What to Look for In After School Activities for Your Children

Today’s parents are feeling the pressure to enroll their children in as many extracurricular activities as possible in an effort to develop “the whole child.” As a result, some parents actually end up over-scheduling their children, which can have adverse effects.

We frequently use our blog to share useful parenting tips for navigating today’s world, and one of our most recent blog posts specifically addresses how to identify if your child is involved with too many extracurricular activities. We encourage you to read this article as it can help you to find a healthy balance for school, extracurricular activities, and downtime for your child.

Once you determine the realistic number of extracurricular activities that your child should be involved with, how can you be sure that you are selecting the right after school activities for your child?

Here are 5 guidelines to use to help you sort the best after school activities for your child from the rest:

1. Content
All too often, parents are tempted to use their own personal interests to help guide which extracurricular activities their children should be involved with. Instead, let your child drive this selection as much as possible. Look for activities that reflect who your child is and include his or her interests. When children are deeply engaged in an activity, they tend to flourish.

2. Quality
A good quality after school program offers much more than just homework help. Look for disciplined-based programs that encourage children to create a quality product over time, such as putting on a play or preparing for a science fair.

3. Staffing
Take a close look at the staff of after school programs. Ideally, you’ll want a program with close ties to the community, which could allow children the opportunity to work with local artists, scientists, athletes, and heroes. This has the potential to expose children to real-life role models that will make a positive impact in their lives.

4. Movement
There are a number of benefits that regular exercise can offer children, such as boosting moods, improving learning and memory, and relieving stress. Many children today and spending an exorbitant amount of screen time, so finding activities that include movement can help to give your child a healthy dose of exercise.

5. Leadership
Many after school activities can give your child the opportunity to take on a leadership position, whether it be captain of a soccer team or leader in a volunteer organization. Your child can learn valuable social skills when he or she takes on the responsibility or organizing group work. One of the best parenting tips is to encourage your child to take on leadership activities, especially if your child has a passion in the area.

We hope you’ll use these parenting tips to help you sort through the wide variety of after school programs and choose the optimal extracurricular activities for your child.

Our mission is to challenge each student in a supportive environment that promotes academic excellence, sound moral values, and high self-esteem within a framework of God’s love.

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