Nail Creative Writing Like a Pro

captureAfter having taught primary grades the English language for about 5 years, I have now taken a huge leap from there, to teaching grades 9 through 11. It has been an interesting couple of months to say the least.

Right of the bat, I saw some consistencies in the weak areas the children were facing, especially when it came to essay writing. While the initial weeks were more of a learning experience for me, I had the opportunity to critically evaluate the general writing quality of the children across each stage.

I came to a couple of very important conclusions, and tackling these will take center-fold precedence when the new term starts. In my lap right now, are a bunch of writing papers that I need to grade and it has been a painful process… I’ll tell you why in a bit.

I wanted to share my insights with you as parents will always be an important part of their children’s education, alternatively, your teen can read this post and see where that takes him or her.

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Make your Child a Confident Public Speaker

yomqvngy“Public speaking invokes more fear than the fear of death, “ or so the research says. It also says that children who speak on public platforms, possess more critical and analytical thinking skills and generally acquire more success in life.

Makes sense, since communication and the art of persuasion are both soft skills that are essential to the making or breaking of any relationship, personal or professional.

The ability to speak is not enough, it’s speaking well that matters. I have not only experienced this personally, but seen it intimately in the students I have taught, right from primary to high school. No matter the age, children who are prompted to talk their mind in public, are generally more confident, more self-aware and are clearly set apart from the majority of kids who do not partake in this activity. Effective communication is integral to people skills and public speaking actually helps in developing not only IQ but EQ!

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Sadly, most public speaking forums are arranged by schools, and even if they do arrange such events, precious few kids are given the opportunity to present speeches, declamations or to participate in debates. Here are a few ways on how to develop these skills in your child in the confines of your home:

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Making the most of Ramadhan with your Kids

RamadhanWe’re a week into Ramadhan and it’s time to reflect on how much we’ve tried to amend our ways, where our spirituality lies… but wait… what about the kids?

Often times, caught up in our routines and extra worship we tend to under rate the opportunity that the holy of month of Ramadhan can present in terms of adjusting not only our own moral compass, but indeed tuning the inner morality of the little ones.

This article will give you ideas on how to incorporate little adjustments and tips on how to do just that.

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Summer Fun (mostly at home) for Kids

Young Islamic Minds


imagesThe summer season is upon us, and so many of us face young energetic kids active from the second they wake up till the second they settle into bed. This is the time to really bond and have fun whilst simultaneously making the entire duration an educational experience for your precious little one. Here are a few random activities that require not much in terms of resources but can really capture their imagination and keep them preoccupied for some time.

1. DIY Stuff:

  • downloadMix paints and create colourful abstract art.
  • My kids love cross stitch, buy little kits from a supermarket and make fun deco for your home.
  • Elder kids may like to dye their clothes or paint on interesting quips on their t-shirts.
  • Young girls love making clothes for their dolls, provide them the material to experiment.
  • Make a scrap book and put in a memorable little memento for each…

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Building Cell Phone Responsibilty

Cell-clip-art-phoneGiving your child his or her first cell phone is a very personal decision. Everyone has their own perspective on when it’s the right time but one thing that all parents can agree on is that these little devices and wreak havoc and cause all types of damage if misused. Among the top fears:

 

  1. Stalking by some freaks.
  2. Cyber bullying.
  3. Exposure to inappropriate material.
  4. Wastage of time and potential.

I am certain you can think of a few more scary scenarios.

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The Dread of the Final Exams

Exam DreadIt’s that part of the year again, the final exams fast approach, the scariest scrap of paper, you know the one- with boxes and dates and page numbers and chapter names, is handed over to you. For a second you don’t want it. Your heart rate increases, your mood takes a nose dive and a sinking feeling in your gut suspends you in time. As your body recovers, in the next couple of minutes you hold it scanning for the gaps in the dates and especially focus on the date of the first exam and with more fervor, the date of the last one. It’s seems like a life time away.

In the next few moments you know what you have to do. This is serious business and not a moment can be lost. You go into super-mom mode, a checklist has neatly been imprinted in your mind- you are now the ‘man with a plan’.

Get kids to show books for work completion….. check (or not, give a couple of slaps, condemn the kid)

Is it corrected…… check (or not, well better make an appointment and take the teacher to task)

Hassle the tuition teacher to get her priorities right…. check

Unleash hell on the whole household- EXAMS ARE UPON THE KIDS…. check

Does this sound familiar? Yes… I thought so too. Let’s focus for just one minute and assess the situation. Let’s analyse exactly how our response is going to yield any positive results shall we?  And then let’s talk about what we can do to help our already stressed and burnt out kids with their exams in a way that is productive and not stressful.

After the discussion there is handout that you can download and keep for easy reference if you feel this post has helped you in anyway.

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I Am A Teacher

4ab766c21921df310245ad5ddeaf625fTo you, the parent, I am just a person who teaches your child the stuff in the books. But I am much much more than that. You, the parents need to know, that I call your child, my child. I love him/her, I care for him/her.

I do not understand why you so often treat me like some sub standard bystander with just a passing interest. I can not fathom, that while I tirelessly make carefully laid out lessons plans in the dead of the night and the corresponding teaching materials, be it PowerPoint Presentations, charts, flash cards, and the tonnes of other things, while I invest in so much of that on my own dime, while I painstakingly go beyond my physical comfort hardly getting a moment to grab a glass of water, I still get blamed if the child fails to get an A Grade.

Here is something else you need to know… Continue reading