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How Can My Child Engage in Extracurricular Activities?

How Can My Child Engage in Extracurricular Activities?

Today, most children are hooked on to the digital world, spending hours on social media or playing video games. Besides being a waste of time, this can lead to an obsession and become unhealthy. Instead, children should spend their free time engaging in constructive and creative extracurricular activities. Sports, dance, music and arts, among others  are important for their well-being. Going beyond academics is essential for the overall development of every student and can also assist them in the college application process.

There are various extracurricular activities that your child can pursue outside of class hours or during the 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. Each of these extracurricular activities can benefit your child in many ways. 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.

Parents can:

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. This can also provide 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 makes a positive impact on their college applications. In the US, all extracurricular activities from grade 9 to 12 can be added in the application form. If your child exhibits dedication, progress and their 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, has a great impact on their future. If you feel your child can use some guidance, consider a mentorship programme. To learn more about how you can support your child academically, click here. For more information, get in touch with us. 

On Saturday, 30 January, The Red Pen has is hosting a Virtual Summer Programmes Fair. Here you and your family can interact with 15+ domestic and international representatives to learn more about their programmes. Register here!

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?