Learning after school can be tough on you and your kids' schedules sometimes, but some of the worthiest advantages can also come from that extra effort and time you put in. What are some of the pros and cons of extracurricular programming, and why should you consider it for your child?
As parents, we all know the value of time in our lives, especially when it comes to caring for our children. Whether you're dropping them off at school, bringing them along on errands and grocery stops, or taking them on well-deserved trips to their favourite park, it's no surprise that we spend a whole lot of time on our families. A big chunk of this time is dedicated to education, too, most of it in the way of school - but what if you and your child could go one step further to ensure their success?
That's where after-school learning comes in. It may seem like an intimidating idea at first glance, but the consistent popularity of classes, programs, and camps outside of the standard academic curriculum does a lot to prove their worth. Even though all children can get their much-needed education through just going to school every day, there's a lot of value to be found in signing them up for extracurriculars that enhance their learning, challenge their minds, and help them develop skills that they can't always hone in regular day school.
Programs like these are never simple or generic. Instead, they're hyper-focused on one subject or area, so your child can be taught by professionals who are top-notch experts in what they're teaching. When your child signs up for an after-school learning program - take, for example, a coding class or a hands-on engineering course built around STEAM - they're getting the chance to expand their horizons and be challenged by a new way of learning that goes well above and beyond what they get in school.
But why, exactly, is extracurricular programming so valuable, and what are some of the biggest benefits your child can gain when you sign them up for it? If you want to enrich your child's education to the next level, here's a basic introduction for curious parents.
As expected, the first thing that comes to mind when considering after-school learning is time. Time is incredibly precious to families, and it's often the biggest factor to consider when it comes to adding new experiences and opportunities to your children's rosters. It's true that extracurricular programs can take a big chunk of time out of these often-tight schedules, but the rewards you get in return almost always outweigh the costs- and, of course, there are ways to get around these costs as well.
As will be explained later, the benefits your children get from any extracurricular enrichment classes are more than well worth any time you'll have to put in. And in our modern, 21st-century society, there's one amazingly simple solution to a restrictive schedule - online classes! When after-school learning is delivered online, it's easy, convenient, and flexible in ways that in-person learning can't be. Programs taught through the screen can be listened to from anywhere, joined at any time, and even recorded for later review, so that you and your child can gain all the advantages that extracurricular learning offers them while saving on the hassle and effort required for real-time classes.
Online STEAM programs like the ones offered at Inspirely | STEAM Education are a great example of this. Through a streamlined, 100% virtual method of delivery, children are given the chance to be taught live by top educators from the comfort of any environment they choose, and they're also learning to practice their computer skills so they can become familiar with the technology so central to our world today. This way, you can stop thinking too hard about dividing your time - and start thinking about all the ways your child will be able to grow.
Unlike the more general subjects in school, extracurricular programs tend to focus more on specific areas, so they're much more tailored to the things your child is interested in and any abilities they'd like to develop. This gives them the room to explore a wide variety of new, exciting topics, diversifying their learning experience so that they can have a whole range of skills and talents at their disposal. There's a reason for the "extra" in "extracurricular"!
Lessons and classes taken outside of traditional academic requirements are some of the best chances to encourage your child to figure out what they really enjoy - and, by extension, knowing what they love is a surefire way to help them foster a genuine motivation to learn. Whether your child dreams of building robots, launching rockets into space, or creating masterpieces of art, after-school programming can offer them the space they need to discover themselves and their passions.
Balancing learning both in school and outside of it isn't likely to be a walk in the park, but the challenge of it is what can really help build children's characters. Being able to learn how to manage their time and divide up their responsibilities is incredibly important for your child's future; it's an essential skill to have in the workplace, and giving your child the opportunity to practice that skill through extracurricular learning will no doubt prove to be valuable in the long run.
If your child has free time available to fill up, after-school learning is always an amazing choice to do so! It not only provides them with the motivation to gain and practice new skills, but it also constantly keeps their young minds thinking and working. Nurturing children's natural curiosity is critical for their education, and making sure they always feel intellectually challenged and inspired prepares their brains for the critical development that every child is sure to go through.
Extracurricular classes aren't only a space for your children to learn. They can also act as a space for them to be social, form friendships, and meaningfully interact with other like-minded peers. Building an active and supportive social circle is crucial to your child's mental health and well-being, and it helps them practice communication and self-expression in all the ways that matter most. Who knows - maybe signing your child up for an after-school lesson could result in some of their most cherished lifelong relationships.
After-school programming definitely has its unique advantages over the traditional curriculum, and one of the most notable ones is the lessened presence of academic pressure and stress. This does a lot to ensure that your child can explore everything they're passionate about in the way that's most comfortable for them! With a safe, relaxed environment at their fingertips, children have a much better chance at genuinely enjoying the education they receive, and that's what makes learning the most fun to begin with.
So you've been sold on the idea, and you'd like to sign your child up for after-school learning as soon as possible. Great! But where do you start?
We know that finding the right classes and programs for your children is easier said than done, especially if you want to do your best to find ones specially tailored to their interests and talents. There's a lot to consider: time, money, subject area, and of course, the degree of effort that both you and your child will have to put in. That's why at Inspirely | STEAM Education, we work hard to be able to offer a range of uniquely-designed online programs for children, so that they can get the best extracurricular education there is while also being able to have the comfort and flexibility they deserve.
We understand that for children to be engaged, learning has to start at the heart, which is why we take care to create interactive and high-quality classes, camps, and events led by top-notch educators. We focus on the five core pillars of the STEAM framework to deliver an educational experience that is both exciting and diverse, and we are entirely dedicated to empowering young minds in a mission that stretches far beyond the typical classroom.
To start on extracurricular learning may sound simpler in theory than in practice - but with Inspirely's 100% online programs designed to progress at each student's own pace, we can help you work towards that simplicity, so that you get to save more time of your own to dedicate to your children.