Oh, it's not always easy to choose the right extra curricular activity for your child!
To start however, here are some benefits of enrolling your child in a term's or season's worth of classes:
- For the young un's especially it helps them develop confidence and learn they can be safe and have fun away from you
- It helps develop social skills like turn taking, sharing and widens friendship circles outside of school and pre school - leaving your child less reliant on just finding friends from their class at school or pre-school
- If your child is then less reliant on making and keeping school buddies, that in turn can give them a greater tolerance to the ups and downs of their friendships in the playground (and possibly also more resilient to unwanted bullying behaviours) as they have alternate friends that can meet their needs outside of school
- It helps develop your child's coordination, skill set and broadens their horizons and interests
- As your child gradually masters and improves their skills, they develop an appreciation in the joy of learning and a healthy awareness that if they keep turning and up and trying, they will improve!
- As a parent it can be a lovely way to make more friends and build your network as you watch together from the sidelines
and cheer your children on!
Obviously any investment in extra curricular classes or sports it is a deeply personal choice for each parent, child and family, and sometimes with our super busy lives, just finding a class on the right day or time is the logistical decider!
These other considerations can help you decide:
- The nature of your child - will they flourish in a group environment with a competitive sport where the onus can be on results not just enjoyment?
- Or maybe a either a non-competitive option that is less pressured or somewhere with smaller class sizes may help them settle in and enjoy it?
- Is your child physical or do they love to be creative, whether it's drawing, painting, singing, acting?
- Would a sports based activity or maybe a martial arts or movement based program like dancing improve your child's level of activity, fitness and well being?
- A diversity of activities is great but over-scheduled families and kids are prone to exhaustion! Again, it is a deeply personal choice, where you will
make the right choice for your unique family dynamic and the personality of your child
You can find a FULL listing of Illawarra kids and baby class on Parents Guide Directory - click here.
We think a lovely option to consider which generally suits the needs of ALL kids is Grasshopper Soccer Illawarra.
Grasshopper Soccer is actually non-competitive so it's a great healthy option for quieter kids, or on the flip side, overly competitive kids too as it's based around developing skills, a sense of inclusion and most of all, fun!
The Grasshopper Soccer program to us is not just about learning soccer skills it's about building self confidence, boosting self confidence to the next level, building social skills, learning how to listen and take instructions, meeting people (parents and kids), making friends, being a part of a team, getting children out of the house away from TV and the Internet, about spending time with your family, getting active, trying something different, learning the basics of soccer or improving your already awesome soccer skills and the main thing having FUN.
Grasshopper run programs in 3 locations, Figtree High School, Corrimal High School and Lake Illawarra High School - click here for more info, Tony and Louie who run Grasshopper Soccer Illawarra are local parents themselves and they have loved watching so many children in their program flourish!
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