Have you ever wondered whether after-school activities are worth the hassle?  Getting your child to activities after school can be incredibly difficult, especially in the city when we rely largely on public transportation.  You have to be extra prepared by having a snack ready for your always-hungry student, sometimes bringing an extra bag with equipment for their after-school activity, and planning ahead for the weather.  And if the bus is late, so are you!

According to a 2006 study, all of this hassle really is worth it if you want your child to do well in school, as the researchers found that extra-curricular activities improve academic performance in students.  The study looked specifically at middle school students, but it is safe to assume that the results would be the same for younger children as well.  The study did not look at the amount of time each student spent in after-school activities, and it is important to remember not to over-schedule your child as that can lead to burnout and increased stress for the whole family.  The number of activities a child can handle without increasing stress each week will be unique to them.  This should be a decision that you and your child make together based on your child’s wants and needs and what works for your family.

The study did look at the types of activities that have the most academic benefit for children.  Interestingly, the study found that after-school classes that focused on study methods and how to succeed in school did not lead to improved performance in school.  However, academic-based activities were highly beneficial for academic performance.  Academic-based activities include foreign language classes, tutoring, science classes, and computer activities such as coding. As a secondary benefit, Sports also led to improved achievement in school after academic-based activities.  Sports classes include soccer, tennis, swimming, and gymnastics – any class where your child gets to move their body!

The biggest positive effect on educational achievement occurred when students were enrolled in both academic-based and sports-based activities.  Children who had a balance of extra-curricular activities demonstrated better academic performance than the other children in the study.

This suggests that finding one academic-based and one sports based activity for your child per week is likely to improve their performance at school.  It is also important to ensure that you pick classes that your child is interested in, as you want your child to enjoy learning and participate during the class.  Classes should be a fun outlet for your child – not a source of stress!  Go Bambino has a variety of academic-based and sports classes, so you will be sure to find exactly what you and your child are looking for!