St. Augustine Prep Blog

The Connection Between Co-Curricular Activities & Academic Success — It’s a Science.

Posted September 10th, 2020

It may not be news to you that students who participate in activities tend to perform better in school. Studies have repeatedly shown that involvement in the arts, athletics, and interest-based clubs foster skills that can be transferred to the classroom.

But far too often, parents are concerned about their child’s extracurricular activities having a negative impact on their grades. The better you understand your son’s relationship with his interests and passions, the better you’ll be able to appreciate the scientific correlation between co-curricular activities and student success.

Affirmation is the Key to Motivation

At home, you provide affirmation for your child. At school, it’s his teachers. Students who participate in activities enjoy an additional layer of affirmation from advisers, coaches, and teammates. This is the kind of affirmation which many students, especially teens, respond to most strongly.

Consider your child’s participation in activities an important source of fuel that helps them become motivated students, too. Studies show that involved students have a strong sense of personal drive in all areas of life.

Movement Makes the Difference

Boys are active learners, which means they benefit from hands-on experiences in the classroom and out. From competition-based clubs to playing a sport or an instrument, movement has a profound impact not only on the body, but on the mind.

Studies have shown that physical activity literally changes the brain. MRI scans indicate that physical activity leads to increased volume in the hippocampus, a part of the brain known for its association with memory and learning.

When you expand your child’s options for extracurricular participation, you give their brain the chance to grow, as well.

Balance is Vital

When students take the next step and move on to college, there are a few critical skills that will determine their success: organization, balance, and drive.

With that said, there’s a caveat when it comes to participation in co-curricular activities. Students who show a “medium” level of participation (involvement in one or two activities) exhibit an increase in GPA. However, students with a “high” level of participation — involvement in three or more activities — often struggle to keep up. In short, your child is `better off practicing commitment. Pick one or two activities and have him follow through to his senior year.

The key to staying committed is choosing a high school that recognizes the value of activities and provides a broad range of experiences that cater to the entire student body.

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St. Augustine Prep School recognizes that a healthy co-curricular program gives students invaluable skills for academic success.

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