As we notice, there are more kids these days that are taller and fuller. In my experience as an EFL tutor, I have seen lots of tall kids as young as seven years old. I am sometimes shocked to know that they are much younger than their height would suggest.
When I had the chance to train some of my Korean students, most of them were 12 or 13, I was surprised when one of them approached me. I thought he was 19. I thought there was a junior trainer in the English camp but when I asked him he told me he was one of the students and he was only 15. I knew then that he was dreaming of being part of the NBA someday that's why he used to join a sports camp in his hometown in Daegu, South Korea.
Whenever I would observe them I would notice that some of them did not observe the proper posture. Although most of our activities were done outdoors, I got the chance to observe how their stance. Thus, I needed a lot of supplemental activities in the training that focused on proper posture.
The following activities that I incorporated before the class started to let them develop the proper posture was:
● Reach the Ceiling Exercise: I used to group them into 2. Each group would need to sing an upbeat song. They needed to stretch their arms, arch their backs and imagine a vertical line starting from the head to the toe. Like they were trying to reach for the sky. This would end until the last lyrics of the song.
● Shoulder Dance: I used to do this activity in the morning with them. I am a fan of Madonna hence I practiced some movements of vogue or dances of the '80s with my students. I let them arch their backs with their chins held high; their chest protrudes while they inhale and exhale some air. We all count fast while our shoulders move like they are dancing. I did this to make them straighten their backs.
● Mirror Me: In this activity, I used to tell my students "Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Mimic Me, I am tall". I would then sit on the chair with my back straight, legs set straight too (but wasn't too rigid) my chin held well and my chest protruded. For 5 minutes, we will do this training. Anyone who would last for five minutes would get the price. Everyone got excited and did the exercise. As a result, the grammar lesson that day became a success because, in the beginning, the students were energized after doing the warm-up exercises.
This shows that letting the child practice a proper posture could help him become:
● More energized: This is because when children do exercises that let them have the proper posture, the blood circulation along the spine and lumbar become better. It's like putting fuel on the engine that makes the whole car starts. Once, a child is fueled with exercise, their bodies start to move energetically too. Sweat comes out and every nerve moves and sends a signal to the brain.
● Concentrated: This is one of the results of proper blood circulation, a child learns to concentrate more on what they do. When a child lacks energy and the signal does not reach his brain properly, he tends to be uneasy or sluggish but when he becomes more energized, you would see how dedicated he is in class.
● Total Absorption of Information: When a child concentrates on the lesson, there is a chance that he understands the lesson well. He becomes engaged and responsive. You would notice a child who understands a lesson well. There are relevant questions that he raises in class; if not relevant, he will still raise concerns especially if there are things that he needs to clarify.
● Retention is Observed: This is the most evident thing when a child participates well in class. He does not just understand what the whole lesson is about. He also remembers every detail that he gets from the class. Although there are students who find it challenging to remember the whole especially if he is easily distracted or is preoccupied. It varies for every child. Hence, as the second parent, we adjust to the cognitive level, personality, and skill of the child. This may not be easy though but with the passion and dedication to reach out and facilitate the child's learning, we can overcome the obstacles of guiding the child.
So, these were the things that helped me evaluate my kids during the training in the English Camp. I thought that the posture didn't have much effect on how the child would survive in class. I didn't know that it was somehow correlated to his performance. Hence, for parents, it is advisable to help them maintain a proper posture even after class. This is also the best time to:
● Model it to the child
● Inspire them to do their task effectively
● Reach out to them
● Know the challenges that they experience in class
By doing these things, parents would be able to know their children's needs and would help them know what their child's strengths and weaknesses are and if there are medical conditions that their child faces. Apart from these, the parents may be able to assist their kids in studying while maintaining a proper posture with the help of a product from Flexispot- from a mesh chair with a backrest that could give lumbar support to the Swivel desk chair. This company produces top-of-the-line ergonomic chairs in the market. Indeed, products that could help the children maintain a proper posture at school and home.