Sure, signing your student up for extracurricular activities can mean a dedication of your time, money and energy as a parent. After all, someone has to pay for their equipment and supplies, support them in their goals and provide (or fund) regular transportation to and from practices and competitions.
That said, your child’s participation in extracurricular activities can produce huge benefits. Studies show it can boost student engagement, strengthen their attachment to school, decrease the likelihood of failure or dropping out, improve school attendance and even improve their social standing among his peers.
“There is so much pressure on students, especially in secondary schools, to perform well in their exams and attain high grades,” argues Nicole Jackson on TheEducator.com. “The problem comes in when students have no life outside their classrooms; when all they do and think about is their books. They become zombies whose world revolves around books, with no room for their development as human beings.”
Consider these ways in which extracurricular activities can boost student engagement and benefit your child:
- Better Academic Performance. One study by the U.S. Department of Education determined students participating in extracurricular activities are three times more likely to achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher than non-participants, an effect possibly linked to better organization and time management.
- Different Friends. An extracurricular activity may offer your child their first chance to connect with people who are there because they share a specific interest. Either way, their cohorts should represent a different point of view from the status quo.
- New Experiences. We all need to try new things throughout our lives to refresh our creativity, expand our horizons and narrow down the kinds of activities we find most rewarding. Your child may even discover lifelong passions and hobbies.
- Better Time Management. Juggling academic and extracurricular activities and responsibilities teaches time allotment skills and may reduce procrastination.
- New and Useful Skills. Extracurricular activities often provide excellent opportunities to brush up on teamwork, social, critical thinking and leadership skills in settings less pressure-filled than school.
- Commitment. Whether part of a team or going it alone, signing up for an extracurricular activity requires your student to follow through and give their all to a project or competition. In life, that’s called integrity.
- Sense of Responsibility. Committing to a team or project and realizing they will play a part in its success or lack thereof, may give your child a sense of accountability they may transfer to other areas of their life.
Alert Solutions’ school notification systems can help promote student engagement by providing students, teachers, parents and coaches with timely reminders about their extracurricular events. Learn more by calling 800-929-1643 and selecting Option 2.