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Extracurricular activities in school

Extracurricular activities in school

Extracurricular activities in school: Pandemic edition

extracurricular activities in school

Extracurricular activities for kids have always taken prime importance in academic institutions, be it in a pre-covid world or the post covid environment. Being a part of an institution’s regular curriculum, the benefits of extracurricular activities are abundant and it plays a vital role in providing a wholesome learning experience to children. Most importantly, they help them destress and relax by taking a much-needed break from academics and allows them to bring out their hidden talents and creativity.

Due to the closure of schools and colleges for the last academic year, students were forced to sit at home. The absence of ‘normal’ school life took a big hit on their well-being, while the schools had to adapt to new methods of teaching overnight. Digital learning revolutionised how students learnt, and we saw academic institutions conducting online extracurricular activities and workshops for students too, hassle-free.

Interesting extracurricular activities in school that were conducted online:

1. ‘Leadership Summit’ by Indus School Pune

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader”- John Quincy Adams

Indus School, Pune believes every student is born to be a leader in their respective endeavours and therefore conducted an online leadership summit to impart and nurture essential skills. Normally these skills are developed when students participate in extracurricular activities in school but full credits to Indus, for taking this to the next level by involving these activities as a part of the regular curriculum for students of Grade 1,2 and 3.

The various activities that were a part of this program were music, public speaking workshop, spelling competition and a skill exhibit where students showcased their special skills and interests like swimming, keyboard playing and others. To make this more fun and encouraging, a parent-child partnership game was also conducted as a part of the summit.

2. Online Webinars by Pathways World School

Pathways World School, Haryana conducted a series of online live webinars to inspire and motivate its students. Two standout webinars were conducted online with the prime objective of helping students cope up mentally with their new normal educational and personal life.

The first event was called ‘#inspireability’ where student speakers and guests engaged with other students to discuss the topic ‘The Essence of a changing World’. During the event, the speakers not only discussed adapting to the new norm of school likes but also emphasised on staying positive through a series of inspirational pep talks. The second event was a live webinar discussion between students and teachers about their learning experience post lockdown. Students mainly spoke on how they kept their happiness quotient up during the challenging period of the pandemic thus influencing their fellow peers.
Again, these were not the usual extracurricular activities in school but certainly served their purpose by helping students stay positive and mentally upbeat during these uncertain times.

3. TEDx Event partnered by Woodstock School

Woodstock School, Mussoorie partnered with TEDx to conduct an online session on “Redefining Freedom”. Speakers from a variety of professions like songwriters, actors, publicists, music educators, entrepreneurs took part in the event. The key takeaway was that the students were able to find hope and draw inspiration from the special line speakers and their fellow peers.

This effort taken by Woodstock school to mimic extracurricular activities in school via a digital and online platform is definitely appreciation worthy and we hope more schools across the country come up with such initiatives.

4. Online Musical Concert by Shiv Nadar School

Shiv Nadar School conducted an online musical concert called “Concert for Covid” to keep their students entertained during these uncertain times. The concert was conducted and orchestrated by the students themselves. Students with musical talents exhibited their skills in playing instruments like the drums, guitar, piano keyboard and singing. Apart from the main objectives of entertaining people and serving as a means of extracurricular activities in school, Shiv Nadar School also helped raise funds for India Covid Response Fund.

Moreover, grade 12 learners were engaged in a series of welfare activities. Among one such activity, they created a YouTube channel with entertaining and informative videos to help people cope up with the lockdown quarantine.

5. ‘Spotlight 2020 by Vishwajyot High School

Vishwajyot High School, Maharashtra conducted an online project exhibition called Spotlight 2020. This show was a major hit among parents since they were happy to assist their child to engage in project building activities. Students exhibited their project models at their homes and explained them via online platforms. As a result, students were able to communicate their understanding of the academic concepts in a fun and interesting way even while at home. The event itself was a hit enabling them to learn and relax at the same time.

Full credits to Vishwajyot High School for conducting one of the most unconventional workshops for students.

We are sure that schools across the country might have taken steps to ensure that learning didn’t stop for its students and must have offered them a list of extracurricular activities to choose from in an online environment. We think it’ll be unfair for us to choose our favourite amongst the above, but have you come across any similar amazing initiatives taken up by any school across the country?

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List of co curricular activities for students

List of co curricular activities for students

List of co curricular activities for students

list of co curricular activities

Covid-19 has not only transformed the education system but also opened up a number of new opportunities for children to learn new skills by taking part in various online extracurricular activities.

It is no doubt that extracurricular activities play an important part in providing a wholesome learning experience for children. Right from helping them have a fun-filled social life to improving their academic performance, the benefits of extracurricular activities are abundant.

Instead of hunting out for the best extracurricular activities, it is rather advisable to find the activities that very much suit and interest them. Here’s a list of co curricular activities that you can consider enrolling your children to:

List of co curricular activities 

  1. Online art workshop

Art-based co curricular activities help children shape up their creative minds and see the world through a different and interesting perspective. Among many art-based co curricular activities, the most popular ones are drawing, painting and doodling.

Painting and co curricular activities go very well together. Watercolour painting in-fact is one of the most fun painting techniques that many children tend to show interest in. As a result, it can be found on everybody’s bucket list of co curricular activities and there are high chances that your child will find it interesting too.

If you find watercolour painting slightly complex and challenging, you can enrol children for an online art workshop on doodling or pencil drawing activities. These activities are comparatively easier and faster to master.

2. Public Speaking

Communication is an important skill set to master since it helps children make a strong impression and stand out unique in every aspect of life. A public speaking workshop can help children communicate their thoughts and ideas in both personal and professional life with ease and conviction.

Imagine how proud and happy it would be to see your child inspire people in one of their TED talks someday?

3. Creative writing

Creative writing is another co curricular activity that can be fun and productive at the same time. It could provide children with the much-needed break from academics while also shaping and developing their creative minds. It is one of those co curricular activities, which will open up many interesting career choices for them. Professions like copywriting, screenplay writing, poetry and novel writing, etc. need creativity, and enrolling children in an online creative writing workshop now can create a strong foundation for their future.

4. Meditation and Yoga

You might be surprised to see meditation on this list of co curricular activities. You would also be wondering whether meditation falls under co curricular activities at all? Well, it does!

Meditation is one of the most underrated co curricular activity that can do wonders for children. It allows children to destress, sit back and relax from their monotonous academic life. It is also proven that meditation allows children to act more calmly and wisely in every challenge they face in life. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that can help children to be mindful of what they are sensing and feeling at a moment.

An alternative to meditation can be Yoga, which helps children to relax both mentally and physically. Yoga is one of those activities whose benefits are reaped for a lifetime.

5. Learning a new language

How can we have a list of co curricular activities without having a new language in it?

The cognitive benefits of learning a new language are undeniable as it improves memory, problem-solving, and listening skills. There are various regional and foreign languages to choose from, based on interest and preference. French lessons for children can be an option along with other languages like Spanish, German, Mandarin and even Russian.

6. Music

Music can be a very great hobby if a child is truly passionate, and many make successful careers out of it.

The benefits of learning music are abundant. Subjecting children to music can develop the areas of their brain that is associated with language and reasoning. It improves their memory since music training involves learning new sheet music, chords, etc. Learning music also has emotional and mental benefits. Children are expected to become more emotionally developed with a better tendency to cope with anxiety. Most importantly, it helps them relax and take a break from their regular schooling/college life.

There are a variety of options available in music like singing, instruments (for example — online guitar classes), composing, production, and even DJing.

7. Sports

It would be unfair to complete this list of co curricular activities without including sports in it. Yes, children must be physically active and therefore, it is mandatory to enrol them in sports activities that find interesting.

Sports play a vital role in growth and development during school/college life. They help not only in developing physical fitness but also in their mental health and well-being. Moreover, participating in sports activities also helps in overall personality development.

Hope this list of co curricular activities is helpful and provides you with a couple of options to choose from for your kids. What are the activities do you think we have missed out on?

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Online extracurricular activities — boon or bane?

Online extracurricular activities — boon or bane?

Online extracurricular activities — A boon or a bane?

online extracurricular activities

On reading her friend Pummy’s text towards the end of the previous blog, Mrs Malhotra called her over. Ever since the covid-19 outbreak, online education had become the new norm and extracurricular activities from school had taken a serious toll. They were both in agreement that extracurricular activities play a vital role in a student’s life and due to the absence of these activities, kids are actually affected both mentally and physically.

Given the benefits of extracurricular activities towards providing a wholesome learning experience for children, it was very important to find new and viable ways to involve them in activities that they are interested in. Online extracurricular activities can be the potential solution given the success and growth of online learning over the past year but Pummy had her concerns though, and rightly so.

Mrs Malhotra, after the research she had done, was quite confident about the numerous advantages of online extracurricular activities and went on to explain to Pummy about the same.

Advantages of online extracurricular activities:

  1. Ease of access

One of the biggest advantages of online extracurricular activities is that it allows children to attend classes from a location of their choice, from any part of the world. There are no geographical restrictions whatsoever. Even with Covid-19 at its peak in Maharashtra, Ahaana didn’t have to miss out on her online creative writing workshop and that was possible because of the new forms of learning. With just a laptop and a stable internet connection, children can develop their interests into a passion and eventually make a career out of it in the future. Moreover, online classes could be recorded and referred to whenever needed. So, even if they missed certain classes, they can quickly catch up by accessing recorded lectures.

2. Reduced financial costs

Another advantage of online extracurricular activities is that it is very affordable when compared to conventional offline learning. The financial costs are reduced due to the elimination of transportation, student meals, and real estate costs. To add to it, there was no need to spend on study materials since everything would be available paperless online, which is quite environment friendly as well — explained Mrs Malhotra.

3. More efficient learning

Participating in extracurricular activities online can be more efficient and productive when compared to conventional learning due to the use of different online resources. Children make use of online videos, PDFs, podcasts, etc. to extend their learning efficiency beyond conventional textbook learning.

4. Learning style suitable for everyone

Each student has a different learning preference and style. Some prefer textbook learning, while some prefer learning through audio and others might prefer visual learning. Likewise, some students prefer classroom learning while others prefer one-to-one coaching.

Online extracurricular activities can be very flexible and can be personalised to cater to every student’s needs. There is a list of extracurricular activities and resources available to from to choose the best one that fits every child perfectly.

Mrs Malhotra was about to make her next point when Pummy interrupted. She agreed to almost everything that Mrs Malhotra had to say but also wanted to convey what she thought were the disadvantages of online extracurricular activities.

Disadvantages of online extracurricular activities:

  1. Inability to focus on screens

Students are accustomed to the conventional system of learning and taking part in extracurricular activities. Therefore, it might be very challenging for them to engage in online extracurricular activities and focus on their screens for a long time. This itself can be exhausting and the main objective of taking part in such activity will not be achieved. Moreover, there are greater chances that they are distracted by social media applications like Instagram and Facebook.

2. Technology issues

Another key challenge of online extracurricular activities is the internet connectivity. Not every city and village in India is blessed with an internet connection with a decent speed. So, if you don’t have a stable internet facility, it could affect a child’s learning process adversely.

Mrs Malhotra was quick to respond to this and added that since online learning might transform into a more hybrid learning system shortly, it was very likely that everyone will get access to a stable internet connection soon.

3. Sense of isolation

Learning can be more effective when students are present in the company of their teachers and peers. But in online extracurricular activities, children have very minimal physical interactions with their teachers or peers. This can cause a sense of isolation, therefore, affecting their learning process.

4. Increased Screen Time

As a parent, the main concern that Pummy had was to see her child spending more time staring at a computer screen. This increase in screen time is one of the biggest disadvantages of online extracurricular activities and could cause health hazards. Children develop bad posture, eye-straining, and other physical problems as a result of increased screen time.

It was getting late in the evening, Mrs Malhotra and Pummy realised this conversation can go on forever. What they both agreed to is given the fact that online learning has become the new norm and extracurricular activities for kids was super important, it is the right way to go about. Children would face difficulties initially, but if guided properly, parents can ensure that the challenges are taken care of. Once adopted and given its benefits, online extracurricular activities can be the best and the most viable option for children to develop and grow their interests.

What are your views on it? Do you think online extracurricular activities are a boon or a bane?

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Workshops for students: Which one to choose?

Workshops for students: Which one to choose?

Workshops for students: Which one to choose?

workshops for students

The rapidly rising coronavirus numbers in the last few weeks across the country have brought back the fear of yet another lockdown. Maharashtra has already imposed stricter restrictions starting 5th April 2021, and unsurprisingly Mrs Malhotra is worried. Hailing from South Bombay, the safety of her family matters the most to her but at the same time, she doesn’t want Ahaana to lose out on learning a new skill at this age. It is a Wednesday afternoon; she turns on her laptop and starts reading up about online workshops for students and children.

She has been observing Ahaana for some days now and had some sort of idea of what she wanted. The first thing she had to do is to find a list of extracurricular activities for which the workshops are conducted for. With the kind of information available on the internet, Mrs Malhotra is spoilt for choices but knows that she needs to find something that matches her daughter’s personality traits and if not that, something that would truly excite Ahaana as a child. A couple of hours later, Mrs Malhotra had managed to shortlist a few online workshops for students that she could now choose from.

Workshops for students

  • Introduction to French: Mrs Malhotra was super elated when she came across workshops on online french lessons for children. She knew that the cognitive benefits of learning a second language would be undeniable for Ahaana and will improve her memory, problem-solving and listening skills. French also is the official language for 29 countries around the world and Mrs Malhotra thought it’s the closest she can get this year to take her daughter on a trip to France.
  • Reiki level 1: Fascinated with its simplicity and the innumerable benefits that Reiki brings, Mrs Malhotra thought the idea of Reiki level 1 certification might seal the deal for her. Most of 2020 had been tiring for Ahaana because of the shift in education and Reiki was sure to aid relaxation, assist in the body’s natural healing processes, and develop emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being for her.
  • Creative writing: For who Ahaana was as an individual, a workshop on online creative writing might just be just about perfect for her. It would surely allow Ahaana to express her thoughts, emotions and communicate her ideas more effectively and Mrs Malhotra looked quite inclined towards it.
  • Public speaking workshopsGood communications skills will take Ahaana a long way in her personal and professional life and is vital to help children convey their messages. It does help to overcome stage fright, building their persona and charisma, using emotions to their advantages and turning nervousness into excitement.
  • Online art workshopsLast but not the least, doodling and painting will bring out the creative side of Ahaana, reduce her stress to some extent and more importantly help her retain information better. It will also promote attentiveness and truth be told, art is vital, if somewhat intangible, and that if children engage in hands-on art activities, they learn much better in all other disciplines.

Mrs Malhotra has had a long afternoon. Comprehensive research on workshops for students has ensured that she now has a list of extracurricular activities to choose from and can make the right decision for Ahaana. Just as she was about to take a quick power nap, she saw a text from her friend Pummy which read, “what about the extracurricular activities in school?”

To be continued.

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6 benefits of extracurricular activities

6 benefits of extracurricular activities

6 benefits of extracurricular activities

Benefits of extracurricular activities

Mrs Malhotra and her friend Pummy was out for an evening walk, socially distanced and happened to discuss best extracurricular activities for their children. The conversation was interrupted by Mr Sharma who happens to pass by and boasted about how his son had come first in the class, again, despite everything going digital and online. He had enrolled his son on two new coaching classes and questioned Mrs Malhotra for enrolling Ahaana for the online creative writing course. The sun was about to set, the milkman had just delivered some milk packets and this led to quite an eventful evening between the three parents talking about the benefits of extracurricular activities for kids over chai.

Mrs Malhotra explained to Mr Sharma that extracurricular activities can be defined as those activities that fall outside the scope of the regular curriculum of schools and many schools make it mandatory for students to spend a stipulated amount of time on extracurricular activities since it helps in deepening a child’s social and intellectual growth. Some consider extracurricular activities for kids as a mere perfunctory task which they can add to their resumes, but their significance is way beyond their placement in resumes and CVs and it was very vital to understand the benefits of extracurricular activities.

6 benefits of extracurricular activities:

1. A passion today can be a career tomorrow

Academics are no longer the only option for children to excel in. Extracurricular activities help students discover new interests and develop them into a passion over time. We have seen many real-life examples of students pursuing their passion and making a successful career out of them. Did someone say, Tarla Dalal? Therefore, providing your child with the opportunity and space to develop and pursue something that they love doing, might increase the chances for them to make a career out of it.

2. Better academic performance

Spending time on extracurricular activities doesn’t affect academic performance, but rather improves it. Mr Sharma was curious and was forwarded the research paper that shows that students who are involved in extracurricular activities show increased academic performance. This is because providing children with a list of extracurricular activities to choose from and involving them in activities they are interested in can stimulate increased brain function. As a result, they tend to focus more on academics, resulting in better grades.

3. Boosts self-esteem and confidence

Extracurricular activities can help grow positive self-esteem and confidence.

Psychologically, when you involve yourselves in activities that are fun and interesting, there is no pressure whatsoever and you tend to put your utmost efforts into it resulting in rewards. The same goes for children as well. The joy of succeeding in an activity that they are passionate about boosts their self-esteem and confidence. Once they develop this confidence, they are ready to face and tackle challenging situations with a positive approach in every aspect of life.

4. Improved mental health

One of the most underrated benefits of extracurricular activities, especially during the entire lockdown has been its role in improving mental health.

Student life can sometimes become very stressful due to regular workloads, new academic challenges and pressures to fulfil expectations. As a result, students may suffocate mentally affecting their personal as well as academic lives. Extracurricular activities act as a stress buster and provide children with the much-needed break that they deserve.

Moreover, extracurricular activities help students to chill out in a controlled environment so they can get back to academics in a more relaxed and confident state of mind.

5. Creates social opportunities

One of the most exciting parts of extracurricular activities is getting to know like-minded people and developing friendships, that lasts forever. Ahaana was now best friends with Khanak, who she met in an online baking workshop.

Normally, finding and interacting with like-minded people is a challenging task for students. They are generally pre-occupied with academic workload and there is very little scope with peers of common interest. Since extracurricular activities for kids are usually group-oriented, children can easily find like-minded peers to interact and hang out with.

6. Developing essential life skills

Among all the benefits of extracurricular activities, one of the most important benefits is developing essential life skills such as:

  • Commitment
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Analytical thinking
  • Leadership

These skills are automatically developed when children are exposed to extracurricular activities that they are passionate about. Unlike academics, these skills are not restricted to the workspace and can be used to tackle practical and real-life problems.

The sun had now set. The chai was about to get over. It was getting late but Mr Sharma now knew more about the benefits of extracurricular activities than he ever did. The parents looked at each other, nodded and passed a big bright smile — they knew it was an eventful evening, a step towards their child’s bright future.

We think Mr Sharma will speak to his son later tonight, will you?

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