It seems that nowadays, children grow up in a society that demands expertise in everything – this is the age of specialization. Learning from textbooks is not enough for the overall development of your child. It is in their best interest to be involved in an advantageous after-school program.
What is an after-school program?
After-school programs are designed to develop a talent or skill that is not focused on by regular schools. These programs could be educational or recreational in nature and aim to keep the child active and interested.
What are the benefits of an after-school program?
The most important advantage of a good after-school program is that it widens your child’s areas of interest. He or she is introduced to new things that are interesting and challenging. Developing strengths in a new area or mastering a new skill will help to increase your child’s self-esteem.
Socialization is another great advantage of an after-school program. Children get to meet other children who share similar interests and develop friendships and bonds. Also, interactions with one or more adults allows them to benefit from positive relationships with authority figures.
After-school programs are a perfect way to keep your teenager busy. This provides some protection from destructive habits like drugs and alcohol. Surveys also indicate that children who are kept busy through diverse absorbing activities are less prone to abuse, depression and burnout – they also show significant increases in achievement and attendance and a reduction in dropout rates.
Lastly, many children put into recreational after-school programs increase their health and decrease their weight. A newly emerging trend shows that about 15% of children below the age of 16 are obese. Sports and games are an effective alternative to restrictive diets.
How can I find a good after-school program for my child?
It is important to choose an after-school program for your child that explores and builds upon their interests – enrolling them in activities that they are already proficient in may cause boredom. As well, having them attend programs they have absolutely no interest in is counter-intuitive.
Your search for an appropriate after-school program should begin with your child’s school. Speak to your child’s classroom or resource teacher to see if there are any programs your child may be interested in. If you participate in any parent-groups, on Facebook or offline, you can seek the advice of other parents for after-school program suggestions.
After-school programs provide innumerable benefits to your child from overall development to socialization to health. It keeps your child entertained while burning excess energy. It allows them to build their self-esteem and explore their creativity.