The importance of extracurricular activities is extremely fundamental. Apart from improving the academic, physical, and artistic field performance of students, they can expand their network in order to have good social skills and a successful career.
These activities help a child in the following areas.
- School performance
- Reading and mathematics
- Behavior towards learning
- Increased training expectations
- Psycho-emotional skills
- Social skills
3 Reasons why Extra-Curricular Activities are Important
First of all, they allow the students to connect with other students outside of their classroom. This helps in strengthening their social and communication skills, motivating them to be more participatory and promoting their self-esteem.
Second, it helps them to discover their passions and abilities. They develop innate talents that will serve them in their professional life.
Third, creativity, imagination, and curiosity to discover new knowledge are stimulated. This helps the child to enjoy learning.
What is the importance of extracurricular activities in schools?
On different occasions, we have talked about extracurricular activities, but always taking them as a moment of fun and entertainment for the children, considering them rather as a moment of recreation outside their academic agenda. Often it serves as a palliative for parents who have complicated work schedules and need to keep their kids busy until they can take care of them completely.
However, there are also extracurricular activities that are intended to function as a reinforcement of what is already done in school life, either because children have problems in certain subjects or because they are experiencing certain adaptation difficulties in their academic environment. For any of these cases mentioned, extracurricular activities will provide parents and the child with an effective solution. Let’s see below why it is so important to consider these private lessons for children with difficulties in school.
Why consider extracurricular activities?
Generally, when a child scores poorly in school, certain underlying issues may be affecting his academic performance. Low grades do not always mean a difficulty for the child to learn, many times these problems are a kind of somatization of internal or family problems.
For all the aforementioned, extracurricular activities are very important. Mainly because they will give the child space so that he can develop fully and can unload all his doubts, feeling that there is someone on the other side paying attention to him and willing to give him all the tools he needs to improve and to get ahead.
It is essential when we choose the reinforcement activity that we are very meticulous in the choice, the teacher must be an empathetic person, willing to work on different points of conflict with the little one, and help him/her, to meet their goals.
When it comes to choosing extracurricular activities, it will be useless to select a person who pressurizes the students, with authoritarianism and with the sole objective of improving the student’s grades. These people may give results in the short term, but in the long run, everything will return to how it was before because we have not dealt with the problem empathetically and thoroughly.
Why should children sign up for extracurricular activities?
We always talk about the importance of going to school throughout childhood and adolescence, but not so much about the equal importance that why should children sign up for after-school activities, in which they can socialize, learn, improve, and above all enjoy.
The advantages of signing-up are multiple:
Develop social skills
Meet new friends, from the same or a different school.
Play sports and move around, in case of physical activity.
Develop other skills, such as mental dexterity in chess.
Learn to work as a team.
But like everything, it is not without drawbacks, which, from our point of view, are totally justified:
Sacrifice for parents: Such a sacrifice can be minimized with good organization. This should not be an excuse for children to do activities!
Difficulty combining it with studies: As children get older, it becomes increasingly difficult to combine studies with extracurricular activities. However, once again, with good organization and adaptation of out-of-school activities, both can be done at the same time.
Most popular activities and why
If you are thinking of signing your child up for an extracurricular activity, and you may not decide which one will benefit them the most. We can help you with it. We assume that all activities have incalculable benefits. Let’s see some:
Sports such as soccer, basketball or volleyball: Sports played as a team are the most requested. Children generally get trained for two days a week and play the game on the third day, most probably, on the weekend. They bring companionship.
Activities like swimming or tennis: These are individual sports, but at a young age, they get trained in groups. It is less frequent to go to the competition.
Languages: Another option that is perhaps the most important for the Curriculum is languages. Chinese, English, French, Italian, German … Today, in such a globalized world, it is of utmost importance that children speak several languages from a very young age.
Boy Scouts: Another of the most demanded activities, where values, equipment, and outdoor activities are fostered. This is a great opportunity to make good friends.
Activities like chess: One of the underrated activities for the child that develops mental agility and organization in children.
Cooking: Increasingly fashionable, cooking is an activity that even the smallest can do. Among its advantages, it is to know the food and the importance of a balanced and healthy diet.
FAQs Regarding Extra-Curricular Activities:
The importance of parental involvement in extracurricular activities is also paramount. That is why we are answering all of their queries below.
How many days per week?
How many times should an extracurricular activity be done? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by parents. According to some North American studies that have analyzed this topic, the activity should be carried out at least twice a week, to get the most out of the activity.
How many activities?
This is another of the eternal questions we ask ourselves. Well, there is no exact number of activities that need to be done. The more the better, provided that under no circumstances overwhelms or stresses the child. We recommend two activities, each twice a week.
Increasingly, schools allow activities to take place at noon, in the pre or post-meal hours, so that these non-school hours can be used.
Should they be compulsory for the child?
The answer is no. A child should NEVER be forced to practice an after-school activity against their will. This encourages a negative reaction from the child to the activity.
However, you must let them choose between the whole ranges of possibilities: sports, dances, clubs, etc.
As stated in the article, complementing extracurricular activities significantly improves students’ academic performance. Thus, the extracurricular project of the schools should be considered significant, give it the importance it deserves, and provide students with a variety of activities that will help them to find their hidden talent. Moreover, it helps them in their professional career.
In the end, I will say the extracurricular activities help in the cognitive and social development of children and adolescents. The diversity of these services is very great: languages, music, robotics, sports, art … Because the needs of the students vary and the proposal of alternatives is necessary.