Going beyond school education for children

We, as parents, try to make our children good at multiple skills, all the time, by going beyond school education. Even these days, schools themselves are promoting these extra-curricular activities. Different activities have different goals. But one thread is common-prepare children to face challenges of life in 21st century, explore their potential to the fullest.

Few decades back, children were encouraged to explore music by taking courses in vocal or instrument playing. This activity is still popular. Drawing/painting is another. I remember as a child, I was encouraged by my teacher to take state level drawing exams. Sports is another activity. Formal coaching in cricket during summer vacations or otherwise is also quite popular. During last few years we have been hearing things such as abacus, vedic mathematics also.The key thing here is to find potential in the children and encourage to pursue on that further.

MENSA has been around for IQ test and thereby giving indications on abilities and interests.

Few years back, I had come across multiple nature test by Jiva. Multiple Natures system is a theory developed by Steven Rudolph. It identifies 9 unique natures in each individual, namely: Protective, Educative, Administrative, Creative, Healing, Entertaining, Providing, Entrepreneurial and Adventurous. By understanding one’s strong natures, children can exploit strengths and find greater success in everything he does.It also combines something called ‘multiple intelligence’ with this.

There is another organization called NeuralSpace which claims to be India’s first authorized training center for BrainRx system which is for training brain for various goals such as improving learning and cognitive skills. This probably is useful in children with certain psychological disorders reducing their learning abilities, but can be applicable to anyone to enhance these skills.

There is another things which has recently been employed in skill development in children which is neuro-linguistic programming(NLP) technique. NLP is very old and developed to treat certain psychological disorders in all ages. Organizations such as IntelligencePlus exploit this techniques in skill development for children.

Recently came across something which sort of baffled me and made me think about to what state this mind-set is going to take us. IntelligencePlus recently organized event for children, where in more than 25 schools around Pune participated. They called it InnoVenture, and aimed at developing entrepreneurship skills in children. While the idea and the intent is good, is it required to burden children in this fashion? Can we not achieve this in little subtle and fun way at home or among friends? For example, one of my friends, taught simple skills such as sales and negotiating by having his daughter trade her piggy bank cash in exchange of notes by asking for more and more commission every time.

The point I am trying to make here is that while the ideas and intent of all such programs are novel and good, we as parents need to be more pragmatic and encourage these by examples, in informal and fun way.

What do you think?

A quick update: Got to know that technique called Mid Brain Activation is claimed to be fake by Dhabholkar’s Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti(MANS) and they seems to have busted it in.

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