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Extra-Curricular Activities Mail to Me   

Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

- Robert Fulghum

According to Wikipedia, extracurricular activities are "activities performed by students that fall outside the realm of the normal curriculum of school or university education." These activities can be in the form of sports, art, music or social work, to name a few. Most of us fail to understand the importance of such activities in the face of extreme competition in the academic arena. In encouraging our children to pursue their academic goals, we undermine the importance of leading a balanced life.
There are several benefits to be gained from encouraging your children to participate in extra curricular activities.

  •  Balanced Lifestyle

As mentioned before, it teaches them the virtue of leading a balanced life. From participating in these various activities, they learn how to manage time effectively. This is a very important skill to develop, be it for employment or life in general. ÂÂ

  • Character Development

Extracurricular activities can also be crucial for character development. It is a fact that there is limited interaction among students in a classroom setting. Participation in non academic activities within and outside the school gives more opportunities for your children to make friends. It is here that they will develop leadership skills and team working abilities that are crucial in honing children's character.

  • Social Skills

Some children are naturally shy and introverted. Encouraging them to participate in extra curricular activities such as social work will be helpful in bringing them "out of their shells".

  • Necessary Break

Taking some time out from academic work gives children the much needed break to unwind and relax. These short lapses where their efforts are concentrated on some other goal or activity can actually sharpen minds tired from studying. Research done in the United States shows those children who took part in extra-curricular activities consistently performed better academically than children who did not.

  • Heterogeneous abilities

Not all children are gifted with the same abilities. If your child is not very good at school don't conclude that it is the end of the world. Encourage her to take part in different extra curricular activities such as sport or art. It is quite likely that she is very talented in these arenas. Discovering such talents will do wonders for her self-esteem and may actually feed into academic performance.

  • Standing Out

If you aspire to send your children to university abroad then you have added benefits from encouraging them to take part in extracurricular activities. Top universities in the United States and the United Kingdom give a lot of weight to non-academic activities of prospective candidates, and not just to academic grades. Therefore, having extensive non curricular activity exposure will make your children truly stand out. This applies not only to university education but also to future employment. Employers in almost any field value skills that are gleaned from participation in extra curricular activities such as leadership skills, team working skills and task prioritization skills.

These are only a few of the myriad of reasons as to why extracurricular activities are beneficial to your children.
It is important for you to understand your role in helping your children with their participation in these extra curricular activities. Firstly, take some time out to discover what extra curricular activities are suitable for your children. This may initially involve some experimentation and will require a good degree of patience on your part. Next, be willing to take your children around for them take part in these activities wherever possible. This is especially important for younger children.

It is apt to conclude this article with a word of caution: Be sure that your children understand how much is too much. It is quite possible that your children get so carried away with their extra-curricular activities that they start neglecting their education and other responsibilities. Warn them of the problems that this can cause beforehand. In case you notice it in your children, talk to them about it in the first instance.

Editorial Team,

Health In Your Hand