Enrichment centres incorporate elements of play and creative technology to help children enjoy learning in non-traditional settings. These centres aim to motivate children to explore the world around them, inspire them academically and sharpen their interpersonal skills. In Malaysia, enrichment centres offering language, music and coding courses are popular. There are also centres that provide unique courses such as Lego robotics, photography, kids yoga and pilates, cooking, theatre production, rock music and fencing.
The education a child receives at an enrichment centre gives them opportunities to develop talents in areas that are not typically covered in a normal school curriculum. In addition, children are allowed to explore their interests and unlock potential they never knew they had. As there is an abundance of enrichment centres in the country, here are five tips for parents who are looking for the right centre for their child:
1. Consider your child’s learning needs and goals
The first thing parents should do is list down their child’s interests and passions after observing and having conversations with their child. Is your child more excited about performing arts or science? Does your child thrive in languages or arts & crafts? Would your child enjoy learning a new instrument or exploring the inner workings of an engine? After finding the answers, parents will find it easier to shortlist enrichment centres for their child. There are several centres that offer trial classes to gauge a child’s level of interest before parents decide to commit to a full programme.
2. Consider your child’s learning style
Identifying your child’s learning style can help determine the right enrichment programme for him. Is your child a visual learner — does he learn best through pictures and diagrams? Is your child an auditory learner — does he enjoy listening and asking questions to understand a particular subject better? Is your child good with his hands and enjoys building and reshaping items? A programme that that adopts learning methods and technologies that suit your child’s learning style would enable him to expand his understanding and enhance his aptitude in a given subject area. Therefore, it is important to ask about the learning methods employed at each enrichment centre before choosing the right one for your child.
3. Consider the potential skills and knowledge to gain
Traditionally, academic-focused classes were believed to boost a child’s prospects for higher education and employment. However, learning has evolved since then with a greater emphasis on developing soft skills and cultural awareness. Parents’ mindsets have expanded and embraced the developmental value of exposing children to creative endeavours such as art and music. Besides this, classes that involve sports and physical activities such as dancing or fencing provide numerous health benefits – both physical and psychological. Therefore, it is important to talk to the centre’s instructors and facilitators to gauge the goals of a particular programme and whether it fits with your child’s learning trajectory.
4. Consider the centre’s fee structure and location
Fees are a major consideration for many parents when it comes to choosing an enrichment centre. It is important to set aside a budget for enrichment programmes and find centres that are within your means. If you are not ready to invest in a centre’s full programme, enrolling your child in one-time workshops and sessions is a good option to find out whether they enjoy what they are learning. In addition, location of the centre is another factor. Take into account how far the centre is from your house and the additional commuting time needed.
5. Consider your child’s schedule
Parents should ensure that their child is able to cope with additional enrichment programmes in his schedule on top of homework and after-school activities. It is important that your child is not overwhelmed and is able to have a good balance between school and rest, play and quality family time. Bear this in mind when choosing enrichment classes for your child and ensure that they are worth the investment of his time and will provide long-term benefits.
Visit the Learning Centre section on the Education Destination Malaysia website for more information on enrichment programmes!
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