Extracurricular activities have become a very important part of a child’s educational process. Although they may not be an integral part of the school curriculum, they are important in developing and discovering a child’s skill set and passion.
According to Wikipedia, Extracurricular activities are activities that fall outside of the normal school curriculum. They can range from sports to music lessons, to ballet, drama, dance- anything that is a regularly scheduled activity that your child participates in outside of regular school hours.
Extracurricular activities have evolved from the activities that we are used to such as ballet, karate, and dance to activities such as coding, robotics, and Mandarin. This is because the world is moving in a different direction and the only way to prepare your child for this changing world is to enroll your child for Extracurricular activities that will equip your child for the future.
Benefits of Extracurricular activities
When a child starts to develop a hobby or learn a sport early, that child becomes more willing to learn new techniques and more open-minded about skill acquisition. Extracurricular activities are widely believed to positively impact a child’s growth, not just academically.
According to one study, involvement in extracurricular activities directly correlates to improved academic, psychological, and behavioral function. Other benefits include learning time management, becoming more accountable, and raising self-esteem. Extracurricular activities also look good on college applications and a resume.
How to pick an Extracurricular activity for your Child
Most schools in Lagos offer Extracurricular activities. Some schools on the Island go above and beyond to offer various Extracurricular activities to their students. These schools offer activities such as Computer coding, Robotics, Mandarin, French, Chess, Tennis and much more.
Picking the right extracurricular activity for your child is very important. if you get it wrong or you try to live vicariously through your child by making him/her do an activity you always wanted to do but never got the chance, it may lead to resentment from your child towards you. The most important factor in choosing is that it’s something your child really enjoys doing.
- Ask for your child’s opinion first, as it’s the child that will be carrying out the activity. If they have no idea, go through some options from the school or research on extracurricular activities in your neighborhood.
- Select an activity based on the kinds of activities they already show interest in.
As a parent, if your child’s school doesn’t offer some Extracurricular activities that you think your child will benefit from, you can ask them to introduce it for the benefit of your child and other children that may be interested.
When should your Child start an Extracurricular activity?
At the beginning of a school term, a child usually resumes a new grade and most times has to get used to new teachers and new subjects. If the child is starting a new term in a new school, he/she will have to get accustomed to a new environment, new classmates and probably a new school system.
Before you enroll your child for any Extracurricular activities, make sure that they have fully adjusted to the new term and their new routine.
Here are some signs your child has adjusted well to school and may be ready for more stimulation that an extracurricular activity can provide:
- They will be excited to go to school
- They are making friends at school
- They are showing normal academic progress
- They are even-tempered for most of the day
Once you are certain that you child has adjusted to the new school term, you can then introduce extracurricular activities.
Some mums we spoke to, say its best to expose your children to a lot of extracurricular activities. This way they find new interests and then they can let go of the activities they do not enjoy.