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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.