Extracurricular Online Activities
It’s your Mojo – Extracurricular Online Activities
A FosterWiki partnership with “It’s your Mojo”
Sarah Anderson, FosterWiki Founder
About the author Prity Agarwal
Prity Agarwal is the Founder of It’s Your Mojo and a mum to two children aged 13 and 7 years old. She is a Physiotherapist by profession and believes in the role of activities and hobbies for the physical and mental well-being of people. She grew up learning lots of these skills and finds that it helps her through her life even today. She uses skills like sewing, cooking, drawing and many more in her day to day life.Prity created It’s Your Mojo to help parents who struggle to take their children to various locations for activities and she understands that it costs a lot of money. Children often lose interest in the activity they are signed up for because the parents chose those activities. It’s Your Mojo offers a huge choice to children and empowers them to choose and develop a new passion.
At least one skill for every child is our mission such that we create equality in the society for children. If the curriculum is for everyone, why not extracurricular for everyone.
Prity Agarwal, Founder “It’s your mojo”
Time and time again research has shown that extracurricular online activities make a huge difference in the lives of children who are fortunate enough to access them.
Physical or creative activities improve behaviour, boost confidence and build positive independence. They are an excellent way for children to release stress and gain new skills outside of the classroom.
Here is a great list of benefits for a wide range of extracurricular online activities: – https://www.itsyourmojo.com/ourprograms
Children in care and extracurricular online activities
There are over 97,000 children in care within the UK. 70,000 of these children are placed with the 56,000 foster families like yours.
These children have had their whole lives turned upside down; their home, family, school and friends, everything familiar, has changed and may change again in the future. These children may also have a history of trauma; affecting their feelings of safety, security and sense of self. As a Foster Carer, you have to navigate all of this intensity; trying to gain the trust of children who find trust so difficult to give.
A child who comes into your care has likely come from a place where even their basic needs weren’t met. They may have never experienced the positives of extracurricular online activities at all.
For any children who were able to access them, this is yet another thing they have lost.
Extracurricular online activities are a wonderful option for foster families like yours as they don’t require taking the children to different settings and if their placement changes, their activities don’t need to. For the child it can be less daunting than entering a whole new setting, they are in familiar and hopefully comforting surroundings as they explore their activities.
The positive impact of extracurricular online activities
- Extracurricular activities can give the child in your care a sense of self; allowing them to enjoy the things they have always liked or to explore new interests.
- They provide structure and consistency to the child’s day, keeping them busy and focused on something positive.
- They provide a sense of normalcy. Many foster children feel they are cut off from their peers and “different”. extracurricular online activities allow the child a chance to connect with their peers and gives them a common talking point.
- They help children release stress. Art and Physical activities have a huge impact on mental health; releasing endorphins that lower stress and boost feelings of positivity.
- They teach essential skills. Not only are they learning the skills focused on in the activity; but, they are also developing more everyday skills. Timekeeping, listening, contribution, following rules, following instructions, concentration, and so on.
- Extracurricular activities enable the child to build a lasting meaningful connection with others; from the class leaders to the other participants.
- All of the above can improve behaviour and academic learning.
What can you do?
Once the child has had the chance to settle in and become familiar with you and their new surroundings, it can be good to find a great programme for extracurricular online activities. Always check that any programme you do find, be that in person or online, has trained staff who have been DBS checked, like those at Its Your Mojo.
Ask the child what they would enjoy doing; this gives them a feeling of control and allows them to explore their own interests. Don’t worry if they want to change activities; they may need time to figure out what they truly enjoy and they may want to try different things. What activity they are doing isn’t the most important thing, it’s about having meaningful experiences.
Check out the Its Your Mojo blog page for more ideas and useful information about supporting children in learning and the importance of extracurricular online activities: – https://www.itsyourmojo.com/blog
How to engage your child
- Children in care, who have never experienced extracurricular online activities, may be reluctant to join in. They may be nervous or have preconceived ideas about doing activities, seeing them as pointless, boring or they may feel it will affect the image they have of themselves. Getting a child in care to engage in new things can’t be undone overnight and requires patience and understanding.
- Start the conversation at a time they are relaxed. Show them the website or give them leaflets so that they can read through and really see what is available.
- Give them options; even if they have shown interest in a specific activity, let them see what else is available.
- Give them time to explore their options and change their minds.
- Remind them of activity times; eventually, they will build the timekeeping skills to do it themselves but to begin with they may need reminders. Give them plenty of time to finish whatever they were doing and to get ready.
- Offer to sit with them to start with. A friendly presence may make all the difference.
- Try to ensure they are not disturbed.
- Don’t give in if they don’t engage to begin with, keep the offer open and revisit the conversation at a future time.
Through our partnership with FosterWiki, we bring an exclusive offer to FosterWiki members. to get Its Your Mojo completely free of charge for the whole summer term. Just sign it to the members area and follow the link.
Cost can often be a factor in accessing extracurricular online activities. You may not get a lot of financial support, especially after covering standard living costs.
It’s Your Mojo has a whole family rate, which allows a whole family to access all of the activities for only £15 a month. This enables multiple children to take part in all the activities they want.
- “It’s Your Mojo” helpline [email protected]
- It’s Your Mojo website provider of extracurricular online activities https://www.itsyourmojo.com/
- Link to FosterWiki page on Pupil Premium https://fosterwiki.com/wiki/pupil-premium-grant-2022-to-2023/
- UK Government report into extracurricular activities, soft skills and social mobility https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/818679/An_Unequal_Playing_Field_report.pdf
- UK Government pupil premium funding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-allocations-and-conditions-of-grant-2022-to-2023/pupil-premium-2022-to-2023-conditions-of-grant-for-local-authorities
Information, Help and Support
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