Leave the children to their devices during the holidays, and chances are, they will be glued to iPad games that benefit little beyond entertainment.
That’s a reason school holiday camps and courses are so popular with parents and students. Plus, holiday programmes are not only fun be part of, but also educational to boot.
Becoming a team player and a leader
A good holiday programme will harness social skills among students. They are teamed up to work on a task, and through that experience, they learn a variety of skills. To be a successful team, they need to listen actively to their team mates and ask questions to clarify their doubts. Similarly, they will learn to have their voices heard by airing their opinions and contributing ideas. When all ideas have been brought to the table, a dynamic discussion begins. Students learn to negotiate, resolve conflicts and agree on a collective decision.
Within the team, there are other crucial roles students have to play. Are they the ideas-generator, the evaluator or the mediator? They are given the platform to try a role and test their skills, which they normally wouldn’t get to do. There is imagination and creativity involved in this type of role-playing. In this case, students gain many more worthwhile skills than Japanese anime cosplay has to offer.
There is also the opportunity for students to hone their leadership skills. As a leader, a student helps to set and define clear goals. He or she ensures the team is kept on track and they cooperate together while working towards achieving those goals. These are skills that will prove valuable later in life when students join the workforce. So, a good holiday programme would create opportunities for everyone to have a go at taking on the leadership role.
Becoming a go-getter and an achiever
Whether students are part of a team or are working on smaller tasks on their own, they gain confidence and a sense of self equally. A good enrichment programme will make each student feel valued as an individual with his own or her set of unique qualities.
Students may discover a passion or something they are really good at when they join interest-based enrichment programmes. On the other hand, carefully chosen enrichment programmes can also help students to progress and work on their areas of improvement. Either way, students gain newfound confidence and research has proven that self-esteem is a strong booster in academic achievement.
Students are also presented with opportunities to gain independence and resilience, even in the short time a holiday camp or course is run. They learn to cope on their own, beginning with meeting new peers and functioning in a new environment. When something doesn’t go according to plan or takes them out of their comfort zone (these risks and challenges may present themselves in the tasks assigned), it becomes a golden opportunity for students to enhance their resilience and feel encouraged to bounce back stronger than before.
Such emotional, as well as social, skills can only be acquired through experiential learning. In other words, students need to move past books and multimedia, and go for active, hands-on experiences and activities which enrichment programmes offer.
While holiday programmes come packed with valuable skills to gain, let’s not forget they also provide a means of recreation for students. Students need to feel they can let their hair down. Scientific research has backed the notion that some fun and games can relieve post-exam stress and contribute to mental well-being. With holiday programmes designed for edutainment, your children are set to enjoy the holidays while they pick up valuable skills for life.