Exploring the Benefits of Drama for Children

Each and every parent would want their child to be creative and talented. Aside from sending them to regular schools, some parents also send their children to enrichment classes or extra classes which could teach them how to sing, dance, draw, paint, play different instruments, or even act. In this article, we are going to focus on how drama classes can benefit our children. Specialized speech and drama classes can improve your child’s holistic development. However, not all education are made equally, Julia Garbiel Center provides a range of speech and drama programmes for children of all ages. Read on to find out more about the benefits of stage performances.

In an article by Dr Shen-Li Lee, we are going to read about the benefits of drama and musical theatre.

Extra-curricular Activities: The Benefits of Drama and Musical Theatre

Self-control in children predicts future success and imaginary play helps children develop their self-control. By extension, isn’t drama and musical theatre is a form of imaginary play? So can it be extrapolated that drama and musical theatre helps children develop self-control?

Drama and Musical Theatre

“Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole.” – Wikipedia Read more here.

As enumerated above, drama classes can help children with their Perspective taking, cooperation and collaboration, self-confidence, imagination and creative thinking, concentration, communication skills critical thinking and problem solving, self-discipline, trust, and memory. Now, Drama Kids will give us more of the benefits of drama classes for children.

The Benefits Of Drama Classes For Children

When you consider drama clubs and classes for children, what conclusions do you draw? Do you think of a room full of confident, extrovert young people with ruthless ambitions for Hollywood or television? Has your own child expressed an interest in the peforming arts and been badgering to go? Have you spotted what you think might be a hidden talent, and can’t bear to see it wasted ­ or do you have a realistic feeling that your child is probably not destined for stardom, but you are wondering whether drama club just might be beneficial in other ways?

What Types of Children Go To Drama Classes?

In short, all sorts. My child has attended a drama club for the past five years, and I would say that in general, the class is filled with all different types of children. Most, I would say, are there for the enjoyment, rather than any lofty dreams or ambitions. At the club my child attends, the emphasis is certainly on learning drama through fun. There is no pressure, the environment is informal and the teaching both positive and inspiring. Of course, all drama clubs and schools are different ­ some are more structured than others ­ but I can certainly say that my experience of my own child’s drama class is that the children are not competitive but quite the opposite. They are all having fun through drama and selfexpression. Read more here.

According to the article, self-expression learned through drama can improve your child’s life skills. So they just won’t be able to learn how to sing, dance, or act because they would be able to improve other skills that they would need in life such as self-confidence. Now, Education.com will tell us why drama education can teach our children and they will also give us some guide about it.

What Drama Education Can Teach Your Child

Gai Jones says, “Yes!” A theater educator with over forty years of experience, Jones’ work has been recognized by the American Alliance for Theater and Education, the Educational Theater Association, and the California State Senate (among others).

According to Jones, Theatre addresses the skills which benefit children’s education and development in five general areas: physical development/kinesthetic skills, artistic development /drama and theater skills, mental development/thinking skills, personal development/intra-personal skills, and social development/interpersonal skills.”

While many parents fear participation in drama will damage their child’s academic progress, a UCLA study concluded that students involved in the arts tend to have higher academic performance and better standardized test scores — nearly 100 points better on the SAT, according to a separate study by The College Board. Read more here.

So if we want to let our children get involved in theatre, we should really be prepared with a lot of things; one is that we should prepare for time commitment. We should be aware that they would be having a lot of rehearsal time and we as parents should also have time for that. As parents, we should be supportive of our children. We should watch them perform, help them practice, and make them feel that they are doing great. With that, they would be able to do a great performance and they would love drama even more.

Merits of Chinese Enrichment Classes

Mandarin Chinese is a widely spoken language since it is spoken in China, the most populous country of the world. Knowledge of this language can open up an ocean of opportunities today. So, there is little wonder that many people are taking interest in learning the language.

It is very important for your kids to get the exposure of enrichment programs right from the time they are toddlers. It is especially true for programs that are designed to conduct Mandarin class for children . These programs can offer long-term benefits for the grooming of your children. If you get your kid admitted in an enrichment course, which is a well-structured one and has a great curriculum, you can soon notice that their abilities and skills are enriched much beyond your expectations and imaginations. However, you should also note in this context that there is a host of enrichment programs that are available in the market for your children. So, selecting something that is in the best interest of your kid is quite crucial.

Helps in improving your child’s drama and speech skills

There are some enrichment programs that can benefit your kid in areas like drama and speech. Though there are various kinds of enrichment programs in the market today, these are some of the most utilized subjects in the lives of your children. The merits of a good enrichment program can have a positive impact on your child as they become adults.

Improves your kid’s ability to learn

In general, every enrichment program has a primary focus. The key focus is to enhance the ability of your kid to learn. If you want your kid to pick up some of the crucial facts related to social situations, they should be able to comprehend as well as understand proper speech. When you enroll your young child in a proper enrichment program, they can learn ways of initiating greetings; carry on conversations in a completely natural style. If your children master the art of proper speech, it becomes easier for them to respond to various kinds of scenarios and react appropriately to negative criticisms directed towards them. Your child must be equipped with pragmatic skills like idioms, descriptions, and sarcasm. When you expose your little one to well-structured enrichment programs, it becomes easier to address all these areas properly all through their life.

Creativity and improving imagination

Creativity, as well as imagination, is vital for kids. An enrichment program that helps kids to polish these skills will have a big impact in their entire lives. Many adults will realize that children possess a natural talent to be highly expressive with others and also with their own selves. When you do not provide them a chance to channelize their creativity, such natural skill may disappear as they grow up.

How Can You Make Your Kids Love Learning Chinese?

Do you want your children to learn Mandarin Chinese ? In case, you have made up your mind to get them admitted in a mandarin class for children then they will also become a part of over one billion people in the world who speak it as a primary or a secondary language. Thus, you are all set to take a big leap towards making your litter ones global citizens who may get a yearly head start in the future employment market and will also become smarter.

But though there are several merits of learning the Chinese language, making your kids interested in it can really be quite a struggle. It is specifically true in the beginning of your child’s language journey. The initial adaptation process can be frustrating for the kids as it is not easy for them to realize and appreciate the real benefits of picking up Chinese.

However, you should not feel disappointed since there are various interesting ways that will make sure that your children get interested in learning the language. In fact, you will soon find your kids will look forward to attaining proficiency in this language,

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Cooking with your kid

Is your kid interested in practical activities? If that is the case, cooking is an excellent method for learning as well as maintaining their interest in the Chinese language. So, how about planning a session on cooking with your kids soon? However, you need to ensure that you get the instructions and the recipe printed in the Chinese language. Tell the kids to read out the recipe while you are in the process of assembling the dish. You can also teach your child important nouns and verbs while both of you cook together.

Chinese magazines/books

It is a globally-connected society today and many popular books in the category of both non-fiction and fiction have been translated into various other languages. When you get Chinese versions of some of the popular books for your kids, it is a fantastic and innovative way of getting them interested in the Mandarin Chinese language. In fact, you should look out for Chinese versions of some of the best-selling works, which are specifically written for teens and kids and hand them over to the little ones. While they read these books, they will start getting interested in the story plots and would definitely want to pick up more vocabulary in Chinese so that they are able to understand more and read these books even faster.

Travel

It can be a short trip to your nearest Chinatown to savor some delicious and authentic dumplings or a bowl of a Chinese soup to get your kids interested in the Chinese culture. Alternatively, you can also go for a relaxed family holiday to the sea beaches and towns of China. If you travel to a Chinese-speaking place with your children, they will be more curious and it can also trigger their interest to learn Chinese. At various occasions, it is not an easy job to inspire your kids to learn Chinese. It is specifically true when they are being brought up in an English-speaking ambiance ever since they were born. You can tell the kids some days before the trip that they should speak in Chinese to communicate with the local people. Now that means using the language to order their food, querying for directions and finding out the restrooms. When your kids understand that learning the Chinese language is a requirement and not a nice to know skill during the trip, they will definitely get motivated to learn Chinese either complete dedication.

Learning the language does not necessarily have to be memorizing the notes or solving worksheets in their character books. The above-mentioned ideas can really make learning the Chinese language a fun and exciting experience. Finally, your complete support is very crucial to improve the Chinese speaking skill of your child. You should spare some time from your hectic schedule to read with them, travel with them, participate in fun activities, which interest them and cook together while you expose them to the Chinese language.

Why does research prove that learning Chinese makes you smarter?

There are many research studies which claim that learning Chinese makes you smarter. According to scientists, new evidence suggests that learning Chinese helps in training a host of cognitive abilities which are not utilized in the study of other languages.

In this article we will take you through ways in which Chinese makes you smarter.

Chinese has a distinct effect on the brain

Science proves that Chinese has a markedly different effect on the brain. In a study conducted by researchers at the Wellcome Trust in the UK, it was concluded that the tones, sounds, and script of Chinese require us to use both temporal lobes of the brain. It was also pointed out that English speakers only use the left temporal lobe of the brain for language. Learning Chinese also aids in the development of motor skills, learning shapes and letters, and the visual identification of graphics. English is linear in form written from left to right, while Chinese characters have a complex structure. Chinese characters involve strokes which are in many directions with sequential movements. Scientists have found out that these movements are helpful in activating neural activity in the working, thinking, and spatial memory of the brain.

Learning Chinese can make you better at math.

Some researchers from New Zealand have found out that children whose native language is Chinese have a better understanding of mathematical concepts than their English counterparts. Scientists have also observed that the student is learning and reinforcing basic mathematical concepts during the natural acquisition process of Chinese. Learning to write Chinese involves skills such as counting, grouping, ordering, and requires students to identify similarities and differences. These are very similar to math skills. National Academy of Sciences in Neuzeland found that native Chinese and English speakers treat numbers differently, with different cortical parts of the brain.

It helps you with memorization

For non native Chinese speakers learning Chinese, learning to read and write Chinese might see like a pretty hefty exercise, when compared to learning other languages. It also helps you increase your memory as you need to keep in mind quite a lot of characters. This in itself is a pretty large cognitive task. Scientists also claim that it would put kids at a higher intellectual level than simply learning a phonetically written language such as English or any other language.

Unique Benefits for Children

Many scientists claim after a lot of research that learning Chinese at a Many chinese kindergartens in Singapore offer an on their brain and can help them with their cognitive development to a great extent. If started early the issues around learning Chinese can be dealt with quite easily and swiftly.Studies go on to show that learning Chinese helps children in ways like developing unique cognitive skills and also greatly enhances their musical ability in children. This is because of tonal sounds involved in Chinese. Studies also prove that the learning Chinese in general can help your childs ability to learn across all subjects.

These are some of the ways in which learning Chinese can help people across all age groups and can greatly benefit their brain development. It is also recommended that one must expose their children to Chinese quite early to help with their skill sets related to the brain and learning. Learning a language is anyway said to be very good for the brain, but Chinese as a language is great for the brain development and the same cannot be said for most other languages such as Arabic or any other language which are linear in form.

Your Vote Counts in the 2006 Weblog Awards

Finalists for the 2006 Weblog Awards were announced today. Hundreds of blogs in dozens of categories are nominated, and the winners will be determined by online voting. Voting begins tomorrow and continues for 10 days, and you are welcome to vote in each category once each day.

Terra Extraneus encourages our readers to support three of our favorite blogs in the voting beginning tomorrow. They are:

Evangelical Outpost, written by Joe Carter, nominated for Best Individual Blog. Last year E.O. was voted Best Religious Blog, but that category was eliminated this year. But Joe is still up for an award with his nomination for best individual blog. Joe, the Director of Web Communications for the evangelical conservative Family Research Council, blogs an interesting mix of conservative politics, evangelical faith and random trivia. E.O. is on TerraX’s “Must Read” blogroll. Check it out, and give it your vote starting tomorrow.

Jon Swift, nominated for Best Humor Blog. If you are a regular TerraX reader, you know that I am a big Jon Swift fan. He is hilarious. Jon is a liberal in satirical sheep’s clothing. I read everything “Jon” writes and encourage you to do the same. (Here’s my review of Jon Swift: “What If Archie Bunker Were a Blogger?”) What truly amazes is that “Jon Swift” began his blog only one year ago, and he is already approaching his 200,000th visitor. Please join me in bringing the Jon Swift blog even more much-deserved attention by voting it the Best Humor Blog in the blogosphere.

Real Climate, written by an international team of PhDs, is nominated for Best Science Blog. Real Climate covers global warming and other climate issues. The scientists do an excellent job of making the science of this complicated subject understandable. Anyone who wants to be up-to-speed on global warming should read Real Climate. This is one blog that truly is making a difference, so I hope you will give it your online vote.

• I want to mention one more blog: Sean Gleeson, nominated for best in the 5001-6750 level of the “blogging ecosystem.” I am not a regular Sean Gleeson reader, but I’m going to change that by adding him to the TerraX blogroll. Gleeson is an Oklahoma City artist and teacher. We Okie bloggers and blog readers should stick together, so I’m going to start reading Sean’s blog, and will give him my vote in the Awards.

Hope you will do the same.

Pope Benedict XVI: A Call for the Church to Rediscover Her Gift

I recommend Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas Day message. It is 1415 words, the full text of which can be found here. That link points to the Vatican’s official English translation of the pope’s annual Christmas Urbi et Orbi – “to the City and the World.”

In his brief address, the 79-year-old pope mentions many modern events, good and bad – space travel, genetic science, the Internet; hunger, poverty, “unbridled consumerism,” terrorism; conflicts in Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Darfur. However, the words that touched me the most are the last two paragraphs of his message:

A community saved by Christ. This is the true nature of the church, which draws her nourishment from his word and his eucharistic body. Only by rediscovering the gift she has received can the church bear witness to Christ the savior before all people. She does this with passionate enthusiasm, with full respect for all cultural and religious traditions; she does so joyfully, knowing that the One she proclaims takes away nothing that is authentically human, but instead brings it to fulfillment. In truth, Christ comes to destroy only evil, only sin; everything else, all the rest, he elevates and perfects. Christ does not save us from our humanity, but through it; he does not save us from the world, but came into the world, so that through him the world might be saved (cf. Jn 3:17).

Dear brothers and sisters, wherever you may be, may this message of joy and hope reach your ears: God became man in Jesus Christ, he was born of the Virgin Mary and today he is reborn in the church. He brings to all the love of the Father in heaven. He is the savior of the world! Do not be afraid, open your hearts to him and receive him, so that his kingdom of love and peace may become the common legacy of each man and woman. Happy Christmas!

I am moved by the pope’s call for the church to “rediscover the gift she has received” of salvation through Christ. Christ is still, this day, the Savior of the world. As the pope implies, if Christians forget or neglect the gift of Christ, how can we “bear witness to Christ the savior before all people”?

The Nostradamus of the Blogosphere

Jon Swift, one of the most astute conservative pundits on the Internet, is also a prophet. Astonishingly, three of his eight predictions for 2006 came true, qualifying him as the Nostradamus of the blogosphere. Swift has posted 25 predictions for 2007. Here are four of my favorites:

Time magazine will select itself as Person of the Year.

• John Kerry repeatedly uses the n-word in a joke gone horribly wrong.

• In the season finale of Lost we discover that it was all a dream by Hurley who wakes up in Bob Newhart’s hotel.

• Whatever happens in 2007, you can be sure it would have been a lot worse and more people would have died if we had done something else.

The prophecies above are indeed thought-provoking. But what truly amazes is that Swift is so prescient that five of his prophecies for 2007 have already come true – even before the new year begins. Swift prophesied that:

• Pictures of Rudolph Giuliani in drag will surface, scuttling his plans to run for President.

• Congress will do nothing at all about Social Security or health care.

• The next six months in Iraq will prove to be critical for determining how the following six months are going to go.

• Temperatures will go down in February causing widespread doubt about global warming, but by July there will be renewed calls to do something about it.

• Recruitment shortfalls lead the Pentagon to hire temps to fill some positions and outsource some work to the Indian military.

One can only tremble in wonderment regarding a prophet so keen that his prophecies have come true even before he makes them. Check out the rest of Jon Swift’s vision for 2007 here.

New Economic Study: Neither Conservatives Nor Liberals Understand Public’s Economic Fears

[Average Americans] understand the economy differently – and view it much more negatively – than Bush Administration officials, Wall Street analysts and conservative economists who stress positive macro-economic statistics. Indeed, nothing raises the public ire more than the elites saying this is a good economy, which seems to deny the hard work and inventiveness of people who raise their living standards against the odds. However, conservatives are not alone in this disconnect with the public on the economy, as liberal elites portrayal of Americans as passive victims also alienates their intended audience. These liberal elites underestimate Americans’ emphasis on personal responsibility and greatly overestimate the degree to which they see themselves as victims in the current economy.

The above is an excerpt from one of two studies recently made available online by the Economic Policy Institute:

  • “The Economic Disconnect: How Both the Left and the Right Get It Wrong,” Dec. 5, 2006, 11 pages.
  • “Talking Past Each Other: What Everyday Americans Really Think (and Elites Don’t Get) About the Economy,” December 2006, 64 pages.

Some excerpts from Economic Disconnect:

  • The opening excerpt above.
  • “Americans are dissatisfied with the national economy, and are doubtful it will improve in the future. This is an economy defined by its inability to produce rising incomes in the face of growing financial pressures, though people are proud of their efforts to overcome these systemic obstacles.”
  • “Over two thirds of the country view the economy negatively. … The public’s central perspective is of a middle class in decline, badly squeezed between rising costs, reduced benefits, and stagnant earnings. The public holds out little hope for the economy improving any time soon, suggesting that these current problems may reflect a structural change.”
  • “Americans see themselves as largely on their own in the current economy, but they are eager for the government to take on a more active role to help ease their financial burden in areas such as health care, energy and education and support greater regulation of the corporate interests that are seen as contributing to these rising costs.”

Here is a press release which summarizes Talking Past.

Also, here is a link to a recent post I wrote regarding middle-class economics: “Who’s in the Middle Class, How Much Do They Make — and How Much is Left Over?”