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.
Quirky after school programs
With the growing interest in after school programs shown by the Government as well as parents, new and hitherto unheard of programs are being explored. In an attempt to make a child aware of his responsibilities as an individual and as a citizen, these after school programs make use of a child’s natural curiosity and his irrepressible energy.
In some schools in Kernersville, children are developing their investigative skills. Children meet with adults who introduce them to the details of fake non-violent crimes. They take notes, visit the scene and gather information. Students learn to listen to alibis, collect fingerprints and gather any other pieces of evidence. According to the principal, these activities challenge her students’ problem solving skills. Children learn to think critically and to form informed judgments.
Fisheries and sciences:
In North Carolina, children who are interested get a chance to win a scholarship through their after school activity. Here, students are given a chance to face hands-on fisheries science experiments in a freshwater or marine setting. Professionals, educators and experts from the world of Fisheries act as mentors. Students accepted into the program get a $3,000 scholarship.
The above examples go to show that after school activities are becoming serious. They are slowly morphing into important parts of a child’s education and moving away from the fun-and-frolic-only programs of the past.