Tag Archives: creativity

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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How to Make Your Teen an Author

CapturepoMy usual focus has been to build writing skills in younger primary school children, but teens need this even more so, primarily because it helps with better grades, effective correspondence/communication and later to write college applications. A good essay can make or break your child’s potential career.

Read on for tips and guidelines on how to motivate and build up your teen’s writing potential

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Teaching Kids how to THINK!

imagespI think that everyone, at some point in time has thought, what do babies think? Do they think at all? I don’t know. We see that they respond to external stimuli (the voluntary kind). As babies grow up into young children, their vocabulary increases. That’s when reasoning or thinking takes on a dialog in the mind. As they get older still, analytical skills also begin to develop.

Now in the real world, how your child thinks can make a huge difference in his output and independence. We can greatly contribute towards both these critical skills sitting at home with zero investement. Here are a few tips you need to start doing now.

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Math Skills Development- You Can Do This

mathOne thing I’ve noticed as a teacher: there are broadly two types of math students. One- those that simply love it, and two- the ones who shun it. Not surprisingly, the ones who love it, mostly excel at it and of course that ones who don’t take kindly to this subject are not too very good at it.

As a parent you will have already gathered that the math teacher and her attitude, strategies and motivational methods play the foremost role in your child’s math tackling abilities. However there are things you can do to improve the overall competency of your child in this area.

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How to Raise Interest in your Child towards becoming a Better Writer

iStock_000017945529Medium_610_300_s_c1_center_centerMost kids, I’m sure you would agree, will search high and low to escape writing a paragraph or essay or story. It’s quite a chore, a loathed and detested piece of written work any kid would not wish upon his oppressor/bully at school. I used get boos and awws as well. So I asked myself, I can either instill the love or at least the willingness in my students to attempt to write. For that I needed to know what it was that instigated such negativity within them. I’m no psychologist, but if careful observation and gut feelings count, I came to the following conclusions:

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Fun with Circuits

closed-open-circuit-diagram_imgChildren are often taught about circuits at school right from grade one. Even before that, there are the parents who keep repeating (at least a few times everyday) not to poke objects into the sockets. I know that kids find it to be a thrill when they actually get to experience the inner workings and reasoning behind such things, and learning about circuits is no exception. By encouraging hands on education, we are laying a solid 3D foundation of independent analytic skills and a sound base for engineering and physics.

Here are a few fun ways to reinforce the concept of circuits at home with your child:

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Summer Fun (mostly at home) for Kids


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 interesting thing that happens during the holidays.
  • Get card board boxes and give them to the kids, let them use their imagination.
2 .Home Cleaning Mania:
  • kaleyann_cleaningkit_01Get some gloves and get the kids sponging the walls.
  • Give them some window cleaner and have them polish the surfaces for you. My kids love doing this.
  • Done properly you can even get the kids to get rid of all the unpaired socks, the torn linen etc. All you have to do then is put away the good stuff.
  • Kids love an organizing project. How about getting the kids to help de-clutter all those pending cupboards and drawers?
  • Now would also be a good time to ask the kids to put the old unwanted or broken toys out to be given away or thrown away as the case might be.
3. Art Projects:
  • images (1)Get kids to water color. Make sure they clean up after themselves.
  • Make collage work. Draw out a picture and tell the kids to stick little pieces of colored paper according to their taste.
  • Make little crafts like pinwheels, paper chains, cut out masks etc.
  • Play dough is very good for building imagination and building co-ordination in little hands. Ask the kids to make things in 3-d or even on a plate.
  • Kids love making cards, but this craft is slowly dying out. Revive this age old tradition this summer.
  • There are so many interesting ideas on the internet, one for every day of the week for the entire Summer.
4. Cookery:
  • images (2)Safety first, kids have to be supervised at all times when dealing with hot surfaces. Kids love helping out in the kitchen. Have bake outs in the kitchen, sometimes cookies, other times simple cakes.
  • Children can make surprisingly good sandwiches. Provide them the raw materials to do so.
  •  Involve your children in making refreshing drinks like lemonade, tang or popsicles.
  • Here is an interesting site to check out: http://www.kidspot.com.au/best-recipes/kids-cooking+5.htm
5. Reading Fun:
  • stackbooksHoning in on those reading skills can be achieved in these holidays. Practice with your kids.
  • Have them make flash cards of difficult words.
  • For young kids cut out the alphabets with sand paper and stick them on some empty flash cards. When kids trace along these letters along with the sound of the letter, they catch on really fast.
  • On a chart make word families like vegetables, fruits, dairy products, planets etc. It is a great way to improve general knowledge.
  • Read along with your child or read to them. It is a lovely way to improve vocabulary and bond.
6. Educational Fun:
  • artwildhedFor this one you’ll actually have to step out of your house. Go on exploratory walk and point out the plant life, insect life etc.
  • Take trips to interesting places you’ve been meaning to visit.
7. Pretend Play:
  • kids-girls-Hobbies-Pretend-Play-Kitchen-Toy-Fine-wood-simulation-chocolate-strawberry-cake-group-box-Cake.jpg_350x350Children love pretending. Play charades with them.
  • Create a setting for the kids and ask them to role play, like at the petrol station, at the hospital, in the classroom etc.
  • Ask kids to look around in their clothes wardrobe and come up with a costume with what they have.
  • It is also cool to act out scenes of possible emergencies for e.g what to do if they get lost in the mall, or how to talk to the doctor about their pain etc. Of course it has to be age appropriate.

Engaging your child is not a very difficult task but it does require a lot of dedication and persistence. Just keep the activities safe, halaal and teach them that keeping busy is a good thing, make learning fun for them and incorporate a little bit of character building with each activity,