It’s easy enough to gain knowledge and learn academic skills as a home schooled teen. What you may lack, however, is the opportunities to gain social skills and general life skills. This is where your extra-curricular activities come in – they can give you the chance to meet with other teens, home-schooled or otherwise, with similar interests.
Not only is this an excellent opportunity to make friends, but also to hone social skills and improve your effectiveness in working with others. For example, you could develop communication and leadership skills. The sorts of skills you develop do, to some extent, depend on the types of activity you choose to participate in. For example, if you joined a musical theatre group, your self-confidence and presentation skills would probably benefit most, whereas if you play sports, you will mainly learn about teamwork and communication.
These skills may not seem too important to you now, and you may feel that you already have the skills required to get on in life. However, being a thoroughly well rounded individual will definitely improve your prospects, particularly when it comes to your career. In a job interview, for example, you will often be asked to prove that you have certain skills, and you will need to provide anecdotal evidence as proof. Much of this evidence will come from participation in extra-curricular activities.
It’s not just your social and personal skills that will grow as a result of your extra-curricular activities though. In high school, you would benefit from having gym, music and language teachers who specialize in their subject. While there are many benefits of being home schooled, there is the fact that it’s simply not possible to play team sports with your tutor, and that you probably don’t have basketball courts, football pitches, a swimming pool and other facilities – unless you are exceedingly lucky.
If all of this doesn’t convince you, then there is one final thing to be aware of when it comes to extra-curricular activities: teens who explore such interests outside of academia actually achieve better in their academic work. This has been proven by a number of studies, and it is believed that extra-curricular activities aid academic performance not just because of the skills acquired, but also because of the importance of letting off steam and having some down time.
Maggie is a blogger working alongside an education company (tutorsville.net).