10 Benefits of Enrichment Programs
School days are filled with math, science, history, reading and writing. Yet parents want more for their children. What about creative or performing arts? Coding and programming classes? Sports? Enrichment programs before or after school fills gaps in children’s curriculum. Not only do programs give students more than what is offered during the school day, they have other benefits as well.
1. Different teaching styles
Students thrive when exposed to a variety of teachers and teaching styles.
Sitting quietly while reading and listening to lectures works well for some kids. They take notes. Memorize facts and figures. Others need more than a traditional model. Hands-on or group learning can introduce concepts in other ways. This combination leads to deeper understanding.
Small teacher to student ratios also allow teachers to be more flexible in their approach. They better assess the learning abilities of their students. Then they alter how to approach topics and impart knowledge. By creating an individualized approach, teachers increase comprehension for all students.
2. Interesting topics
Enrichment programs offer new subjects or allow kids to build upon existing knowledge and interests. Either way, kids dive deeper in ways that a structured classroom setting rarely allows.
Students also benefit from the knowledge around them. In small groups, kids collaborate and feed off each other. They learn a lot. Peer-to-peer teaching and cooperative learning adds to the experience. It reminds everyone that education can be fun.
3. Less pressure
An enrichment program before or after school lowers anxiety around the learning process. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere. This can comfort a student and increase feelings of self-worth.
Students carry this boost of confidence with them into the regular school day.
4. Showcasing grit
Students improve their grades thanks to extra hours spent with a tutor. Or they expand their STEM knowledge after weeks immersed in coding classes. These are just two examples of how kids experience academic success through challenging enrichment programs.
There are other ways these programs motivate or inspire kids. For example, with the right encouragement, young athletes improve playing skills for any number of sports. They build endurance. Demonstrate ways that discipline contributes to success.
Other students might find deeper appreciation in programs devoted to music or sculpting. They learn the importance of hard work. And how dedicated practice leads to a beautiful painting or award-winning production.
Nobody is an expert out of the gate. Talent combined with perseverance is the winning combination. Kids benefit from learning that lesson early on.
5. Improved grades
Students who spend more time in enrichment programs do better academically. After all, kids get added time to study, ask questions, improve problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Studies show these programs also create more opportunities for lower-income children to prepare for and attend college.
6. Personal growth
When students explore new interests, they learn about themselves. They discover hidden talents and abilities. If it weren’t for acting programs, many performers would have never known they’d excel on stage. Elementary sports programs have given millions of athletes their start.
These discoveries teach children they are capable of more than they previously thought. Students also meet new kinds of kids, different from their usual friends. These experiences encourage growth in areas of sensitivity, acceptance, and empathy.
Well-rounded children do better in our ever-fluid, multicultural communities.
7. Better educational and career options
Programs before or after school provide kids with a safe and supportive environment. They use this time to complete homework, work on projects or exercise. As a result, kids are less likely to overeat, commit crimes or make bad decisions.
Taking enrichment classes in elementary or middle school can lead to more rigorous subjects in high school. AP classes and dual enrollment, for example, improve chances for acceptance into college. Involvement in theater or school sports teams opens up scholarship opportunities.
8. Complements in-classroom learning
State standards exist to ensure students learn the basics. Curriculum guidelines help teachers understand what to cover and at what age/grade certain topics should be mastered.
But not every student learns uniformly in the same amount of time. If your student needs more, an enrichment program can be the difference between passing and failing.
These programs also add to existing knowledge by supplementing school lessons. Take Geography for example. Programs are available that explore more than just boundaries and introduce food, music and artwork from different regions around the world. This extra knowledge cements what’s covered in class or on a test. It’s also fun and interesting.
In addition, all subjects and skills are directly affected by quality enrichment programs. Coding or robotics students do better in math and science classes. Arts programs improve reading and writing skills. Sports incorporate physical science and interpersonal cooperation.
9. Better social skills
Most enrichment programs engage students and require them to work together. They are smaller groups, gathering before or after school, and give children more opportunities to interact and cooperate.
The arts require students to practice public speaking skills. They learn both verbal and nonverbal communication. Express themselves creatively. Take criticism and improve from it.
STEM programs require kids to solve problems together. In order to develop solutions, they must see things from different points of view. Students also literally learn other languages and communication skills.
10. Applied learning
A diversity of knowledge gives children extra time to apply learning and see where it goes. Students afforded this opportunity don’t fail classes nearly as often, especially in standard subjects. They do better than their peers.
There are many quality sessions, both before and after school, for your kids. Whether they want sports, arts or STEM classes, click here to find amazing KidzToPros Enrichment Programs for the upcoming school year.