Module 2 Outcome C: The student will list a variety of ways to incorporate child and youth choice, reflection, planning and leadership.
Independence and responsibility are areas that school age children are working on.
Erikson would tell you that they are wrestling with industry vs. inferiority. In order to develop a healthy sense of self, children need many opportunities to make their own decisions about what they will do and when and how they will do it.
Many people working with children get very excited about lesson plans and themes and activities. There are shelves of activity books for school age children. Many of them have worksheets and photocopies to make, step-by-step instructions, and lists of ingredients. These resources have their place in a quality school age care program, but in order to meet the needs of children stretching to find out what they can do, we need to offer more.
The main drawback to scripted curriculum is that it is not driven by the interests of the child. Adults plan the theme, the activities, and the steps to take to get the adult-determined results. In a high-quality program concerned with the developmental needs of school age children as they develop a sense of self, much more needs to be left to the kids. Sometimes this is a scary thought. We wonder what will happen, how messy things will get, if anyone will learn anything, if we don’t step in and control things. But as the late school age care pioneer Rich Scofield used to say “Be the guide by the side, not the sage on the stage”. When we control everything, we have no idea how much the children really can do on their own. And neither do they, which doesn’t lead to a very strong sense of self.
In addition to sharing planning and leadership with adults, we know that children learn more when they are given opportunities to reflect on their activities. Too often, we move quickly from activity to activity, without giving children the chance to think about the “so what” of the activity. Some ways that children can reflect are through quick conversations, (i.e. “So, what did you learn from that?”), journaling, sharing with a partner, drawing pictures about what just happened (i.e. drawing themselves at the field trip, or even making a thank-you card with drawing for a guest speaker), or creating a video “news report”.
Coursework is submitted to us live, as you complete each page. An optional checklist is available to keep track of your progress. Use the menus to return to where you left off in the training. If you need help, click on the Student Support Chat on the bottom right corner of the page.