Is there a need to enroll your child in a club? Will it overwork the child? Or maybe you need to follow the idea that changing activities is the most effective form of recreation? In this case, which club should you enroll your daughter in, and which one will be of interest to your son? How to choose the right activity that will appeal to the child and will also develop his/her skills and abilities?
Surely, every parent at a certain stage had similar questions. And here it is difficult to find a definite answer. Mom and dad are obliged to weigh the pros and cons, analyzing the employment and hobbies of their child.
The benefits of social clubs and activities to children
- Change of scenery. All premises that serve for lessons with children are usually equipped taking into account the interests of the younger generation. There are many toys, games, sports instruments and other equipment, creative materials on their territory. A child is not obliged to be in a sitting motionless position at an uncomfortable desk for forty-five minutes, which does not always fit correctly in height. First-class clubs are equipped with all sorts of zones, which are suitable for games, classes and recreation of children: those who want to do it sitting at the table, the rest can comfortably sit on a pouf or a children’s sofa, other children can spend time on a soft carpet, all according to individual preference.
- Change of activity type. In the case when a child goes to a sports section, mental activity at school is complemented by physical activity. When a child additionally goes to an art club or a music school, he/she develops creatively. Visiting applied art clubs provides the development of the child’s motor activity, in other words, manual labor is improved. Even if a child has expressed a desire to study in a literary or mathematical circle or a chess club, in any case, children will only do what they like.
- Change of social circle. Such extracurricular activities most often take place in narrow groups, up to 10 people, and this is much less than the average school class. Classes are held in separate rooms. Compared to school lessons, where the child is constantly in a very noisy environment, being in the classroom in a circle, he/she can really relax and gain strength and energy.
- Change in communication style. Often, both in sections and in circles, a more informal atmosphere is created than at school. They do not set the same strict requirements in relation to discipline. You can imagine how nice it is for a little schoolboy to finally get a certain freedom of action when it is not forbidden to talk, you can move anywhere, and communicate whenever you want. And all the teachers in the sections and clubs are distinguished by their loyalty, they do not match the strict school teachers – they allow the kids to make noise, play, and run around. Of course, such frivolity may be within reason. Therefore, parents may not worry that their child will become “spoiled” or “capricious” because of this indulgence.
This kind of change can effectively help the child take a break from the difficult and tiring school day and help to cope with the fatigue that has accumulated during the day. Immediately after classes in a section or a circle, the child will be ready to take on the preparation of homework with renewed vigor.
Clubs as an option for organizing children’s free time
This is probably the most common pros that parents use when scheduling their children. Indeed, both sports sections and clubs are often the only effective method of organizing extracurricular time for those parents who work all day long and do not have the opportunity to study with their child at home. Children who are engaged in a certain type of activity outside of school have much less opportunity to create troubles at home, get into trouble on the street, learn bad habits (for example, start smoking while looking at senior reputable courtyard comrades, or addicted to slot machines). Indeed, in fact, being in a club, under the supervision of a teacher, you may not worry about a child and not control.
Clubs as an element of child’s communications
Very often, psychologists advise parents to send their overly shy or withdrawn children to any club that their child chooses. Since there are not very large groups, the child will not receive as much stress as at school, and in a club, it is not so scary to get to know each other. And the kids in the clubs have similar interests, hobbies, and this makes it easier to establish strong friendly contacts.
In addition, for each child, a group in a section is a mini-model of society. Because of the less formal setting, children are more likely to experience a variety of behaviors. Whereas the need to achieve a common goal pushes children to develop communication skills, teaches them to correctly resolve contradictions, correctly defend personal opinions and also diplomatically resolve disputes.
Clubs as a way to form the child’s independence and responsibility
When a child showed a desire to go to a certain club, this indicates that he/she needs to learn to memorize, as well as to keep several things under control at the same time. For instance:
- remember the schedule of classes, come to them on time;
- remember, put in a bag, bring all the items and accessories necessary for the lessons (e.g., dance shoes, a skirt, a leotard, socks);
- remember and also do your homework given by the teacher (draw a picture, learn a song, dance movement, practice a sports exercise, and the like);
- plan your time so that you can do everything on time: go to school, do your homework, chat with friends, help your parents and relatives.
]It is important to understand that if the parents continue to perform all such tasks instead of the child, their child will not learn anything. And in this case, a lot depends on the adults. You do not need to perform in place of the child those tasks that he or she can cope with on his/her own (albeit at the beginning and incorrectly or with great effort), in the event that you want to use the potential of extracurricular activities. Whereas it is necessary to help your baby learn independence. We will pay attention to the issue of the correct organization of the child’s time a little later.
Clubs as a way to reveal the child’s abilities
In this context, there are several options:
- if the parents know exactly what their child succeeds in. At the same time, parents send the baby to those clubss that are able to improve his/her abilities and reveal his/her potential;
- if neither the parents nor the child yet understand what the strengths of the latter are or the child has not yet demonstrated a pronounced interest or giftedness in a particular field of activity. There is nothing wrong with that: you can enroll a child in various sections, even if he or she changes them periodically – while many of his/her abilities will develop in parallel. Remember that there are no untalented children. In addition, it is likely that, by trial and error, you can figure out what activity your daughter or son likes the most, and what works best. And all the skills and knowledge that children acquire in the classroom, one way or another, will be useful in life: the child will become a versatile person, and this will certainly be useful in his/her further independent life.
Clubs as a method of increasing a child’s self-esteem
During classes in a club, every kid is able to succeed. Perhaps a little, but this is already incredibly important to him or her. Such a mini-victory can strengthen the child’s self-confidence. After that, he/she will be more confident in life.
Naturally, this will not be done solely with the achievements in the section. In addition, parents should focus on the child’s success. Boast your friends, emphasize that you are proud of your child. Of course, it is better to do this directly in his/her presence. In addition, formulate your praise in such a way that the child understands that in the future he/she is expected to do the same in other areas. The main thing is not to overdo it. It is not entirely correct to believe that, since the child is still small, he or she will not be able to distinguish between flattery and sincere praise. Your encouragement should be commensurate with your child’s actual success. Remember that your desire to please your child through insincere endorsements can lead to the fact that your daughter or son will simply no longer trust your words.
It is worth thinking seriously here. Maybe you’re exhausting a talented dancer or musician with complicated equations. Or maybe you are forcing a gifted chess player to swim. Of course, every parent would like their child to please with their success in school. Naturally, school lessons will be useful in the future. However, even if something does not work out for your child, slow down, try to answer the question: perhaps your child will be able to live without this skill? Is it possible that all this is not worth the efforts, tears and nerves of a small child? Parents need to take a closer look, their child definitely has the very abilities that are worth being proud of. Moreover, it is necessary to be proud of such abilities as much as of high grades in school. It is worth trying to consider such abilities. It is important just to find the place where your child can show their inclinations. Just trust in the child, support him/her. And he/she will definitely be able to achieve success, gain confidence not just in a certain narrow area, but in his/her life as a whole.
Children’s clubs in the UK: types of circles, their benefits
Thus, you decided to send your child to a section or a club, but so far you do not understand which one to choose? It is really not easy to choose one activity. Today, the range of clubs is huge, even an adult can go dizzy from such a variety. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular and useful children’s clubs in the UK.
Brief characteristics of sports clubs
- physical growth: helps the general physical development of the child, strengthens the immune system, helps to develop coordination and dexterity of movements, develops muscle strength in children;
- mental development: helps to develop willpower, self-confidence, perseverance, teamwork, the ability to defend one’s point of view, the skills to overcome obstacles, the ability to cope with fatigue and pain;
- other advantages: excellent rest for children after a day spent at the desk, a great opportunity for each child to throw out all the accumulated energy in a certain constructive form.
There are many sports clubs: swimming pool, athletics, tennis, basketball, hockey, trampoline, different types of martial arts, football, volleyball and more. It’s hard to list everything. And each sport has its own characteristics. Some sports require certain initial abilities. The rest can be mastered by anyone. The final choice is determined by the initial data of the little athlete, his or her preferences, interests, as well as many other factors (the price of classes, the availability of sports clubs near the home, and much more).
Brief description of choreographic clubs
- physical development: just like sports sections, choreographic clubs help to develop the child physically, form coordination and dexterity of movements. They also help develop flexibility, musicality and a sense of rhythm;
- mental development: such lessons develop the willpower of the baby, create a solid character, as a result, the child will be ready to cope with setbacks and difficulties. Often, choreography classes are accompanied by periodic public appearances to help develop self-confidence. This type of activity contributes to the manifestation of the baby’s individuality;
- additional advantages of choreographic classes: due to physical activity, it is possible to overcome excessive fatigue after school lessons. While mastering the technique of various dance movements will definitely help your kid.
Brief description of art clubs
- physical development: able to develop the child’s fine motor skills;
- mental development: develop perseverance, self-control, attention, patience. Classes foster a creative perception of the world around them, help develop children’s imagination;
- auxiliary benefits: children learn to work with different artistic tools (felt-tip pens, pencils, crayons, watercolor, gouache), and also learn to use other non-traditional tools: seeds, cereals, leaves and much more. Each child learns more about the history of art, as well as its key directions.
Brief description of musical clubs
- physical development: help to develop musicality and a sense of rhythm, help to train hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills;
- mental development: develop willpower, discipline, perseverance. Each child will train attention and good memory;
- supportive benefits: the child will have a musical education.
While all other clubs can be attended on a hobby level, music lessons are more serious, they require more effort. The child will spend a lot of nerves, energy and time on learning. In some cases, you even have to force and control your child. In the event that the child does not demonstrate a great desire to make music, think about whether it is necessary to start learning at all.
Brief description of vocal clubs
- physical development: form an ear for music, diction, a sense of the rhythm of the child;
- mental development: thanks to public performances on stage, everyone will be able to overcome their fear of communication, overcome their clamps, excessive shyness, develop self-confidence;
- auxiliary advantages of classes: the child will learn the correct singing technique, a highly professional teacher will put his voice correctly.
There are many vocal directions: folk, pop vocals, rock, rap, opera, etc.
Brief description of classes in theater studios
- physical development: thanks to classes in speech scenes, the child can correctly develop his/her vocal apparatus, learn how to speak beautifully and correctly. Whereas lessons on stage movement will help you learn to control your body;
- mental development: helps to develop communication skills – the ability to clearly articulate your feelings and thoughts, the ability to correctly understand the interlocutor, helps to develop the main functions of the psyche – memory and attention. In addition, performing in a theater studio is a great opportunity to express yourself, develop the imagination, and also overcome the phobia of public speaking;
- auxiliary advantages of classes: the study of theatrical culture.
Benefits of classes in applied arts clubs
- physical development: help to develop hand-eye coordination, as well as fine motor skills in children;
- mental development: help to develop perseverance, discipline and patience. Applied arts classes require high self-control and attention, develop the child’s creative skills;
- supportive benefits: Your child will gain vital skills and abilities.
Applied arts clubs include courses in modeling, sewing, creating a soft toy, knitting, beading and much more.
Characteristics of “scientific” clubs
All circles that are entirely aimed at the development of thinking, logic, and the study of the most diverse areas of science fit into this category. For instance:
- chess circles – contribute to the development of logical thinking, independence, responsibility, concentration, and self-discipline.
- foreign language courses – the child gets the basics of knowledge of any foreign language;
- computer courses – aimed at studying such important skills in modern society as a PC user and computer technology;
- historical and archaeological courses – combine the study of theory with practice – visiting museums, hiking with a subsequent study of the historical area.
Thanks to the additional information that the child studies, his/her perception and horizons expand;
- circles in psychology – children learn how to understand themselves, those around them, how to communicate correctly, to overcome their shortcomings;
- journalism clubs – every child can try their hand at being an editor, reporter or journalist in a written or oral genre;
Things to consider when choosing a children’s club
First of all, it is important to analyze what is most interesting for your child, whether he/she has certain inclinations, abilities, talents. It is not at all necessary for the child to have a certain clearly visible talent or interest in any business. Since often, the most important task is to correctly organize the child’s free time, to provide him/her with an opportunity for emotional relaxation after a hard school day. In some cases, it is necessary to select the activity in which the child does not show special abilities but has a great desire to learn and practice.
It is worth immediately excluding those sections in which classes will require certain initial skills and abilities. If your child does not have them, he or she simply will not be taken into the club, against the wishes of your son or daughter and your capabilities. Of course, if you want your child to be able to reach certain heights, he/she should do exactly that business for which he/she has the makings, as well as that which fascinates him/her.
Ask your child what he/she is interested in. Maybe he/she already knows which club to choose, maybe he/she wants to learn something. And maybe he/she knows absolutely nothing about it. In this case, you need to explain what it is, what it will give him/her, what it will teach him/her, offer the child several options for clubs, describing in bright colors all the advantages of this or that activity.
The main mistake of parents is to enroll their child in a certain club without first consulting with him/her. Naturally, children cannot always correctly assess the situation, as well as make a balanced and informed decision. In some cases, it may seem to them that they do not need anything at all, except for games and entertainment. And in some cases, it turns out that “a drama club, a photo club, and I also want to sing …”. A child can opt for an occupation that is beyond his/her power solely because his/her classmate friend is already engaged in this club. And yet, you do not need to take your child to a club or to a section against his/her will: no one will benefit from this, and in the end, you will simply waste your time, money, and nerves in vain.
After you decide which sections to enroll the child in, immediately try to scout the area. Upon arrival at the club, talk to the teacher, as well as the leader of the club. Chat with parents of children who have been visiting this club for a long time. If possible, it is best to find out the children’s opinion about the club.
Evaluate whether you feel comfortable on the territory of the club, whether all the necessary conditions have been created for a successful course, and be sure to ask what form of clothing the child needs to choose, what items are needed for lessons.
If everything suits you, go with your child to the first trial lesson. In most clubs, it’s free. And at the end of the lesson, ask if he/she liked the lesson, the teacher and the team. If all is well, you can sign up for such a club.
It is best to involve your child in shaping the daily routine. The child will be more willing to follow exactly the routine that he or she developed with you, and not the one that you imposed on him/her. When drawing up a daily routine, offer your child different options, let him/her have the opportunity to choose. Because, ultimately, it is he or she who needs to live according to such a formed plan.
Get rid of silly illusions first. Your child is still very young, he/she simply cannot bear full responsibility for him-/herself and his/her behavior. The child’s interests are not stable – today he/she likes one thing, tomorrow – completely different. This suggests that in any case, parents are obliged to control the process – you must be aware of what activities your children have and at what time, what they take with them, what tasks they have to do. This is a little insurance in case the child forgets something. Remind me if he or she forgot something. Be prepared that the child may be capricious and refuse to go even to the most favorite club. Try to persuade him/her, but still make sure that this is a common whim or a deeper reluctance to engage in such a section.
Please note that your task as a parent is to take care of the mental, physical, social and creative development of your child. And all the difficulties that are encountered in the process are not so great in comparison with this key goal.