Wide-eyed preteens recently filled a classroom in western Seoul with a high-pitched version of the chorus from “Let It Go” from the smash-hit animation “Frozen.”
The young participants were having a whale of a time at Herald Project Dream Big, hosted by Herald Corporation, Sunday. It offered information about various jobs to help children make career choices.
“Today, I learned to sing. I want to become a popular singer one day,” said a 5-year-old boy who was too shy to give his name but did not refrain from boasting about his ambition. Some 100 other children like him filled the Seoul English Village’s Pungnap campus in Songpa-gu and took part in education programs aimed to develop creativity, leadership and good character while realizing their potential.
|Children participate in a program teaching them the importance of life by having them take care of a baby ostrich at Herald Project Dream Big, hosted by Herald Corporation, in Pungnap-dong, southern Seoul, Sunday. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)|
The event featured 25 different programs that were designed to help preteens and early teens find their dreams and talents, while teaching parents how to better communicate with their children.
“I think this project is very meaningful because it helps children understand what they can do best and, more importantly, what they enjoy doing,” said Chung Yun-kyeong, a professor of psychology at Catholic University of Korea who participated in Sunday’s event. “They cook, they make stuff and they learn. These little experiences compiled together can ultimately help the children find their dreams.”
While it is important for children to find out what they want to do, their upbringing is incomplete without the role of their parents. Chung, an instructor of the “Communicating With Your Children” class, said it was imperative for parents to communicate with their children.
“It is important for parents to first understand their children from their perspective. Talking to children requires infinite patience,” she said. “Communication is like a scalpel that crafts children’s minds. You have to use it correctly.”
In the process of learning to understand children and helping them find what they want to do with their lives, instructors turned to programs based on fun and experience. Gong So-mi, an instructor of “Creative Thinking and Math,” said her class helped students observe mathematical theories through various activities with roots in everyday life.
“Conventional lessons are about injecting knowledge into children. But by actually doing things, children become more creative. For example, there is an activity that shows them how math is used to create rollercoasters,” said Gong, adding that children became interested in math after being shown that the subject can be fun.
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By Yoon Min-sik (firstname.lastname@example.org