How To Balance Academics And Extracurricular Activities | Helping Your Child

How To Balance Academics And Extracurricular Activities | Helping Your Child

Children have a lot on their plates these days.

School work, homework, after-school activities, sports, and family commitments all compete for their time and attention.

As a parent, you wish for a healthy school-home balance for your child, but it can be difficult to achieve without guidance.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of balancing academics and extracurricular activities and provide tips on how you can help your child achieve this balance.

Why is Balance Important?

Imagine a seesaw.

One side is loaded with heavy weights while the other is completely empty.

What would happen?

This seesaw won’t be able to function properly, as one side is overloaded, and the other side has no weight to balance it out.

Similarly, if your child’s life is filled with only academics or extracurricular activities, they won’t be able to function effectively in either area.

Here are some reasons why finding a balance between academics and extracurricular activities is crucial for your child’s overall well-being:

Mental Health

UNICEF reports that as of October 9, 2023, 60% of children and youth expressed a need for mental health support.

And while there may be many reasons for children feeling the need for mental health support, a balanced, caring and supportive upbringing can go a long way.

When your child has a healthy balance between academics and extracurricular activities, they are less likely to feel overwhelmed or stressed out.

This, in turn, promotes better mental health.

Holistic Development

Extracurricular activities offer many benefits for children beyond just academics.

Let’s look at sports, for example. Playing sports has many benefits for a child’s physical and mental health and academics! Sport has been shown to improve self-esteem, teamwork skills, and even concentration in the classroom.

Holistic development (development of the whole person) is essential for your child to reach their full potential, and a balanced schedule can help achieve this.

Time Management

Knowing how to balance your academics and extracurricular activities boost your child’s time management skills.

Being able to juggle multiple responsibilities and prioritise tasks is a valuable life skill that will benefit them not only during their school years but in the future as well.

New Interests & Talents

Extracurricular activities offer your child the opportunity to explore new interests and talents.

They may discover a talent they never knew they had or develop a new hobby that brings them joy and fulfilment.

This exploration can lead to personal growth and self-discovery, which ultimately helps a child develop a strong sense of self.

How To Balance Academics And Extracurricular Activities

Now that you have a sense of the importance of balancing academics and extracurricular activities, here are some practical tips for helping your child achieve this balance:

#1: Prioritise & Plan

The best way to prioritise and plan is to list all of your child’s schoolwork and after-school activities.

The first thing to prioritise is academics. Academics must always come first.

After listing the academics, prioritise the extracurricular activities that are important to your child and their development.

Here is an example of how your list can look:

Academics:

  • Homework
  • Studying for exams
  • Class projects

Extracurricular Activities:

  • Soccer practice
  • Piano lessons
  • Drama club rehearsals

Once you have a list of all the tasks, create a schedule to help your child manage their time effectively.

#2: Create a Schedule

Once you have established the priorities, it’s time to create a schedule.

Schedules can be in the form of a calendar or a daily to-do list.

In your child’s schedule, make sure to include the following:

  • Daily tasks such as homework and studying and their time slots.
  • Weekly extracurricular activities and their time slots.
  • Designated study blocks for upcoming exams or big projects and their time slots.
  • Relaxation time to avoid burnout.

Having a schedule helps your child stay organised and on top of their responsibilities. It also teaches them the importance of time management.

Time management teaches students how to make the most of their time and avoid procrastination. It also helps them learn how to balance multiple tasks at once.

#3: Limit Distractions

One of the biggest challenges for students is staying focused. In order to strike a balance between academics and extracurricular activities, unnecessary distractions must be limited.

As a parent, you can help by limiting distractions in their daily life.

This may include:

  • Setting up a suitable study space, preferably away from noise and disturbances.
  • Establishing set study hours (in the schedule) where there are no distractions such as electronic devices or loud music.
  • Creating a reward system for completing tasks without getting distracted.
  • Encouraging breaks in between tasks to prevent burnout and maintain focus.

By limiting distractions, your child will be able to stick to their schedule and devote more time to important tasks.

#4. Be Consistent

Consistency at home and school plays a crucial role in having a balanced home-school life for your child.

As a parent, you must be consistent in your child’s routine, discipline, expectations, and support.

This builds a sense of stability and structure for your child, making it easier for them to adapt and excel in their academics and extracurricular activities.

#5: Communicate and Listen

Effective communication is key to maintaining a healthy balance between academics and extracurricular activities. This way, you’ll know if your child is feeling overwhelmed or struggling with their workload.

To practise effective communication with your child, you should:

  • Have regular check-ins.
  • Encourage them to share their thoughts, challenges and achievements.
  • Listen attentively to their concerns and provide support.
  • Work together to find solutions if they are struggling with balancing their responsibilities.

Remember to also communicate with your child’s teachers and coaches. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and can work together to support your child.

#6: Seek Support

There is no shame in seeking out support when your child is struggling to find balance.

If your child is struggling to maintain their academic discipline and high grades, a private tutor may be the solution. A tutor can provide personalised support and guidance to help your child stay on track.

If your child is struggling with managing their extracurricular activities, consider reaching out to their coaches or instructors for additional assistance or finding ways to reduce their workload.

Remember that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, not in your child or you. It shows that you’re taking active steps towards staying healthy.

Help Your Child Find The Right Balance

Knowing how to balance academic and extracurricular activities helps your child from feeling overwhelmed and ensures they have a well-rounded education.

Incorporate these tips into your lives and see how your child’s plate is full but not overflowing.

And remember, for additional support in academic success, contact us at Tutor Doctor today.

Our tutoring services are flexible, meaning we can work with your child’s schedule to find the perfect balance between school and extracurriculars.

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