We all know how important school is for our kids, including the importance of getting a good education. But then, school isn't all about what they learn sitting behind a desk. There's much more to school and life than just book smarts. If your child's school offers after-school programs, these can really help your child's overall education and development, teaching them skills they'll use for the rest of their lives. Plus, they keep the kids out of the house and out from under your feet for an extra hour or so a few nights a week!

Advantages of after-school programs include:

Less likely to play hooky, more likely to succeed

Some after-school clubs are focused around giving extra help and support to kids who need it, helping them with their homework and giving them a structured environment to work on it. If your child is struggling to concentrate at home, these sessions provide a less formal but still educational environment to work on things and, most importantly, to ask questions. Some tutoring clubs also focus on college prep courses.

These programs can help kids finding school hard to excel academically, and reduce the risk that they'll skip classes they're struggling with.

Staying physically active and learning healthy habits

After-school clubs that are sports-based ensure that kids involved in them are getting enough physical activity – perhaps by learning to swim, playing soccer, or running track. As well as gaining a skill, kids learn the importance of staying fit and healthy, cooperating in a team, and playing fair. Some of these programs also provide healthy meals and snacks and educate your child on proper nutrition.

Letting the music play

Going to music lessons is another excellent after-school activity. It teaches discipline, musicality, and skills that your child can take into later in life, even if they don't continue with an instrument. They can even join an orchestra to play with others, or form a band, or take school trips to perform across the country. The instrument your child can learn will depend on their school. Popular options include guitar, piano, and violin. You can see more about learning how to play a guitar at Trusty Guitar online.

More good behavior, less emotional problems

Kids who participate in after-school clubs can see a real emotional and behavioral benefit. They're encouraged to engage and connect with other people, to respect others, and to communicate. Kids can also use clubs as an opportunity to meet new or like-minded people. If they've been struggling to make friends, feel lonely, or have been acting out, clubs can be a great way to refocus their energy and turn things around.

Learning to lead

Studies have shown that kids who take part in after-school activities or other extra-curricular opportunities like being student representatives or being in the school council, learned more leadership skills than those kids who don't. These skills can set children up for great success in the future when they enter the world of work, so any chance to grab them early is great.