A plethora of dynamic after-school opportunities exist for the next generation of students. To help your child choose the best extracurricular activity, ask him or her the following questions:
1) Who do you want to see when the school day ends?
Students’ number one reason for participating in an extracurricular activity is simply to “Have Fun.” Their friendships with teammates, band mates and cast members will be the catalyst for their laughs, smiles and even tears of joy at league championships, curtain calls and demo days. Distinct from previous generations, students today have multiple groups of friends, so ask your children who they want to spend time with outside of school (Sorry, Mom and Dad!).*
* If you really want to “Poke the Box,” ask your children if they are interested making new friends and enroll them in a program without friends from class, the neighborhood or Sunday school.
2) What type of activity do you want?
Do your best to find out what specific athletics, arts or science program your child really wants. Tackle Football or Flag-Football League? Screenwriting or Improv Classes? Web Design or HTML 5 Camp? Generation Z expects options at school, on their IPhone and in their NetFlix Queue – extracurricular activities should be no different.
3) Why do you want to enroll?
Learn what your child’s primary motivation is for participating in the extracurricular activity and his or her after-school experience will be more enjoyable, meaningful and effective. If your child wants to simply exercise and socialize, a group program may be more appropriate. If your child wants to be the best, a private coach will help him or her master a sport, art or hobby.
4) When do you want to participate?
Just ask: weekdays, weekends, or once a month? Increased homework assignments, the selectivity of high schools and colleges and even demands for teenagers to earn income during the recession impose unparalleled pressure for Generation Z. Ask them what they would like their schedule to be for the upcoming few months, and remember: THEY ARE KIDS! A season off can bring students newfound energy, inspiration and focus.
By engaging students in the after-school selection process, parents empower their children with the ability to make decisions for themselves. If Generation Z can be more of a self-directed generation than Generation X or Generation Y, the students of today will have unlimited potential as pioneers in sports, entertainment and innovation. Any questions?