Schedule Some 4-H Fun Into Your Routine

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Are schedules and routines the same thing? Do they benefit families and children? How do programs such as 4-H fit into your schedule and routine? What are the benefits for making time for programs like this?

Schedules are the big picture, usually planned and time specific. Routines are things we do every day without having to make time for it such as brushing our teeth, eating, and going to sleep. Being a part of programs like 4-H takes some scheduling and flexibility, but in the long run the life skills your child will demonstrate will be routine. Valuable life skills, such as leadership, decision making, planning, public speaking, responsibility, and accountability, will become second nature as they learn them in the 4-H program and exhibit the skills throughout life. Although this might not seem like your child right now, practicing these skills will lead to increased self-esteem, caring for their community, and will increase their self-confidence. We know when most children join, they are shy and uncomfortable stepping out of their comfort zone, but over time you see the growth and leadership skills develop. Soon they are hooked, committed to the program – the big picture – and it becomes a part of their weekly or monthly routine.

Studies show children who grow up with routines are less likely to have time management or attention problems as adults. Studies also show children who take part in family routines, such as family meals or quality family time, are more likely to be socially and emotionally advanced. When children have safe, loving, and nurturing environments they are happy, feel secure, and are able to learn and build confidence. We are able to offer those safe and nurturing environments thanks to our trained and caring 4-H adult volunteers. That’s probably why studies also show 4-H has a positive impact on youth; they make healthier choices, excel in school, and make better grades – all the things you want for your child. Thanks to our 4-H volunteers, we can make learning fun.

Did you know you can make 4-H time family time too? Think about it, you set some time aside at night for quality family time and read a book together, watch television, play a game, work on a puzzle, go for a walk, or whatever the family enjoys doing together. We enjoy having parents at meetings, or you can become a 4-H volunteer and be more involved. Club meetings are scheduled and structured yet flexible enough to allow for hands-on learning and fun.

Take a look at your schedules. You already know the routines. Do you have time to add something into the schedules and routines to enhance your child’s life? Meetings and activities with 4-H are currently being held virtually. However, face-to-face overnight camp is still on the schedule. We hope in the fall we can return to more face-to-face activities along with some hybrid events as folks become more comfortable with our new normal. You can learn more about the 4-H programs offered and which ones fit into your schedule by downloading the Robeson County 4-H app from your App Store. For more information, contact Wendy Maynor, Extension 4-H Youth Development Program Associate, at 910-671-3276, by email at, or visit our website.