When there are so many activities on offer, and each one looks as good as
the next, how do you gauge the worth and effectiveness of these
activities? Sure, you want an activity that junior enjoys. But, we really
cannot afford to waste time on pleasure for pleasure’s sake, do we? There
needs to be a grain of gold somewhere in there. Given below is a list of
characteristics that any good after school activity must possess.
Clarity in objectives and goals is the first important thing. What does
the course offer? How does it propose to achieve the results? How many
kids make up a batch? Ask questions. After all, when you are dishing out
the dough, you really need to understand what you are getting in return.
A good after school activity will provide lots of opportunities for the
young to increase their level of understanding of complex concepts. This
is true of recreational activities too. Learning to pitch a ball, or dance
to a tune – regardless of the activity involved, the child should be
encouraged to grapple with and conquer new concepts. This not only keeps
boredom at bay by challenging the child, but also builds up his
self-confidence. Development of academic, personal and social skills is
one of the prime aims of an after school activity. As the skills develop,
the child’s self-esteem also increases.
After school activities are all about boosting a child’s sense of
competence. Good and effective after school activities promotes the
resilience of youth and encourages them to grow stronger, be it mentally,
emotionally or physically.
Safety is one of the first requirements of an after school activity. The
staff should be qualified, adequate and alert. Never put your child in a
program where safety is a matter of accident instead of a matter of
priority. The staff should be friendly and should have a positive
relationship with the child. Therefore, the program should have
professional and trained staff that loves to interact with children. The
program should maintain a cooperative and supportive attitude and a
structured environment. Participation and collaboration as opposed to
competition and antagonism must be encouraged.
Some programs involve the children in planning activities and making
decisions. Adults often forget to get the opinion of their children. By
giving the children an opportunity to voice their opinion, programs become
fun activities that children are motivated to participate in. Young people
thrive when they are listened to, respected and allowed to contribute
Routine evaluations are an important part of after school programs. If the
child does not benefit from a class, don’t waste time being
over-optimistic. Try something new.
You are now ready to look for the perfect after school activity for your
child. But don’t let us forget that having fun is also an important part
of growing up. The child deserves a few hours of pure delight. Remember,
all work and no play, ……
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