Music? Dance? Swimming? Circus? Theater? Scientific experiences? The choice of extracurricular activities is great. Very large. Here are some tips for choosing the right activities for your children.
The benefits of an extracurricular activity
You probably have fond memories of the extracurricular classes you took when you were young and promise yourself to give your children the same privilege. It is true that extracurricular activities provide your child with an often very formative experience.
In fact, taking a course is a great way to help a toddler who does not attend daycare to socialize with other children, to instill some values such as perseverance and a sense of responsibility in teenagers, to promote a shy child who struggles to take his place in a large group and to introduce new fields of interest to any child. The benefits are therefore multiple and even extend to the academic sphere. Children practicing an activity after school or during the weekend would be less at risk of dropping out.
Extracurricular activities therefore have a very positive influence in the life of our child. But stillshould we choose the course that our children will follow. Here are some aspects to consider when making our decision.
It is important for the child to choose an extracurricular activity that suits them
For the child to enjoy, participate and thrive in a course, it must meet their interests. A child can choose an activity where he feels "good", but also a course where he can perfect his skills. You have to see what interests him. Parents need to step back a bit to better understand what would thrill their child. We must never forget that we do not enroll children in courses to make them Olympic champions or professional artists. We must seek first and foremost personal development. Performance should not take precedence over mere pleasure. Few people take singing lessons and make a great career out of it.
In addition, it is important to give them the freedom to choose a new activity, sometimes very different from those they have already done. It's a good way for him to validate his interest to better make a decision later. So if after 3 years of dancing, your daughter wants to "try" the circus, that doesn't mean she'll never be interested in dancing again. She may return there, with a greater interest in investing in it, after having touched on other disciplines.
Extracurricular activities can also be used to compensate for a certain lack that school cannotoffer (or cannot offer over a longer period). If your teen loves to draw, but only has one art period in their schedule each week, you can offer them a drawing or comic book workshop.
Good idea! If your child is having trouble finding what they would like or making a choice, ask them a few questions like “What classes do you like in school? », « Is there a sport that you would like to try? », « What would you like to improve? etc.
And don't forget that these courses are not "compulsory". If your child does not wish to register during a session, respect their decision. A break can sometimes be beneficial!
With the crazy schedules of parents and children, trips to school or daycare and household chores to do, it would be utopian to believe that we can choose any extracurricular courses without taking into consideration the logistics of the schedules. Some families concentrate all the children's lessons in a single time slot (Saturday morning, for example) while others spread them out throughout the week. Extracurricular lessons for each child must not disrupt the whole family routine. Otherwise, you will always feel torn and especially nothing will happen in the pleasure. It's up to you to see what will cause you the least concern and the most satisfaction.
Good idea! Limit thecourse registrations per session per child. Already your puzzle will be less painful!
New extracurricular activities
It's not just swimming, karate or dance lessons. They may be the most popular, but there are many more. Scan through flyers from your city's recreation department, neighborhood newspapers (in August and January, you'll find plenty of ads from private schools offering classes), and public bulletin boards at the grocery store or library. Ask your children's friends what classes they have already taken. You will find really amazing activities (comic making, trampoline, basketball, cooking, etc.).
Great idea! Start with just one session registration to try out a new activity instead of paying for the whole year. Even if the discount is often attractive when paying for the year, how can we be sure that our child will really like it?
The cost of extracurricular activities
The rates for the session, the fixed registration price, the equipment or material needed, the appropriate clothing, the “small snack” each week, etc. The bill is climbing fast! Set a budget per child and try to save during the year to pay without having to tighten your belt too much in September. Also, don't hesitate to buy used equipment to reduce costs!
Good idea! Get the grandparents, godparents or godmothers in the know and ask them as a giftbirthday or Christmas to pay the children a lesson of their choice. Some even offer to provide transportation (too great!) which makes your job easier and… blows your wallet! And your children have another time slot of their own!