We all know that old cliché, “They grow up so fast.” And it’s true. It probably seems like just yesterday your school-age child was a baby. But they’re not so little anymore. As a parent, it’s up to you to help your school-age child discover those passions, find hobbies, nurture them, and develop those skills.
Maybe they’re involved with sports, or they play a musical instrument. Even spending time on educational games can help your child develop useful skills that they can use later in life.
One way to nurture your child’s interests is to help them find a hobby. Children benefit from hobbies because they help kids:
- Discover new talents
- Develop interpersonal skills
- Form their personal identity
- Learn how to build self-esteem
- Learn how to build confidence
- Feel a sense of accomplishment
There are almost limitless hobbies for kids that you can explore, and they can be found both in your online school and outside of school. Here are nine tips to help you find them:
9 Steps for Finding a Hobby
1. Make a list of your child’s interests.
Sit down with your child to discuss their current interests and make a list. This will give you something to refer to when looking for hobbies to explore more deeply.
2. Introduce your child to new things on a regular basis.
Simply trying new things is the best way for your child to get life experience and discover new interests. Go on field trips, introduce books on diverse and obscure subjects, and try plenty of fun activities at home. Take them to see a play at a local children’s theater. Maybe they can even take a class there? Make a habit of looking for new activities together once a week or so. It’s a good way to spend some quality time while finding new interests.
3. Test hobbies before committing.
Even if you find a hobby that seems perfect, start slowly. There’s no guarantee that it will be a good fit for your child. Let them try it for a couple of weeks before making a big commitment. School clubs or other school activities are great places to dabble in new hobbies.
4. Give your child the freedom to explore.
This means giving your child adequate space for the hobby and allowing them to dedicate time to it each week. Finding a hobby takes time!
5. Help your child learn and make progress.
Depending on the hobby, your child might not be able to take it further without your guidance. If they aren’t sure what to do next, work together to brainstorm ideas. If your child already knows what steps to take next, offer your support.
6. Know when to let your child move on.
Some hobbies last into adulthood, while others won’t last long at all—even if your child enjoys them. Younger children often grow out of their interests and move on to something else. If your child is ready to quit, don’t pressure them to continue. Just be ready to help them find something new.
7. Follow their lead.
While your first instinct might be to introduce your child to something that you love to do, it might not be something that they love. Keep in mind that your child is their own person. If they tell you that what you are doing is boring or makes them unhappy, take that opportunity to ask them questions and find out what they want to try next. It could be the first step to a lifelong passion. Or even a fruitful career.
8. Explore the elective classes that your online school has to offer.
Even during the school day, there are ways that your child can explore their interests. Encourage your student to look into all the elective courses and extracurricular activities that grab their attention.
9. Take our ultimate career and college major quiz.
If your child is older, have them take our career and college major quiz today. Their hobbies and interests might help your child pick certain high school electives and discover what should they major in,—or what they should do in the future of work.
How to Find a Hobby in Online School
While finding a hobby for your child does take a little bit of work, it isn’t that difficult either.
Once you help your child identify their strengths, it’s time to explore the different clubs and activities in their virtual school. Beyond the core classes of “reading, writing, and arithmetic,” an online school like Connections Academy will offer a wide range of elective classes. Clubs are easy to join and help students socialize. Just a few of the clubs available at Connections Academy include:
- Art Club
- Arts and Crafts Club
- Chess Club
- Gaming and Technology Club
- Science Sleuths
What is available for your child may vary depending upon your specific school. But no matter which Connections Academy school your student is enrolled in, there will be plenty of opportunities for them to socialize with other students and find new hobbies. Sign up today for one of our information sessions to find out what is available for your child, and to see if the flexibility of online school is right for your family.