While school provides opportunities for growth and socializing, many kids branch out with extracurricular activities. But how can your child balance their social life, student leadership activities, or other extracurricular events with academics?
Let’s explore tips to help your child evaluate their priorities, develop a schedule, take breaks, and limit distractions.
Evaluate Your Child’s Priorities
Helping your child get their priorities straight can do wonders for their life in terms of balance. When choosing between school and extracurricular activities, school should come first. Prioritizing school involves looking at the long term — your child is working toward graduation, and focusing on retaining information and doing well can help them in the future.
One way your child can get their priorities straight is to make a schedule that prioritizes certain activities over others. If their first priority is school, block off more time for studying than going to the gym to condition for soccer, for example. In other words, after they add their courses to their schedule, it’s best to add in studying time before they figure out how much time is left over for extracurricular events.
Let your child know that it can be good to be picky about what extracurricular activities they spend their time pursuing. If your child likes ice skating as well as soccer, consider whether their schedule will allow them to choose both or the one they’re most serious about.
In some cases, your child might need to prioritize certain extracurricular activities. If your child is pursuing an athletic scholarship, they should work more time in their schedule for practices and games.
Make sure your child schedules enough relaxation time, as well, as their downtime will refresh them and ensure that they are ready to work hard on their first priority. Even when they’re studying, five- to 10-minute breaks after 45 minutes of studying is a good idea so they don’t burn themselves out.
Develop a Schedule
When your child is developing a schedule, they need to find a routine that works uniquely for them. Routines can help your child avoid stress by allowing them to get projects done on time without forgoing their relaxation or social time. Below are more benefits of developing a schedule:
- Reduce burnout: When your child relies on routine, their brain uses less energy when doing activities, which helps them avoid burnout. Their brain uses less energy when they rely on a routine because it keeps projects at a small and digestible size. When they wait until the last minute to do an activity that might take them hours instead of breaking it up into smaller pieces, their brain may find it difficult to keep up.
- Get more sleep: Your child will likely get more sleep when they have a routine because they can pen in eight or more hours for sleep into their schedule every night.
- Stay healthy mentally: It can be a challenge to do well in school when your child’s not feeling mentally or emotionally well, which is why they need to keep up a consistent routine. Routines can help manage stress and anxiety, as your child will know what they have to accomplish and when.
- Stay healthy physically: Routines make it easier to make time for healthy activities like exercising and preparing healthy food. Your child keeping themselves physically healthy will ultimately make it easier to stay emotionally healthy and focus on school.
- Organize priorities: If your child’s priority is school, it’s time to develop a schedule. A schedule can help them achieve better grades because they’ll know exactly what they need to do to succeed and when.
Take Breaks to Recharge
Taking positive breaks so your child can recharge their battery is a great way to maintain focus throughout the day. Concentrating on one task gets more difficult with time. The brain needs a chance to rest now and again so it can resist distraction and focus on one task in the future. Taking breaks can also help your child reduce their stress levels throughout the day while also diving into some extracurricular activities.
Positive breaks allow your child to get creative, nourish their body and mind, socialize, or get moving. For example, if your child wants to get creative, they could daydream, draw, or learn something new. If they want to socialize, they could take a trip to the next room and have a chat with whoever happens to be in the house. To get moving, they could take a second to have a stroll outside. Nourishing their body and mind could look like meditating or taking a power nap.
Some break activities your child might stay away from include scrolling through social media, answering emails, or perusing the internet. These activities are not recommended for break time because they may overload your child’s mind, which is exactly what a break is supposed to avoid.
Limit Distractions to Stay Focused
Limiting your child’s distractions so they can stay focused and on track concerning their routine is easier said than done, but there are a few things you can do to make it simpler for your child. One thing you can do is ensure your child eats a nutritious meal before school. If they can avoid being hungry during their courses, they’ll have a better chance at maintaining their focus inside and outside of class time.
Make sure your child studies in a distraction-free environment, as well. That means encouraging them to turn off the TV and put their phone or video games away. You should also create a studying space in a home office or your child’s bedroom where they can be free from household distractions.
By limiting distractions during class time and while studying, your child can work more efficiently. They can free up time in their schedule if completing schoolwork takes less time, letting them enjoy extracurricular activities.
Learn How CCA Can Help Your Child Build a Balanced Schedule
Your child can more easily balance everything on their plate when they’re encouraged to evaluate their priorities, develop a schedule, take enough breaks to recharge, and limit distractions to stay focused. When you choose a cyber school like Commonwealth Charter Academy, it will be easier for your child to balance school life with extracurricular activities because of the flexible nature of online learning.