Extracurricular activities are equally important when compared to studies. Studying helps kids gain knowledge, but extracurricular activities help in the overall development of the child.
There are a lot of people who argue that extra-curricular activities are not relevant to a student’s life. In fact, the truth is that they play a vital role in a child’s life. A couple of years back extra-curricular activities were the only source of entertainment; smartphones, laptops, computers, and play stations did not exist then.
Parents should understand that a child’s social life is as substantial as their scholastic life, for their overall development. Extra-curricular activities also help in choosing their future at times and also keep them physically fit.
As the competition is increasing, the pressure on students for studies and performing well is also increasing. It is paramount for parents to understand that if they want their children to do well in academics, then it is vital for them to have a life outside books too, as it is an essential source of development for their kids as a human being.
Education should go beyond the books if you want to develop an active lifestyle for your child. Extra-curricular activities are not a distraction; they are as important as studies.
Why Extracurricular Activities are Important in School life?
Let us understand what extra-curricular activities mean before understanding its importance in detail.
Definition of Extracurricular Activities
They are those activities that are not an indispensable part of the academic curriculum but are a part of the educational environment. The word itself defines the meaning as extra means on the outside and curriculum means a running course or career.
These are the activities that fall outside the regular academics and are above and beyond the school’s needs. They require a consistent commitment and initiative as it is different than a hobby which you do in your free time. You would have to take out time every day for extra-curricular activities.
Some of the extra-curricular activities that you can opt for are cricket, soccer, learning a foreign language, singing, music, debate, cooking, philately, yoga, meditation and there are endless options for you.
Importance of Extra-curricular Activities in school life
By now, we very well understand what does extra-curricular means, but it is also crucial for us to know how it does affect school life and what its benefits are. Here are some of the advantages of extra-curricular activities-
1) They make your resume look good
They look good on a resume as they are proof of well-rounded interests and skills. Without much experience, this is one way how hiring managers assess your ability and work ethic.
For example, if you were in a debating team, managers would be able to make out that you would be able to work with others and would keep your mind well.
Plus, it also depicts that you have excellent public speaking experience. Also, if you are a part of any sports, then it shows that you can work as a team.
Hence, whichever extra-curricular activity that you opt for, it would make your resume look good. It also helps you in getting an edge over others as if you know a foreign language other than the basic requirements; the team would opt for you as this might help them in the future.
It strengthens your resume when you lack adequate work experience.
2) Revamps Academic Performance
There are a lot of parents who think that letting their children participate in extra-curricular activities might take away a lot of time. As they can invest this time in studying as it might impact their grades.
Instead, they should understand that learning or participating in it would improve their grade and outlook in school. The reason behind it is that they would learn a lot from it, such as time management, enhances self-confidence, organizational skills and also they learn to express them in a better way.
If children participate in activities they love, it enhances their brain function, which contributes to higher grades. For example, if you are into sports, it would not only train you to focus but would also revamp your stamina.
3) Provide a fruitful break from the study
A lot of people think that these activities are just for fun and a waste of time. Well, yes, they are fun but not a waste of time; instead, they are a productive break from regular studies.
These activities provide the children with a chance to explore their passion so that they can discover things that they like except academics. It is a fabulous break from studies, depending on the interest of your child you can choose for an extra-curricular activity such as painting, dancing, sports, skating, etc.
The significant benefit is that instead of spending this time in front of T.V, laptops, smart-phones, etc. they would do something productive that would not only help them today but will also enhance their future along.
4) Time Management skills are developed
Irrespective of any activity that you opt for; it is paramount for you to learn time management skills. The reason behind it is that firstly, they would have to make a proper balance between academics and their extra-curricular activity.
This would make them analyze thoroughly that what time they need to give to their studies and how to invest the remaining time. Time management plays a huge role in the examination, too, as you know in a couple of hours how to write and what questions to attempt first.
Time management is something that would help you throughout your life, be it in maintaining a balance between your office and personal life. It not only improves the quality of life but also helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
5) It provides social opportunities
Children should always be encouraged to opt for extra-curricular activities as it helps them meeting new people and making friends. One of the tough things in life is making friends, but it can become easy through extra-curricular activities.
It provides the child an opportunity to interact with others who have the same interests and build friendships outside their usual circle. They might also develop a different point of view as the friends they make might see life in general from a different point of view.
Thus, it an opportunity to expand the social network that might also help you while finding a college or getting great suggestions from them. Networking is an essential part of life, so it would be good if it starts from school.
6) Learn new and innovative skills
Without a doubt; this is a critical point as by joining any of the activity your child would learn a new skill which would help I school life too. Such as leadership quality, working in a team, becomes interactive, public speaking, and much more.
There are a lot of students who pursue these extra-curricular activities as their career in the future such as people become dancers, singers, translators if they know a foreign language, coach, yoga instructor, etc. They develop general academic plus soft skills in children.
Recommended: 20 Impressive Extracurricular Activities
If they learn how to balance between numerous commitments, this makes them learn management and decide what activity should be given the priority first. Thus, it makes them not only stronger but also develops a sense of commitment and discipline.
7) Higher Self-esteem
The more you learn and gain experience, the more confidence and self-esteem inculcates in you. When you achieve success after pursuing the things that you love, it makes you stronger and increases stamina in you to handle even more difficult situations.
Let us understand this by an example, if you love math, then you can join math club, number games or join Sudoku clubs. This would enhance your love for the subject, plus you would also get a lot of recognition, such as in the math club of your school.
It would increase your confidence and motivate you to work hard further and master your skills. It is always good to opt for the extracurricular activity which you enjoy and feel relaxed after doing it. It allows you to be successful without any pressure.
8) Sense of commitment and responsibility
Students who participate in extracurricular activities have a sense of responsibility and commitment. The reason behind it is that whatever actions they indulge into, they have to give proper time and commitment to it.
Additionally, they also have to balance the time between academics and extracurricular activities. When they join any club, they have to give time to it and take part in a lot of events there, which develops a great sense of commitment in them.
This not only restricts their extracurricular activity but caters to everything they do in life. This makes them more responsible for work and focused on whatever they do. For example, if a student who is a leader in an NCC group would have a sense of responsibility and accountability in them.
9) Expanding and Diversifying interests
If a student participates in activities other than academic, they get a chance to discover their interests beyond books and classroom. The best thing about joining any activity is that it lets them find their passion and strive towards it, which at times makes their future or help them in the near future.
It would be good if you observe your child and see what his interest is and then, according to that, make him join any club. Such as if his/her voice is great, then you can make him join a band or choir. If he loves playing chess, you can opt for chess clubs and so on.
It is vital for you to choose the extracurricular activity as per your child’s liking and interest, as that is what can make your child grow and develop. You should not put him in something in which he has no interest as there are chances that it would waste the crucial time of your child, which can be invested in something productive.
10) Essential Lifeskills
These activities help to build professional skills that a classroom can never teach, which are real-world skills. Such as a leadership club would teach a student to management and delegation skills. Sports help learning team spirit, joining scout will make them learn discipline and so on.
The various skills a student learns joining extracurricular activities are-
- Time Management
- Goal setting
- Public Speaking
- Analytical thinking
Well, the list is never-ending as it can arm students with a plentiful of skills future employers will be seeking for. The more you push into it, the more skills you will develop. You should not just stop by joining any club; you should have the zeal in you to open your own club and lead it.
Every step you take would teach you a new lesson that would be useful for your entire life.
This was about the importance of extracurricular activities in school life. There is another vital aspect that every parent should know which is keeping your child mentally healthy. Extracurricular activities benefits in fostering community and self-awareness, which gives them a healthy means of defining their budding identity in positive and pro-active ways.
Why are extracurricular activities essential with academics?
This is one question that many parents think of as they believe that it might distract their child from their studies. Don’t worry we have the right answer for you here which would clear your head about the connection between the two-
- Personality Development- When students perform extracurricular activities in school, it aids them in revamping their communication skills, public speaking, expression skills and other such things which works very well in terms of overall personality development of a child
- Physical and Mental Health- These activities need the child to be active both physically and mentally. They can choose any file they like such as yoga, gymnastics, athletics, sports, etc which is beneficial for them both mentally and physically as they get a break and feel relaxed from their usual academic stress
- Moral and cultural values- Students who go through extracurricular activities learn both ethical and cultural values. As they join various clubs and meet different people they get to know more about different cultures, values, and traditions. They also get to know about national and traditional events such as Holi, Eid, Diwali, Christmas, Gandhi Jayanti, Onam, and other cultural events. It helps in broadening their mind and knowing about different cultures practically rather than just reading in books
- Learning Experience- A lot of extracurricular activities are merged with academics; this ensures that the students learn effectively. Such as math club, history club, science club, drama, painting and many more, which are directly associated with academics and can help enhance your child’s career immensely.
Where can I find extracurricular activities?
This question comes to mind of almost every parent as which is the best place for their child for extracurricular activities. The first place you should search for is high school before anywhere else. Various high schools provide opportunities to develop interest, display talent and explore the hidden talent it, students.
The next option is clubs; there are arrays of clubs as per your child’s interest, such as math club, science club or another type of clubs, which are for chess, robotics, etc. Also, if your kid loves sports, then you can make him join the sports team or sports club.
It is paramount to maintain a proper balance between schoolwork and academics. Here are a few tips for you-
- Use time efficiently
- Plan both the thinks in advance so that the child has no work pressure or stress
- Begin the classes slowly, do not commit for long working hours immediately
- Breaks is an important part of studies, ensure that after every 45-60 minutes of studying, a child should take 10 minutes of a breather. It increases the concentration assures maximum retention
Popular Extra curriculum activities
List of extracurricular activities is endless but here are just a handful of them which are most famous-
1)Sports Team- If you love sports but do not get time to pursue or do not get a platform to show your talent, then this is for you. You can always join a sports club for any game that you like, it would not only make you feel happy but also help you in the future for getting admissions in sports quota or you can also join national or state teams and display your talent.
2)Theater club- If you love drama and acting, then you can join this club. Also, if you love dancing, singing or anything related to it, then this club is perfect for you. It has major benefits as it improves your communication and boosts confidence as you learn to perform onstage.
3)Debate Team- Students who join the debate team, stay updated on current issues and have the ability to think critically on their feet. They are not afraid to keep their mind and have a great presence of mind. So if you have an interest in current affairs and love keeping your point straight, then again, this can be an excellent option for a student.
Also Read: Top 10 Reasons Why Education is Important
Conclusion, How to balance your child’s schedule?
Thus, after reading this article, it has become clear that there is a direct relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance, as students who participate in them have higher grades, more positive attitudes toward school, and higher educational aspirations.
But, it is all the more important to ensure that your child is happy and learning while doing these activities as if she is not, then you should switch it immediately.
So, what does your child like?