With the Summer drawing to an end and many of us returning to our “regularly” scheduled programming, it is becoming clear the ways in which our once daily routines are now in fact, irregular.
For example, many students are still unable to physically attend classrooms and are learning remotely. And while this may seem to be the biggest change, it’s effects ripple out to many other aspects of a student’s life. The way a student does homework looks different, testing looks different, social time looks different, and of course the after-school routine looks different.
Now, more than ever, it is important to consider how your child may need after-school programming to help supplement and enrich learning experiences and life in a time where things are just looking a little different.
1. A new kind of learning and skill building
Traditional schooling offers a great blanket coverage of knowledge. You show up and you learn what you need to know, but sometimes this leaves students waiting to learn what they want to know. After-school programs will take them further.
After school programs offer a more targeted and specialized approach to learning. With classes on coding, vlogging, animation, robotics, and more, students are given the opportunity to dive deeper into their interests.
In the same way that camps help kids develop and build more specialized skills during the summer, after school programs can boost this during the school year.
Schooling is a very habitual experience. Students go to the same school everyday, are exposed to the same people, sit at the same lunch tables, and are often learning the same subjects, year after year. This can be both positive and negative. On one hand, this allows students to feel comfortable, safe, and develop strong relationships. On the other hand, students do not have as much of an opportunity to get out of their comfort zone.
After school programs allow students to connect with new circles of people, who just so happen to also have similar interests. Funny how those things work out. It is great for a child to build new relationships as they are also exploring new skill sets. A child is able to uncover new things within themselves as well as in other people. Joint discovery is a wonderful thing!
3. Social time
This one is a big one. Especially with COVID-19 and social distancing measures in place, children are have more of understanding on the importance of their social lives. Sometimes you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. Whether it is kids being confined to indoor play, being unable to partake in the day to day social activities, or having to attend classes online with little time for talk, kids have had to endure a major shift in the way in which they are interacting with others.
After school programs, though still an environment focused on education and learning, are able to also put an emphasis on socializing in ways that schools cannot. These programs offer a hint of socializing normality that your child has been missing. Through these programs students will have more time to be able to connect and converse with others.
4. Get the gears turning
It is natural for the brain to go a little soft during the summer. It makes sense. You are away from the classroom and instead of equations and grammar lessons you are thinking about beaches and popsicles. A result of this is that there tends to be a slip in proficiency within certain skill sets.
Unfortunately, remote learning also gives space for this proficiency slip. The same way the mind wanders during summer time, during the school year it can be difficult for a child to stay engaged when not in the classroom. They might experience a similar slide in certain skill areas.
The good news is that with the extra time and attention that after-school programs provide, kids are able to keep sharp and their minds stimulated. The programs will help their minds stay activated and ready to learn.
After-school programs are a great way for kids to gain confidence in a way that actually matters. Because After-school programs offer more career applicable skills such as coding and robotics, the empowerment that a student acquires from learning these skills may be more impactful in shaping and forming the way they move forward in life.
By learning skills that are aligned with their interests, kids will feel more confident because this newly obtained knowledge is more true to who they are, thus bolstering their belief in themselves.
6. Think outside the box
This is another big one! Kids tend to naturally want to think big. Often coming up with ambitious project ideas, building plans and fantastical stories. But, when it comes to making space and time for these ideas to come to fruition, more often than not, routine life gets in the way.
It’s understandable. There are people to see, appointments to go to, homework to do. Life gets busy but after-school programs are a great way to re-introduce big, creative thinking back into your child’s life. The programs not only give your child the time and space to execute their creations, but also the resources.
The after-school programs remind your child that innovation, experimentation, and exploration should be encouraged.
7. Have a good time
Last, but certainly not least! Fun. After-school programs are fun. That is why they exist. That is how they are designed. Kids leave feeling good and with a smile on their face. They leave the programs proud of what they create and excited to come back. Now more than ever, we need some joy and a laugh in our lives.