From sports to dance debate clubs, and so on, there is no shortage of activities to have your child take part in outside the classroom.

So, Taekwondo or ballet, here’s a guide to figuring out the extracurricular activity to have your son/daughter partake in.

1.      Consider Their Interests

Before you start considering specific activities, take a step back, figure out their unique interests.

Think about what excites/would excite them.

If you’re uncertain what this is, you can involve them in the decision making process to learn their passion or passions.

You can then use this to decide on the extracurricular activity that will keep them interested for a long time.

Find out:

How do they spend their free time? Reading? Writing?

Playing sports or musical instruments? Dreaming about visiting Paris?

What section of the bookstore or library do they always end up in? Sports? Science? Travel? etc.

2.      Identify Their Strengths

Interests waver, but strength does not.

Once you have a better idea of what they like to do in general, pinpoint those that they excel at.

Ask yourself what skills they showcase, then find extracurricular activities that require the same ones.

Guarantee that they will enjoy themselves by choosing with/for them an activity that lets them shine.

These may include mental skills (such as continued learning and applied knowledge), which are used in things like math, science, and games like chess.

Physical fitness and motor skills like balance, coordination, and stamina.

These are needed for extracurricular activities like taekwondo sports and ballet.

3.      Think About Skills You Want Them To Develop

In addition to their strengths, identify skills you would like them to build or improve upon.

Consider these activities as a way to round themselves out.

Encourage them to seek out new challenges, without the added stress of having to earn good grades at them.

They can use these selected activities to develop general skills that they may lack.

For example, if you feel like their social skills could use improvement, look for activities that involve team projects and strong communication, like theater (ballet) or some team sports.

You can also have them apply their current skill set toward building new talents.

For instance, if they have a history of playing aggressive sports that have taught them to be assertive, consider other activities that demand the same self-confidence, like the debate club or ballet.

4.      Find Out What Activities Are Available

Go on their school website or reach out to management for a complete list of all the sports, clubs, and organisations available to students.

Also look for calendar details, such as start- and end-dates, plus event schedules, to make sure it won’t get in the way of anything else going on in your child’s life.

If there isn’t enough information on the website, seems, talk with their teacher, guidance counselor, or adviser.

Also look for other organisations in your community, such as

fitness, and volunteer centers, private clubs, lessons, and organisations, like the YMCA or the Boy & Girl Scouts, or some other recreational centers run by your town.

Look into each one carefully.

Once you have a list of available activities that match your interests, do a little research so you have a better idea of what to expect.

Make certain that you are comfortable with the level of commitment they expect from your child.

For instance, will rehearsals 4 days a week work for you? Also make sure that their culture is a good match for your son/daughter’s personality.

For example, with team sports, do they practice good sportsmanship or a win-at-all-costs attitude?

Whatever the extracurricular activity is, make sure the people involved will be a good fit for your kid(s) personally.

Visit their social media pages or website if they have any, or speak with current and former members for their personal take.

Ask to sit in on meetings or rehearsals to observe them in action.

5.      Think Ahead

Whether they’re in secondary, or primary school, think about the future.

Consider goals beyond graduation. Then think about how the current activities will reflect on them in light of those goals.

Admission boards of some colleges/universities tend to look for long-term commitment; so, only have them join a couple of activities.


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And when they’re entering the workforce after graduation, think about how the experiences offered by each activity could strengthen their resume.

Planning a food drive in school, for example, can demonstrate initiative, leadership, and organisational skills, which most employers will be looking for.

6.      Look for leadership opportunities.

Find out which activities promote advancement, to help them stand out from the crowd in their chosen career paths.

So, choose activities that will highlight their commitment by seeking more prominent positions and responsibilities.

Note that leadership roles aren’t restricted to titles like “captain” or “president.”

Volunteering to take on extra responsibilities is a great way to set your kid apart from other people who do the bare minimum.

You could evaluate each extracurricular activity by how much room there is for personal initiative.

Conclusion:

While extracurricular activities are great and impactful in many ways, it is important to always prioritise regular schoolwork over activities.

Keep in mind: extracurricular activities are “extra,” so don’t have them join any that will make their schoolwork suffer.

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