Supporting Your Student in After School Activities
Ways to Support Your Student
On many occasions, your international student is here to study and learn in an American school; which includes learning the ways of life of an American teenager. If education is a top priority in their home and country, taking a break here after school is going to be difficult. It’s important for all of us to take a break from the everyday stresses in our lives to regroup and prepare for the next day. Below are ideas to help your student find enriching activities after school.
After School Activity Ideas
Enriching the Academics
Start a book club at home or a local community center with other host families and their students. Pick a light, enjoyable book to discuss. Create art projects to make throughout the book. If you find a movie to go along with the book, compare and contrast the two. For example, a favorite among classrooms right now is the new book Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a great book about developing a positive character in difficult situations. The movie is coming out soon!
Developing the Arts
Teach your host student how to cook or bake. Have a potluck with other families. Even better? Host a cooking class and teach a group how to create yummy American meals while they converse with other students. After a few cooking sessions, challenge the kids to create and make their own recipes and have a recipe showcase event for the neighborhood.
Get the Body Moving
Get them involved in exercise or a sport through the school or the city. Many schools offer seasonal sports, but can take up a lot of time. If they need more time for school, have them get involved in a sport through the city where they can pick and choose the days they attend. Not only does this give them time outside of the home, it can mentally relax them to tackle homework later.
Hone Board and Card Game Skills
Plan a board or card game day once or twice a week. A few round of cards, board games, etc. can provide a good time for all. Each week they can choose a new game they want to learn then practice playing together.
Learn Something New
Find a class that teaches a new language. Why not try sign language? How fun would it be for the whole family to get involved and learn together! Spend an evening speaking in only that new language; We bet it will be challenging and fun all at the same time!
Be a community helper. Seek out ideas from your local church, city hall, animal shelter, etc. Volunteering time is a great “feel good” way to show you care not to mention may fulfill your student’s volunteer hours requirements for school.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Start a mini gardening in the backyard. Teach them about different plants that are not found in their country. Learn the proper ways to take care of each of the items in your garden. After a few months create a dish to eat that incorporates items from your garden. If it’s a flower garden, then find a creative way to decorate the dinner table with items from your garden.
Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy this precious time with your international student.