4 Reasons to Enroll Your Child in an After-School Program
With two working parents, I can relay, first hand, the benefits of after-school programs. Honestly, as a child I was always jealous of my friends who went straight home after school but reflecting back, I know that it served me well and lowered my parent’s stress and anxiety. Not only did I feel that I was more socially aware than those who went home to their waiting TV’s and tablets, but having all my homework done by the time my dad picked me up gave me ample family time and a stress-free environment at home. As the Washington Post puts it, “children in quality afterschool programs are more likely to come to school and stay in school, more likely to hand in their work and get better grades.” With that being said here are the 4 benefits to enrolling your kid in an after-school program:
Improved Social Skills
A good program promotes cooperation, support and respect which helps kids to feel more secure about making new friends, joining a game and starting conversations. Ultimately, being around other kids in a different environment other than school will help them be more aware of how people want to be treated and builds their confidence. It’s always a great feeling to see kids knowing how to interact with different kids and learn how to be open-minded with other kids, and if they slip up, a sympathetic staffer will be on hand to remind them to take turns and instill positive habits.
2. Safety and Supervision
Unfortunately, kids with learning and attention issues, as well as teens, are more likely to be victimized or to engage in risky behavior. Research shows that the hours between 3 and 6 pm are when kids are most likely to commit crimes, or become the victims of crime. But keeping kids busy will prevent them from engaging in such actions. With a standard routine and trustworthy care-givers watching out for your child, your mind can be put at ease.
It also gives older children a sense of responsibility and leadership opportunities as they move from children to young adults. When I started getting older, I would be given more responsibility, like handing out snacks and being a role model for the other other kids, giving me a greater sense of pride and the feeling of excitement when it was time for after-care.
3. Fewer Emotional and Behavioral Problems
Another part of After-School programs is the ability to build positive connections and relationships with other people that is not usually a possibility during school hours. Often children will act out during the school day because out of 20-30 students, they are vying for the attention of one teacher. However, in an after-school program there is more of an individualized connection with the kids, allowing for the opportunity to learn from bad behavior rather than solely being punished for it. A study by the Boys and Girls Club found that teens participating in their programs showed decreased shyness and aggression.
4. Homework Help = Less Stress at Home
Do you ever feel that you continue to tell your children something and they continue to roll there eyes, and then another adult tells them the same thing and all of a sudden they listen? An after-school program is exactly what you need to relieve the tension between you and your child while trying to help out with homework. Getting all the work done during the program can make everyone’s evening more pleasant and relaxing leaving you quality time with your family.
After-school programs offer the opportunity for kids to not only work on their homework but to get help if they need it. Your child may feel more comfortable working on school assignments in a slightly less formal environment where they can ask questions at any time. This will build up their intellectual confidence and get them more excited about going to school the next day and impressing their teachers.
Students need more than a strong curriculum, good teachers, and time in the classroom to succeed. After-school programs have long known that they can embrace the hours between the time school closes and parents return from work to provide children, especially those who don’t have access to other activities, with exciting, engaging experiences that will help them learn academic, social and professional skills.
In our after-school program we strive to go above and beyond normal day-care duties and maximize our student’s time. Through a STEM-based program incorporating, creative activities and healthy living, our students are becoming leaders not only at our studio but in there community. Check out our parent testimonial: