Research has proven that without a doubt, after-school programs can give your kids an academic boost. Students who participate regularly in after-school programs exhibit significant improvements in both their behavior and academic performance.
After-school programs work beyond just keeping your child occupied during the afternoon. Students can build self-esteem, develop time management skills, and practice setting goals while participating in such activities. Although it may not be easy to squeeze in after-school activities for your little ones, the benefits are well worth the extra expense and effort.
An excellent after-school program can turn aimless hours after school into a fun yet productive learning period. And this can greatly benefit students with attention and learning issues.
Here are eight ways by which after-school activities can benefit your children.
1. Improve social skills
Conversations with caring older teens and adults at after-school camps give students opportunities to mingle with other people, thereby enhancing their social skills. After-school interactions also provide them positive behavior models worth emulating in a non-threatening environment.
A good after-school program promotes support, respect and cooperation. It helps children feel more secure about starting a conversation or participating in a game. When they slip up, someone is there to remind them to stop interrupting or to take turns.
2. Create a sense of belongingness
After-school programs are usually not run by a school district, so it is guaranteed your child will get to know different kids. This further means that they do not have to deal with the same social issues and cliques. When the facility is near your child’s school, the program can give them an opportunity to connect with familiar kids but in a different atmosphere.
Generally, there is more adult supervision in an after-school facility than in your child’s regular school playground. Therefore, kids with attention or learning issues are made to feel they are part of a group.
3. Provide fun learning activities
There are some after-school programs that offer complementary classes in areas like computers, mathematics, science and even robotics. During these sessions, there are no tests and students can work together in groups, which makes learning fun, hands-on, stress-free and meaningful.
4. Give academic support
Homework usually causes friction between kids and their parents, so getting it all done during an after-school program will make everyone’s evening more relaxing. Make sure, though, that the tutors are not doing your child’s homework on his or her behalf.
After-school programs can greatly benefit children struggling in subjects like mathematics and science. For instance, your child can learn how to solve problems mentally through the unitary method and how this can be applied in everyday life problems.
Most importantly, after-school activities can give your child a deeper understanding of difficult lessons and concepts, and the confidence in taking tests that had once intimidated him or her.
5. Help in character formation
Children with learning issues are most likely to engage in risky behavior, or are victimized. Keeping your child busy after school will prevent him or her from engaging in such behavior. In fact, studies have shown that being in after-school programs can result in fewer behavioral problems.
6. Introduce new interests
After-school programs provide options that children do not have inside their school. Whether your child is interested in bowling, playing the piano or robotics, there is likely to be a program that can accommodate and encourage such pursuits.
As your child learns new skills and interacts with other people from various backgrounds, he or she gains confidence that can be carried over into other aspects of life such as academics and various social situations.
7. Learn to time management
An excellent skill your child must learn is setting priorities, that is, by choosing which activities to do first and why, and managing time. Letting them attend after-school programs drives them to manage their activities while ensuring they have sufficient time for homework. By balancing extracurricular demands with daily school requirements, your child learns discipline and self-restraint that can be carried over well into adulthood.
8. Master goal-setting
After-school activities offer opportunities for your child to develop their goal-setting skills. Most of these activities involve achieving a goal, whether it be coming in at first place during a science fair or winning a championship match. Such undertakings help motivate students to try their best and achieve such goals while also having fun.
A good after-school program exposes children to new interests, and teaches them diverse knowledge and skills. If given the opportunity to choose an after-school program, go for activities that interest your child or help them understand difficult subjects at school.
Experimenting with various after-school options to find the best fit and continually seeking out new opportunities as your child matures will allow for better outcomes. But remember, too, that for after-school programs to be ultimately successful, parental coordination and support and the availability of learning resources are also vital.
Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.