Remember when extracurricular activities weren’t “extra” and you got to learn about music, art, and get fresh air as part of your school day?
In today’s fast-paced world, the classic pursuits of art and getting fresh air can easily get left behind — especially if you homeschool your child.
What Gets Left Off the Extracurricular Activities List
We hear from parents over and over that they struggle to fit in:
- Music practice
- Art and creative pursuits
- Working with younger children to prepare them for school when they have older children to teach too
- Learning new technology for the modern world
Why Extracurricular Activities Are Important
Extracurricular activities are vital not just because of the subjects our children are learning. They’re valuable because they help our children
- Learn how to integrate hobbies into everyday life
- Understand what they’re good at naturally
- Measure how to work hard and persevere if an activity doesn’t come naturally
- Process the world around them through healthy activities
- Gain mental health benefits
If you feel overwhelmed by the “regular” stuff you’re doing with your child to learn, don’t worry. Our extracurricular activities provide a safe, loving environment with trained, skilled teachers.
How Learnwell Can Help
Starting Friday, January 20, 2022, our North Georgia campus is offering Friday Electives for grades pre-K through 8th grade. These are available for any homeschool student, not just those who attend Learnwell North Georgia Hybrid School. Some of them include video storytelling, art, preparing for kindergarten, drama and more.
Take a look at the classes we’re offering and find one or more that work for your children.
Why Hobbies and Extracurriculars Build Strong Foundations for the Future
Getting exercise and being outdoors provides both mental and physical health benefits that, when cultivated, will build lifelong coping skills.
Research shows that people who have hobbies outside of their 9-to-5 are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and unhealthy ways of coping with stress. But building these pursuits takes more effort once we’re grown.
In addition to mental health benefits, hobbies and shared interests help children — and adults — learn how to make friends, work well with others, and solve problems.
If your child has learned to incorporate extracurricular activities and hobbies into his life as a child, it’s something he takes with him during every season of life. Many studies show that having a hobby as adults and senior adults helps with maintaining a sense of purpose and value in a community of support.
Think about your own hobbies. While some take up new hobbies into adulthood, many began their pastimes in childhood. Some of those might include:
- Painting or drawing
- Playing an instrument
- Listening to music
- Interior design
- Running or walking
Whether you take a break for 30 minutes at lunch to listen to classical music and doodle or incorporate physical activity into your weekend, your habits are built over time. The same is true for children.
How to Help Your Child Pursue His or Her Interests
It’s easy to sign up our children for an extracurricular activity, drive them there, provide snacks, and then pick them up without having much input. However, what if your interest in your child’s interests made the difference between sticking to it and giving up?
It’s probably easier than you think to support your child in his or her hobbies. Here are some ideas:
- Ask questions about what he or she learned that day.
- Find out if he or she has a friend in the extracurricular activity.
- Allow your child to invite the new friend to meet for lunch and bring his family.
- Explain the hobbies you pursued as a child and which ones you’ve maintained.
- Share a story with your child about your own failures or temptations to give up.
- Support your child by encouraging him in something he learned, even if it’s small.
Encouraging your child and taking an interest in his interests has been found to strengthen the parent-child relationship and help your child stay motivated.