The Growing Minds After School blog page


Neuroplasticity in before and after school care

Did you know the brain can change?

There is a new word sweeping through the learning community – neuroplasticity. Essentially, neuroscientists have proved that the brain is not a static organ. It does not stop development with age, and it can literally change shape in response to new circumstances.

This means that we can learn new things faster, and change our habits to suit changing circumstances. And when it comes to education, it is possible to help your brain learn new things faster.

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3 tips for helping your child overcome test anxiety

One of the biggest challenges for any student is walking into the classroom on test day, especially when it’s time for midterm or final exams. They may have studied and prepared, at least to some degree, but when it’s time to take the test, they freeze up. This is largely due to test anxiety. It’s not that students don’t know the material. Instead, it’s more that they get worried or nervous and simply lose their mental focus. Today, we’ll give you three tips to help you reduce your child’s anxiety and improve their test scores.

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Essential learning for every stage of your child’s development

Learning is a lifelong activity, and it’s something that starts as soon as a child is born. If you have a new baby or are interested in understanding how your child is learning through the different stages of their life, check out these great tips for essential learning at every age, including literacy and numeracy development. By giving them books to read and engaging in fun learning, you can help your child develop and learn!

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Benefits of after school program

One of the most beneficial aspects of a child’s education, and often one of the most underestimated, is after school care programs. These programs help keep kids off the street and out of trouble. The simple fact is that juvenile crime is highest between the hours of 3pm and 4pm, which is after most children are out of school. Studies have shown that after school programs give kids a safe place to be and an added opportunity to learn new skills. Additionally, children who don’t participate in after school programs have been shown to have a 49% higher chance of getting into drugs and a 37% higher chance of becoming a teen parent.

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Vacation care’s benefits for the only child

School holidays are fun for many children, but what of the only child? Sometimes those weeks away from school can be quite lonely and unstimulating. This is where vacation care can benefit the only child, even if their parents’ work situation doesn’t require them to be placed in care. Just a couple of days a week in vacation care can offer an only child valuable social experiences, as well as enhancing numeracy development and literacy development in an informal environment. And let’s face it – parents who spend quite a lot of energy keeping an only child occupied can have a well-earned break.

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Don’t underestimate the value of before school care

Growing emphasis on ensuring that every part of childcare offers significant benefits to users has produced a transformation in before school care. Today’s before school care offers a broad spectrum of activities and educational projects, as well as a number of distinct social advantages. If you’re not sure what contemporary before school care can offer, take a look at four reasons why a large number of parents are opting for this type of provision.

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The importance of creative art in childhood education

“Creativity is an area in which younger people have a tremendous advantage, since they have an endearing habit of always questioning past wisdom and authority.” – Bill Hewlett

Many view art simply as a hobby for children – an activity that just keeps them busy, while being creative, but with little potential to educate or aid in their development. However, a high number of studies have proved that regular participation in art activities aids children in developing important skills. Here are three areas in which art will help develop and nurture a growing child:

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8 great ways to enhance your child’s mathematics abilities

Every parent wants to see their child succeed, especially when it comes to his or her education. Math is one of those subjects that kids either love or hate, and it can be quite challenging to master for some. The key to success is knowing how to properly guide your child, and today we’ll share eight steps that can help you to encourage them.

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Sport brings added benefits to the classroom

Most of us are aware of the physical benefits which exercise can offer. More effective weight control, improved strength and an increasingly efficient cardiovascular system are just some of the advantages that regular participation in sport can provide. Amazingly, taking part in physical activity can also improve performance in the classroom. Take a look at three key benefits that sport can bring to numeracy development and literacy development.

Improved concentration

A number of research studies indicate that physical activity is a good way to “let off steam” before or after a period of time when concentration is required. If your child has been sitting down all day at school, for example, an hour or so of fun packed physical exertion in an appropriate after school care setting can be just the thing to prepare them for productive homework.

Better hand-eye coordination, improved motor skills

Skills such as hand-eye coordination and balance can all be improved through regular physical activity. Repeated muscle use helps to improve strength and may even result in better fine motor skills. Particularly for children who find handwriting a challenge or are naturally less physically able, increased participation in sport can be a good way of improving their basic skills.

Enhanced emotional well-being and improved behaviour

After school care and vacation care are two periods of time when a considerable amount of work can be done to improve emotional well-being through sports. Many of the skills which are part of team games (for example, working together, sharing and taking turns) are essential for effective performance in the classroom. Students who find bookwork a challenge may excel on the pitch or in the pool, providing a boost to self-esteem and building confidence, which in time spills over into other areas of learning.

As more evidence emerges of the benefits which sports can bring to child development, many parents are actively seeking out a childcare provider that incorporates a strong element of physical activity into their provision. Why not enable your child to take part and see the positive results participation in physical activity may bring?

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