It can be difficult to get the balance of curricular and extra-curricular activities right for your child. If they have too many extra curricular activities of course, it could start to impact on their academic performance. Too few, and they miss out on some of the great benefits that extra curricular activities provide. In most cases, having at least some extra curricular activities will be a huge benefit.
Improvement in academic performance
Studies have shown that involvement in extra-curricular activities can actually help to improve your child’s performance. If your child finds an activity that they are passionate about, this creates an overall enthusiasm that is often reflected in school work, too. Not only this, but taking part in activities that are so different from their school work allows your child’s mind to have a break, which will leave them refreshed and better able to perform when the time comes to start studying again.
Having regular breaks from school work is also important for lowering stress and fatigue, which is also helpful for academic performance.
Increased self esteem
Hobbies are important for building self-esteem, both in children and in adults. In children the effect is particularly powerful because they have so many opportunities to parlay that newfound sense of self-esteem into positive pursuits.
For hobbies to have a positive impact on self esteem the most important thing is that it must be a hobby that your child has a genuine interest in. If children are pushed to take part in hobbies that don’t really interest them, then the same positive effects won’t be seen.
Children gain self-esteem from hobbies because it gives them not only the opportunity to find satisfaction in doing something well and gaining a new skill, but it gives them the opportunity to earn genuine praise for something that they are passionate about. On the flip side, children with hobbies also learn how to ‘fail’ at something, and have got satisfaction out of it anyway because they were enjoying themselves. These are all great lessons to take into the rest of life.
Finally, a hobby gives a child the opportunity to gain ‘wins’ when they are feeling frustrated. For example, a child struggling with their homework might boost their mood by partaking in a hobby that they are good at.
Hobbies are also important as your child progresses through life. As they apply for universities and jobs, employers and potential colleges will want to know about their extra-curricular activities.
This is one of the many reasons that prestigious schools like The Rugby School Thailand put such a strong focus on extracurriculars as part of school life.
Opportunities to make friends
Particularly for children who are perhaps not as loud or outgoing as their peers, hobbies provide a great opportunity to show their best qualities to potential new friends.
Children who have a good group of friends are likely to thrive academically because they have a sense of support around them as they navigate school life.