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Clubhouse for kids

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Aashi Agarwal
Aashi Agarwal Oct 12, 2021
Background:
If you ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up, more often than not, you will get an answer. However, equally probable is the fact that it is a whimsical reply by a kid who has only very limited experience. I have often noticed parents enrolling their kids for various activities and then being utterly disappointed when their kids refuse to partake in them after sometime. More often than not, parents make decisions about extracurricular activities that their child should be enrolled for, from an early age. However their is a major limitation to this approach- The child only gets to experience what the parents might think to be a right fit for them, hindering them from finding something that they naturally might be good at. Thus parents should ensure maximum possible exposure to the kids from an early age and encourage them to make their own choices.

The idea:
The idea is to open an establishment free to the public where they can bring in their kids anytime of the week.

Requirements:
  • A Government funded or crowdfunded establishment that offers different activities under one roof. Preferably a large campus with both outdoor and indoor space.(Outdoor- gardening, pottery, surfing, swimming, riding, badminton, volleyball and other sports. Indoors- reading, STEM experiments, tinkering, carpentry, art and craft, music, coding etc.)
  • A supervisor or trainer for each activity that the clubhouse has to offer, to ensure that there are no mishaps and also to help the kids with any information they might seek.
  • Televisions installed at each activity station playing videos about the activity and illustrating some DIY tutorials on said activity.
  • There must be a provision for volunteer workers who wish to help kids find their passion and teach them any skill.
  • Donation acceptance: the public can probably contribute funds that help add to the repertoire of activities or toys and kits that can be of use to kids.
Having such a system in place will allow parents to take note of choices made by their kids when presented with a myriad of opportunities.

The Guide:
Parents are not supposed to guide their children or push them towards any activity. Their job is to let the child be and take note of all the areas their child gravitates towards naturally. Since all these options  are available under one roof, without having to sign up for any course specially, the child gets a chance to experience whatever catches their eye and has an option of returning to the same activity on their next visit or chose an entirely different one. By doing so, one ensures maximum exposure and minimum interference in the natural course of development of one’s kids.

Result:
When kids are asked what they wish to be when they grow up, their answers might actually be based on their experiences that provide them with direction and serve as anchors when they feel lost growing up. If nothing, it will atleast allow kids to experience all the different options that the real world has to offer.
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Creative contributions

Age factor and already existing alternative education systems

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Povilas S
Povilas S Oct 12, 2021
I like the idea, but what age of kids do you have in mind? The activities that you mentioned amongst the list of requirements are more suitable for older kids, but older kids already have some inclinations based on their personal experience - from school classes or leisure, especially the games that you mentioned, older kids would already have experience with some of them.

And if you have in mind very young kids (pre-school age), many of those activities might be too complicated for them. Preschool age is the best for giving kids room to experiment and find out for themselves what they are leaning towards/are good at, but the activities have to be very basic - some basic drawing, playing in the garden with basic building, etc., definitely not coding.

There are alternative schools that base their teaching principles on the approach you are suggesting here, most notably Montessori education system has essentially the same philosophical/methodological basis. But just as I noted, the spectrum of activities that kids are offered there are very simple, they are not yet diverged into clearly distinctive fields.
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Aashi Agarwal
Aashi Agarwal4 days ago
Hi Povilas! The age group I had in mind with respect to this idea is from anywhere between 3yrs of age to pre-teens. I agree with you when you say that preschool kids should have room to experiment and that is exactly what I was aiming for via this idea. However, when we say that kids in the pre-school age group should be exposed to only very basic activities, we tend to undervalue how much children learn and gauge from simply observing even. There is no dearth of examples of child prodigies (many of them belonging to the pre-school age) taking the world by storm be it in the field of music, painting, chess, sports, innovation or computing even. Have a look!
As far as coding is concerned, many believe that the best age to teach children to code is as early as possible because children’s brains are very receptive towards new languages at a young age (see). British information technology pioneer, Dame Stephanie Shirley suggests that children as young as two should learn to code. Computer wizard Kautilya Katariya is the Guinness World Record holder for the youngest AI programmer at six years of age. Having said that, I am not experienced enough with kids to make such statements, but what I believe these child geniuses had in common was some sort of early access or exposure to the instruments of the field in which they excel.
Montessori education, as you rightly pointed out, follows the same principal philosophy as that of my idea, however, in effect it will still be a bunch of kids being told what the “activity of the day” is. My idea was to provide kids access to an "all under one roof" kind of clubhouse in addition to their Montessori classes for those hours of the day when parents have nothing better to offer other than mobile screens to keep the children occupied.

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