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After School Activities

Art-based Activities

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A recent report by several independent researchers concludes that participating in the arts fuels the development of social, personal and
cognitive skills. Programs based on Arts can also improve academic performance and decrease the tendency towards misbehaviour. These programs can also help children and young adults form positive attitudes about themselves and build self-esteem.

Development of imagination, judgment and philosophy are also benefits of an arts-based activity. As opposed to the short 45-minute duration of the
art classes at school, the extra time allowed in after school activities allows the youngster to get more involved.

For the shy or withdrawn child, speech or drama or theatre lessons may be an outlet for pent up emotions and can help to build confidence.
As drama entails getting into the ‘skin’ of somebody else, the youngster can learn to verbalise emotions and express thoughts.

After School Activities

After School Safety – Tips and Reminders

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When parents send their children to after school activities, they take it for granted that their child will be safe. However, since the number of kids
participating in these activities has grown, it is important to look into safety issues.

Children are vulnerable when they are in transit to and from any activities. It is important that they are adequately supervised, travelling in a group or know the safest route to take. Many children ‘hang out’ with their friends just after these activities. Do you homework to ensure the area is safe, otherwise you will need to ensure there is adequate supervision.

Your child needas to know how to handle emergencies. It is important to discuss various scenarios with them. Tell them what they should do in case the
class is suddenly cancelled. Show them the first-aid kit at home and make sure they know who to contact in case of an emergency. Post any important contact information (i.e neighbours and friends) in a place that is easily accessible to the child.

After School Activities

After School Programs and Discipline

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How important is discipline when it comes to after school activities? Since most of these programs are recreational, does a program still need to be structured and ‘strict’?

Discipline is just as important here as it is for school activities. The main objective for these programs is for your child to learn more. However, discipline in one form or the other is needed to facilitate learning.

Clear rules should always be established for every program. These should be clearly defined at the beginning by the supervisor or teacher.

Misbehaviour should be addressed if it occurs, so disruption can be avoided. If a child misbehaves, it is normally for attention.  The surpervisor should talk to the child so that they can understand them and take appropriate disciplinary measures.

After School Activities

After School Activities for the Overweight

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Research and studies show that our kids are getting fatter by the day. Many families in the UK are struggling to stay in shape. As a parent, it can be very difficult to refuse your child food, if they are begging you.

So, what can we do? Studies show that the number one reason for obesity in children is not junk food and fizzy drinks. It’s actually television.

Children tend to flop themselves on the sofa and eat when they are in front of the TV sets. However, if they didn’t have the option to watch it, their natural instinct would be to move and play. They would then be diverted from eating.

Recreational after school programs are very important if you feel that your child is beginning to put on weight. It is better they begin these activities as early as possible. The more weight a child gains, the harder they have to work to shed it.

Football, swimming, skating and martial arts are just some activities they can engage in. These activities would provide structured and disciplined exercise, which are imperative for an overweight child to engage in.

After School Activities

After School Activities and Relationship Building

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After school activities are a hot topic. We all understand the need to develop new skills, gain more knowledge and keep the children safe when parents are working.

The most critical factor in the success of any program is the relationship between the children participating in the activity and the supervising adults who work with these children. Often, kids may confide in a supervising adult member who is not a teacher. This kind of emotional interaction is very important when kids are struggling to make sense of their emotions and feelings.

Children often look up to these adults and are inspired by their knowledge and experience.  Young people can learn a lot from these adults and older youth who serve as teachers or mentors in these activities. These mentors are different from the teachers in the school and children are more likely to draw inspiration from them and become motivated.

After school programs that are managed effectively by people who are successful in their own fields of expertise will produce children who are more enthusiastic and successful. Meaningful interaction with adults is an important learning experience in itself.

After School Activities

After School Activities and Burnout

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For many children, learning does not end when school finishes for the day. There are still pictures to be drawn, books to be read and games to be played. Keeping kids occupied keeps them safe and out of trouble. However, parents need to steer away from overloading their kids with too many activities.

Do your due diligence:
As opposed to convenience being the deciding factor, determine what actually interests your child the most.

Free time:
Ensure your child has sufficient free time throughout the week. Kids need time to be kids and too many structured activities will cause burnout.

Knowing when to quit:
Often, a parent will enroll their child in an activity and they are disappointed if they do not excel or do not seem to be interested enough. You need to know when to let go. Your child may not become the next prodigy. However, let them discover what they really enjoy. Remember, enjoyment and purpose are all that matter.

After School Activities

A Home-Based After School Program

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So, your child’s school does not offer any after school activities. You are worried of depriving your child of all that additional fun and knowledge. So what can you do?

After school classes don’t need to be taught in a structured school-like environment by professional educators. There are many things YOU can do to support your child’s physical, academic and interpersonal growth. Do not be too concerned about formal programs, as many of our kids are already over-scheduled.

Obviously, schooling comes first. Children need to go to school, and complete their homework. Your child might develop certain academic preferences and interests. In that case, you can try and find an activity that will encourage and fuel this interest. Allow your child to use restricted internet searches to discover more about their new interest. Encouraging the child to do their own research to gain in-depth knowledge is something that most formal programs don’t do.

If you are concerned about the lack of social life, enroll your child in a club – a reading club maybe. Visit public libraries or even the theatre, if your child is interested. It is not absolutely necessary for your youngster to make
friends with kids their own age. A parent-child book club is another interesting option. If you can round up a number of like-minded children and their parents, you may well start your own after-school club.

Your child does not necessarily have to be a part of a structured, organised group to benefit from after-school activities. There are numerous options. Including your kids in daily household chores like cooking, cleaning etc can also provide them with a refreshing extracurricular experience. Moreover, it will strengthen family ties too.