Children have so many opportunities to become well-rounded studentsdue to the number of co-curricular activities available to them. Co-curricular activities take place either before or after school. One way to get children to unplug from technology and engage with others is through participating in co-curricular activities, as there is a wide variety and they include many benefits for children.

Most educational institutions have a number of co-curricular activities. The most widely known ones are probably team sports. American schools, especially at the middle and high school levels,is known for preparing some of thegreatest athletes to compete in basketball, baseball, football, wrestling, track and field, cheerleading, and swimming.

In addition to these traditional activities, students of any age can write for a student newspaper, andone other popular activityis to participate in the various language clubs, such as Spanish, French, and Latin clubs. Finally, service clubs are another activity students canparticipate in, for instance Key Club.

While all American schools might not have every option, most offer a combination of these and other co-curricular activities. Also,while few public elementary schools in the countryoffer them, inprivate and parochial schools many offer children the opportunity to participate in activities while getting an education. For example, the American International School in Hong Kong offers activities ranging from fencing to ballet for students in the pre-primary grade through grade seven. Regardless of age, all students benefit from participating in some type of activity while attending school.

Benefits of co-curricular activities

There are numerous life skills that children can learn from co-curricular activities, which are essential for life beyond education. These include:

  • Teamwork: this can include learning how to compromise when engaging others in play, in addition to learning to play fairly. All of this helps them to learn the value of working together as a group. By learning both fair play and teamwork, they master valuable social skills.
  • Confidence: being responsible for some role on a team, and succeeding in this role, builds children’s confidence and self-esteem.
  • Management skills: such as how to schedule time to study and to participate in other hobbies when they must prioritize tasks.
  • Discipline:acertain degree of discipline is involved in mastering particular skills, which can especially be useful for pursuits in sports.

Children can use these activities as a spring board to scholarships at the university level, or into careers.For exceptional athletes, sports can pave the way for them to earn a full ride scholarship while playing on a university/college team. Even better, some students may qualify to compete on the world stage atthe Olympics. Drama and music are other activities that can help students pay for college, or better yet, prepare them for a career.

More than just being fun, co-curricular activities are a complement to a well-rounded education. Students who participate in sports, or any of the numerous non-athletic clubs, gain a wider perspective of the world by just interacting with other students from various backgrounds. Better for the student, though, participation in co-curricular activities prepares them to be scholars and well-rounded professionals as adults.