Goal setting and tracking, both academically and in other activities.
We believe that the children have most drive to meet the goals they themselves set. We want to encourage them to identify what they are good in school, what they enjoy, what they want to learn more about, what is important to them, their goals and aspiration.
We use an individual success plan to help them think about and identify their goals, to track distractors or things that derail progress and make strategies to overcome them, track progress, how to self assess and update goals and priorities. We will also help them identify areas that need improvement, increase their curiosity about new subjects or subjects they find difficult, and build the self-esteem to approach these with curiosity, increased self-acceptance, and belief in their ability to try and improve.
The children identify their individual goals and desires, potential fears or barriers, make a plan how to address potential issues and how to move step by step toward their goals. They learn how to set benchmarks, how to encourage an inner culture of self- motivation and competition with one’s best previous performance rather than competition with others.
Coordinate homework and specific tutoring needs with parents and teachers..
We would like to contact our children’s class teachers in agreement with the parents (those who are willing). We believe that their teachers will be happy to see that someone is giving interest and assistance to the children in their academics.
It is already standard that we assist the children with their homework. This works very well and is important as the children do not have the space and peace to do their homework in the rooms their families live. We are often surprised at how motivated the children are to do their homework with us. We will also be implementing the Feuerstein method to help the children develop the skills for more self-directed learning.
We have been informed that many of the children will need to repeat a grade as they did not have access to internet during the shutdown. The team is working to communicate with teachers and the school to confirm this, understand the situation, and to hold tutoring and homework help sessions every day the club is open.
Skills building through interactive activities
Master Chef, Art & Exhibitions, the Club Garden, Music, Other.
These are activities that are fun for the children, but also have as a primary goal to help the children learn to present themselves with confidence, and teach them to not be afraid to try new things. Most of the children we work with say at the onset ‘I can’t draw’, or simply respond ‘I can’t’ when presented with new opportunities and activities. Yet a month after attending the club regularly, their interest and desire to try new things radically increases.
We always try to motivate the kids, including praising them for their willingness to try. This is very important as at home their hopes of participating in hobbies in are often dashed,and their talents not recognized or supported, as parents do not have the finances or time and attention to support them. In these kinds of skill building and sensitization activities, not only do they get to explore and test and increase their skills, they also have to present what they have made, why they have chosen to make it, etc so that they increase their communication skills as well as building self-confidence in a group setting.
Sports & Physical training
Parkour is a wonderful activity for our older boys. It is a highly creative, non-aggressive, type of acrobatics that can be done without equipment, on one’s own, without the need for a costly gym or arena. The boys always have one hour of strengthening and training with Patrik, followed by a second hour of learning and training new movements, tumbling and jumping. The advantage of this sport is that one competes with oneself. One can improve quickly and easily see progress. For many of our boys who have not had the chance to really see their own progress in other arenas, it highly motivates them. They can control the amount they practice, and take responsibility for the hard work they have put in and for their successes. We also take them to the top trampoline center two times in a month, so that they can try all the things they can not try without mats and equipment. These monthly trips motivate them greatly, and they train hard so that they can put it into practice when they finally get their precious time on the trampolines.
In addition to dance, football and other physical activities we train yoga, mainly with girls and younger children. It helps them relax. They like learning new movements, and learning the skill of being able to quiet themselves, which can be invaluable to these children who are living in and confronted with environments which are often loud, distracting, chaotic or volatile.
Excursions & Summer Program
Trips outside of the building grounds are especially important for the children. The prospect of going on an outing gives the kids huge motivation and excitement, something to look forward to. Outings are also a great opportunity to introduce them to the world around them. This is very often the first time most of the kids have any like experience. For example, when we took the bigger boys to the swimming pool, (12-14 years old), we thought that they would run directly to the diving boards and slides, etc. But for the first 30 minutes they just stood and looked around. They tested the water on their fingertips and did not attempt the slide until almost an hour later.
These children seem confident, but they are afraid of new and unknown things. They often have little experience, or positive experience within ‘majority’ settings. They want to open and learn and have fun, but they lack experience and safe frame in which to do so. For all of these reasons they often have a learned sense of reservedness and hold back from trying new things, depriving themselves of them unnecessarily. Being able to go on outings helps them increase their awareness, understanding, confidence and willingness.