After-school programs have been around for a long time. And while they are often used as a way to divert children between the time they get out of school and the time their parents get off work, they are a lot more than simply childcare. These programs are designed to help kids develop in some ways, and there are myriad advantages to be gained beyond providing adult supervision. Here are just a few benefits that every parent can get behind.
- Supervision. If your kids are coming home to an empty house every day because you’re at work, or worse, they’re going who-knows-where and doing who-knows-what with that band of ruffians they call friends; you might be a little worried about the trouble they could get into when there are no responsible adults around to supervise. Although after-school programs are intended to give children something constructive to do with their time, that there are adults on hand to keep kids in line is a benefit that many working parents no doubt appreciate. Frankly, kids are certain to help from the supervision, as well.
- Knowledge and skills. Regardless of the programs you choose for your kids, they’re bound to learn something new. And there are all kinds of options to choose from. For one thing, many venues offer after-school activities, from schools themselves to community centers, libraries, public parks, and the YMCA, just such as. And beyond that, there are many activities your kids could partake of, such as sports, academics, music (and other performing arts), fine art, and even wilderness survival and charitable work if they end up joining the Scouts, for example. Whatever activities they end up in, they’re sure to develop new knowledge and skills as a result.
- New friends. After-school programs provide an excellent venue for kids to interact with their peers in an environment that is less formal than school. So whether your kids are social butterflies or they tend to have a harder time making friends, this could be a great way for them to form tight-knit bonds with others in their age group.
- Confidence and purpose. Everything about after-school programs is designed to help kids gain confidence and realize that they can succeed. Although children are likely to have fun along the way, they will discover that they can set goals and achieve them, helping to give them a sense of purpose and fulfillment that will only build their level of confidence and give them opportunities to make good choices and excel at life.
- Improved grades. The main reason most parents enroll kids in an after school program is to supplement the education they’re getting in school. Whether they end up in a program where they receive help with their homework, or they take music lessons, the programs they take advantage of could help to improve their grades. The appeal of homework assistance is obvious since kids will get the one-on-one attention they lack throughout the day due to larger class sizes. But music lessons will unlock a part of their brain that academic education can’t, and this mind-expanding activity only stands to help them improve in every area. Even sports will teach kids to think strategically and work with a group. In short, after-school programs only stand to enrich the lives of your children and help them to become well-rounded individuals.