Why After School Programs are Essential for Academic Growth and Development
After school programs, also known as Out-of-School Time (OST) programs, can be broadly defined as school or community-based programs that offer expanded learning opportunities for students. These activities can range from extracurriculars like arts and crafts to supervised activities around technology, science and math.
Today, after school programs are at the cusp of integrating education and student development. A well-curated after school program will have hands-on, fun and engaging activities with immense opportunities for students to learn and grow.
In this blog, we explore the importance of high-quality after school programs and why they have become a vital part of students’ learning experience.
Pros and Cons of Learning After School
According to research by Expanded Learning, high quality after school programs can lead to improved attendance rates, social behavior and educational outcomes. It is noteworthy that these three components are critical to enhance student engagement and achievements. However, it is also important to consider the potential flipside to keeping students busy after school. We take a deeper look at this by exploring the pros and cons of learning after school programs in this blog.
Advantages of Learning After School
1. Takes learning a notch further: It allows students to develop a better understanding of topics they are studying in school or get a whole new perspective on related topics that may be beyond the scope of the curriculum
2. Offers real-world experience: Learning in school might be restricted to theory. However, after school programs give students access to hands-on experience in their subject or hobby of interest
3. Boosts social interaction: It enables students to learn and engage with peers outside the classroom environment, which helps improve social skills
Disadvantages of Learning After School
1. Overscheduling: It could be challenging for students to manage school work and other activities along with after school programs. Here’s where learning platforms like Extramarks Smart Class Plus can be of great help! From experiencing immersive learning modules in the classroom to recorded lectures from the comforts of their home- students get to enjoy the best of both worlds while being able to manage their time accordingly
2. Additional cost: While after school programs are an investment in a students’ learning, it is still an added cost over school expenses
10 Reasons Why After School Programs Are Important
After school programs have proven to be a great way to help students utilize their time effectively post regular school hours. Engaging with peers, learning new skills, discovering hidden talents and interests can boost a students’ confidence and even support their academic achievements at school.
We have put together a list of ten reasons that reflect the importance of after school programs in a students’ life.
1. Makes learning fun
Often , learning can seem like a chore at school. After school programs offer enriching experiencing outside the school that include elements like music, drama, visual arts, etc. to re-engage students and put an interesting spin on the learning process
2. Creates a sense of belonging
A productive space outside of school that allows students to communicate and learn amidst peers can be a refreshing change. It instills a sense of belonging which makes them feel like a part of a group
3. Academic support
Students can get guidance on topics that they may struggle with and get more time to complete their school assignments. They have the opportunity to learn and engage in new ways, which could positively influence their performance at school
4. Increases classroom participation
Attending after school programs is known to boost participation in a classroom environment and engage more with fellow students. They also learn valuable skills like teamwork and adaptability. Students also tend to be more involved when they are in-tune with the curriculum. Thanks to Extramarks Smart Class Plus, students can now enjoy seamless after school connectivity with complete access to recorded classroom lectures, supplementary learning resources, practice questions and so much more- all within one single application.
5. Fosters safety
It offers a safe space for students to engage after school. Parents can be at ease knowing that their child is in a supervised and secure learning environment
6. Improves social and life skills
Students get the opportunity to develop strong social and life skills like problem-solving, active listening, setting goals, staying on track and communicating with peers and teachers
7. Boosts school attendance
When students are part of programs that aid with tutoring, academic support and homework, they are more likely to attend school. Simply knowing that they can receive guidance regarding any subject encourages participation
8. Explore diverse interests
Since after school programs involve different activities, it gives students the chance to explore their interests beyond academics and build on their talents
9. Builds leadership skills
Through small-group activities and hands-on learning, students get to improve their leadership skills. With these skills, they can also assist younger students, help peers with homework, etc.
10. Enhances confidence
An after school program helps students feel more included without the academic pressures that may be present at school. This enables them to try new things and take positive risks, which helps build confidence levels
Today, there are a plethora of after school programs and it is important to choose the best one to ensure that children experience all the benefits. With applications like Extramarks Smart Class Plus, students can have access to learning solutions that integrate academic benefits with a fun learning experience. So, get ready to explore high-quality academic solutions and take the first step towards great results!