Extracurricular (known as Co-Curricular Activities in Singapore) activities are a significant part of many students’ lives today. Are your children involved in any? If not, it may be time to advise them to join or take part in one!
Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) may seem to take up a lot of time, but on the whole, there are many reasons why you should consider encouraging your children to join at least one CCA. Here are seven compelling reasons why CCAs are important and beneficial for your children!
#1: Time-Management And Prioritisation
CCAs usually take place after classes end in school, several days a week and even on weekends. At first glance, it may seem that CCAs may take away precious time from your children’s schedules, resulting in poorer grades. However, CCAs give your children the opportunity to learn to manage the time carefully and learn to prioritise the activities in their daily lives.
As adults, we constantly have to juggle numerous commitments and tasks on a daily basis. Having CCAs will give them some practice at doing that early on. Even if they get stressed out by the increased commitment levels in the beginning, with some practice, they will definitely become better at managing their time. In the long run, the skills of time-management and prioritisation will definitely be beneficial for your children.
#2: CCAs Give Your Children Diverse Interests
Children develop mentally and physically as they grow, especially when they are still in primary school. When your children are exposed to various new activities through their CCAs, they learn to develop multiple interests. This will let your children explore what they enjoy and possibly even let your children develop a passion for a future career choice! Being exposed to CCAs will definitely aid your children’s development into a multi-faceted, all-rounded individual.
#3: Learning New Skills
CCAs will let your children pick up new skills.
If they join sports or fitness-related CCAs, their physical fitness will improve, and they could learn how to play one or even a few new sports. Their hand-eye coordination and reaction times will also improve due to how sports engage these motor reflexes!
If they join a musical or arts-related CCA, they will learn how to play a new instrument, sing, draw or even act. Your children may even discover talents that would give them a career choice in the future!
Last but not least, clubs and uniformed groups give your children an opportunity to interact with like-minded people and improve their socialisation and possibly leadership skills.
No matter which CCAs your children choose to join, they will get to learn and hone a set of skills that will be beneficial to them in the future.
#4: Learning About Long-Term Commitments
When your children join CCAs, they are usually required to commit to that CCA for the rest of their time in school. Therefore, they have to learn to commit their time and effort to their CCA and be responsible.
If they do not, they will have to face the unpleasant task of answering to their peers and teachers. It is important for your children to learn to take on commitments for their futures and CCAs would give them some early practice!
#5: Making A Contribution
If your children join CCAs, they will definitely contribute to the CCAs in some way or another, whether by being part of a team effort or by being part of a committee, as CCAs are group activities.
Joining a CCA will give your children a sense that they are not just concerned with their own interests, but are actually contributing to something else. Sometimes, they might even have to make some compromises “for the greater good”.
Learning to do so would aid your children’s development. This allows them to make better choices in their future endeavours.
#6: Developing A Sense Of Camaraderie
Your children will definitely meet new people and make new friends when they join a new CCA. Often, students develop close friendships with their CCA mates and keep in touch with their old CCA mates even long after graduation! This is because the common activities and interests shared by these students result in a strong sense of camaraderie between them and their peers.
When like-minded people band together to engage in various shared activities, they learn to cover for one another, enjoy their successes and grieve their failures together over time. These friends will often help each other out and even occasionally band together to form study groups. This sense of camaraderie is a unique experience that no student should miss out on!
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#7: Interpersonal Skills And Teamwork
Of course, before close bonds can be formed, your child will be required to learn to interact with and work with their CCA mates closely, usually more so than with their classmates. This is because in most CCAs, students work towards a common goal and this requires a team effort (team sports, performances, competitions).
At first, not all members of the CCA might get along well; however, as time progresses, they will have to learn to put their differences aside and learn to help each other for the sake of the team. At the same time, they will learn important social skills that they can apply in future: CCA mates working together to contribute to the CCA as a whole is very similar to colleagues learning to work together to contribute to a company! Over time, this will also lead to the sense of camaraderie mentioned in point #6.
One last note…
CCAs are an integral part of every student’s wholesome school experience. Most students are part of at least one CCA, and for good reason! If your children have not joined any CCAs, it might be time for you to recommend for them to do so.
However, if your children are currently engaged in CCAs, you can be assured that the CCAs will help stand them in good stead for the future!