5 Benefits of Afterschool Programs

Carl Turnley

Education is obviously one of the most crucial parts of growth for a child. The classes taken teaching them skills that can be applied to the modern world prepare them life outside of school. However, their education should not be limited to within these buildings’ walls.

Afterschool programs are extremely beneficial in terms of continued growth for your child, and should be strongly considered depending on his or her interests. From karate classes, to instrumental lessons, to painting, children have a wide range of opportunities to choose from, all of which can enhance their development. With that said, here are five of the greatest benefits that come with enrolling children in afterschool programs.

Improves Academic Performance

Many afterschool programs allow for children to do their homework when present, and even offer help if needed. Working in a much more casual environment may inspire them to ask more questions, and generally show more interest in the work that they’re doing. Some programs even focus specifically on certain subjects, like math, science, and computers. This can directly lead to more enthusiasm when learning about these subjects in school.

Increases Confidence

As mentioned before, the casual environment of afterschool programs can give children a sense of ease. There may be feelings of pressure in school and certain classes that students feel, inhibiting them from contributing as much as they’d like to. When taking part in an activity that they genuinely enjoy after school however, chances are they will be much more likely to try new things and challenge themselves. This can improve self-esteem quite substantially, which is profound for those with learning or attention issues.

Similarly, an increased sense of confidence can translate to leadership skills. Once these are developed, a child may be bore inclined to take initiative and join a student board, school clubs, or assist teachers during or after class. A trait like this is one that is extremely vital in the working world.

Enhances Social Skills

Groups of children taking part in activities that they enjoy together are much more likely to interact with one another; something that isn’t seen quite as often in the classroom. Afterschool programs promote interaction among their participants, and are great platforms for children to build their social skills upon. Experienced staff members are present to correct and teach a child should they act out, which can again sharpen their interactive abilities.

Provides Physical Activity

Programs like the YMCA offer several physical activities for children to play, like swimming, soccer, flag football, and much more. Not only does this keep them active and healthy, but it promotes a healthy lifestyle in general. Additionally, these programs may teach children the importance of nutrition, and provide healthy snacks.

Keeps Kids Occupied

Many parents today may work longer hours that directly compete with their child’s school schedule. While some jobs today are more accommodating, it can be difficult to leave early every day to ensure you are home when your child is. Afterschool programs can effectively act as modes of childcare in addition to their educational benefits. Though they should never be seen as merely babysitting platforms, these programs can keep children in a safe environment while their parents are still at their places of work.

In fact, studies have shown that teens whose parents’ work schedules may conflict with theirs are more likely to engage in risky behavior; something afterschool programs can help with by keeping them occupied and off the streets.