No Tech Zone After School Programs - Why We Do It

Too much screen time is often a common complaint among parents concerning their children. Oddly, however, some parents wonder how we can run a program on Entrepreneurship and teach them how to start their own business without the use of tech in this modern age.

I wanted to give a short and sweet reason for why that is and let you know how we believe technology fits in. With our Incredible after school programs starting just around the corner (register soon to save your child's seat!)

Technology is, without a doubt, a powerful business tool that has enabled businesses to grow faster, extend their reach to more customers, and allowed them to streamline otherwise huge expenses in way of manufacturing, customer ordering and so on. It's basically mandatory if you want to start or own 99.98% of businesses out there today and be successful. So why don't we, not only encourage the use of technology, but ban it, from our Learning Labs?

Simple. Learning technology has nothing to do with learning to become an entrepreneur.

Here is what I mean.

We are teaching the understanding, methodology, and problem solving. savvy skills required to launch a small business. Businesses don't tend to fail because of technology (unless they blow their budgets on unnecessary tech). They fail do to not understanding why they are doing something, skipping crucial steps (such as testing their product) and confusing their customer.

We want kids to be able to dive in and build their business quickly so they can learn, implement, adjust, learn, implement, adjust and so on.

Here is an example. Our students will be coming up with a name for their business, a logo and then carrying that forward onto their marketing signage and packaging of their products. We could set them up with design software and have them go back and forth to learn the program and try to create the desired look that isn't the point of the exercise.

The point is to learn what branding is, how it impacts a consumers perception of what you are offering, and why consistency and brand integrity is key. Whether it's computer generated or creatively drawn by hand doesn't matter. They can learn more about creating a more crisp and professional look if they decide to pursue their business further after their program. We need them to understand why, take action, gain a reaction and feedback from customers, reflect, and do it again.

Beside, many of our students take our program and start a business but by the end, decide they want to try a different business, or pursue their current one by stepping it up a notch. Wasted time learning new programming can slow them down and, frankly, be frustrating when all you want to see is progress.

We are very excited about our upcoming after school programming, and especially the Kids' Market Day where everything they have learned is applied. As we develop more and more budding young entrepreneurs, we look forward to offering additional courses that can develop their base level skills and demonstrate the power of technology, when it's used safely and effectively.

For more information on our After School Programs, Click Here

For our current Fall Schedule that is Registering Online NOW, Click Here


The Summer Slide

It’s that exciting time of year when routine is thrown out with last years’ workbooks!

Growing up, summer break was exactly that, “a break”. We counted down the days until our school year ended so we could turn off our brains for two months. The only math I would do was to count the change I found in the cushions to know if I could afford anything when I hear the ice cream truck music. Today It’s the same for my son. Just last night I heard: “…but I’m trying to not do math because it’s summer and I’m giving my brain a break.”

We are beginning to learn more about the impacts of this break on our kids. It’s called the summer slide. It’s not a new ride at Playland. It’s the challenge of parents and teachers every summer to maintain the learning momentum.

In a recent discussion with the team at Kumon, I learned more about the affects of ‘Summer Learning Loss’. Here are the chilling stats:

  • Students will lose 2.6 months of math computational skills over the summer.
  • Students will lose 2 months of reading skills over the summer (on average).
  • By 6th grade, students will lose more than 18 months of learning due to summer learning loss.

By the time the school bell rings again in September, some students are prepared for a new year of curriculum while others require six weeks of catch up to re-learn last years lessons. So how can we keep our kids engaged throughout the summer and send them back to school ready for a new year?

Apparently, it takes just 17-25 minutes per day of focused work to prevent summer learning loss. Here’s a few fun ways to keep kids engaged in learning throughout the summer.

  • Enroll them in a Summer Learning Programs such as Kumon

- They offer Individualized support, not tutoring, to address the root of their challenges and gaps in knowledge. They teach students to re-learn the foundations so they can excel quickly at their current grade level. Here is how Kumon works

  • Enroll them in Summer Camps that are fun but also engage their minds

- Summer Camps help with social engagement but also, depending on the camp, offer new ways to learn and engage the mind.

BuildaBizKids.com offers entrepreneur camps to stir their creativity while engaging in financial literacy, reading comprehension and social awareness.

  • Find Online Workbooks or Programs

- A quick Google search can offer assorted paid and free worksheets and programs they can do online or print and complete.

  • Create an at home Daily Reading and Mathematics Challenge

- Your local library will have great programs put on each summer to encourage ongoing learning as well as incentives for reading with rewards.

The key with any of these activities, is consistency throughout the summer. Give them time to run, to socialize, to be creative but also to apply what they have learned in school to the world around them. Try making it a group activity with their friends and let them contribute their own ideas on new & exciting ways to apply their knowledge.

Summer is a time for fun, that’s for sure. But when September comes around again, if they aren’t as stressed out with learning or catching up on the curriculum, then suddenly school becomes a fun time as well.


What To Do With Screen Time?

Screen time is no longer sitting in-front of a television. It’s a pocket computer that has access to the entire worlds database of information. At this point – when used with purpose, the screen is not a distraction but a tool.

There are two reasons I embrace screen time with my 9 year old son:

1 - Education & Learning (and Teaching)

I often check in with my son when he’s on the iPad. I’ve found him on an app learning how to code a video game; I’ve found him on Wikipedia teaching himself some interesting facts about Ireland because St. Patrick’s day was coming; I’ve found him watching a video on how currency works since the gold standard was abolished. I found this out as he usually gives me a lesson on what he has learned for the day with a big grin on his face because it's usually about something I didn't actually know myself.

Literally any question he can think of can be answered with the right app or properly worded google search. There is no information that is unavailable to them.

2 - They Are Inspired To Be a Producer

If your child(ren) is anything like mine, they no longer watch TV because they are completely absorbed in YouTube videos. Originally this was an odd concept to me. Why would they be interested in watching someone play a video game instead of playing one themselves? Kids, just like them, are becoming famous for playing video games or becoming famous for being great at trick basketball shots.

What I’ve learned is that beyond the comedic value of well timed insults or puns, these videos are inspiring our kids to realize anyone is capable of producing similar content. There is an audience for every video uploaded to YouTube. Our kids are watching people just like them who become successful by becoming an expert in their field. I hope they see the effort and practice put into this success. I hope this world of opportunity inspires them.

My motivation for my son is to not just be a consumer but a producer of content. Like a favorite song quote of mine “…If we don’t make it ourselves it isn’t fun, it’s entertainment.” It’s a matter of motivation when using the tool; are they interested in being entertained or inspired?

Have a young child that wants to create or take action on a passion? Take a look at our programs for young KidPreneurs. Summer Camps are Open for Registration Now!