As teachers and schools increasingly devote their class time to gearing children up for test taking, parents are finding creative ways to add to their child’s education. Parents are finding a variety of ways to supplement or add to all of the lessons they are learning in the classroom through experiences outside of the classroom.
From theater, music, science to athletics, parents are learning to bulk-up on their child’s after school activities in the hopes of creating a well-rounded child with a variety of interests. Do a little research and see what after school interests your child might have- you may be surprised!
Theater classes are generally taught in after school settings at local art centers and studios. Occasionally, an in-school theater program will offer opportunities after school as well. Regardless of where a child is enrolled, you can be sure that they will be positively influenced by such studies. Aside from reaching into a child’s creative and imaginative side, theater and creative drama promotes self-confidence, communication and interpersonal skills.
Music courses are also a common after school activity. If your child shows a particular interest or curiosity in a certain instrument, talk with your in school music educator to see if they can recommend an instructor. Often there are guitar, piano and violin instructors in the community that take new students on a rolling basis. These instructors can chat with you about the importance of music for children and can help you understand the process of starting your child with music lessons.
Of course, not all children have an interest in theater or music. Some children want to explore the world of science a little more deeply. If your child shows a heightened interest in biology or physics, look for local opportunities to join science clubs. You could also speak with your child’s science instructor about science fair opportunities. Social clubs like 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts also lend opportunities for children to participate in a social science. These clubs often provide an expanded view of the world and give your child leadership opportunities they may not have encountered otherwise.
Finally, if your child is showing an interest in supplementing their physical education, consider enrolling them in organized athletics, dance, gymnastics or baton twirling. Talk with your child to see where their interests lie, and then begin researching opportunities in your community. Usually the spring and summer is a good time to enlist your child in sports such as baseball, softball or soccer. You can also look into local peewee or flag football leagues. As for dance and gymnastics, check local studios that may provide beginner classes.
According to Helene Goldnadel, regardless of your child’s interests, supplementing their education with after school enrichment activities is always to your child’s benefit. They will have new experiences meet new people and make new friends from different schools and communities. Enriching their education with arts or athletics will provide them with a well-rounded childhood experience and help them explore their interests and creativity.