As parents, we all want our children to be successful and well-rounded individuals. In today’s fast-paced world, where parents often have to work to make ends meet, it’s not always easy to ensure that our children get the best possible education and socialization. This is where afterschool programs come in.
Afterschool programs are designed to provide children with a safe and nurturing environment, as well as opportunities for learning, socializing, and personal growth. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of afterschool programs and why they are an excellent choice for parents who want their children to thrive.
- Improved Academic Performance
Out-of-school programs can help improve a child’s academic performance in a variety of ways. These programs often provide homework help, tutoring, and academic enrichment activities that reinforce what children are learning in school. By spending more time on their studies and getting help when needed, children are more likely to succeed academically.
These programs can help children develop better study habits and time management skills, which can benefit them throughout their academic careers. Recent studies have shown that afterschool programs designed to increase student academic performance generally achieve success.
- Increased Socialization and Emotional Development
Afterschool programs provide children with an opportunity to socialize with their peers in a structured environment. This can help children develop social skills such as communication, cooperation, and empathy. Top programs often include activities that encourage emotional development, such as mindfulness exercises, team-building activities, and discussions about feelings and emotions.
These activities can help children learn how to manage their emotions and develop healthy relationships with others. However, it’s important to send children to programs that use evidence-based practices to achieve social/emotional goals. Recent studies have shown that afterschool programs designed to increase student social/emotional performance generally achieve success. Key measures of a program’s capabilities are factors like:
- Qualified teachers
- Coordination with local school districts
- On-site learning
- Small class sizes
- Physical Activity and Health
Afterschool programs often include physical activities such as group play, structured play, and nature experiences. These activities can help children develop physical fitness, coordination, and gross motor skills.
Physical activity has been shown to have numerous benefits for children’s health, including reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. By participating in afterschool programs, children can develop healthy habits that benefit them throughout their lives.
- Exposure to New Ideas and Experiences
Excellent programs often provide children with opportunities to explore new ideas and experiences that they may not encounter in school or at home. For example, a science-focused afterschool program might introduce children to robotics, while an arts-focused program might offer classes in painting or theater.
These experiences help school-aged children develop new interests and passions, as well as broaden their horizons and personal goals.
- Improved Behavior and Reduced Risky Behaviors
An afterschool program can help reduce risky behaviors among children by providing them with a safe and structured environment. Children who participate in afterschool programs are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drug use, alcohol use, or juvenile delinquency.
Further, these extended learning programs can have a positive effect on dropout rates, increasing the number of children who graduate from high school.
These programs serve to provide children with positive role models and mentors who can help them make good decisions and avoid negative influences.
Qualities of the Best Afterschool Programs
It’s important to note that the best type of afterschool program for your child may vary depending on their individual needs and interests. Consider talking to your child’s teacher, guidance counselor, or program director to get recommendations for programs that may be a good fit. Involving your child in the decision-making process is also a good way to encourage independent thinking and problem-solving (even if you guide their options).
Look for programs with the following qualities:
- Safe and healthy environment with rigorous health protocols, such as regular health checks, consistent group sizes, thorough cleaning and disinfection procedures, and more
- A fun and enjoyable environment that fosters social, emotional, and educational development through engaging and developmentally appropriate activities
- Consistent schedules that provide a helpful structure for both parents and children
- Proper staff that are deeply invested in every child’s success and learning
- An environment geared to support diversity/inclusion efforts
With the right afterschool program, your child can thrive both academically and personally.
Cadence Education: Top Afterschool Programs
If you’re looking for a way to help your child succeed academically, socially, and personally, consider enrolling them in an afterschool program. At Cadence Education, we offer a variety of afterschool programs that provide children with a safe and nurturing environment, as well as opportunities for learning and personal growth.
Our programs are designed to help children develop academically, emotionally, and physically, as well as explore new ideas and experiences. Contact us today to learn more about our afterschool programs and how they can benefit your child.