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After-school care

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Updated: 4/18/2007 7:12 am
After-school programs should strike a happy medium between leisure and learning. Ideally, they'll offer a variety of activities, without being merely an extension of the school day. Younger children especially won't have the attention span to keep working, and will need a chance to unwind. Because each child may feel differently at the end of the day, after-school programs should be flexible. Some kids will want to run, jump rope, play sports, and engage in other outdoor pursuits. Others like to have some time to themselves, or simply visit with their friends. Certain children will want to do their homework right away, while others prefer taking a break, before getting back to their lessons. Kids should be allow to choose the activities they wish to participate in. Physical activity is important; so a good program will include an outdoor play area or indoor gym. Quiet corners should also be available, where children can work, paint, or read. They should have access to games. And caregivers should encourage children to create their own projects, based on what they're doing in school. For example, they might write a play, come up with costumes, and act it out. Or, they might apply science lessons by growing their own garden

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