You may not find your child’s favorite after school activity already organized and available at post, but there are still an endless amount of options to keep your foreign service kids stimulated, active, and entertained once school is done for the day. Here are some ideas and programs to keep your kid busy (and still learning) after school.
Sign Up for Recreational Sports
Many international schools include after school sports. For example, my kids participate in "rec" volleyball, track, soccer, etc.—all through their school. Of course, the options vary from post to post. When you enroll your child in a new school, make sure to ask about the different sports they offer.
Try an Online Extracurricular Activity
Most traditional (in-person) after-school activities are now taught online! If you can’t find art, music, or language lessons, or other skill-based activities at post, head to the internet. There’s definitely been an uptick in the types of online courses available. You can start here with a FREE online Karate class just for FS kids: www.ushistoryabroad.com/karate
Help Your Child Find a New Hobby
A “lack” of structured extracurricular activities gives your child the chance to explore new interests and hobbies. Maybe they’ve decided to start an herb garden or are determined to become the next star baker—either way, give them time to explore a little bit. By the way, the Kennett Kitchen has some great online baking classes (like Cupcake Wars) that can get them started on the right track. More here: www.thekennettkitchen.com
Look for Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteerwork is a great after-school activity for kids of all ages, since it can help them build life and social skills, learn more about responsibility, give them a greater awareness about the world (and your post), and teach them appreciation. If your child wants to volunteer after school, check with your CLO and/or community service organizations to see where help is needed.
Start a New After-School Program
If your child’s school doesn’t offer an activity they’re interested in, you may be able to start your own! Just make sure to ask their school what requirements or rules they have for these kinds of programs first. (Your CLO may be able to help share the activity with the community too!)
Stock Up on Downloadable Activities
Not every after-school activity needs to be social. Keep your kids learning after school with workbooks and activity books. It’s a chance for them to explore a school subject they enjoy or need more help in or even document their life. U.S. History Abroad a free “Life as a Foreign Service Kid” workbook you can download here: https://www.ushistoryabroad.com/activitybookforfskids.html
U.S. History Abroad 🇺🇸 is also a GREAT after-school activity for kids! It provides an online American history education that your kids can get from the comfort of wherever you happen to be posted. And it’s FUN! They learn through puzzles, games, and awesome videos. Get on the waitlist to be the first to know when registration opens up: www.ushistoryabroad.com/about