Activities & Lessons

Picking the right programme

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to soccer, ballet or guitar, how do you go about finding the particular program that is right for your child and your family?

Ask yourself the following questions and ensure you’re comfortable with the answers:

1. What is the goal of the program? Fun, mastery or competition? A shy, reserved child probably shouldn’t be in an environment where he or she is on show, such as tennis or gymnastics. Swimming may be a good choice because children receive individual attention and exposure to the group, but there’s no spotlight on them. If you decide on a team environment, ensure it’s not highly competitive.

2. How much practice is necessary outside of lesson time? Music lessons, for example, call for almost daily practice whereas hockey, soccer, baseball and other sports generally require one game and one practice per week. Some martial arts demand twice-weekly classes. Dance lessons may only take place once a week but will eat up more time before performances or exams.

3. Is the environment safe, caring and stimulating? At all times, leaders should treat children with respect and honesty, using positive techniques to guide behavior. Look out for a focus on safety and well-maintained equipment.

4. Those who coach or teach children, particularly younger children, should ensure the children have fun while learning the fundamentals. Look for an experienced teacher who is registered with a well known organization.

5. What are the instructor’s qualifications? Anyone can hang a sign that says “music lessons” or “dance school”, therefore it’s up to you to check out the instructor’s qualifications. What accreditation do they have in their field? Can you sit in on a class to make sure you’re comfortable with the approach? Do they offer references?

* Information from the Internet.

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