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There are so many choices for after school activities these days. Do you think it is better to engage in team sports or academic past times (such as Lego clubs, library groups or music lessons)?
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Before the pandemic and before we started homeschooling my kids were very active with their after-school activities. My son who is into sports joined the basketball club so, they meet every week for the club meeting proper but played with his teammates after school almost every day except if they have a quiz the following day. My daughter loves arts so she chose to join the art club and she also attends piano lessons too.
It may seem a handful for some but my kids adjusted well to having to train after school. Maybe because they were doing what they love and what they do best. Today, even if we have decided to shift to homeschooling, we still do after-class activities. Although it is all done virtually, my kids still enjoy it but I guess, nothing beats face-to-face training. But for now, we just go with the flow. Everything is going back to normal, and we will go back to training very very soon.
I highly recommend kids to have an after-school activity because it can serve as a stress reliever to the demands of their academics. Just know what their interests are and know what activities they want to do. They get to spend their time enjoying while learning and socializing with other people.
My kids love to do all kinds of activities and I really treasure this! They appear super athletic kids, and believe me, they are, but also love to try new clubs like STEM, lego club, etc. I think it boils down to whatever makes your kids happy. I always let my kids try something first, and they aren't really into it, we don't force it.
There are a lot of really great benefits to sports and we tend to gravitate more towards these activities. Our entire family is involved (my husband coaches) and it's a great way to get outdoors. The coaches philosophy plays a big part in how enjoyable and beneficial the activity is outside of the physical aspect. I hope that you have great programs to choose from, like we do.
We are a family that thrives with busy schedules. But it's important not to burn kids out. Some children are happy with just one activity while others like to do something daily. As stated before, balance is key. Good luck!
There are kids today who are involved in so many activities after school, just for the sake of being busy, or trying to fill a high school resume, it's easy for kids to become overwhelmed. So it's important that your child chooses activities they enjoy and that are enriching.
Neither of my girls wanted to play sports. They were both academically, community, and culturally inclined.
My oldest spent a lot of her time organizing volunteer and service projects. She helped to start a recycling program, and headed up a community-wide fundraiser to benefit the families of fallen police officers.
She also volunteered to work at a pottery studio where kids could come in a make their own pieces. She enjoyed working with the kids, and making her own pieces! This helped her get real-world job experience.
My youngest also enjoyed participating in service-oriented activities. She worked in various community festivals during the year, with much of her time after-school spent in planning meetings and raising awareness about the events.
One of the biggest resources we utilized was our local library and rec centers. They had such a wide variety of activities for so many interests, my girls always found something they liked -- yoga, calligraphy, canning foods, science projects.
With so many new places offering different activities, and not just sports, kids should hopefully be able to find things to do which help them develop more confidence and skills, and along the way, be of service to others.
The best after school activities are ones that your child enjoys. For younger children, engagement and connection should be the primary purpose of any activity while mastering skills and competition are aspects of sports that should only be prioritised later.
Saying this, I do think that children can benefit from individual and team sports, and from cultural and academic activities. To provide some examples of benefits: In team sports children learn about co-operation and teamwork and get a sense of camaraderie. In individual sports, kids learn about self-discipline and intrinsic motivation. Academic activities (and some sports) teach patience and strategy, and cultural activities such as drama or choir are great for building confidence.
Not all children are suited to every activity and the child's temperament and personality should be considered when choosing their activities. I do think that commitment and perseverance are important lessons and for that reason I always expected my kids to commit to an activity for a full season (or until the activity was over such as participating in the school play). Children also need down time and so finding a balance between school, other activities, and time to rest and play is important.
Yes, there are a lot of activities for our kids to choose from. What a fantastic way to meet friends and stay engaged.
Whatever your child prefers should be considered. If they are not interested and the parent is pushing the activity, it most likely is a waste of time.
Is your child athletic or artsy or a brainiac?
Our kids come in all sizes, and we do like to try them at some type of sport to get exercise. But if they do not enjoy team sports, we do not want them to feel miserable and instead engage them in a more individual sport such as golf or karate.
Sometimes an afterschool activity with no stress is just what a shy or non-athletic child needs to feel like he fits in and has a "group" of similar peers. Scouts is an excellent activity for this type of child.
My most important tip is to ensure that your child follows their heart and that their activities do not stress them out. Work in exercise where you can, and if they are gifted in any area such as music or art, help them develop this skill.