Parent Magazine St. Johns November 2018 - Page 9

M E M O R A B LY C O N N E C T E D If there is one thing all after school activity professionals agree upon, it’s the importance of making memories via meaningful connections. Engaged, smiling, busy children are typically happy children. Whether your child’s activity happens in a place rife with variety or in a more specialized space, your child is sure to grow over time, make memories, and understand herself better with regular participation in after school activities. Why not let your kids have the continuity of years of ongoing participation? It’s hard to advance up the activity ranks if you dabble in one activity and then another. Give your child a few years in elementary school to try different activities. Then see if they want to commit to an activity or two during middle school. They can always switch to different activities once they get to high school, if they wish. APTITUDE-RICH Some students need extra help to keep up academically, so don’t panic if your child turns out to be one of them. Your child may need extra help that addresses specific needs like standardized test preparation or responding to learning gaps. Other kids simply need help becoming more satisfied students. Tutoring can definitely increase not just aptitude, but also enthusiasm. And just as parents don’t always make the best coaches, we also don’t always make the best tutors, either. Besides, kids often progress faster and more willingly when they work with mentors they don’t already know. And good news, raising academic confidence by teaching learning skills in one subject can pay off in increased academic confidence across the board. So if your child is struggling with critical reading, vocabulary or math skills, why not try a local tutoring service? Your child has nothing to lose and much to gain. Kids need to feel successful today to become successful tomorrow, and activities can help them experience positive growth gradually. If you don’t channel your child’s energy, video games, TV watching, and other sedentary activities will always be a temptation. If you want engaged, involved, smiling kids, find them some activities they enjoy. You will be so glad you did. Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz is grateful for the opportunities she had contributing to school literary journals and newspapers. She also worked off some of her teenage angst on the soccer field, on the softball diamond, and in the school pool. • Soccer • Swimming • Baseball • Softball • Basketball • Karate • Lacrosse • Field hockey • Volleyball • Football • Faith groups • Tennis 45 AFTER SCHOOL • Dance ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS • Tutoring • Gymnastics • Skiing • Martial arts • Band or orchestra • Horseback riding • Hockey • Arts & crafts • Cheerleading • Theater • Nature • Cross-country • Choir preservation • Skating • Biking • Gardening • Yearbook • Golf • 4-H Club • Music lessons • Race prep • Youth government S T. JOHNS • Scouting or camp fire • School leadership • Philanthropic groups • Conservation clubs • Mentoring • Robotics • Science club • Chess club • Creative writing • Volunteering parent MAGAZINE | 7