As a parent, when my children were little, I made it a point to get them involved in as many after-school activities as possible, then let them choose what they liked best—additionally, keeping in mind not to overwhelm them or me with too many scheduled activities.
We did, however, have them in specific groups the entire time, like Scouts for personal development, religious youth groups for their spiritual condition, and at least one sport for physical health and how to work as a team. The YMCA was great for them as tots learning the basics of sports and character building.
When choosing a youth program, consider the program’s goals and objectives, activities and content, age-appropriateness, staff qualifications, safety precautions, and location. Most importantly, ask your child if they are interested in the program and what they hope to gain from it.
Some independent as well as public schools offer after-school opportunities in leadership. It is a growing trend in education. For obvious reasons, leadership education and hands-on participation in leadership activities are important as they help to build character and social skills, as well as prepare young people for the real world.
Benefits of after-school activities
After-school activities serve several purposes for both children and parents. For kids, after-school activities provide a chance to explore new interests, make friends, and learn important life skills. They can also help children develop confidence and self-esteem and reduce stress.
After-school activities can also give parents some much-needed time to relax or get things done around the house. Although I truly loved when my boys were home on summer vacation, but I missed the downtime to recharge and take time for self-care when they were occupied with other after-school activities.
After-school activities help to build their character as well as their social skills. It is also a time for them to just be kids and have some unstructured play. With so many amazing benefits, it’s no wonder that after-school activities are so important for children of all ages.
Some schools that do not have an organized leadership program still offer opportunities for students to get involved in leadership roles like student government. Just another way for students to learn about and practice leadership skills. Other opportunities might include leading a club or sports team, organizing a school event, or starting something new.
In addition to leadership development, after-school activities also provide academic support, enrichment activities, and social and emotional skill building. These are the pillars to build upon for a student’s success in school and in life.
Successful after-school program models
The best model for an effective afterschool program has a youth development framework rather than a deficit-based or risk-behavior model. Like most youth, children and teens respond best to positive reinforcement and being told what they can do better than they react to being told what not to do. Thanks for the reminder. Its hard when you’re in the midst of teen “crud” to stop, pause and remember they are only going through another growth stage. Just like the terrible two’s!
A good program will focus on providing supportive relationships, a safe and structured environment, opportunities for skill building, and connection to community resources.
The key to a successful afterschool program is having caring and trained staff who are committed to helping them reach their full potential. The ratio of adults to children should be low enough to ensure that each child has a chance to form a relationship with a caring adult.
Why after school activities are important?
In conclusion, after-school activities are important for both the children and the parents. It helps the children to build their character as well as social skills. Parents get a break and, in return, have happier, healthier kids.