Supporting Children’s Out-of-School Activities

Leisure time is the period of time that the child spends in accordance with his own will, left over from school and lessons. Most children prefer to play computer games and watch television in their spare time. It is important that the free time is not completely filled with television and computers, and that these activities are limited and directed to activities where the child’s mental or physical participation will be more active, in terms of supporting both physical and mental development.

What activities can be done in free time?

Activities where school-age children can spend their free time can be considered as arts and sports activities that can be done individually or in groups. Art activities include painting, music, ceramics, dance, ballet, drama, folk dances; Among the sports activities, basketball, swimming, gymnastics, yoga, chess, tennis, scouting and nature sports can be preferred.

How should the choice be made?

Before deciding which activity is suitable for the child, it is necessary to observe the interests and abilities of the child and the areas where he has difficulty and choose the activity accordingly. When the activity related to the area in which the child has difficulty is chosen, this becomes a situation where the feelings of failure will be experienced intensely, rather than being an enjoyable process for the child. As a result, self-esteem problems arise.

How guiding should families be?

There may be difficulties from time to time during the selection of the activity that will make use of the free time. In some homes, parents insist that their children do activities that they wanted to do in their childhood but could not do for various reasons, while in some homes, the child insists on going to an activity attended by his close friends. The child may not always have the ability to do or in the area of ​​interest. This brings with it failure and withdrawal from activity. At this point, parents should guide the child in their skills, determine the areas where he can be successful and help the child in choosing.

How should children be supported in this regard? How should parents behave?

  • Be aware of the child’s skills and areas of difficulty.

  • He should be motivated to continue the activity he started.

  • Efforts and achievements should be rewarded.

  • From an early age, they should be introduced to materials such as pencils, paper, musical instruments and activities that require attention.

  • They should be given the opportunity to try different activities.

  • If the areas of interest are very limited, he should offer different alternatives and diversify his interests.

  • They should be in different environments and be interested in different subjects.

What do children gain when they engage in activities such as art and sports outside of school?

  • The child learns to plan his day.

  • Discovers his talents, gets to know himself.

  • The more successful, the more self-confident.

  • Being in different social environments improves the ability to establish new relationships.

  • Art and sports activities contribute to the effective functioning of both hemispheres of the brain, thus providing a multi-faceted development of the child.

How do their activities affect school success?

It is thought that the child will not be able to spare time for his lessons due to social activities, and therefore his school success will be negatively affected. However, physical and artistic activities support mental development as they ensure the coordinated work of both hemispheres of the brain. In addition, the life of the child participating in social activities is not limited to the lesson. This prevents the child from being overwhelmed by the lessons and increases his motivation towards school and lessons.

What should be done if it has bad effects? Should the child be withheld from the activity?

In cases where the social activity is not started at the right time or the time allocated to the activity is more than the time allocated to the lesson, school success may be adversely affected. In this case, the first thing parents do is take the child out of the activity. Keeping the child away from the activity will not ensure academic success, and it will also affect the child’s self-confidence. Being successful in social activities as well as academic success is one of the basic requirements. For this reason, the duration should be adjusted appropriately, rather than hindering the activity.

If he excels in this subject, should his education be directed to this field?

Showing outstanding success in a subject is an indication of being special in that field. The education of the child should be developed in this direction and it should be ensured that he achieves lifelong success and happiness.

What happens if families have other expectations about their child’s education?

In our society, sports and art activities are generally considered as hobbies, and it is not always appropriate to choose them as a profession. For this reason, there are conflicts between the child and the parent regarding the choice of profession.

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