Could you advise - do Parents have to attend with their Ninja at the sessions? We have been enforcing this at the dojo but have had queries from parents who have attended other dojos that they don't need to attend. Thanks in advance!
Hi @Amanda-O'Keeffe - the decision to have parents attend sessions or not is at the discretion of each Dojo. Many Dojos enforce that parents remain for the entire duration of the session. While others will allow children over a certain age to attend without a parent. It really depends on what works best for the individual Dojo (how many kids you have, average age, how many mentors, how big the space is etc).
At the Docklands Dojo, which I Champion, I ask that all parents remain for the duration of the session. It takes a burden off mentors to have them there, so they can assist their child to get set up, take them to the bathroom etc. Bill Liao has always said that CoderDojo is free, but its not a free ride. So we always recommend you encourage parents to get involved and help out at the Dojo if possible.
Thanks a million Giustina, I will take this to the champion and discuss which way we want to go with it. I like the idea of a child over a certain age not having to attend with a parent and I agree that its not a "free ride" either. I am also experiencing a certain reticence with children to interact with other children when the parents are present and this is what we primarily would like to encourage. Interesting thoughts! Thanks
@Amanda-O'Keeffe said in Parents:
Hi Amanda! I know some Dojos prefer parents of children under-12 to wait. This can be an opportunity to explain what children are doing, particularly if they showcase their projects at the end of Dojos.
Regarding encouraging ninja interaction, here is a link to some of our Dojo ice-breakers which might help.
Mentors could also be encouraged to let ninjas work together to help solve issues as opposed to jumping in straight away. If they know one ninja has overcome an issue, they can then recommend to another youth who encounters a similar issue to talk to the 1st ninja, for example.
All the best,
Thank you Nuala for your views and especially the ice-breakers. I think the lingo bingo will be a hit with my group!
Hey @Amanda-O'Keeffe, I started attending a Dojo <2years as a non-tech mum of my then 7year old ninja. For the first few weeks I read magazines, and scrolled through my phone . But I soon realised the pressure that the champion was under with limited helpers/mentors ect. So I decided to help out with admin/sign in's...plugging laptops in and anything else that did not require me to touch a computer. The more I helped out, the more I got to know the ninjas each week and the other parents, when parents saw me volunteering, they offered to help too, even with carrying chairs ect (simple things that require min effort) , some parents gave talks on their day jobs, which the ninjas found interesting, some parents offered to show the kids graphic design, Microsoft excel, other programs they use day to day, all this resulted in the Dojo being less divided. In 2years, I've gone from a non tech, non-volunteering mum to fully fledged scratch mentor.
@Nuala-Nic-Éil its not an optional requirement. If a ninja is under 12 - parent or guardian has to remain on the premesis. Older than that, its optional.
But coming back to what was said earlier. Its not a free ride/child minding service. Being around for young ninjas has lots of benefits, knowing what their learning. Older ninjas its part of flying solo and the growing up process.
@Rachel-Schoene Hi Rachel, your story is what I hope will happen with my parents. It is happening as they all get to know each other and I have to say they couldn't be more helpful.
@bob-flynn Thanks for responding. You're right. I should have clarified, I do know some teachers that run Dojos in schools, but obviously these people are qualified to work with children under 12 without parental supervision. For everyone else though, parents for under 12 year olds must remain on the premises.
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