While your kids are getting back into the swing of things it is a great time to start thinking about how involved your kids are in school. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, about four of every five students participates in an extracurricular activity or club at school, and participation in clubs and activities at school were linked to student success and the student’s likeliness to go to college.
When it comes to getting your kids excited and motivated to join in clubs and get involved in school, it is often easier said than done. Here are a few reasons for your kids to get involved and tips on how to get your kids excited and involved.
Benefits of being involved
Getting involved in school does a lot more than just keep your child busy and out of trouble. Of the benefits that your child can get from being actively involved in their school are a higher attendance rate, better grade averages, improved social engagement, and improved college opportunities, according to theNational Center for Educational Statistics.
Getting kids involved in sports, arts, or clubs at school can also decrease your child’s screen time and teach them healthier habits, according to BayCare. Getting your kids involved in an extracurricular activity involving the arts, like music, theatre, dance, sculpting, painting etc. makes them more likely to become inventors or entrepreneurs. Sports teams also teach kids the value of teamwork which can benefit them when they enter the workforce. Getting involved in student government can teach kids how the government works to better their understanding of the world.
Encourage your kids to find a passion
One thing that can make it fun for your kids to get involved is to encourage them to find their passion, and pursue it at school. Does your child love math or science? Encourage them to find a math or science club. If they love sports, encourage them to join a sports team. If they aren’t sure what they want to do, allow them to try a variety of clubs.
This doesn’t just apply to high school students, it also applies to kids in middle school or even elementary school students. When your kids have the chance to participate in clubs or school groups they can form stronger bonds with teachers and fellow students, so it is never too early to start.
Many middle schoolers go through what is called “The Wheel”, where they are given the chance to try everything from orchestra and band to chorus and sports. Encourage your kids to really try to use this time to find what they want to do.
Set Ground Rules
One of the concerns that many kids have when their kids are choosing clubs is that their child will become overscheduled and overstressed. There are some things to look for when you think your child may be overscheduled, such as missing meals, falling grades, frequent headaches, and frequent stomach aches, according to KidsHealth.org. Some ways to avoid this is to agree on ground rules ahead of time and go over the schedule with your child beforehand. Know how much time each activity will take, and make sure that they are allowing themselves enough time to wind down, do homework, and have family dinners.
When you have a big family especially, it can become time (and money) consuming when all of your children are involved in multiple activities, so make sure that each child is aware of the financial and time budget for them. Make a carpool plan with other parents and make sure that your kids understand priorities, says KidsHealth.org.
If your child attends a school that doesn’t offer extracurricular activities, there are still plenty of options. After school care such as the YMCA has sports and activities for kids of all ages.
By Angela Ardolino of Parenting with Angela, ParentingWithAngela.com