CCAs, like what teachers and other parents have said, build character and if you child does well, may help boost his “portfolio” later on when applying for schs or anything else he wishes to enrol or apply for that may require a reference to CCAs/sch record. For example, if there is a tie, and your son has the better CCA record or even just having a CCA record, may put him in a better light. Of course, we may never find out about this “tie-breaker” since final selection is still done behind closed doors.
Having CCAs will show another side of your son to the teachers. If they have to write letters of recommendation, you have more teachers to turn to to get a well-rounded view of your son. Also, form teachers have to write remarks in the report books semestrally, and finally, a testimonial. Imagine the poor teacher trying to come up with something so that your son will have a substantial write-up, when he does NOT have a CCA and is practically non-existent in class. With a CCA, the teacher will have more to write, especially if your son is a “wallflower” in his/her class but a prominent contributor or promising leader in his CCA (which the teacher can find out easily form the CCA teacher).
Choice of CCA is also crucial. Of course, your son must enjoy and be committed to it. He must also be able to balance schwork, social/family life, CCA, and still have time to rest. Unless he is like phankao’s son, who knows the importance of balance and can make the decision himself later on, you may have to step in if you think your son cannot do that on his own. Or worse, he may think that withdrawal from CCA due to inability to balance is equivalent to failure.
If he chose a club kind of CCA rather than a uniformed group or performing arts group, he may have more free time but there is a chance that he may become a sleeping member. In this case, he might as well not have a CCA cos he’s just wasting his time; he learns nothing and gains minimal points.
If he chose an uniformed group, it can be rather intensive but since these are popular among children (not sure about pri sch but very popular in sec sch, don’t know why though), he may have to work hard to be “promoted” through the ranks in order to be noticed and gain more points.
Since he chose a performing arts groups, he won’t have to work as hard as if he were in an uniformed group. This is cos everyone has a part to play. Everyone must play an instrument, act a role on stage, help backstage, dance, etc. No one can be a sleeping member in such groups and get away with it. Sleeping members are not tolerated in such groups, unlike in clubs, strangely. In this way, he has more opportunities to show his skills and talents, not just in music alone, and he may even get more points.
Do bear in mind that since performing groups need to perform, when performance or competition dates approach, be prepared for your son to have extra practices or extended practices. This is part and parcel of life in a performing group, amateur or professional. Even the instructors and teachers must put in extra hours.
If you are worried about his meals, and can’t bring him lunches ins ch, do what I do for my DD sometimes. When she is sick of canteen food, she will request that I cook. I will cook simple meals that can be eaten quickly and without mess, and will not spoil easily. I just cook the weekend before and refrigerate or freeze it. Thaw the night before and re-heat the next morning. Let it cool a little, then pack it into her bag. Since you prepare the meals, you can ensure that he eats properly.
My DD is in P1 now and she was actually very keen on having a CCA, though I think they don’t accept P1 kids. The reasons why she gave up for now is cos she can’t decide on one yet and she said that she wasn’t ready to be on her own after sch, even when she knows that the BASC teacher will pick her up after CCA ends. I’ll just wait till she’s a bit older before asking her again.