The Benefits of Extra-Curricular Activities, How much is too much?
We've always encouraged our children to take part in as many activities as they would like to. This of course has never got in the way of school work and we've ensured that their schedules still left time for homework and some down time.
Our boys have all played football, baseball, rugby, hockey and skied and our girls particpated in gymnastics, figuring skating, dancing and skiing. It sounds like the boys had busier schedules than the girls did, but their activities took place in different seasons and some of them were school based and others were programs they joined outside of school.
The importance of these activities was that they provide a sense of teamwork and they helped keep them physically active. Whenever they didn't feel like going to football practice we would remind them that the team is counting on them to be there to get ready for the big game the next weekend. Not to mention, when they missed practice the coach generally had them running laps so it wasn't as appealing as they thought it was!
Having the children in these activities has helped them develop a sense of commitment as well. Our younger boys who are still in high school currently go to the gym 5-7 times a week to ensure they keep themselves physically fit for the next football and rugby seasons and to ensure they're fit enough to be able to play the sport of their choice when they head off to university. There's also a huge benefit to playing on a team at the university level as it provides them with a family right from the start.
Although the sports and extra curricular activities are very important, we were always careful to ensure they were playing in safe environments, with the proper equipment and they didn't have too many activities to the point of exhaustion. While they're still growing, it's important to ensure they don't over do their activities and hurt themselves as small injuries when they're young can result in the long term issues down the line.
Have you begun any extra curricular activities with your little ones? Sport Ball programs are a great start to get them active when they're still so little!
Our second youngest son celebrating after a great game in his senior year at Saint Andrews College: