Extracurricular activities - what to choose, how to search

because will be too late) introduce English, chess, sports, etc. Extracurricular activities - what to choose, how to search.

Extracurricular activities - what to choose, how to search
Extracurricular activities - what to choose, how to search

I remember being a little out of breath when I was a young mother and a trained educator: to support, stimulate, develop, provide stimuli - play music, watch contrasting books together, sign up for a swimming pool... later (or maybe earlier, because will be too late) introduce English, chess, sports, etc. Extracurricular activities - what to choose, how to search.

What to choose? How to look, what to look for? Fill the child's time as much as possible so that he does not think about stupid things or let him get bored. Yes, yes, there is such a voice in the discussion of children's activities that you MUST GIVE your children TIME to get bored. And that the value in itself is free to play. Casual, without coaches and instructors who define the rules within which the child is to move.

What to follow

I have no ambition to exhaust the topic - I just want to inspire. Bring up a few aspects that perhaps, Dear Parent, you did not take into account before, because two heads are better than one ;-)

What to consider when planning free time for our children? I will not be particularly revealing here - the first factor is the age of our kids. But to provide a good foundation for reflection, I will use Howard Gardner's concept. This psychologist, known mainly as the creator of the concept of Multiple Intelligences, presented in his book 'Multiple Intelligences. Theory in practice a very interesting look at human development. Writing about intelligence, he characterized it as bio psychic potential and presented the natural line of development of each intelligence.

What is the significance of this natural line of development, you will ask your Parent if I am faced with a dilemma: karate or chess, English or clay molding. Let's have a look ...

  • Gardner writes that the natural line of development begins with a "raw" intelligence - an untrained ability to schematize, it concerns a child around 1 year of age.
  • The next stage is preschool age - it is characterized by entering the world of symbols such as language, music, gesture, and movement.
  • The early school period is the entry into the system of signs: letters, notes, numbers.
  • The period of adolescence is characterized by a whole range of skills, the ability to use patterns, signs, and symbols.

The time of childhood and adolescence is precisely this time to immerse yourself in the world of individual fields, to be able to taste "what is it with"  in the field.

The natural line of development of intelligence

  • Raw intelligence - 1 year of age

The natural lineage of any intelligence begins with an untrained ability to schematize, e.g., the ability to distinguish tones in musical intelligence or to judge three-dimensional patterns in spatial intelligence. These abilities seem universal. "Raw" intelligence prevails in the first year of a child's life.

  • Symbol system - preschool period

In the stage that begins after the age of one, intelligence manifests itself through a certain system of symbols: language in stories, music in songs, spatial orientation in drawings, kinesthetic-bodily skills in gestures and dancing, etc.

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  • Sign system - early school period

As it develops, each intelligence, along with the symbolic system, begins to reflect the sign system. Notes, letters, numbers - signs on paper that express symbols.

The range of professional activities - adolescence and adulthood

Finally, these bits of intelligence are expressed in a variety of professional activities. For example, mathematical-logical intelligence, which is initially only the ability to distinguish certain patterns, develops by mastering a certain symbolic and sign system, reaches a mature expression in professions such as mathematician, accountant, scientist, or cashier.

Another element that can be a clue for us on which classes to send our child to is his natural curiosity and interest. Sometimes it is like a flash, a revelation. But this reaction will only come about when the child encounters a specific field. There must be a stimulus for a reaction to take place. And it's impossible to say when or where it might happen. Often people fascinated by a particular field recall that the first encounter with a specific idea, creativity, or work was like a revelation.

We try to provide our child with varied meals full of vitamins - it is also worth providing varied experiences. Let you feel, see, experience: boredom, free play, the world of music, art, games (yes, yes, games too). I won't know if my child is "activating" unless he has the opportunity to face the field that touches him.

You want your child to be creative, bring new content into some area of ‹‹life, a new value in culture. It may sound too pathetic, but even Einstein was a child in the beginning. Give him time to learn the language of the disciplines - body movement in dance, drawing (or molding) shapes, producing sounds ...

I associate the natural line of development with a funnel. Why? In order to find "your gold vein", the field of fun and development, it is worth (or perhaps you have to) go through many worlds to sigh with delight at the door of one of them.

Flow & slow

Flow and slow - what is it? The term flow was popularized by MihályCsíkszentmihályi, a psychologist dealing with motivation. The term flow means a state of winging, elevation, exactly - flow. This is the moment when we forget about time and hunger when we are involved in any field, whatever - knitting crochet, making little plasticine animals, or dancing. So we are so absorbed in the activity we are doing. I think there is no greater joy for a parent than to help your child discover such a place.

But in any activity, wisdom is needed. Let me quote Carl Honoré: "often less is more, and slower is better." Carl Honoré is the author of books with telling titles: œPraise of Slowness. How to slow down and enjoy life andœ Under pressure. Let's give the children a break! . The philosophy of slow life is beginning to influence more and more areas of life: good food (slow food), cities of good quality of life (cittaslow). It is also worth applying this inspiration when planning the development of our children.

To sum up:

  1. Just as you care for vitamin-rich food, care for your child's diverse experiences.
  2. Keep a close eye on the natural curiosity of your offspring.
  3. Use the funnel analogy - the younger the child, the more individual experiences. The older the child, the more long-term activities (but remember - for an 11-year-old, a year is very long).