As a parent, seeing your children graduate from school or college with flying colours is indeed a proud moment. However, through experience, we all know that the knowledge acquired through schoolbooks and classroom is not enough to face the challenges of the real world.
From a standpoint of employability alone, studies have shown that there is a mismatch between the training provided at universities and the skill-sets required by employers. In fact, the Ministry of Education has revealed that only 53% of the 273,373 graduates in 2015 were employed within six months of graduating.
Of course, the benefits of additional soft skills go beyond the realm of the workforce. It helps us in multiple facets of life — from improving our relationships with other people to bettering our health.
Here are 5 after-school classes to enrol your kids in for their all-round development.
1. Hitting all the right notes
After-school activities should be fun. Taking music lessons not only has the potential to do that but can also be a therapeutic activity away from the rigours of homework. Learning to play a musical instrument provides multiple benefits for your children — and this includes better academic performance!
First of all, music lessons will train a child to create, store, and retrieve memories more effectively and these skills can easily be transferred to other aspects of life.
Other than that, they will need to identify a note on a page, recognize which pitch to play on an instrument, how long to hold it, which finger to use, how loud to play it, and many other techniques. This will help them develop their reading and comprehension skills.
Then, there is also the possibility of improving their math skills! Although playing an instrument may seem like a creative capability, it actually shares more attributes with math. Any musician will tell you that by understanding beat, rhythm, note progressions and scales, you are developing the ability to divide, create fractions, and recognise patterns.
And they’ll also absorb the value of teamwork and discipline when they learn to play in harmony with other musicians!
2. Diving into the depths of life, only to stay afloat!
Let’s face it, in terms of real-life applications, not many skills can beat the ability to swim. There is a laundry list of benefits associated with swimming, such as:
- Strengthening muscles, joints, and increasing fitness
- Building lung capacity, which is especially good for asthma patients
- Improving coordination, balance, and spatial awareness
- Helping heal injuries
- Allowing differently abled children to enjoy physical activities
- Preventing drownings (obviously!)
3. Learning to balance the ingredients of life at the kitchen
From a financial perspective, having the ability to cook will save money in the long run! Sure, we would all love to dine out at a good restaurant once in a while but preparing your own meals will ensure you keep your monthly budget to a minimum.
Furthermore, you also get to control how healthy the meals turn out. This will further save you money in the long run by reducing the risks of medication and hospital bills.
Possessing culinary skills also helps in social settings too. The relationship with your family and friends are enhanced when you get to personally prepare meals for them. Whether it is a large gathering or a small intimate session, there is a reason people say: “the way to the heart is through the stomach”.
With all that in mind, why not teach your children culinary skills at a young age? Young Chefs Academy offers cooking classes to children aged 4 to 17 in a safe environment that teaches discovery and creativity.
Here, your children will learn the basics in:
- Kitchen safety
- Proper food handling
- Food preparation
- Cooking and baking techniques
- Table setting
- Dining etiquette
- Basic cognitive subject matter
4. Forming a holistic perspective with new languages!
In this era of globalisation, being someone who is multilingual is a huge advantage. Even in the limited scope of Malaysia, multiple languages are spoken. There are also plenty of schools your children can take to learn international languages.
Understanding a different language goes beyond communication too. Your children will develop a much better understanding and appreciation of different cultures. There will also be a much stronger connection with heritage and history. How’s that for a holistic development?
5. Picking up important skills to create a business
Entrepreneurship. Yes, it can be taught early too! There are plenty of classes around the country which provides the basic knowledge of becoming the next Robert Kuok or Tony Fernandes.
There are even annual events such as the Malaysia Children’s Business Fair where children get to run their own business during a one-day market. If a parent is found setting up the booth, selling or promoting a child’s product or service, the business will be disqualified. This will ensure the children do as much as possible and therefore gain valuable experience.
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