The Homework Club was started when it became apparent that all the hard work that had been started at the kindergarten was being lost when the children went to school. Suddenly they were left without support, had little encouragement from often illiterate parents and homes that were dark, crowded, noisy and not conducive for doing their homework.
So the Homework Club was started to not only give children a safe space and support to do their homework, but also to help develop their characters as they got older and to try to introduce and teach important life lessons that they would need to flourish in life.
Teacher: Onișoru Lavinia
“The man has to be formed to become a man” said once a great philosopher. He is the one who showed me what great responsibility a teacher has; to teach the children the good abilities, the moral skills and a good character. In this year, I decided that I should focus more on developing this abilities with the children so that they be able to pass through the daily life challenges much easier. The age of the children that are in the Homework Club this year is raging from 6 to 10 years old. With these children I can talk freely and very open about the real things from the daily life, always giving them the opportunity to ask questions.
I started with the fact that the character is not given once the person is born but it is formed through the love and the care within the family. The character of a child is being organized step by step, being influenced by the innate temperament, by the environment they are living, by the education received within and outside of the family. I can clearly state that myself as a teacher I am a factor that can influence the shaping the children’s character and I am really excited by the given opportunity to do so.
In this context, yet from the very first days when, we meet the children, we set some rules that we decided to respect while we are in the Homework Club premises. The children were enthusiastic because every one of them had the opportunity to present their own rule. After we set the rules we decided to get to know each other with the help of different self-knowledge and introduction games. We got to know the favorite colour, favorite food and favorite hobby of each child, of which some of the children had more interest in helping to get closer to each other and making friends with the other children.
Every character lesson that I presented has been described with the help of a nature or animal tale. In this way, the children have associated faster the character lesson with the animals described in the story. For example; the character lesson on honesty has been presented with the help of a lion’s story which is sincere in everything he does. The children have understood the message of the lesson much faster, easier and will be remembered for a longer term with the help of these little stories. Beside the presentation of the lessons with the examples mentioned above, we realized that weekly practical activities that were representing the character lessons. We did colouring, painting, sowing and crafts.
From the month of September until the present day we approached the following topics in character lessons: Attention, Honesty, Thankfulness, Obedience, Sincerity, Forgiveness, Order and Patience. During the lessons, some of the children had to be stimulated, some had to be encouraged and helped, but there were children that had the initiative and determination in the things that they had to do. There are children that desired to learn new things and are focused on every single part of the lessons, participating in every activity within the Homework Club program, however, there are children that are not able to focus during the lessons.
Every week we had a biblical lesson in which the main purpose was to know more things about God, and to know that the way to salvation comes through Jesus Christ. I was happy to see that the children were attentive and were able to learn these things. They are able to remember the truth about God and they always ask questions about life and the world we live in. The older children like Vasilica, Denisa, Nicu and Mihai Ciurariu asked many things about God and why this world does not listen to God’s commandments, or why they don’t obey Him for He is a Good God. The children have received answers from my perspective and I know that some of them they understand the things we discussed.
However, there are very few children that practice the things that they learn during the lesson because the environment from home and the friends does not encourage doing good at all times. My main purpose within the lessons is that to encourage the children to practice what they learn. Often times when there is a conflict or a situation at the Homework Club, the children are in the position to choose the right and the wrong. They have the opportunity to make a choice in the measure of their understanding of the matter after the lessons they learned at the Homework Club.
The children have good behavior, they are well behaved, receptive during lessons and participating in every activity with a significant amount of interest. I observed small progresses in their behavior, which I consider a big accomplishment.
I wish that these children, either through the Biblical or through the activities that help develop themselves as a person, to learn and to develop a good and durable character and to know that every good thing that they will do will bring a good reward.