Today, most children spend hours and hours on social media or playing video games. Excessive amounts of time spent in the digital world can negatively impact their overall development and lead to unhealthy lifestyles. However, if children spent some of their time engaged in constructive and creative extracurricular activities, such as sports, dance, music and arts, among others, they can enhance their well-being. Besides, going beyond academics is essential for the overall development of every student and can also assist them in the college application process.
Your child can pursue various extracurricular activities outside of class hours or during school breaks. For example, your child can learn a musical instrument, participate in a sport, attend a summer programme, volunteer at an NGO or an animal shelter or even take supplementary courses which can enhance their current academics. Besides enhancing your child’s general profile, these activities can help develop your child’s personality, broaden their perspective, foster independence, improve their communication and analytical skills and also enable them to potentially make new friends from all over the world.
The onus lies on both the parents and their children to start the process of engaging in extracurricular activities.
Seek out a structured class or camp which is designed to contribute to your child’s ongoing development and well-being, but is also fun and exciting. This programme should cater to your child’s specific needs and interests while simultaneously providing an opportunity for them to learn new concepts in an interactive environment.
Your child should:
Spend time exploring their passions by engaging in various extracurricular activities and identify two to three that they particularly enjoy and want to carry forward. Children should also seek out opportunities to maximise their potential from mentors and educators to brainstorm ideas to take their activities to a higher level. One way to do this is by combining their interests and working on passion projects over a significant period of time. All of this can help develop the foundation for their future success.
For example, if your child is interested in photography, they can enrol in a class one summer. The next year, they can start a website and blog that features their work and articles about different techniques. Colleges like it when students display continuity, leadership and meaningful contributions within any extracurricular activity. Having depth over breadth shows sincerity and commitment.
Engaging in extracurricular activities outside of school is a big asset to your child’s resume and positively impacts their college applications. In the US, all extracurricular activities from grades 9 to 12 can be added to the application form. If your child exhibits dedication, progress, and impact within an activity, admissions officers will take notice.
Some examples of after-school extracurricular activities include:
- Online classes such as edX and Coursera, which offer free college courses
- Meaningful internships that can demonstrate your child’s initiative and responsibility
- Starting an entrepreneurial initiative with classmates or friends
- Teaching younger or underprivileged children
- Participating in Olympiads or robotics competitions
- Summer programmes, which are either academic or focused on a particular skill set
- Engaging in research opportunities
How your child spends their time outside of class, during school breaks and summer holidays, greatly impacts their future. If you feel your child can use some guidance, consider a mentorship programme. For more information, get in touch with us.