Are your children involved in a vast array of after-school activities from sports to dance or even volunteering? Chances are the answer is yes. According to the Pew Research Center 73% of students are enrolled in some variety of after-school activity. Studies show that most of us are happiest when we are busy and doing the things we love. That means that students need to find the time to balance school work with the pursuits of their passion or talent. How can this be done without sacrificing academics, free time or, even worse, sleep? Here are a few tips to help you balance school and after-school activities.
The first step in being able to juggle school and the activities you love is getting yourself organized. For some it means mapping out where and when you need to be somewhere on a calendar whether on a physical calendar or in digital form on a phone or computer. This mapping can give you a good sense of how much time is being taken up and how much time is left for studying, hanging with friends and just relaxing. Knowing where and when all your activities are is an important first step to being able to balance things without getting stressed!
Review the Schedule
Now that you have a calendar, it is a good idea to review it regularly whether it is at the start of each week or each morning in order to know what you have coming up. Some people find it helpful to have alerts on their phone remind them of upcoming events while others just take a quick took at the calendar every night. Either way, do what works for you so you are not caught off guard when it comes to an activity or a school project that may be due during an especially busy time.
Parents and students should discuss what is important before the start of new after-school activities. When things get busy and balancing multiple activities becomes stressful, it is good to remind yourself what is important: school, family and your health. When students have to choose between a big game or studying, having set priorities from the beginning makes choices easier.
Fuel Up and Rest Up
Eating healthy and getting enough sleep can mean the difference between enjoying activities and going “through the motions.” Be sure to eat a good breakfast and get to bed at an appropriate time so you feel ready to face the day.
Balancing school and activities can be a juggling act at times but learning to prioritize and get organized are skills that will help you not only through your years at school but beyond into your future careers. If you are looking for after-school activities at NSCS check out our extra curricular offerings on our website and get involved!