Book clubs, music clubs, soccer, basketball dance? There are so many extracurricular activities to help your child stay stimulated throughout the day.
Here’s how to choose the best extracurricular activity for your child.
1. Consider Your Child’s Interests And Natural Abilities
If you have an interest in music or are a star dancer, chances are you’ll like your child following in your footsteps and choosing the same extracurricular activities.
In reality, these dreams may or may not come true.
Instead of pushing them to walk in your shoes, try to really “see” your child.
Find out what he/she wants to do? What are his obvious natural gifts?
Don’t let ideas of what your friend’s children (peer pressure) or expectations of what you rather they do but your child has no interest, push you into forcing your child to take on an extracurricular activity they do not want.
2. What Is The Long-term Benefit Of The Activity For Your Child?
Time is precious – even with children.
The earlier they start guiding your child to you want your children to be using their time wisely, and to engage in activities that will have long-term benefit.
Sure, summer camps and sleepovers are fun, but for an activity in which you’re going to invest time and money over a period of time, you want it to be something that will contribute to your child’s overall growth and development over the long haul.
Ask yourself, “what is the likelihood of your child continuing to participate in or benefit from this activity when he or she is no longer of school age?”
For this, extracurricular activities like music lessons and football practice would still be in the running, because both have the opportunity to contribute benefits that would positively impact your child later on in life.
3. Does The Activity Compliment Your Child’s Natural Talents, Abilities, Strengths, And Interests?
When choosing an extracurricular activity for your child, try to avoid “one-size-fits-all” extra-curricular activity.
See your child as individuals, and determine what each of their natural strengths and interests are – and then find extracurricular activities that support those.
If your child is still very young, it might be difficult to uncover what his talents and interests will be.
In such a case, you can either wait until he is old enough to begin to manifest his natural strengths and passions, or you can try an activity that you think, based on family history, he will be likely to have an interest or talent for.
For example, if you and your spouse have musical abilities, it is highly likely (although not guaranteed) that music is an area in which your child/ren will excel as well, so the odds are pretty good that music as an extracurricular activity is a good investment.
4. Do A Trial Run
In most cases, you will have the option to “try out” a club, or class for free.
This can be a fine way to gauge your child’s interest before picking an extracurricular activity for them.
You can also visit the location where the activity takes place (with your child) while it’s in session.
This will give you both a good idea about what the activity will be like once it gets going.
If not anything, it will help you see for sure whether your child is interested in the activity or not.
If you notice your little one light up, that may be all the assurance you need to sign him or her up.
5. Be Supportive Of Whatever They Choose
Sometimes things just wouldn’t go your way.
When this happens, it is important that your support for your child doesn’t waiver.
Not even if he/she loses interest in an activity.
Have you read: How To Choose Best School For Your Child
Children, in general, lose interest fairly quickly.
So, if it happens just be supportive and allow your child to continue to explore other activities and other extra-curricular options.
Your child is at an age where he/she needs as much guidance as they can get. Remember this, and do your best to support them the best way you can.
6. How Much Of Their Time Will It Take?
This is a significant question because one of the major reasons you want to sign them up for an extracurricular activity is to help them better manage their time, not scatter it further.
That said, in choosing the best extracurricular activity for your child, you ought to ensure it is one that will not compromise your ability to maintain your priorities of a focused and relaxed life.
Debate club once a week, for example, would check this box just fine, but football club with three-times-a-week practices might not make the cut.
Find more resources that will help your child become better in academics here.