summer_workshops_main.jpgSummer’s here, and as parents of school-aged children well know, with it comes summer vacation! For kids, it’s great! Two whole months away from blackboards and whiteboards and schoolbooks—that is, if they don’t have summer school to go to. For parents, it offers both more time to spend with their children, but also a challenge—how do you keep them from being idle or bored during the break?

While some parents may give their kids summer jobs that will let them earn their keep during these sweltering months, others may go another route: by signing up their kids for workshops! If you are one of these, read on for some tips on choosing and enrolling your child in some of these short-term classes.


MATCH YOUR CHILD’S INTEREST TO THE WORKSHOP

Have you noticed how much your child loves to wade in the water even though he can barely swim? Or how much he enjoys doodling SpongeBob SquarePants on the scratch paper you leave around the house? These little revealing actions can assist you in determining which summer workshops he should sign up for. It’s all a matter of pinpointing his strengths and choosing the particular skills you’d like him to improve on.


LET YOUR CHILD HAVE A SAY IN THE MATTER

Once you’ve narrowed down his interests, have a chat with your kid to see what he’s interested in trying. Bring up the topic in a casual manner, and make it sound like a fun challenge. Say something like, “Did you hear your cousin play your favorite song on the guitar? He was awesome! Maybe you’d like to learn how to play an instrument too?” Based on his reply, you’ll be able to tell if it’s something he can see himself doing for the next two months. Studies have shown that when you allow your child to make his own choices, it’s more likely he’ll be eager and open to learning what each workshop has to offer.


GET REFERRALS FROM OTHERS

Whether you decide to talk to fellow parents, join forums, or read blogs and reviews, it’s good to know what’s out there before making a final selection. Research the activities you’re considering as early as March, and be sure to reserve a slot before school ends. Most workshops have limited slots per class, so the earlier you explore your options, the better chances you’ll have for booking the ideal class and time slot.


INVITE A FRIEND

If your child is curious to try something new but is too scared to step out of his comfort zone, why not ask his best bud to attend the workshop with him? Being accompanied by a good friend will surely alleviate his fear of being rejected.


MULL OVER THE DETAILS

Now that you’ve got your eye on specific classes, you and your partner should consider the finer points that can make or break your summer. Be sure to talk about the schedule of your children’s activities (don’t choose classes that start or end at the same time as other classes you’ve signed your kid up for unless they’re in the same vicinity), the location of the workshops (opt for places close to home or your place of work), the person in charge of driving the kids, and how much you’re both willing to allot for classes, allowance, and the like—if you can provide baon for them, even better! Some hobbies may be comparatively more expensive than others since you’ll need to shell out cash for costly equipment (such as a violin), but when your child grows to love the activity, then it becomes a worthy investment!


DON’T BURN HIM OUT!

Summer is synonymous to rest and relaxation. Kids deserve a break from school, but that doesn’t mean you should allow your child to play computer games until the wee hours of the morning and let him sleep in and get up at lunchtime. You shouldn’t go all the way in the opposite direction, however—it doesn’t mean that you should sign him up for every workshop you can possibly think of! The trick is to strike a balance. Choose an activity that can keep him busy for at least one to three hours daily. Consider that some workshops and classes (such as music lessons) require your child to practice daily, and others have been known to give homework. Then for the rest of the day, let him use his imagination and explore the world through the art of play.


WORKSHOPS TO CONSIDER

In case you don’t get to catch the newspaper ads and Internet articles on summer workshops for kids, FN has compiled a list of workshops and classes your kids may want to try out. We’ll be updating this page as we learn of more workshops—but please feel free to send us a link if you know of one that hasn’t been included here.


The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Annual Summer Theater Arts Workshop
Location: PETA Theater Center, 5 Eymard Drive, Barangay Kristong Hari,New Manila, Quezon City
Deadline for Applications: March 31, 2010
Workshop Dates: April 16 – May 15, 2010
Workshop Fee: Contact PETA for rates

Fully Booked’s Junior Book Crew 2010
Location: Fully Booked – Bonifacio High Street
Deadline for Applications: April 1, 2010
Workshop Dates: April 12 - May 14, 2010
Workshop Fee: P1,750

Tiny Kitchen (Cooking School for Children)
Location: 31-A Scout Tobias, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City
Deadline for Applications: None specified
Workshop Dates: April 5 - May 8, 2010 (Batch 1); May 10 - June 12, 2010 (Batch 2)
Workshop Fee: Varies per workshop (multiple courses offered)

Winged Wonder Learning Center’s “All Around the World” Arts and Crafts Workshops
Location: Fully Booked – Bonifacio High Street
Deadline for Applications: None specified
Workshop Dates: April 12 - April 23, 2010 (Batch 1); April 26 – May 7, 2010 (Batch 2)
Workshop Fee: Varies per workshop (multiple courses offered)

Dance Basics Summer Workshop 2010 (Ballet)
Location: Aheadstart Preschool, 72 San Rafael Street, Barrio Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Deadline for Applications: None specified
Workshop Dates: April 10 - May 30, 2010
Workshop Fee: Rates vary (see primer for details)

My Talent Classes
Location: My Talent Place, 2nd Floor Athena Building, Eastwood City, Bagumbayan, Quezon City
Deadline for Applications: None specified
Workshop Dates: April 16 – May 15, 2010
Workshop Fee: Contact My Talent Place for rates (multiple courses offered; click on the link for details)

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SOFA Fashion Arts & Crafts for Kids
Location: School of Fashion and the Arts (SOFA), 55 Paseo de Roxas, Makati
Deadline for Applications: None specified
Workshop Dates: May 4 - May 27
Workshop Fee (Inclusive of Materials): P4,500 (4 sessions); P8,000 (8 sessions)

Museo Pambata’s “Art’s Cool” Summer Workshops
Location: Museo Pambata, Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Manila
(Click on the link for details)

Global Art Summer Fun Program 2010
Location 1: 2nd Floor Serendra, Bonifacio High Street
Location 2: Unit CU-4 Prince David Condominium, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
(Click on the link for details)

Learning Jungle summer programs
Location: Forbeswood Heights Condominium, Rizal Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Deadline for Applications: None specified
Workshop Dates: April 12 - May 25, 2010 (Schedule depends on class)
Workshop Fee: Varies per workshop (multiple courses offered)
(Go to the link, email fort-ph@learningjungle.com, or call 915-2773 for details)

Michi Calica Fresh Flowers' Junior Florist Summer Workshop
Location: Michi Calica Fresh Flowers, New Manila
Deadline for Applications: None specified (only 8 slots available)
Workshop Dates: Wednesdays of April 2010
Workshop Fee: P1,500 per session (inclusive of materials)
(Go to the link or call 584-5061 for details)

Ballet Manila Summer Workshop
Location: 1915 Donada Street, Pasay City
Deadline for Applications: None specified
Workshop Dates: Tuesdays to Saturdays, April 6 to May 21
Workshop Fee: Contact Ballet Manila for rates
(Go to the link, email info@balletmanila.ph, or call 400-0292 or 525-5967 for details) 

The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences Summer Art Program 2010
Location: Art Cabinet Philippines, 3rd Floor The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, 119 Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Classes: Introduction to Sculpture, Introduction to Animation and Caricature, Introduction to Pastel and Watercolor Painting, Art Classes with Visual Artist Edgar Talusan Fernandez
Deadline for Applications: None specified
Workshop Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 13 to May 20
Workshop Fee: P5,500 to P6,000 for six sessions (inclusive of materials)
(Email inquiry@artcabinetphilippines.com, or call or text 0928-550-4816 for details)   

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5-Day Summer Cooking Camp with Chef Aileen Anastacio (for ages 8 to 12)
Location: Living Well Homestore, 3rd Floor The Podium, 116 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Deadline for Applications: Sunday, April 11 (only 20 slots available; first come, first served basis)
Workshop Dates:
April 12 to 16; May 17 to 21
Workshop Fee: P4,000 (inclusive of materials, with 60 percent downpayment upon reservation at any leading branches of Gourdo's, Living Well, or Sleepcare)
(Email wilton@homeandoffice.ph, or call 638-9590 or 9591 for details) 

Yoga Manila: Kids Yoga for the Summer (classes for ages 4 to 7 and 8 to 11)
Location: Makati and Alabang Studios of Yoga Manila
Deadline for Applications: None specified
Workshop Dates:
Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 13 to May 13 (Makati Studio); Wednesdays and Fridays, April 14 to May 14
Workshop Fee: P3,500  

Flamenco Fever Summer Dance Workshop for Kids (for ages 9 to 12)
Location: Clara Ramona Centro de Danza Flamenca studio, 5062 P. Burgos St. cor. Guerrero, Makati City
Deadline for Applications: April 26
Workshop Dates:
May 3 to 29
(Visit the link, email info@clararamona.com, or call 899-1346 for more details)


(Photo source: sxc.hu)

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