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10 Benefits To Enrolling Your Child In An After-School Program

Regardless of the type of after-school program your child participates in, you’ll feel good knowing that he/she is benefitting in so many ways. Here are 10 benefits to enrolling your child in an after-school program.

10 Benefits for enrolling your child in after-school programs

  1. Companionship.  At school, your child may be the only one in his class who is interested in riding horses (for example). But an after-school program can put him in a group with like-minded children. He’ll be surrounded by others who share the same interest and passion.
  2. Exposure.  Our public schools try, but they can’t offer every type of supplemental class to our kids. However, many after-school programs incorporate special activities and enrichment classes as part of their regular programs. This provides our children with the chance to try out new activities, learn new skills, and maybe even develop new passions.
  3. Comfort.  Your child may not feel comfortable raising his hand in class, asking for clarification and admitting he doesn’t understand how to convert fractions into decimals. An after-school program may offer one-on-one tutoring or tutoring in a small-group, where everyone has the same challenges and similar questions.
  4. Specializations.  Your child’s school may offer an orchestral music program, but your child may be more interested in learning to play the drums or the guitar. An after-school program can allow your child to specialize and dedicate his time and energy to learning and practicing something he is genuinely interested in.
  5. Confidence.  Not all children are going to demonstrate success in the same way. While one child may not score particularly high on his weekly spelling test, he may be quite  skilled in another area. By participating in an after-school program, your child can feel confident in his knowledge and expertise within a cooking class, for example (which uses a lot of math skills).
  6. Strengthen Cultural Ties.  Participating in after-school programs can also serve to strengthen a child’s connection with his family’s cultural heritage. Language classes, music classes (such as Taiko — Japanese drums), and dance classes (such as Irish dancing) are some ways to give our children a sense of history and belonging.
  7. Organized and Structured Afternoons.  The time between the dismissal bell and dinner can be a time of stress for families. After-school programs can provide organized, structured routines that allow our children time to complete homework, play, socialize, and learn.
  8. Sense of Ownership.  Our children don’t always get to make a lot of decisions regarding their school day. They’re told when to eat, what areas they can play in, and what subjects to study. But at an after-school program, a child has choices. And these choices give our children a sense of ownership which then helps them become more invested in how they’re spending their afternoon. They’re more likely to try harder for something they really want to do.
  9. Learning Teamwork.  At school, children may feel as if they are in competition with their classmates for a high score. But, many after-school programs provide children with the chance to learn teamwork and the benefits of working together cooperatively — both of which are important life skills.
  10. Develop Lifelong Habits.  If your child’s school has decreased the amount of time dedicated to recess and/or physical education, a physically active after-school program may be what you’re looking for. We want our children growing up knowing that exercise can be fun, that healthy snacks can taste good, and that being physically active isn’t something that should happen once a week (like in an elementary school’s p.e. class) but that should be a part of each and every day.

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Wendy Kennar (349 Posts)

Wendy is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in her nine-year-old son and from her experiences from her twelve-year teaching career. Her writing has appeared in several publications and anthologies, both in print and online. She prefers sunflowers to roses and thinks chocolate is okay at any meal. You can find her at wendykennar.com.


3 comments

  1. Gregory Willard 19 August, 2016 at 06:27 Reply

    Our son has been saying that he was struggling last year, and is worried about this year. I really like that it helps their confidence to have an after school tutor. I think it would really benefit to schedule one of these courses before he graduates.

  2. Zequek Estrada 19 September, 2016 at 13:47 Reply

    These are some great points why you should enroll your child in an after-school program. My favorite benefit is the one about how it can help your child develop positive lifelong habits. That becomes more important when they reach adolescence when their brain is going through some serious development.

  3. Jenna Hunter 5 January, 2017 at 12:18 Reply

    I loved the idea that an after-school program can put him in a group with like-minded children. My 5-year-old son really loves Pokemon and no one of his age seems to think it is the cool thing anymore. I will be sure to check out which program would be a good fit for him!

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