As the parent of a middle schooler, you may question whether your child should spend time in extracurricular activities. Consider the benefits your child will experience as referenced below, and encourage your student to get involved! Gulf Shores Middle School offers an array of sports, band, and many clubs to engage our students and connect them with our school.
Extracurricular activities, such as clubs, sports, band and other non-academic pursuits can be a big part of middle school for a child. Although there is the argument that extracurricular activities distract from academic study, there is more and more evidence that extracurricular activities actually enhance academic learning. There are numerous benefits to participating in extracurricular activities, not the least of which is developing good teamwork skills and discovering a personal passion.
One of the major benefits of participating in extracurricular activities is how it helps middle school-age children develop socially. Engaging in non-academic pursuits helps encourage teamwork, leadership skills, cooperation and social development that students don't get to the same degree from working in the classroom. Middle school is the time for students to start developing these valuable life skills, and participating in extracurricular activities is an excellent way to foster an appreciation for them.
The transition from elementary school to middle school can be a stressful one, and one of the ways to mitigate this major change in a child's life is with extracurricular activities. In schools with high drop-out rates that serve at-risk students, for example, extra- curricular activities can have a positive effect on keeping students in school during this tough transition and throughout middle school. Extracurricular activities can give students a purpose for attending school and provide them with an incentive for good academic performance.
Although one of the classic arguments against extracurricular activities is that they distract from academic studies, there is an increasing amount of evidence that shows that extracurricular activities actually enhance academic study. Extracurricular activities help develop areas of the brain that may not be fully utilized by strictly academic work, as well as developing important skills that can transfer into academic performance, such as creative problem solving and teamwork. The way children choose to spend their free time can have a huge impact on their academics, and extracurricular activities are a good way to encourage positive use of free time.
Another major benefit for middle schoolers participating in extracurricular activities is how they can foster a life-long passion. Middle school is a time for students to start discovering their personal interests and passions that they may want to develop later in life. By giving students the opportunity to experiment with various extracurricular activities outside of their academic life, you open the door for a potential future in arts, music, sports or theater that may not have been sparked by strictly academic work.
(Excerpt by Marysia Walcertz)