Remote learning has many perks for kids. After all, they don’t have to get out of the house and go to school each morning. But all that comes with a cost, and many students are struggling to make remote learning work as they grapple with things like loneliness and depression. The world is changing, and extracurricular activities can provide students with a much-needed sense of normalcy. For that and so many other reasons, extracurriculars are important for remote student development. In this post, we explore why kids should still participate in extracurriculars while remote learning.
Why Kids Should Still Participate in Extracurriculars While Remote Learning
Students Need Socialization
Even before the pandemic, homeschooling parents well understood the need to socialize their children during and after school. At this age, socialization helps to shape a child’s personality and allows them to make friends that they may keep for a lifetime. Even most adults agree that the strongest friendships we have are the ones formed in childhood. Now, imagine you never had the opportunity to forge strong friendships at this time. That’s the situation that so many children are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If it’s safe and possible, in-person extracurricular activities are best. This way, kids can freely be themselves in a fun setting. But even if you must quarantine, virtual activities are a good alternative to ensure your kids are socializing.
Keeping Kids Out Of Trouble
The literature is mixed on whether extracurricular activities actually have a positive impact on potential drug abuse, but it stands to reason that the right activities could have a positive impact on your child’s social circle. And at the very least, your children will be safe and cared for while they’re participating in the activity.
We’re in a time when there are more “latchkey” kids than ever, and this could put many kids at risk. Not only can they get themselves into trouble, but they may be more exposed to danger when they are unsupervised. We do know that there’s a link between trauma and addiction, and keeping your kids in supervised care can be a way to keep them safe while you’re at work.
Fosters Well-Rounded Skills
When kids are involved in extracurricular activities, they will learn skills that they otherwise wouldn’t learn outside of the school walls. Whether it’s a volleyball lesson or chess club, they will be using their minds and possibly bodies to level up their life skills.
Teamwork is arguably one of the most important life skills, and most extracurricular activities encourage some level of teamwork. This is why extracurricular activities can be helpful in college applications and job resumes. When kids are involved in such activities, there’s a good chance they have the skills to work well in a team environment at work and in school.
Improved Time Management
Improved time management is one of those hidden benefits of engaging in extracurricular activities. Because kids will have to manage schoolwork and time with friends around the extra activity, they will naturally become better at managing their own time. Whether or not they are excited about the activity, they will be excited about other things they want to do, so they’ll have to keep a tighter schedule. And this becomes more of a conscious effort when you don’t have as much free time.
For parents, extracurricular activities can sometimes feel like more work. But because they have so many benefits, it’s definitely worthwhile to figure out how to get your kids to and from their practices, games, and meetings. And especially in a world where virtual school has become the norm, kids need extracurricular activities to improve their social lives and keep them busy while parents are at work.
If your kids aren’t already enrolled, consider adding at least one extracurricular to their agenda. They’ll enjoy it, and you’re likely to notice a positive change in their attitude, behavior, and time management. At the very least, it’ll look great on college applications.