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The Importance of Extracurricular Activities

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Child playing soccer as an extracurricular activity.

Importance of Extracurricular Activities for children

Extracurricular activities can greatly enhance your young child’s education. Sports and music, for example, can help kids develop passions and talents and teach them how to learn and how to push themselves. They provide structure to their daily schedules – after school on Mondays and Wednesdays you drive your child to soccer and on Tuesdays and Sundays there’s a piano lesson.

While these activities may seem to clutter up your schedule, they can serve important purposes in rounding out your child’s education. While you should likely veer away from over-scheduling your child, a great way to expose them to learning experiences that they will actually enjoy might be to enroll them in all kinds of extracurricular activities – and make it clear that they can drop the ones they do not like. Some parents over-enroll children in activities by encouraging them to try everything with an open mind, but, although allowing them to choose, require that as they grow up, they must play at least one sport and one instrument. 

Other extracurricular ideas

There are, of course, other extracurriculars for older children – debate teams, trivia teams, mathletes, model United Nations and traditional sports…. A crucial benefit to starting your child off with extracurricular activities at a younger age is that they are likely to maintain at least one or two of them into their teens. Extracurricular activities on college applications can show years of dedication or recent curiosity, but whichever they evidence, they are good qualities to see in an applicant, and, perhaps more importantly, in a person. They also keep teens out of trouble and focused, in addition to helping their education be more well-rounded.

Besides being a great way to socialize with peers, extracurriculars provide an outlet for high school students to better handle stress and learn time management.  Striving for more than excellence in academics provides a great life lesson. 

Related article: Life Skills Education!, Backyard Activities to Beat-the-Heat.

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About the Author: Yvonne Wonder

As the founder and managing director of Destination Sitters, LLC, a national hotel and event babysitting service, and the mother of two children, I strongly believe that family comes first. I personally needed babysitting when I moved to San Diego 14 years ago. Like most parents, I assumed there were standards for temporary babysitting; in reality, there are no state standards or licensing requirements for temporary babysitting. The idea for Destination Sitters was born! I wanted to Give Parents Peace of Mind® when traveling with their children, so I created strict screening requirements for the sitters we refer. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from getting great professional help to care for your children, especially when traveling away from home. I and my partners, along with our office staff, have that one goal in mind with everything we do. Through the years of working with children, I have been inspired to write three books, and this blog for parents’ and children’s wellbeing. I believe the best way to teach a child is leading by example, with love, honesty, integrity, compassion, perseverance, and personal responsibility. Learning these values and teaching children that all women and men are equal will encourage them to dream big to be anything they want to be! An entrepreneur for over 35 years, I previously spent years running a construction and design company with two offices in California and built million-dollar estates and remodeled existing ones. For three and half years, I was one of the primary designers on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. I have also been published in books, magazines and newspapers, and have been a featured designer in multiple showcase houses.

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