Extracurricular activities, such as athletics, music, social clubs, and charity/volunteer organizations, as well as occasional special events and pursuits, are essential for the overall development of students. Such activities should promote discipline, cooperation, drive, organization, planning, diversity, commitment, confidence, physical and mental development, and other activity-specific attributes. Extracurricular activities should augment, not replace, academics. Both are necessary, but not at the exclusion of either.
Before undertaking activities, parents and students should consider the effects and logistics. Activities should be considered commitments for at least a trial period – that is, for long enough a period for understanding of the activity. Ensure the logistics as well as motivation before enrolling. Consistency is important for both students and the groups.
Students should never be allowed to drop an activity until some fundamental understanding is achieved. They need to understand that it is a commitment – once started, one must continue. Teach them to plan for and anticipate attendance. Teach them to organize and plan so that all other obligations and requirements are met – homework, study, chores, etc.
One of the pitfalls of extracurricular activities is that academics may suffer. Never allow this to happen. The main purpose of school is to learn. Academics must take priority over all other activities. When academics start to worsen, solutions must be found and implemented; otherwise, the activities must be dropped. Never allow students to claim inadequate time for study.
Balance academics and other activities, and continuously monitor academic performance so that they do not falter.
Please feel free to contact us for more information.
David K. Yoshinaga, Ph.D., Ph.D., Sc.D.