Non-academic pursuits can be more helpful than harmful. With all the homework that needs to be done, parents often wonder if there is still time for extracurricular activities after a long day at school. The truth is, after-school activities may benefit your children in ways that might just surprise you.

The Good It Does
Extracurricular activities allow your children to have fun in a stress-free environment, doing something that they enjoy. At the same time, they also learn important life skills. A child who is allowed to do what she loves, such as drawing, will develop certain values that can be very helpful.

In these activities, they are taught skills such as focusing and concentrating. They are also encouraged to socialize and interact appropriately with their peers. This teaches a child how to juggle school, homework, family life, and her after-school activity. The importance of prioritizing and planning is also instilled.

A Middle Ground
Although school must always come first, here are some tips to make things work out for you and your child.

(First published Good Housekeeping Magazine, Good Family section as "Teacher Says" in January-February 2010; adapted for use in Female Network. Photo by Piers Nye via Flickr Creative Commons)

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