Many schools and community organizations host after school clubs for local kids. Clubs usually include interests such as team sports, creative arts, performing arts, and further exploration into academic subjects. Parents know that extracurricular activities, like after school clubs, can look good on college applications and resumes. However, after school programs also come with a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional benefits for kids. After school clubs can help improve academic performance, allow kids to discover new passions and hobbies, nurture life skills, and so much more.
Improved academic performance
Kids who participate in structured after-school programs see improved academic performance, according to a study by SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Not only did students’ grades improve, but the researchers noticed better attendance, as well as higher grade point averages in some cases.
Higher confidence and self-esteem
Participation in after-school clubs can lead to better academic performance, which goes hand-in-hand with another benefit: higher confidence and self-esteem. Kids who join after-school clubs are often pursuing a hobby, skill, or subject that they enjoy. As they get better at this activity, they might see a boost in their confidence and self-esteem. That carries over into their outlook and performance in school.
Developing real-world skills
An after-school activity teaches kids so much more than the activity itself. Real-world skills, or life skills, are developed alongside the skills with a new activity. For example, your child might join an after-school soccer club because they love playing the sport. They’ll get better at handling a soccer ball and keeping up their physical health. Plus, they’ll learn essential life skills like teamwork, communicating with their teammates, and perseverance. They’ll also learn skills like time management: how to prioritize after-school club attendance with school, homework, chores, and family duties. The skills they learn in after-school programs can benefit them in their future.
Foundation for the future
Speaking of the future, we all know that a well-rounded student with extracurricular activities is often a more attractive applicant when it comes to college acceptance. That’s also true for jobseekers: hiring managers will sometimes assess a person’s abilities and work habits through their passions outside of their career.
Getting involved in extracurricular activities at a young age can help kids see the value in having regular hobbies, a value that will carry into their future beyond school.
Participation in healthy activities
We’ve discussed the emotional and mental benefits to after-school clubs. Let’s not forget the physical benefits of participating in after-school activities, too! Certain extracurricular programs like team sports, dance, or self-defense gets kids outside and physically active. Even if the extracurricular program isn’t considered a “physical activity,” participating in something like drama, robotics, or speech and debate is still good for physical health. Pursuing a hobby can reduce stress, lessen screen time, and encourage healthy lifestyle habits.
Good for the whole family
After-school programs are certainly great for kids, but parents can benefit as well. When working parents are unable to pick up their children after the school day finishes, after-school clubs provide a safe place for kids to spend their time. Rather than hiring a childcare provider for the hours until the workday ends, parents can have peace of mind knowing where their kids are and what they’re doing.
Instead of vegging out at home on the couch with a babysitter, kids can practice a musical instrument, or play basketball with friends, or write and read in a quiet room at school. Even better, kids can practice their skills and enjoy their hobbies under the supervision of an adult who can guide or help them if needed.
Choose from Stratford’s many after-school clubs
Looking for your child’s next after-school club? Stratford has a wide variety of programs for current students. Choose from academic-focused clubs like Math Olympiads or Jr. Tinker Workshop. Kids can explore the arts with Hip Hop Dance or Choir. Or, they can get up and get moving with tennis, cricket, or soccer club. You’re sure to find an after-school club that suits your child’s interests and age with Stratford School!