Enrichment Classes for Your Child
A happy, well-rounded childhood goes beyond traditional schooling. As children transit to K1 and primary school, they often trade in play time for more classroom lessons and - gulp - exams.
One way to inject play and enjoyment in their lives, while widening their skill sets and encouraging character development, is to enrol them in non-academic enrichment classes. These classes tap into other interests beyond the subjects taught in the school curriculum, and they also foster creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Not sure where to start? Take a look at some options below.
Drama and Musical Theatre Enrichment Class
Got a star in the making? Acting is a passion that can only be uncovered after being tried. If your child is a thespian and loves to be the centre of the show, a drama class may be just what they need. That said, parents of more reserved kids should not give drama enrichment class an automatic pass. In fact, the stage may be just where they feel free to open up. How will they (and you) know until they give it a go?
Drama and musical theatre classes can help boost children's confidence, along with their emotional, social and physical development.
Children's linguistic skills may also improve, as these art forms call for expression through speech and song. For a child to assume the role of a character convincingly, memorise their lines, and act out scenes, they must be able to grasp the story line first.
Improvisation is often a part of drama classes, which calls for kids to construct scenes, dialogues, rising action, or resolutions on the spot with their peers. It is a fun way to encourage out-of-the-box thinking and teamwork.
Why parents should consider it: Drama and theatre classes can improve public speaking skills, encourage collaboration, and inculcate creativity and innovation.
Dance Enrichment Class
Dancing involves a lot more concentration than you may think. When a child performs a dance, they have to retrieve the steps from their memory, be aware of the space around them, move in rhythm with the music – and these are just the basics of dance. There is also the fact that they have to be brave to perform publicly in front of audience.
A dance enrichment class could improve attention skills, observation skills, self-discipline, and memory retrieval, all of which can be applied to other areas of learning. Think of dance not only in its physical form but also as a "mental rehearsal."
Additionally, evidence shows that movement and expression in dancing can be effective vehicles for teaching social-emotional skills and increasing kids' empathy.
Why parents should consider it: Dance enrichment classes integrate music, movement, and creativity, which have wide-ranging benefits for children's physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development.
Art Enrichment Class
The sound of scissors snipping thick construction paper, the smell of oil pastels and the sticky residue that glue leaves on your fingers. These are just some of the many little delights in creating art.
As important as it is for kids to do well in their studies, life isn't all about schooling. The value of the arts is immense and multi-layered, paving the way to well-rounded development for children.
At this early stage, art should be about play, discovery, expression, and exploring different mediums and styles. Most art enrichment classes hold trial lessons, so be sure to try them out before committing to a class. Pay attention to the instructors' style of teaching to ensure they encourage children's individual expression. The beauty of art is that we all have our own take on it. Art is meant to celebrate uniqueness.
Why parents should consider it: Art encourages personal expression, and is a creative outlet for kids – which is especially helpful if they need a break from studying. Enrolling your child in an art enrichment class can benefit their future, as art encourages thinking out of the box.
Music enrichment class
What's a childhood without music? Don't all of us wish we were as happy as a baby bopping its head along to "Wheels on a Bus"? There is a way to extend this joy even past babyhood to your child's later years. One of the ways is through a music enrichment class.
Whether it is through learning an instrument such as the piano, violin, or even drums or choir, don't miss out on the chance to expose your child to a music learning experience.
Science shows that music can improve memory and verbal intelligence. In light of that, learning music from an early age helps kids to do better at a range of subjects.
It also cultivates good habits such as practice and discipline; after all, there is no mastering an instrument without sufficient, regular practice. Through mastering an instrument and the complexity in both reading AND playing the right notes, children's coordination and motor skills will improve as well. Last but not least – music can bring joy and fulfilment!
Why parents should consider it: Music has far-reaching cognitive benefits and paves the way for a more well-rounded set of skills in children.
Sports enrichment classes (Individual and Team sports)
There are two types of sports classes: individual and team sports. When deciding which to choose, start by asking your child which sport they are interested in, as they may have a strong preference. If your son or daughter LOVES soccer and dreams of being a soccer player, by all means, sign them up for it.
Otherwise, you could start choosing by considering the benefits of these two types of sports:
- Builds competitiveness and self-reliance • Requires the single player to bear their successes and failures alone, which teaches them to push themselves and keep themselves accountable • Is a good choice if you would like your child to develop a higher level of discipline
- Exposes kids to team dynamics and collaboration • Requires children to trust and rely on their teammates, no matter how talented they themselves may be (After all, “There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.) • Is a good choice if you would like your child to have a more social, fun experience and belong in a “community”
As children progress in sports, they may compete in games, which will teach them how to accept BOTH wins and losses gracefully – an important life skill in childhood and adulthood, in school and beyond.
What is learnt in sports has to be experienced -- not taught in lectures. What does it feel like to endure gruelling drills, have high hopes for all the practice to pay off -- only to lose? What does it feel like when it all pays off? How do you resolve conflicts on the court, or run a basketball play successfully with your teammates? The lessons taught on the field can instil a "can do" attitude and life strategy that translates into other areas of their lives.
Why parents should consider it: Whether you opt for team or individual sports for your child, both share the common benefits of prompting kids to embrace a more active lifestyle. Additionally, exercise boosts brain function and releases endorphins, which can help their focus when they study.
Enrichment classes can give your child an advantage in life
Outside of the day-to-day life of a school-aged child, enrichment classes allow kids to explore other interests and tap into wide-ranging skills. In addition, they can meet new friends who share the same passion. There is no one-size-fits all “best” enrichment class; rather, it depends on what your child is keen to try. One of the biggest joys and privileges of parenting lies in giving our next generation the opportunity to pursue their interests.
This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as financial advice. The precise terms, conditions and exclusions of any Income products mentioned are specified in their respective policy contracts. For customised advice to suit your specific needs, consult an Income insurance advisor.
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