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We received complimentary lessons to help facilitate this post. All opinions are mine alone.
Parenthood is exhausting, especially with multiple kids and all of their additional events. We already have so much going on each day, so fitting in their dance, karate, music lessons or whatever else can seem daunting. Sometimes, we may even wonder why the heck we’re allowing anything more, when even school and homework can be overwhelming! While I’m a firm believer that children shouldn’t be OVERLY scheduled, here’s some reasons Why Extracurricular Activities are Good for Kids.
Now, in our house we limit each of our kids to just one extracurricular activity at a time (with a few very rare exceptions). Three of my kiddos have been taking latin ballroom classes for a few years now, and two of my boys just started doing music lessons at School of Rock for the summer semester – and that’s been a huge blessing! When those two had nothing to do, they felt left out – they didn’t know WHAT they wanted, but knew they were missing out on something. Once they started learning their drum/guitar skills, though, they’ve really blossomed and their daily attitude is much happier and more positive. It truly shows that extracurricular activities are good for kids!
Helps Build Their Passion
Many adults nowadays don’t even know what they’re passionate about – they just focus on getting a good-paying job. Not that that’s BAD, necessarily, but even outside of work they don’t know what they really enjoy. By letting kids try different things as they’re growing up, they can learn what they’re really excited about, what makes them eager to put in the practice/work for. This can help them decide not only what to do later in life, but also leave the option for an ‘extra hobby’ as an adult, too.
Along with that, they can build up their skills in whatever their hobby is – such as my boys’ guitar or drums – and use that to provide a living for their family when they’re older. Their instructors at School of Rock really enjoy their ‘work’ teaching kids music, and I can almost guarantee they grew up building their knowledge and experience so that they COULD do that. Not only do they get to share what they love, but get to earn a living spreading those skills. Likewise, one of my girls has a dream of being a dance instructor on the side when she’s an adult, and is working hard to make sure she has the skills and experience necessary for that. Think long-term!
Teaches Them Responsibility
We all know that school homework can be a struggle – big time! But when your kids have something fun to do, especially something that they CHOSE to do, it can be a whole different story. I fight with some of my kids about school daily, but never have to nag about practicing – they just do it every morning like clockwork! With my two boys doing instruments, since they have only been working on this for a little over a month, they’re still learning HOW to practice more productively – such as dividing their practice time between their different songs for band, or knowing to spend more time on a certain skill their struggling with. If they don’t practice, they learn to be accountable for that with their class or fellow band members.
Also check out the Benefits of Music Lessons for Kids!
Gives Them an Outlet
One of my boys has SPD (sensory processing disorder), so he’s always bouncing and needing movement. Some days it’s hard to make sure he gets enough of that stimulation he needs, but once he started playing the drums – getting to bob his head to the beat, hit the drums with sticks and the foot kicker, and move back and forth between the different drum/cymbal pieces, you could really tell a difference. It’s been great not only for that motion he needs, but also all that extra energy that kids can get! When my other son is driving me bonkers because he has too much built-up energy in the house, I suggest he goes and does a few dance rounds – works like a charm!
Healthy Social Environments
My kids have been both public schooled and now homeschooled, and in both situations I can honestly say that I’m super grateful for the friends they have during their outside activities! Friends at school (or in homeschool groups, or whatever) are great, but they don’t seem to be quite as close. I think part of that is within the class or band, they share that same passion and are working on it together, already giving them something to connect with. I’m not saying our kids are friends with EVERYONE in their activities, but their best friends have certainly come from their extracurricular activities. They learn to get along better, work together and to help each other progress in their skills, which is such a blessing for kids.