web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


‘Extracurriculars’ And The Curriculum

Schonfeld-logo1

“Hmm, I just don’t know if Yoni should sign up for soccer after school,” Ruthie told her sister. “I’m worried about it interfering with his homework.”

“I know, Ruthie, but shouldn’t he be allowed to have a little fun? Gershon goes to soccer and then he does his homework. He has a snack and then sits down right away to polish off any homework he might have that night.”

“Doesn’t he stay up really late?”

“Nope! He actually finishes his homework in record time every Tuesday after soccer. I even check it over those nights because I can’t believe he finishes so quickly. But, he does it quickly and well,” Pessie answered.

“I guess I can think about it. Where does Gershon play soccer? Is he in a league?” Ruthie asked.

***

Many parents are afraid to sign their children up for extracurricular activities because they believe the activities will negatively impact their performance in school. In other words, that the extracurricular activities will take the place of the curricular ones. While in some cases (which I will outline later), this may be true, in most cases, extracurricular activities can actually aid in children’s learning and retention of material.

 

What are extracurricular activities?

The most basic definition of an extracurricular activity is one that falls outside of the normal school curriculum. Extracurricular activities can be both academic (science club, music lessons, and debate team) and nonacademic (sports and volunteering). While some activities may have a culminating recital or championship, there are no formal grades or tests.

 

How can extracurricular activities benefit students?

Sports. We all know that children need movement. After all, children with sedentary lifestyles are at risk for obesity and chronic diseases such as type II diabetes.  But, research shows that more physical activity is also linked to increased academic achievement. In fact, children who were more physically fit generally scored higher on math and reading tests than their less physically fit peers. This means that kids who move more on a regular basis will generally do better than their more sedentary peers.

Short bursts of exercise can also be beneficial; a study out of the University of Rome found that elementary school children who exercised for a few minutes right before taking a test improved their scores by an average of ten percent. According to Dr. John Ratey, the author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, exercise causes the brain to produce a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This protein helps to build and preserve connections between neurons and other cells. Basically what this means is that through exercise, children’s brains build more cells in order to improve their memory and retention of material. Additionally, exercise produces neurotransmitters like serotonin that can improve mood, which in turn can enhance children’s motivation and focus.

Aside from bolstering grades and moods, physical movement in school can promote an active lifestyle later on in life. Plus, through teamwork and rule following during a sports game or practice, children can learn behavioral and social skills. So, signing your child up for a sports club might help them in school and beyond.

Music. Learning to play an instrument or taking voice lessons is not just a creative endeavor. In fact, a study reported in the Monitor on Psychology found that students who took music lessons for a year increased their IQ an average of two points over those students who did not take music lessons.

In addition to book smarts, music lessons can also help your child gain emotional intelligence as people often react emotionally when listening or playing music. Practice can help children recognize the emotions that others are feeling.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘Extracurriculars’ And The Curriculum”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Handout photo of texted message sent by a fearful Christopher Cramer from Saudi Arabia before his death.
Saudis Hold Body of U.S. Elbit Subcontractor After Mysterious Death in Tabuk
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

The musical production was beautifully performed by the middle school students.

South-Florida-logo

Greige offered a post of her own. She said, “I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel.” She contends that she was photobombed.

South-Florida-logo

This year, 40 couples were helped. The organization needs the support of the extended Jewish community so that it can continue in its important work.

In the introduction to the first volume, R. Katz discusses the Torah ideal, arguing that the Torah’s laws are intended to craft the perfect man and are not to be regarded as ends unto themselves.

A highlight of the evening was the video produced by the Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center on the legendary Agudah askan Reb Elimelech (Mike) Tress, a true Jewish hero.

Until recently his films were largely forgotten, but with their release last year on DVD by Re:Voir Video in Paris they are once again available.

Though the CCAR supported the Jewish right to emigrate to Eretz Yisrael, it strenuously objected to defining Palestine as the Jewish homeland.

“Well, you are also part of this class! If someone drills a hole in the boat, the boat will ultimately sink, and even the innocent ones will perish as well. The whole class must be punished!”

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

I find his mother to be a difficult person and my nature is to stay away from people like that.

Here are some recipes to make your Chag La’Illanot a festive one.

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

We aren’t at a platform; we are underground, just sitting there.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

Schonfeld-logo1

With so many new cases of ADHD reported each year, it is important to help children learn how to sit still.

While encouraging your child to take responsibility for bed-wetting (like asking him to change the sheets), remember that it is important not to get angry or make him feel guilty.

As we said, you cannot get rid of a bad habit, you can only change it. But, how?

In order to diagnose separation anxiety, these symptoms must not be isolated and must occur for more than four weeks consecutively.

When someone with a fixed mindset has a negative interaction with a friend or loved one, he or she immediately projects that rejection onto him or herself saying: “I’m unlovable.”

Children develop at different rates – they say their first words, take their first steps, toilet train, read their first word, and lose their first tooth at different times.

Once you understand why you are lying, you might be better able to tell the truth.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/extracurriculars-and-the-curriculum/2013/12/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: