How to Successfully Combine Your Child’s School and Extra Curricular Activities

Children are to play as adults are to work. So it's natural for your kids to want to play more than they want to study, however, you can help them combine school work with extra curricular activities successfully. Here's how.

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Children are to play as adults are to work. So it’s natural for your kids to want to play more than they want to study. However, you can help them combine school work with extra curricular activities successfully.

Here’s how:

1. Let school time be school time

The regular closing time for most private schools in Nigeria is 2pm. However, it has gradually become compulsory for children to be part of school lessons which end by 4pm. When your child returns home after spending 8-hours in school, a little extra curricular activity won’t hurt.

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It will be unfair to burden your child at home with another round of academic work. Asides doing their homework, allow them learn through games, toys, and puzzles . . . anything that does not require opening books.

2. Make a schedule 

As the sole care giver of your child, it is your responsibility to help them plan their play life the same way you plan their school life. Draw up a schedule of different extra curricular activities they should engage in every day, to encourage versatility. Playing one game everyday can be as boring as reading one book all year long. Let your schedule cover both in door and outdoor activities as well.

3. Limit the number of activities

When it comes to extra curricular activities relating to a skill like playing football, skating, dancing, etc, you need to limit it to not more than two per term. This will enable your child master each act.

4. Set the rules

In as much as you want your child to partake in non-academics activities, also let them know that their academic performance is key and will determine if they would be part of any extra curricular activities this session. ‘No good grades, no games.’

5. Anticipate the extra fees

There’s usually an extra cost attached to extra curricular activities in most schools, while it is compulsorily included in the regular school fess for some other schools – plan ahead. For activities that your child’s school do not have in their curriculum, you need to sort for the best training centers or clubs that offer that to enroll your child.

6. Encourage Usable skills

It is more useful for your child to join a skating club or a dance school, than a weightlifting team because the later is not ideal for a child. Don’t push your child in the wrong direction, allow them choose activities they can relate with and something they love.

7.  Build a Model plan

Children are good followers and learn faster when they have a role model to look up to. If your child chooses dance as a major activity then it is only wise that you find him or her a mentor they can relate with. Imagine Kaffy teaching your daughter some nice moves. If you can afford to arrange a one on one meet and greet session for your child and a role model, that will be a great move to boost the child’s passion and productivity.

8. Sort for competitions

When there is a goal, there is more drive. Your child would be compelled to work harder on an extra curricular activity if there’s a price attached to it. So if your child is very good at a game or sport, ask around for competitions relating to that field and prepare your child to not just participate but to win.

9. Know the other children

Your child is most likely going to have more friends when they engage in extra curricular activities. You need to know these children; their background, where they live, who their parents are and any other detail you can get. This will help you monitor the new circle of friends that your child is keeping.

10. Be there for your child

Children feel more loved when they see their parents come to watch them perform. Try and create time to attend every event they are featuring at to encourage them. If both parents can’t make it, at least one should be there. Don’t be the parent who always promises to attend but never shows up, be the parent cheering from the crowd ‘you go girl, you can do it.’