How to Help Teens Balance Academics and Extracurricular Activities

Because high school students now have so maJay Gallipo on the field at St. Thomas Aquinas High Schoolny options for classes, sports, and other extracurricular activities, it can be difficult for them to find time for everything. However, they should be able to strike a healthy balance between their schoolwork and after-school pursuits with a little planning. Here are a few ways to help high school students manage academics and extracurricular activities.

Decide on a Reasonable Workload

It's great when teens want to be involved in as many educational, athletic, and extracurricular pursuits as they can; but sometimes it's just not possible to do everything. Parents should review their child's weekly schedule and talk about time management and stress. Academics should be the priority, so extracurricular activities and sports will need to fit around the time they spend studying. Parents can create a schedule with their children and try it out for a few weeks to see how they handle the workload.

Offer Time Management Tools

Though it can be stressful, balancing schoolwork with extracurricular activities can also serve as time management practice for teens. Having busy schedules will teach them how to plan ahead, stay organized, and prioritize specific events and tasks each week. Calendars, planners, and to-do lists can be helpful; and homework and studying can be managed more efficiently by strictly sticking to a time block for each subject. Learning how to properly budget time and energy is a valuable skill that teens will keep using long after they've finished high school.

Be Prepared to Make Compromises

If a student's grades are suffering due to an overloaded schedule, it may be time to consider dropping a few extracurricular activities to lighten their load. But this isn't necessarily the end of their creative pursuits. They might be able to compromise and find ways to continue participating in athletic or artistic activities without diluting their focus on academics. For example, instead of participating in a sport or club during the school year, teens can take part in summer programs. Local recreation centers may also offer art and music classes, language programs, and sports that require less of a time commitment.

Learning how to manage their time is one of the many life skills students learn at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Since 1960, we've been recognized as one of the tri-state Seacoast region's premier providers of Catholic education. To learn more about our academic programs and extracurricular activities, call 603-742-3206 or stop by the campus on one of our visit days.