Some parents consider Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) a distraction from their child’s perceived main purpose in school – to study. There are however, many reasons why joining at least one CCA while can be hugely beneficial to your child.
CCAs often take place outside lesson time and are commonly held after school hours. Some CCA sessions run up to 3 times a week and require long-term commitment from your child. This demands strong time management and prioritisation skills; where he would receive early exposure to independent decision making on how best to prioritize homework from CCA schedules demands. Having a CCA also reinforces values like responsibility as long-term commitment is required of your child when your child enrols in a CCA. Even in the middle of stress or busyness, your child could learn how to persevere and work diligently to fulfil his commitments responsibly
According to the Straits Times article on how sport CCAs can help with academics, children involved in sports tend to perform better at their studies. According to research, physical activity actually leads to greater cognitive development in children. They’re not just highlighting sport CCAs, but any CCA with elements of physical activity. Furthermore, going through busy and stressful periods builds commitment and discipline and perseverance. This drives strength of character since determination is like a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger it becomes. Sport CCAs in particular also builds competitiveness in our children as it builds drive in our children to work hard and win competitions.
Relational skills and teamwork
Joining activities invariably exposes your child to social elements such as meeting new people in different social situations. Your child must learn how to work in groups to achieve a common goal (competitions, performances, camps etc) and it requires team effort. It teaches your child valuable opportunities to learn how to work in teams and manage and resolve conflicts, building valuable interpersonal skills at the same time.
Learning new skills
The most obvious benefit from joining a CCA is the acquiring of new skills. Sport CCAs such as badminton and basketball; performing arts CCAs where your child learns theatre or dance. The possibilities are endless. It exposes your child to a myriad of different activities and valuable skills that could bring diversity and depth to their school life.
Make new friends
CCAs also widens your child’s social circle beyond the classroom. It exposes him to new group of people that your child would otherwise never meet. In CCAs, your child would find friends with same shared interests, often forging more organic and stronger bonds compared to friendships formed inside the classroom. These friendships often stretch long into the years after your child has graduated. Such a solid sense of camaraderie and strong social capital is an often overlooked but integral part of a child’s development.
CCAs give your child a holistic experience in school. It can also be a fruitful experience for parents as you watch you child journey and mature through the different milestones they hit with CCAs competitions and performances. No matter the CCA, it would be pleasant memories and experiences and friendships he’ll look back to when he realizes that he had spent school life to the fullest.
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