Extended Learning: How Children Benefit From After School Programs

Elaine Au

School classes in Canada usually finish at around 3.15 PM.

For many parents, this is too early and it ends up interrupting their day. One way of getting around this problem is by hiring someone to pick your child up from school or by asking a friend or family member to do so.

But the first option might be too expensive, nerve-racking or both, and the second one might not always be possible.

So what else can you do about this?

The answer is simple: after school programs. Enrolling your child in one will give you more time flexibility, but the benefits go even further than that.

Don’t know what we’re talking about? Keep reading and find out what these programs will help your kid with! 

1. Make More Friends

The group of kids that your child will find at the after school program will likely be different than the ones that have classes with them. Plus, it’ll probably be smaller and with more similar interests.

So this is a great opportunity for your son or daughter to meet children they wouldn’t meet otherwise, and work on their social skills.

They’ll experience a feeling of belonging in a different way than they do in school, and that can be very beneficial for their confidence and mental wellbeing.

2. Have a Safe Place to Stay After School

By enrolling your kid in an after school program, you ensure they’ll have a safe place to stay, learn, and have fun once their classes are over.

Someone will keep an eye on them and keep them busy, reducing the chances of them getting involved in risky behaviors.

And, of course, this will give you a lot of peace of mind. As the parent, we know the last thing you need is more things to stress out about. This type of program is a simple way of avoiding what could turn into a huge headache.

3. Boost Confidence

Your child will get more one-on-one attention in an after school program than they do in their regular classes since, as we mentioned before, the groups of kids tend to be smaller.

So if there’s anything your kid has been struggling with, the after school program can be a great environment to tackle the issue.

By doing so, your kid will gain self-esteem, which will only make their time in school (and everywhere else) a lot easier and more enjoyable.

4. Increase Academic Interest

Just like the previous benefit, this one is mainly due to the higher level of attention your child will get from the aides.

During class, your kid might find it hard to speak up and ask questions. In a closer environment, they might feel more comfortable. By getting more answers and a better understanding of the topic, they might actually discover they love a subject they thought they hated!

Plus, many after school programs offer help with homework. So if there’s any subject your child has been struggling with at home and that has caused some discouragement, the programs can help change that.

In the long run, you might even see your kid’s grades go up, as well as their self-confidence!

5. Adopt Healthy Habits

There are many ways an after school program can encourage children to take on healthy habits.

For one, it emphasizes the importance of having a routine. This will help them understand the significance of commitments and it’ll also provide your kid with a sense of security and structure

Furthermore, it teaches kids to move. Some programs, like swimming or judo classes, include more physical activity than others, but most try to underline how crucial it is to exercise and be active. Considering how much sedentarism affects our society nowadays, this is definitely a perk you want to take advantage of.

6. Reduce Behavioral Problems

Some kids are a little bit harder to deal with than others. It’s perfectly normal: it happens in every class of every school, all over the world, and any good teacher is well equipped to look after the most difficult kids.

If you find that your son or daughter has some behavioral issues and none of the solutions you tried has made much of a difference, an after school program might be what you’re looking for.

The staff in these programs can get a lot closer to your kid than their teachers can. As such, they might find the root cause of their misbehavior and help solve the problem.

Besides, the sense of belonging is proven to diminish this type of issue.

7. Have Even More Fun

After school programs are great for academic and social purposes. But even if your kid gets all As and has plenty of friends, joining one of these programs can be beneficial simply because it’s fun!

Learning new skills, making more friends, being a part of fun activities: who doesn’t want all of that as a child?

If you decide to give a program a try and your child gets home every day dying to tell you everything they did and learned, and how much fun they had after class, enrolling them was definitely a good decision!

After School Programs: Choosing the Right One for Your Child

There are many different types of after school programs you can enroll your kid in.

The most important factor to consider when choosing one is your child’s interests. Ask them what would be an exciting type of activities for them to explore and try to find a program that meets their interests and is within your budget.

Keep in mind that your kid is still finding themselves, so the first choice might not be the right choice. But eventually, you’ll find the ideal program and start seeing all the benefits we listed come to life.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our after school program, don’t hesitate to send us a message!

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Pear Tree Elementary,
215-2678 West Broadway,
Vancouver, B.C.,
V6K 2G3

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