to other interests. “All study and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.

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BENEFITS OF AN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY
  1. They build a stronger and more creative mind for your child.
  2. Activities such as sports will enable your child to gain additional skills such as team spirit.
  3. They create for your child a wider social circle. Your child gets to meet other children with like interests and this could lead to the creation of long-lasting strong relationships in the future.
  4. They give your child the opportunity to explore various interests and develop talent and skills that might not come out during regular classwork.
  5. They cut down on stress from assignments and studying for only tests and exams. Having other interests can actually increase a child’s school performance.
  6. Extracurricular activities play a key role in developing your child’s personality by improving confidence because of the high level of involvement and participation.
  7. Excelling at various activities provides an opportunity for scholarships into some Universities and increases the chances of getting good jobs when it comes to diversity.

There are several benefits of extracurricular activities. The only thing to note is perhaps your child gets too engrossed in extracurricular activities and not interested in academic work.

The good thing is, you can manage this and so can the school. All you need to do is educate your child on the positives and relevance of both curricular and extracurricular activities.

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY

The truth is, the choice of an extracurricular activity lies in the hands of your child. But if your child has no idea, here is how you can help:

  1. Match interests with activities. In order to choose the right one for your child, consider matching the activities with his/her interests. It is better to choose an extracurricular in that line. This way, your child will show more passion and dedication to it and do well.
  2. Be sure the activity benefits the interest. If the extracurricular activity you select for your child does not add to your child’s interest, change it.
  3. Be sure the activity has a suitable schedule. This applies more to extracurricular activities outside of school. The extracurricular you choose for your child should be time friendly. You don’t want activities that take up all your child’s time or that are so inconvenient for the family it becomes difficult to keep up.
  4. Consider the distance. This also applies more to extracurricular activities outside school.
  5. Consider the cost. You will have to pay for most extracurricular activities except those offered by NGO’s. However, you don’t have to break the bank for an extracurricular if you can’t afford it at the moment. You can always find one that’s suitable for your budget and still goes in line with your child’s interest.

Some extracurricular activities include: Swimming, music, cooking, arts and craft, jewellery making, shoe-making, sewing, make up application, gele tying, volunteering, photography, languages, poetry, debate, dance, drama, ballet, woodwork, computer club, coding, app development, robotics, fencing, chess and so much more. They are endless.

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Extracurricular activities are worth it, take it from us! Your child can still become that banker or lawyer that also has a thriving bakery, a journalist or dentist who is also a sought after photographer. Help a child to thrive in who they are and they will soar.

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