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As responsible parents we all realise that we are the ones who are responsible for our children’s education – school is one of the tools we have to ensure that they grow up as healthy, well balanced individuals.

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However, school provides mainly for an academic education which will enable them to go on to a further education and a range of career choices. However, education isn’t just about academic learning; it’s also about learning social responsibility, learning how to develop new skills, learning how to follow their interests outside of school. This is where extra-curricular activities come in.

All children are different – they all have their own individual personalities, their own talents and their own interests. Encouraging your children to follow their interests outside of the classroom will have many benefits for them, including:
• Raised self confidence levels
• Explores individual interests
• Improved interpersonal relationships
• Promotes emotional well being
• Helps to teach time management skills
• Increased sense of responsibility
• Channels excess energy
• Increased social skills

Whatever your child’s interests, there is sure to be some sort of club or group that will allow him to explore further. Some schools offer organised after school activities (chess club/sports activities/debating society, computer club, etc) that will provide great opportunities for your child to participate alongside other kids. Then there are sports clubs, craft clubs, youth clubs and social clubs for kids all over the UK that offer children the chance to join in with other kids with similar interests.

These local groups and clubs can also give kids a convenient way of joining in with other kids with similar interests. They will make friends with other kids who may go to different schools or come from different areas of town or from different social backgrounds – it’s a great way of introducing your child to a wide range of friends from different places. They will meet other kids with similar interests and form friendships that may go way beyond their school days.

Extra curricular activities offer a way of learning what your child wants to learn and we all know that learning is easier when you have a genuine interest in your subject. This ease of learning will also have a knock on effect in the classroom, making it easier for your child to learn subjects that he’s not particularly interested in.

Another great reason for taking part in extra curricular activities is that it will enhance your child’s social skills – he will learn to respect other kids from a wide range of backgrounds and teach him that everybody has something to offer in our society, everybody has their own strengths and good points.

Extra curricular activities can also have a long term effect on your child’s future job prospects. Future prospective employers will view these activities favourably – they will demonstrate that your child is a well-balanced, well-rounded individual with a wealth of experience outside of the classroom. It will demonstrate that your child is able to learn new skills independently and that he has a genuine interest in the world around him, a great selling point in the future jobs market.

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