Any parent knows that the development of their child is one of the most important things. It goes without saying that school work is imperative. Every parent wants his or her child to excel academically. You want to make sure they have the best possible chance of bagging their dream job and leading a successful life when they get older. Nevertheless, to push your child into studying 24 hours of the day is unhealthy and unproductive. There needs to be a balance.
The other side of the coin you need to consider is after-school interests. This can be anything from dance lessons, to drama class, to playing football. These activities are extremely important as they develop your child’s confidence, social skills and practical capabilities. They also drive passion as well.
Nonetheless, finding the balance between after-school interests and school work is not always easy, especially when you need to consider the fact that your child is not a robot and thus relaxation time is crucial as well. This article is here to provide you with some top tips on ensuring your child finds the perfect balance between school work and extracurricular activities. Thus, keep on reading to find out more…
Create a calendar of extracurricular activities
First and foremost, being organised is extremely helpful. It only takes five minutes from your day to create a calendar for the upcoming week, yet the effectiveness of this can be astounding. So, how do you create the perfect calendar? Well, you first need to mark the activities you have upcoming for the week ahead. Thus, if your child has football practise every Tuesday and Thursday, mark this in. You should also include any activities you are doing as a family; perhaps you are going to visit the children’s grandparents on Wednesday? The reason you need to mark this in is so you don’t accidentally schedule homework time when you are already busy. Once you have scheduled the week’s activities, you can then make notes of periods that can be set aside for school work. It is important to be realistic. If your child has football practise from 5.00 pm until 7.00 pm it is highly unlikely they will be able to do school work effectively once they get home.
Put school before after-school interests
It is important to put school before anything else. Not only does this ensure your child is learning effectively, but it sets the right example. A lot of children view school as a chore, whilst their after-school activities are just for fun. You know that dance, tennis, drama and alike offer a lot more than enjoyment. However, you need to instil that school and getting an education are imperative in your child’s mind. If you allow them to put other activities first, you are only going to find it more and more difficult to get them to do their homework in the future.
In addition to the points that have already been mentioned, setting ultimatums is something that works really well. Does your child want to hang out with their friends in the afternoon? Tell them they are allowed to do so, but only once they have finished their homework. By doing this you are almost presenting them with a small treat. It is likely that they will put more energy into their homework because they will want to complete it so they can hang out with their friends or play a computer game.
Don’t be afraid to multitask
Last but not least, if your child has a big football game on the weekend yet also has a test the following week at school, what are you supposed to do? Do you deprive them of their extracurricular activities? Or, do you run the risk of them underperforming at school? The truth is, you don’t have to do either. Instead, why not multitask? Get your child to read their textbook on the way to the football game. There is a wealth of study materials that can be used in the car, such as flash cards. Make sure they are actually being productive though. Get them to tell you what they have learned.
Sarah Atkinson has a strong interest in education and has previously worked as an Activity Organiser at a British summer school. She is currently working alongside Nord Anglia Education to increase the online presence of a good education.
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