The children will soon be back to school and parents are already thinking about extra-curricular activities for them to do. Not only do they need to be fun, take place at convenient times, but they also need to develop the children's particular skills. A child stays for a month, two months or even a year, but no benefit. Who is to blame? Justina Inkrataitė, Director of the Cognitive Skills Development Centre Braingym and Head of Training and Quality, identifies the most common mistake parents make.
Is the club really useful?
Children living in big cities can choose from hundreds of clubs - some on-site, others that you have to reach out to on your own, ranging from sports and foreign languages to entrepreneurship and leadership skills - and the choice is so vast that it's a head-spinner for parents as well as students.
When they go back to school and choose or select the right activities, parents often hear a few months later that their child is not interested, is not doing well, coaches or teachers complain about their child's forgetfulness, and even after a year of attendance, the extra-curricular activities are still not making any difference. Of course, a lack of talent is often blamed, but education experts have another explanation.
"Attending clubs is all very well, but we are convinced that you have to prepare for them - children often have weak cognitive skills, otherwise known as cognitive skills, they can't concentrate, so both the time spent in clubs and the money spent by parents are of no use, because the child doesn't have the opportunity to take in everything the club has to offer, and doesn't get the knowledge they need," explains the paradox of the paradox, explains the head of a cognitive education institution, Justina.
"At Braingym, children practice 7 key cognitive skills related to learning, subtraction, reading and focusing in individual sessions. "Braingym helps children to overcome challenges in learning, memory, reading and focusing, and then applies this to both regular school and extra-curricular activities.
It turns out that if a child is said to be fidgeting in class, doesn't hear tasks, gets tired quickly, doesn't focus on the goal, doesn't understand instructions, needs to repeat himself many times, or only remembers to go to the toilet when he comes in or has forgotten the tools he needs to use, it is a sign that the first thing that needs to be overcome is the difficulty in learning, motivation and focus.
"Our programme lasts 4-10 months and the aim is to help the child to get better. Easier to learn, easier to train or develop in another area. We don't give any homework - the test identifies children's talents and the habits that are preventing them from unlocking those talents, and we try to change them," explains J. Inkrataitė, Braingym's manager.
Studies have shown that children who complete the programme start to achieve better results. In an evaluation of 21 974 clients, the average change in IQ was 14 points and theaverage improvement incognitiveskillsoverall ranged from 9 to 15 points.
Learning to learn
One club or new extra-curricular activities every year? Educators remind us that by the age of 8-12, children should have discovered their strengths and developed one or more basic skills, rather than having to change activities every year.
Sure, it's fun to try things out, but when you've been in and out of clubs until you're an adult, when you grow up, you realise that you've touched everywhere, but there's no one area that you've honed well.
"Children say: 'I'm bored, I'm not interested and I want something else'. It's important to find out why the child no longer enjoys the extracurricular activity. Often the first difficulty is the urge to quit. Today's generation wants everything here and now, but if you learn how to plan your time, create a structure and find motivation, everything is achievable," says Inkrataitė.
So Braingym advises parents to think about how their children benefit from their current clubs, whether they are improving their skills or just "killing time" while they wait for you. If your child is struggling in extra-curricular activities, it might be worth changing from activities to helping your child learn how to learn. Yes, we did not make a mistake when we said that word twice - learning really does need to be learned, and then suffering will be replaced by willpower, and willingness to quit by stubbornness and motivation.