Courtesy of Annie Spratt

Fulltime HEL: Episode 22 — ViLiKe

If the last episode started with me remarking on the sounds of summer, then this one is going to start with how summer’s already passed and Autumn is here. Yet it’s only the middle of August. This is Finland, so it’s be expected.

In those few short weeks of summer things have changed. The biggest change for me is my forth-coming child. That’s right, the wife is pregnant with out first child who is due in December. Which is why it’s was so timely to get to speak to ViLiKe about how they’re trying to improve and change how we raise our children. But before that…

Welcome to episode 22 of Fulltime HEL, the podcast about startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers and co-working spaces in Helsinki, Finland. I’m your host Gregory Pellechi.

On this episode, ViLiKe, motor-skills monitoring in children.

You would think that will all the high regards for how Finland handles education there’d be little to improve upon. For example they eschew standardized testing, work to eliminate bullying and multi-lingual children are the standard, not the exception. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. To understand it better, you need to start at the beginning of Kirsi’s story.

There are many different motor-skills assessment tools out there. A short list includes the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, the DeGangi-Berk Test of Sensory Integration, the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, the Gross Motor Function Measure, the Miller Function and Participation Scales, etc. All of them have their uses, though in Finland they seem to favor the APM inventory.

This isn’t like the Let’s Move or Presidential Youth Fitness Program in the USA. I had to do the latter which involved a lot of measured jumps, sit-ups, shuttle runs, and other really boring activities. The APM inventory and similar tools are geared towards assessing the abilities of children when they’re younger.

Like Kirsi, I don’t know how to teach a child everything. I’m going to be reliant on the help of others.I’ll certainly be able to teach them how to throw a ball or change a tire. I may be neglectful in other areas that’s why it’s great I have the Wife who can cover those skills I lack. But we still may have our blindspots, so having an app providing recommended activities to ensure our child is well developed in all areas will certainly be welcomed by our family.

I’m not a parent yet. So I don’t have the obsession with my child’s ever little thing that so many do. I also don’t want to because so boring and incapable of focusing on something other than my child. So having an app that is aggregating the data and providing recommendations rather than showing me how my child is performing is ideal. Parents are often so focused on their child’s performance with the future in mind that they don’t let children fail or really have any fun. Again I say this not knowing what type of parent I’ll be or what the future will hold, they’re merely my hopes for what I will be as a parent.

Ultimate, most people want to provide an easier future for their kids. Myself included. And if I can make it easier for my child to learn by focusing on the methods that suit them best, then should I do just that? Of course that’s still a ways off, and ViLiKe is just bringing their minimal viable product to market. But by the time my own child is old enough for us to use ViLiKe I’m sure they’ll have all the kinks worked out.

For more information on ViLiKe, Kirsi and the rest of the team, visit http://vilike.fi/.

On the next episode of Fulltime HEL, who knows. It’s been a full year since Fulltime HEL launched and with 22 episodes now under my belt. I think it’s time to evaluate what works, what doesn’t, and what I want to do. But don’t worry, Fulltime HEL will return. And soon.

Fulltime HEL was produced by me, Gregory Pellechi. Music for the show is courtesy of Chris Zabriskie.


Originally published at www.gregorypellechi.com on August 15, 2016.

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