Why I think after school time is precious for primary school children to learn beyond classroom
Written By: Rong Xin, ChatGPT
As a parent or caregiver, you may have wondered whether it's worth enrolling your primary school child in after school activities. After all, they already spend most of their weekdays in the classroom, so why not let them unwind at home or engage in unstructured playtime? While rest and play are important for children's development, I believe that after school time can be precious for learning beyond the classroom as well (And I don't mean more tuition or academic drilling). Here are some reasons why:
Intentional hands-on learning or gamification offer different learning experiences.
In a classroom, students often receive instruction from a teacher or textbook, complete worksheets or tests, and sometimes participate in group projects or experiments. While these methods can be effective in conveying information and testing comprehension, they may not suit every child's learning style or interests. After school activities, on the other hand, can offer more diverse and engaging learning experiences.
Keon, 8, exploring light and mirror image.
For example, a science program might allow children to conduct experiments, observe nature, and ask questions in a more exploratory and collaborative setting. A coding class might use gamification techniques, such as designing games or robots, to teach programming concepts in a more interactive and fun way. By exposing children to different modes of learning, after school activities can help them discover their strengths and preferences, and foster a lifelong love of learning.
2. Discover Passion and Explore Interest while building diverse skill sets
After school activities can also provide opportunities for children to explore their passions and interests beyond the curriculum. Whether it's coding, sports, music, art, or community service, there's likely an activity that aligns with your child's hobbies or aspirations.
Celebrating CNY with seniors from elder homes in Singapore virtually!
By pursuing these interests, children can build confidence, creativity, grit, and other soft skills. More importantly, they can also develop a sense of identity and purpose beyond their academic achievements, which can contribute to their overall well-being and happiness.
3. Social and Emotional Skills are equally important as Academic Excellence
While academic achievement is often the focus of primary school education, we believe that social and emotional skills are equally important for children's success in life. After school activities can provide a safe and positive environment for children to practice and improve these skills given the right pedagogy and learning systems.
For instance, a team project or sports can teach children cooperation, communication, sportsmanship, and resilience. By developing these skills, children can become more well-rounded and adaptable individuals, who can thrive in diverse settings and navigate challenges with confidence
Children learning to work together to complete a Stop-Motion project in Jr Tech Titan class
4. Positive Environment encourages good learning habits and life skills
Safe & positive learning environment for children to develop good learning habits.
Finally, after school activities can create a positive and structured environment for children to develop good learning habits and life skills. By committing to a regular schedule, setting goals, and working towards them, children can learn the value of time management, responsibility, and persistence. By receiving feedback, and mentoring from teachers, or even peers, children can improve their self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-efficacy. By interacting with different age groups, cultures, and backgrounds, children can learn to respect diversity, build empathy, and develop social skills. By having fun and making friends, children can also relieve stress, boost confidence, and enhance their mental health.
In all, I believe after school time can be precious for primary school children to learn beyond the classroom during these formative years.