The world is constantly changing and evolving. The technology and the adaptability to it are growing each day. In this world where there are so many skills to learn, relying only on schools teaching from textbooks or theoretical knowledge sounds very limiting. People are opting to send their children to child care programs, child development centers, early learning centers, and preschools to ensure they are equipped and prepared to learn. This is where after-school programs step in.
The afterschool programs are where children can develop a talent or skill that they are not taught in the school. Schools usually ignore the essential skills that can help children in the form of recreational activity or as a life skill like meditation and yoga. One of the perks of afterschool programs is that they contribute to expanding the child’s area of interest. This can be something that a child enjoys doing themselves, like – learning to dance, play a sport of their choice, swimming, painting or any other activity. It helps a child pursue their interests and gives them some time to relax and do something that helps them unwind. Sometimes, a child may not have explored their interests, which is completely fine. After-school activities can be taken up as they go; they might indulge in activity first and realize that it works for them, or vice versa. In both cases, it’s beneficial to engage in something and understand whether it works for them rather than not participating in anything.
Why Do Children Need Afterschool Activities and Programs
These activities and programs are an additional part of the child’s learning. Besides being academically good, it is essential for kids to participate in some hobbies like singing, dancing, meditation, yoga, and sports like martial arts, baseball, hockey, basketball. Besides performance, these activities should be approached as those that help children to pursue their interests, develop hobbies and take off time to do something that they consider fun. It also contributes to building a child’s personality. If they find some activities interesting, they might even pursue them further and excel in them. Children who engage in after-school activities are more relaxed and less stressed to prove themselves academically. On the other hand, a lot of these activities require a child to concentrate and practice. So, these activities act as a lesson for children to learn the art of practicing things again and again. Children need the afterschool programs to learn about –
· Value of Practicing: Practicing requires discipline and determination. This is why children participate in afterschool activities, which makes them more familiar with qualities like practicing, being regular, disciplined, and being more open to learning what they do not know. Another thing to be noted here is that if a child engages in an activity of their choice, discipline and determination comes naturally to them, and they do not have to struggle with trying to learn these qualities,
· Humbleness: After-school activities also make kids learn aspects of being humble while playing with others or learning with others. It gives them a sense of working in groups if they play sports and supports them to understand teamwork more closely. It makes them understand that winning and losing is part of it all, and more than winning, participation counts. Dealing with success and failures is easy if a child is exposed to these events in things that they consider relaxing and fun.
· Skill Honing: Afterschool programs make children focused on one activity. If their interest grows with time, that skill can become a great addition to their skillset. For example, if a child starts taking ballet lessons, they can ace it and add to their life skillset with time.
· Stimulating their brain more: When a child is made to concentrate only on educational aspects of the growing year, the chances are that a part of their brain does not receive stimulus as often. This is why after-school programs contribute towards the better learning of kids in different aspects.
· Time management: It is human nature to learn skills when put in difficult situations. When the kids are made to juggle different things together, they understand the value of distributing time. Time management is one life skill that helps every individual throughout their lifetime.
Afterschool Programs and the Positive Impacts
After knowing why a child may need afterschool programs, it’s not difficult to gauge what positive impact these programs have on kids. One thing to note here is that the child must enjoy the process of participating in the afterschool programs. It should not be imposed on them in any way. This is because imposing these on a child may have a reverse impact, and they might pick the negatives.
On the other hand, afterschool programs teach children some basic life skills like teamwork, time management, accepting failures, creating schedules, following schedules, building routines, and much more. These programs also have been seen to help the kids to perform well academically and score better grades at school.
Again, one of the most important things here is that the parents and children collaborate. Support from parents in these activities and the willingness of the child to learn a new skill set ensures that the children are learning better things from the experiences. The skill to process emotions in humans builds when they can connect with their peers, compete with them in a healthy way, accept failures without feeling disheartened, and manage their schedules.
The afterschool programs push children to learn soft skills and help them understand the way to process their emotions better. Afterschool programs are a great investment for a child to learn various skills that make them strong and humble individuals. It also channelizes their energy in the right direction and helps them keep up with the world and pursue their interests.