Balancing academics and co-curricular activities is an important task in the life of any adolescent.  At least four factors are involved in this balancing act, an act that helps develop the “whole child”: the student, the parent(s), the academic demands, and the requirements of the co-curricular activities.

Here at Harrisburg Academy, where students have numerous opportunities to explore the arts, sports, and academic enrichment beyond the confines of the classroom, they soon learn the importance of striking a good balance. This is a lesson that will serve them well in college and beyond.

Many of our students lead busy lives. In addition to school, they may play one or more sports; participate in scouting; sing and/or play an instrument; dance, skate, or practice a martial art; participate in drama productions or musicals; study an additional language outside of school; and/or attend religious education classes.

These students make decisions to participate in their desired “extras” and then go about balancing those activities against the time and energy their studies demand. Mostly, it goes well. However, sometimes students get a bit stretched, the stress rises, and sleep is compromised. Oftentimes, better time management is the answer, but sometimes, something just needs to give.

Sometimes a parent has to step in and guide that process. The age of the student determines, in most instances, how much influence a parent has in choosing and managing the extras. Parents, just like students, come in all shapes and sizes when it comes to these choices. Some seem to believe that “more is better,” and others favor checking one or two boxes, never of “all the above.”

Students often need to learn to curb the desire to “do it all” versus what is possible, manageable, and allows for the most enjoyable participation.  These are all important factors students learn to consider as they mature in their management of this important balancing act.

No matter the number of extras, it is important to pay attention to the big picture: ensuring children have adequate sleep, time for friends, family, homework, and that all-important and often elusive “extra,” unstructured free time!

A balanced student now leads to a happy, successful adult later in life — and this is what we strive to promote with our engaged, busy Academy students!