Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for Students

Elementary and middle school is a crucial time for your child’s development—and even top-performing academic students may not be meeting their full potential without the opportunity to contribute or diversify their interests and skills in an extracurricular activity or club.

By allowing and encouraging your child to participate in activities outside of the classroom, you’re giving them a route to make new friends, develop new interests, and deepen their social and intellectual growth.

Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits for students who participate in extracurricular activities:

Benefit #1: Expanding and diversifying interests

By participating in activities outside of the classroom, your child has the opportunity to discover their interests beyond the textbook — perhaps even find their passion or their life’s calling. It’s difficult for your child to develop a talent for baseball or football, for example, if they never try out for the team. If your child demonstrates a propensity for drama, perhaps community theater will give them an outlet. Or perhaps your child constantly has their earphones on: In that case, perhaps joining choir or band will be a natural activity.

Benefit #2: Learning time management and prioritizing

When your child takes on additional extracurricular activities outside of the normal school day, they’re also learning about time management and prioritizing work. As an adult, you hold down a job — sometimes more than one job — in addition to being a parent, plus working on your own interests; balancing school, homework, and extracurriculars will help prepare your child for these adulthood tasks.

Benefit #3: Learning about long-term commitments

A school day lasts only so long, and homework is turned in, and the schedule goes on — but when your child is on a sports team, or a member of a club where they have responsibilities, or a particular instrument and concert dates, they learn about being committed to a project and being responsible to peers rather than just their teachers. When your child joins a club or sports team, they’ve made the choice to commit themselves to that activity for a set period of time — unlike school, which, in their eyes, is just an automatic enrollment.

Benefit #4: Building self-esteem

If your child isn’t particularly academically inclined, extracurricular activities may be a way for them to find their footing. Some children gravitate toward the arts or sports, and there’s nothing wrong with that — but without engaging those interests, children never learn how great they are at them. If your child struggles with self-esteem, often these activities will help build them up, and they’ll discover that there’s something they’re good at outside of the classroom.

Benefit #5: Building friendships and teamwork skills

It’s often hard to develop friendships when you’re sitting at a desk in a classroom all day. When your child participates in extracurricular activities, they’ll engage with other children in situations that don’t involve coursework, which helps build their cooperation, social development, and leadership skills. Often, the relationships developed on sports teams or other activities prove to be lifelong friendships.

Calvary Lutheran School has your child’s cognitive development and happiness in mind. We focus on nurturing children academically, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially. Contact us at 816-595-4020 to schedule a tour and learn more about our academic program.