Looking for Regional Information?

How to handle the extra curricular overload

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/2/2006 | Education

A new school term not only brings in new friends but also spells several new extra curricular activities. To ensure that all children take part in these activities with enthusiasm schools even award grades. Many schools also involve the parents in these activities as it leads to the all round development of a child.

These activities range from nature walks to working in a math club, from outdoor photography to indoor needle work; from high-powered sports to theatre work. The list is long, and most schools take great interest in them.

However, as a parent you should ensure that your child should register only in those activities that he is able to handle without neglecting his studies. This not only helps prevent a burnout but enables the child to pace his life.

The first thing to do is to get a list of activities offered by the school. The list should include activities that are conducted during the school hours and also those conducted after school hours. Next, ask your child to study each activity and write down the possible skills he will pick up. This exercise is extremely helpful. For instance, a public speaking course is more beneficial for the all round development of the child than a needle work course.

You should also ask your child to rate the activities according to his liking and preferences. It is imperative that this entire process should be carried out by the child. It will help you gauge his interest in the activity and it is most likely that he will attend all the classes if he likes that course. An activity that is forced on a child rarely produces the desired results. It becomes a chore.

Once the activities are selected, you should find out the number of hours that the child will spend on them every week. Dont forget to include the transportation time, especially if you are staying far from school.  

Usually the school management adjusts the timings in such a way that the children are able to participate in as many activities as possible. Calculate the time taken for the first five choices selected by your child. The best method is to select his first choice and then work around the other options to find out what suits his schedule best. Do not overload the daily schedule.

The choice for extra curricular activities also depends on the caliber and the nature of your child. If your child is able to grasp her lessons quicker than most others then she can opt for more number of activities. However, for children who need more time to finish their home work and class assignments the options would definitely be completely different.

The nature of your child is also an important factor. Some children like to be involved in co-curricular activities; there are others who dont. You must therefore select group activities carefully. Also, make sure that each child has their own personal space and time. They should not be pushed beyond a point.