Why Are Extracurriculars Necessary?
Did you know that some educators are pushing for a five year high school plan because colleges want to see their incoming freshman have so many extracurricular activities and volunteer hours that current students have a hard time fitting them all in? The advantage we have as home schoolers is that we can make these activities an integral part of our student’s curriculum and not just add-ons. The problem is that we need to see their value and not just as something to do if we finish our academic subjects. Our students will be competing for both admission to colleges and money from scholarships, and we have to make sure they have a rich non-academic transcript as well.
So what are some rich extracurricular activities that colleges like to see? There is a big push at the universities to make sure students graduate as articulate, well-spoken individuals. Many college courses now include a component of public speaking (including the sciences!). Any type of speech activity in high school is looked at very favorably. Colleges are also looking for the student to be involved for multiple years, not just one.
Participation in competitions is a must these days. Rhetoric Team, Science Olympiad, and ACSI Fine Arts are just some of the opportunities we have in this area. There are also a great variety of writing competitions for those budding authors or poets.
Involvement in some type of musical activity (whether private lessons or singing in a choir) is considered a rich cultural experience. Drama is also a good activity.
Participation in athletics shows that a student is well rounded. I shows well-rounded personality and experience (but is not usually considered in scholarship awards unless the student is going to play at the college level and would be an asset to the team).
Volunteer hours are also a rich addition to the high school transcript but this is a subject that will be taken up in a future post.