Hudson Valley Parent

HVP September 2015

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Page 14 of 39 ■ Hudson Valley Parent 15 everyone else) because exercise boosts mood, improves learning and memory, and relieves stress. Being a jock is anything but dumb. Leadership. Extracurricular activ- ities, including sports and clubs, are ideal places for kids to explore and practice what it means to be a group leader, says Kuczmarski. When kids take responsibility for organizing group work and producing results, they learn valuable social skills. Encourage your child to take on leadership roles whenever possible. Logistics. Rather than causing burnout, after-school activities can provide balance to a class schedule that is overly academic, Kuczmarski says, if locations and timing fit your lifestyle. It's okay to keep kids busy, but avoid signing on to so many pro- grams that you'll be scrambling from one to the next. Pay attention to cost as well. Good programs don't necessarily cost big bucks. Many quality pro- grams receive funding from grants and community partnerships. As you weigh the options, keep in mind this goal: You want your child to be a well-rounded citizen and a healthy, happy person, says Hill. After-school activities can provide enrichment, adventure and variety. They shouldn't be driven by high- stakes testing and they shouldn't be box-fillers for college applications. Kids don't want to participate in programs that are just more school after school. Innovative programs promote learning without rote or repetition. If you can't find quality after-school activities near you, contact your school district to advocate for programs you'd like to see. Out-of-school shouldn't mean out-of-opportunities. Heidi Smith Luedtke is a personal- ity psychologist, former educator and mom of two eager learners. She is the author of "Detachment Parenting." LEPTONDALE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 1771 Rte. 300, Newburgh • 845-564-2860 • Quality Christian education • After school care until 5:30pm • Spanish for grades 6 • th -8 th Advanced science and math • courses for 8 th grade A full range of athletic programs • Fostering Servant Leadership 3 YEAR OLD PRE-K THROUGH 8 TH GRADE - NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS CALL TO SCHEDULE A TOUR

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