Initial enthusiasm in after school activities tends to wane after the first excitement is over.
This is but natural. The trick is to keep up the hard work even after this.
How do you keep your child motivated?
This is of particular importance when the child goes in for educational after school programs.
Make the career-academics connection early on:
Let your child understand how important studies are. Let him know that an excellent career is wholly dependent on wholesome learning. To develop his interest in studies, plan family activities that are connected with his studies. Emphasize the real-world connection to academics whenever possible.
Let your child know, through example, that hard work will be rewarded. If your child believes that achievement is a natural by-product of effort, he is more likely to put in hard work. Such children are also less likely to drop out of programs and college at a later stage.
When a child achieves something, it is necessary to praise his hard work.
Positive reinforcements enhance confidence and increase self-esteem.
Conversely, beware of criticism. It can ruin the frail ego of children and play havoc with their minds.
For millions of parents around the world, the day does not end with the school bell. There are still pictures to be painted, songs to be sung and games to be played. This all adds up to keeping children happy, safe and out of trouble. But, parents have to steer away from going overboard.
After school is not baby-sitting:
After school activities thrive only if it is backed by sufficient parental involvement. What would a soccer match be without parents cheering their little heroes from the sidelines?.
Research and choose: Instead of convenience being the decisive factor, find out things that will interest your child. Once you select a program, get the fine print and find out what you have to contribute.
Free time: Many children attend piano classes, followed by ballet and squeeze in some time for play dates in between just before they rush home in time for bed. This rigour is too much for a child. So, go slow.
When to quit: Often, parents enrol their child in an activity to discover that he may not be the prodigy they thought he would be. This is the time to let go. Your child may not become the next wonder-kid. But, let him cultivate an interest that he enjoys. Remember, happiness and fulfilment are all that matter.
As a child grows into an adult, different aspects of his physical, emotional and mental self need development. To help a child reach his full potential, it is necessary to recognize the child’s developmental needs and abilities. To be effective, after school programs should assist children with tasks they must accomplish during each stage of development.
After School Safety Tips And Reminders
A child’s growth curve can be divided into three main parts:
1) Young child (ages 3-5)
2) Middle school (ages 6-8)
3) Older school (ages 9-12)
The four important domains of development are The Physical Domain, the Social Domain, the Emotional Domain and the Intellectual Domain. Each of these domains needs to be separately addressed during the various phases of a child’s growth. After school programs should concentrate on developing each domain as applicable to the age of the child. Although the children participating in these programs may have similar developmental needs and age, do not expect the development to be uniform. Children will develop as and when they are ready.
Physical Domain: When children are young, they want to perfect skills that they have just learnt to control. A variety of movements such as jumping, catching and throwing delight them. The middle school child, on the other hand, wants to learn more complex skills and get involved in team sports. This is also the best time to learn about rules and discipline in sport. The older school child is ready for more adult-like activities that need greater structure and discipline, like dancing, gymnastics, music classes etc.
Social Domain: Young children are observing others and will be interested in games where they play the roles of family members. They develop short-term friendships and need an adult’s presence to assure them. The middle school child is intrigued by society and will love trips to factories, public buildings etc. They want to know the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of things. The older school child is ready to learn about different cultures, food and customs. They want to do some amount of social work too.
Intellectual Domain: Young school children will practice what they are learning. Middle school children want to learn more skills and will show interest in reading, drama and problem-solving. The older school children are ready to research and probe. They enjoy getting a puzzle and pondering over it.
Any after school program needs to address the interests of the child depending on the category he belongs to. Knowing the children in your program and appreciating their needs and interests will help staff to plan and structure programs that are most useful to that group.