Speech Competition – Why Education goes beyond books!

speech competition for kids

Here is a speech on Why Education Goes beyond books, for children from grade 6 and beyond. I wrote it for my son. The speech duration is of 10 minutes and it is composed of 1030 words approximately. Please feel free to use it for educational purposes.

Why education goes beyond books

Introduction

Picture this! A teacher is describing the ancient stone sculptures of Ajanta and Ellora to a class full of curious students with the help of a textbook. The kings who commissioned the construction of these caves, the intricate stone carvings and the exact location of the caves, their relation to ancient Indian history – all these facts are being explained from the text book. Students are listening to her, trying to grasp all that she explains. But the students may still wonder about so many facts! How tall are the sculptures? In an era when there was no electricity, how did they even manage to carve out rocks in the dark? What about cranes and lifts? How did they move huge boulders?

On the other hand, when students actually visit the site, they get spellbound by the enormity of the stone sculptures, the mathematical calculations behind the perfect alignment of the body, hand and facial features of these sculptures, the stories behind the wall paintings at Ellora, etc. The children get an idea of the immense efforts put in by the skillful craftsmen of an era gone by, who did not even live to enjoy the credits of their exquisite art work.

The imagination of every child is limitless like the universe. He will have many questions several of which may remain unanswered if there is limited interaction with the subject at hand. So it is indeed safe to say that Education extends beyond books and in fact beyond the classroom too.

Body

All over the world, there is a growing feeling that our education systems need to be mended. Technology is moving ahead at lightning speed. Books cannot cope up with this information overload. The environment around us is constantly changing. Sadly revised editions of books are not released as often. Books merely summarize and encapsulate a lot of information in a nutshell often leaving out important facts which have to be grasped by observation or interaction. Books give us a brief idea of the subject at hand. More often than not students memorize these facts and appear for exams, scoring good marks. But they do not understand the practical aspects of what they learn thru books. Consider this extremely simple principle of colour theory – Our art book states that when blue and yellow is mixed we get green colour. But unless you try it out yourself, you will not know the exact proportion in which blue and yellow colours are to be mixed to get that perfect shade of green.

Education can be procured from the unlikeliest of places. It can be obtained from local guides at historical sites shedding light on facts that have not been documented before. You can learn the importance of maps by asking for directions at a local shop. You can learn about unknown wild fruits and medicinal herbs from local farmers or tribals. These different sources of knowledge are constantly educating us.

You can teach a child stories on generosity, courage and many other moral values. However, unless the child comes across a situation where he is supposed to help somebody or protect himself from harm, he wouldn’t be learning these valuable life lessons in a correct manner.

Today’s education system needs a 360 degree approach that would contribute to the holistic development of a child or even an adult for that matter. This can be achieved in so many different ways. Movies, documentaries, audio visual clips, field trips, involving students in project work, group discussions etc. can all go a long way in extending education beyond books.

Another interesting fact is that not all students learn by the read-write method. Some are visual learners, some are auditory and some are kinaesthetic learners. It would be extremely uninteresting for such children to read books for gaining knowledge. This lays stress on the fact that education must encompass knowledge gained via means other than books without which a child would be like a frog in the well, with extremely limited knowledge.
It is often seen that many children hate maths. Such kids will fare poorly if they are made to simply solve problems from a textbook. However if you educate them about the usefulness of maths outside school, they would love to do Maths. For e.g. ask a child to calculate the cost of ten packs of his favourite biscuits. In the car, ask him how long it would take to reach a particular place if the speed is so and so and the distance is so and so kilometres. Ask him if his pocket money would be sufficient to buy a certain toy. Ask him to design a house on paper using geometrical patterns.

Conclusion

Education must enable a child to keep humanity knitted together. It should teach children to strive for a better world. The best example is that of Malala Yousoufzai. She would not have known the importance of courage, peace, humanity etc. if she had just read about courage from text books. A tryst with a militant’s bullet almost proved fatal for her. This militant organization expected her to succumb to fear and give up learning. But she was determined to prove them wrong. She left her home, her country and continued her education. Her book ‘I am Malala’ is one of the best selling works of this century. She was able to pen the book based on her experiences and not by reading another book on how to write a book. Do you think she would have accomplished so much by reading books alone? No.

Education needs learning using different audio visual media, interaction with the society and environment, exploring places, trying out different cuisines and a lot more. Only then can you soak in knowledge like a sponge does. Of course books are needed to get your basics in place. However they do not mark the end of the road to education and knowledge. Hence, we must all accept the fact that Education is and will always go beyond books.
Thank you.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How Doodling Helps Memory In Kids!

doodling helps memory in kids

While I elaborate on how doodling helps memory, let me tell you that my son aged nine is about to appear for his first term assessment at school. He is in Grade V now. As any other normal mother would, I tend to do the running around and ensure that my child has revised his lessons well before the exams commence. All this while, my son plays around with his Rubik’s cube, totally oblivious of the enormous frustration and tension that his mom carries on her shoulders till his exams are over!

how doodling helps memory in kids

Ecology concept doodle -Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As kids go to higher grades, chapters are vast. You cannot possibly expect them to memorize. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what certain kids do at the last moment. Memorizing without understanding basic facts doesn’t make sense. Kids also get bored easily looking at long answers to questions. So what could be the right way to learn better and improve your child’s memory power?

Memorizing stuff does make sense if you do it the right way! That is when doodling or noting with sketches comes into picture.

Doodling Helps Memory

As kids, how many times did you get scolded for doodling away in class? The last page of every notebook was silent testimony of  your lovely artwork 😉  But then how many times have you scolded your child to stop doodling with pencil while you explain a concept? You feel that it is distracts attention and is absolutely silly. Well, its time to stop that.

Doodling or making rough sketches while you learn can actually help you understand concepts and memorize things better! Doodling helps the brain to make a visual representation of a particular concept.

Doodling Simple Concepts – eg. Photosynthesis

Take a very simple example of the process of “photosynthesis” – Natural chemical-process by which chlorophyll (magnesium-containing pigment in green plants, blue-green algae, phytoplankton, and green and purple bacteria) uses sunlight (radiation) energy to convert (synthesize) water and atmospheric carbon dioxide into life sustaining organic compounds such as glucose. Being also responsible for almost all the oxygen in atmosphere, photosynthesis is the basis of all life on earth.

Now look at this doodle of photosynthesis in plants.

doodling helps memory

It covers all points mentioned in the definition. Plus you have an awesome mind map at hand to go thru before exams.

 

Doodling Makes Kids Better Listeners

Did you notice that when children blindly take notes or copy matter from the black board in class, they do so without understanding and hence fail to retain concepts in memory. However, when a student doodles, he listens, he concentrates, deciding on what information he needs to put in the doodle and what not. The result is that important facts get encoded in the brain automatically and the student gets a deeper understanding of the matter.

So how to make kids doodle stuff?

Encourage your child to draw step by step, rough sketches for subjects like history, geography, science, english literature etc. These are the subjects where the child has to describe content like sequence of events in history, structure of the Earth’s layers, structure of human digestive system, synopsis of any play by Shakespeare etc.

While you explain these concepts, make them doodle. Sketches must be in sequence though. A doodle can be as simple as a bubble with something written inside it and an arrow for labeling. This will make them concentrate more on what you say, as they have to implement it in the form of sketches.

I caught my child yawning once when I was teaching him the structure of the nervous system. I could sympathize with him as the matter was too vast for a 9 year old to grasp. Then I took a whiteboard and a marker, told him to doodle as I taught him. I found him listening keenly and sketching stuff side by side. Try this, it works, especially when you need your brain to digest a lot of matter without getting all dazed and sleepy.

Doodling Helps The Brain Carry More

Research has revealed that the brain can remember concepts better if all the information is encapsulated in an image. In fact, William Klemm, a neuroscience professor at Texas A & M University confirmed this fact at a Learning and the Brain conference held in San Francisco.

Doodling Before Exams

Keep your doodles or rough sketches safe. Going thru them just before an exam helps a child recollect concepts properly without missing a single step or fact. Once the doodle is memorized, all a child needs to do is to elaborate on those points in his own words.

So try this and let me know how it goes!

Hilariously Funny Things My Kid Said To Me

funny things kids say

I guess, most of us have naughty, pesky, fiddly kids who keep talking non-stop throughout the day! When was the last time you heard them out without throwing up your hands in the air? Chances are that you have been missing out on all the funny things they have to say. These small incidents can make you smile, laugh and giggle.

I happened to pick these funny incidents from my FaceBook timeline that took place over a span of 4 years. My son has since grown from a teeny weenie Kindergarten student to a 9 year old boy. One thing however, remains the same. He is still naughty and keeps me busy.

Do check these cute and funny things kids say. Am sure you will find them funny too. And do not forget to go over your own FaceBook timeline. Moments from your past can bring a smile back on your face, especially moments related to your children.

Funny Things Kids Say

1. My kid sees our wedding snaps. Says he wants to marry too. His dad asks him, “So who is the girl?” He says,” Why do you need one?” His dad says, “so that she loves and cares for you when you are sick and remains your best friend for life. So he says, “Then I’ll marry mamma.” Will not forget this one for sure!

2. My son’s friend falls sick and he tells him, “Come to my mom. She is a very good doctor”. I was kind of flattered, honestly.

3. One evening, in front of the television – “Mamma why do you keep changing channels when the hero tries to kiss the heroine?”

4. Home from school, my son tells me, “Today teacher taught us all about insurance. So did you understand?” I ask. He says, “Yes”. “What did you understand?” I ask. He says, “I understood everything, but then I forgot!” – Which means, “No more questions please…” I guess!

5. What can a little boy worry about when his leg gets fractured? – “When will I be able to play?” Maybe…Ishaan’s first reaction to his plastered leg was –“How will I scratch if it itches inside?”

6. Latest buzz in my son’s class “Mamma, Rudra brought two wriggly worms in a box, I loved watching them crawl. I even touched them and poked them with a stick!” Yuck…That is so much unlike me; I would’ve jumped and screamed like I do when I find a worm in a pea pod, sometimes.

7. My child’s little friend next door, comes to our place without informing her dad. She gets in, closes our door and tells me, “Aunty, its ok. I didn’t ask Dadda, he’s busy doing potty.” I din know what to say!!!!!!!! It was so damn funny!!!!!

8. Mom, my friends were queuing up for your cutlets! So I traded them with what they had brought. Too bad Abid did not get my cutlets; I didn’t like what was in his tiffin.” I have to gently remind Ishaan, that it is not fair to leave one child and be good to others. So he adds to my workload – “Mamma, make me another batch on Monday, will make sure that the entire class gets cutlets!”

9. Honest opinion from Ishaan on my new outfit! He tells me “Mamma, you look like ‘Mutthachan’ – my father (nanaji in Malayalam). I look at him, puzzled and he says,”Mumma you know Muttachan has a nice fat tummy.”

10. Baking time today! Baked a chocolate and caramalized apple cake with my little assistant. He tells me, “Mamma, I’m a baker and you are a bakess!”

11. This happened when Ishaan was in nursery class and was learning phonics. “100% ha ha ha! Phonics is funny and so is English! Ishaan reads TOSHIBA with the O sound as in Orange and A sound as in Apple! No problems, we’ll get this resolved together!

12. Ishaan reads tickers nowadays, I change the news channel when he is around! But this was one sure was funny – he said, “Why are they breaking the news?”, “what is ‘news’?”How to break it? I want to break it too!”

13. My Toofan express comes home from school and this is what he says, “ Piyush threw my book, pushed Ria, opened Shivani’s water bottle, spilled the water down and threw Arnav’s hanky in that water. Then he started running around the class. Teacher punished him. Very good!” Before I could react, he just disappeared inside to fetch his toys. I guess, he was waiting all the way to get home and spill the ‘oh so happening’ news!

14. A neighbour’s kid said this to me – “Aunty, at our place, bean bags are not for sitting on. Mamma dumps clothes on them and we all take out clothes from the bean bag to wear. Don’t you buy any clothes?”

15. Ishaan’s friend’s maasi (maternal aunt) comes over for a visit. He says,” Mom, why don’t you have a sister? No problem, he says,” I’ll be your sister. I say, “You are a boy.”…So he says, okay, I’ll be your boy sister! I didn’t know what to say. He was all of 3 years at that time.

16. Katti Batti time. Ishaan tells me of his katti batti friends who keep changing daily. Can relate to this after all these years.

17. My son tells me a story “Once upon a time… there lived 3 cars…Papa car, mamma car and one small ‘kutty’ car.” (kutty meaning child in Malayalam) Wonder why boys are so crazy about cars…

18. I read this on my son’s little friend’s t-shirt: “SAW IT.LOVED IT.THREW A FIT FOR IT.AND FINALLY GOT IT.!”

19. “I’m a fooder”, says my kid while spreading cheese on bread. I give him a weird look and he says, “You know the one who prepares food.” I tell him, “That’s a cook.” He says, “But ‘fooder’ sounds better!”

20. Stiff neck syndrome! I’m not able to move my head sideways! And my little boy is getting a ‘Yes’ for all the ‘Nos’ from me.

21. The TV remote is not functioning and an army helicopter that was idle since ages, was running around madly. Made a quick connection and realised who was behind the battery swap!

22. An SMS doesn’t get delivered despite several attempts on a rainy day. So when I complain, my little one says , “Mamma, SMS baarish me bheeg gaya. Phir se bhejo ” meaning your SMS got wet in the rain. Send it again.

23. My son is fiddling around with the chess board thinking he knows to play Chess. He says, “King Uncle is riding a horse and Queen Aunty is riding an elephant and the soldiers are at war.” I have to lose the game for him else all players get tossed on the floor. I remember dad losing out to me while playing carom just to make me smile.

This one is a killer.
24. I try telling my little one – “There are children who don’t even have food to eat and here you are, not drinking milk.” He smartly tells me – “You can go and give the milk to them.”

25. My son tells me on a rainy day – “I’m not able to go down and play. God uncle is watering the trees. When will the trees stop asking for water? I just smiled.

26. The lady on the first floor must be happy. For a change…it’s raining plastic clips on her terrace…you know the ones used for hanging clothes…thanks to my child.

27. Someone has quietly taken the jar of cream biscuits, eaten the cream, joined the biscuits and put them back in. I found this out today morning. Little fellow gets it from me, when he comes back from school today grrrrrrrrrrr….

28. My son’s definition of a sore throat: The germs are digging my throat with an excavator. Give me some warm water to “dhush” (kill) them.

What funny thing did your kid say to you today? Do share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic’s at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cute Little Letter To Father – On Father’s Day

father's day letter

Letter To Father – On Father’s Day

My little boy had to write a letter to his father on Father’s day for letter writing activity at school. This is what he wrote. Isn’t that nice?

Now before you leave, a teeny weeny bit on the history of Father’s Day!

What is Father’s Day?

The origin of Father’s Day celebrations can be traced to the early 20th century in the United States of America. It was celebrated for the first time on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington by Ms.Sonora Smart Dodd, at YMCA. She believed that every father had the right to a celebration similar to Mother’s Day. Her father had brought up six kids as a single parent.

Father’s Day is now celebrated all over the world usually around the third Sunday that falls in June. It is a loving tribute to all the awesome fathers in this world!



Too Early To Teach Your Child To Read?

is it too early to teach your child to read?

When is the right time to teach your child to read? Maybe in playschool? No? Nursery or maybe Kindergarten? Well, many parents as well as experts share different views on this question.

In fact, a question put across a parenting forum got me thinking… A parent shared her apprehension thus –

My child has just entered Junior Kg. In a month and a half, teachers have finished teaching phonics and three letter words with a,e,i,o,u vowels. They now expect the kids to read short sentences. Will this approach put a lot of strain on my child? What is the correct age to teach a child to read and write?

The moment I read this, I wondered how could a 4 year old handle this with ease? Confusion reigns supreme in such cases. Children as young as 3 and 4 must be given sufficient time learn alphabets and phonics. What is needed is regular practice at a gradual pace.

Now teaching methodologies differ from board to board and school to school. Following is a general feedback I got from a few Mumbai based parents.

Many schools like AVM, Chembur allow kids to learn slowly with practice. Identification of alphabets, phonics, learning how to spell etc. are taken care of, gradually. A few others like Treehouse and Billabong High expect children to grasp topics sooner. They also have a vast curriculum. I was aghast when I saw that a well known school had Environment Science as a subject for Jr.Kg class and one of the topics covered was ‘Water Cycle’. I wonder what the child would make of it.

Despite your best efforts to make them understand, the school management will stick to their curriculum and teaching methods. It is definitely not feasible to change schools unless and until your child is not able to cope up despite all your efforts. So then what should be the right approach?

Child development experts and developmental psychologists agree on the fact that the brains of most children develop the skills required for reading and writing only around the ages of five or six. They will also tell you that language development in children begins at a very early age.

Many parents converse with their babies and toddlers in a playful manner, often weaving small stories around objects, people, animals, birds etc. They answer their toddlers’ questions with patience, pointing out facts about the world around us like “Hey! Look at the sun! It is bright and yellow!” Such playful conversations pave the way for proper language development.

When your child turns three or four, storytelling can be accompanied by picture books and big flash cards with colourful alphabets. You can also read aloud from books with lots of pictures and short words and sentences in big, colourful font. Do not expect the child to read these alphabets or words. Let him simply look at it. The alphabet shapes followed by the sounds you make get registered in their brains. Repeat the same story till the child gets bored and wants another story. Thus language development lays down the foundation for learning how to read and write as the child grows up. Mind you, this works better than letting your child watch so called learning videos online.

Another approach followed by a parent whom I know was to sit with her son in front of a mirror when teaching alphabet sounds. She took an orange, pointed out to the alphabet O using a flashcard and said ‘O’ says ‘AW’ as in Orange. The little fellow looked at how she puckered her lips like a fish to say ‘AW’. He copied her and said O for Orange, Orange ka ‘AW’. The mirror showed the child that he had copied his mother correctly. She only focused on teaching the ‘O’ sound for a few days.

So you see, you can follow a slow, tailor made approach to teach phonics and spellings to your child before he learns to read and write short sentences. Let the school follow its pace, whether fast or slow must not matter to you. Consistent efforts at a gradual pace, side by side works best.

Let me know what you think? Our readers would love to hear from you.

Photo Credits: www.freedigitalphotos.net,  David Castillo Dominici

Different Parenting Styles – What’s Yours?

parenting_styles

So what kind of a parent are you? This question may make you raise an eyebrow and actually start thinking. It got me thinking too.

types of parenting

 

It was our son’s induction day programme at school. We were at the school auditorium, attending a parenting workshop conducted by an experienced and eminent speaker, Mr. Rishabh Khanna, Director, Les Transformations. Mr. Khanna is an experienced educator and L & D expert. He helped us break a few parenting myths and focus on vital areas which we tend to neglect. There is no such thing as perfect parenting. We all learn things on the go with inputs from our parents and of course, the society which is more than ready to interfere.

Coming back to the workshop, Mr. Khanna asked us the same question. Many were either interested, thinking or plain bored till he went ahead, telling us of the different parenting styles that exist and the pros and cons of each. This got everyone back on track.
The different types of parenting styles play a vital role in bringing up a child. They affect the self esteem, happiness and academic performance of your child. His physical and mental development is also influenced by your parenting style. The way you discipline your child can have a major impact on your relationship with him over the years.

Different Parenting Styles- Effects On Children

Authoritarian Parenting

Do you put across a set of rules and expect your children to follow them without asking any questions? If yes, you belong to this category. Here children have no say in any decisions that concern them. Parents may decide everything from the food the child should eat to the extracurricular activity the child should choose. Whether a kid hates eating salads or hates to swim and would prefer doing something else, will not matter to such parents. In case the child asks, “Why should I do this?” the answer is usually “because I want it that way” or “You don’t know what is good for you!”A ‘No’ may be met with corporal punishment instead of informing the child of possible consequences of not doing the task.

Now here is what happens. Kids depend on their parents for everything which affects their decision making capability. They have low self confidence.

Now comes the most startling aspect. Such children are more than likely to become targets of CSA or child sexual abuse. They do not report it to their parents for fear of being scolded. Since they have been taught to follow orders without counter questioning, they do not retaliate when someone tries to abuse them.

If you are an authoritarian parent, it is time to change your parenting style.

Authoritative Parenting

All of us set rules when it comes to parenting. However, some parents consider the likes and dislikes of a child before setting these rules.

My son, for instance, hates milk. I tried several health drink mixes and natural fruit shakes but to no avail. Punishing him for such a futile reason was totally out of question.

Finally I tried milk with Pediasure and mashed bananas on alternate days. The only reason why he drank this was that it was served chilled. It took me a long time to find this out. But now I have no problems. This avoided so many endless arguments that usually have mothers throwing their hands up in the air.

Authoritative style of parenting believes in praising and rewarding good behaviour. To reinforce discipline and disapprove bad behaviour, parents do not resort to corporal punishment. For instance, my child often raises the TV volume to very loud levels. After two warnings, if he does not listen, I turn down the volume and tell him that I intend to skip his 4 pm snack. I also refuse to speak to him for the rest of the day. This works and he does not repeat it.

However, this may or may not work for every child. The parent needs to know in what way they can make their child understand without raising their hands. Parents who follow this style spend quality time with their children, by engaging in extracurricular activities together, for instance.

Such children are happy and successful in their lives. They take decisions in consultation with their parents. They turn out to be good leaders and speakers. They love and respect their parents.

Permissive Parenting

This kind of parenting has parents being friendly with their children, but beyond permissible limits. They give in to their kids demands and buy them whatever they want. Permissive parenting lacks discipline which is very important in raising children. Kids behave as they wish to. They do not have a set time table for studying, playing or eating.

Many a times, in nuclear families, both the mother and the father work and usually have less time to spend with their kids. By the end of the day, they are too tired to spend time with their child. Usually the kid is in left in the care of a maid or a day care centre. To compensate for the lack of time they spend with the child, the parents take them to shopping malls and splurge on toys, food, theme parks etc. to make them happy. Barring weekends, children hardly get to be with their parents. This may make them sad. They may not share their daily experiences with their parents. As a result parents will never know if the child is coming under any negative influence till it is too late to mend ways.

Ideally the parents must spend quality time with the child ona a daily basis, even an hour will suffice. But at that time, they should solely focus on the child and keep away from smartphones and laptops. If possible, leave the child in their grandparents’ care instead of a day care centre.

And yes, discipline matters. Do not give in to unreasonable demands of your child.

Uninvolved Parenting

Sometimes parents may suffer from medical problems or marital issues like a divorce etc. Or the parent maybe uneducated and unaware of basic parenting skills. In such dysfunctional families, nobody is really worried about the welfare of the child. They do not have any inkling of what the kid does at school or when he is out at play. Discipline takes a backseat here. Such kids can easily fall in bad company. Academically, they tend to lag behind. They also exhibit behavioral problems.

So which type of parenting style do you follow?

As I said earlier, no one is a perfect parent. We all have positive and negative sides. The trick is to be a good friend to your child without compromising on discipline. Discuss parenting issues with your friends who have children, share your experience with them. You will come across newer, better ideas or you may help others facing a similar situation.

Do let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Life Lessons I Learned From My Child

life lessons you can learn from children

life lessons you can learn from children

Small, innocent eyes looking up at you, a tiny mind thinking the world of you and happy little hands tugging along wherever you go! Little children bring you joy. I was a part of this mad rush we call life, till a few interactions with my little boy made me slow down.

Children look at life from a different angle which we fail to notice. To learn from them, all you need is to spend some quality time with them. These are a few life lessons that my little boy taught me.

Interesting Life Lessons You Can Learn From Children

Forgive And Forget

forgive and forget

Practically every self healing course and personality development programme in this world emphasises that the most important step towards healing your body is to forget your past and forgive those who may have wronged you. This is also the most difficult step to conquer. Not for kids, though.

My little one had an argument with his playmate over who rides his bicycle real fast! They did a cycling race and both claimed to have won the race. They came to blows eventually. The other kid’s mother and I had to separate them. The next day, my son insisted on playing with the same kid again. I politely refused reminding him of the fight they had. He says, “That was yesterday, mumma! He was my enemy yesterday. Today he is my friend. Please let me go and play.” I mumble an ‘Okay’ hesitantly, looking over my balcony, hoping history doesn’t repeat itself. Thankfully, I see the other boy waiting for my son. Soon they play, laugh and have fun as if nothing had happened the day before.

Ask yourself, how many hurtful experiences are you still harbouring in your mind? Empty that space right away. A negative mindset allows disease to manifest in the body. Replace every worrisome thought that tries to enter your mind with memories that make you smile.

Treat Others As You would Want Others To Treat You.

I was busy writing an article when my boy comes up and tells me,”Mumma I want to show you how an Audi R8 can jump over five cars at the same time.” I reply, “Not now, I’m busy, I’ll see that later!” Dejected, he goes away and plays with his toy cars.

Later in the evening, my husband is busy checking his office mails. I sit down to tell him something important. Without looking up from his laptop, he snaps at me and says, “ Not now. I’m busy, We’ll talk later!”
Karma or otherwise, I did learn a lesson that day!

Be Fearless

holding_crab

The most useless fear that limits our capabilities is “What will others think?” The next in line is a series of “What Ifs” – What if I lose?, what if I fail ? And so on… Look at kids. They laugh loudly, clap loudly and enjoy as if no one is looking. When I ask my naughty little imp to behave in the park, he says – “Let it be mumma, no one is even looking at me!” He had a great time catching crabs at the beach and bathing elephants at an elephant camp at Coorg while I was a bit worried over “What if a crab pinches him?” or “What if the elephant gets up too soon?”

Love Unconditionally

Most of the people can get real angry if their spouses forget their birthday or anniversary. You may even be disappointed for not getting a gift on this special day. This year, we decided not to throw a birthday party for our son. We simply took a day off from work, took him to the beach followed by his favourite theme park @Kidzania and let him enjoy every moment. He wasn’t bothered about the party or all the gifts that his friends would’ve given him. All he wanted was our undivided attention and lots of love.

Children love you unconditionally. They kiss you, hug you and think you are the best mom or dad in this world without expecting anything in return.

This is what he wrote for a paragraph on my mother in his semester one English exam. The entire paragraph sums up the unconditional love he has for his mom – I’m proud to be his mother.

best paragraph on my mother

Appreciate Every Little Thing In Life

rainbow

“I can make a rainbow!”, says my little boy holding a glass cube against the morning sunlight. A lovely rainbow coloured pattern appears on the white floor. A simple thing as this makes him so happy. He is so happy when his dad flies his kite for him. Every time the kite flies high, he claps his hand and jumps with glee. He loves sailing paper boats in puddles and fishing in the river at his Nana’s place.

Little children are so much in awe of everything going around them. Grown ups focus more on money, work, career, relationships, mostly oblivious to small moments in life that can make anybody smile – the naughty twinkle in the eyes of a kid who has pressed the pause elevator switch on every floor, walking bare foot on wet grass, the contentment you get when you hear a thank you, the warm morning rays of the sun, the friendly ‘woof’ of your pet dog, a blooming flower in your window, a smile from your neighbor…the list is endless.

I saved the funniest part for the last – As I was writing this, my son comes along, reads the caption –5 Life Lessons My Child Taught Me . He adds, “Mumma don’t forget to mention that I taught you how to make an origami paper carrot, lantern and dog face!”

So what did you learn from your little one? Do let me know in the comments below.

 

Best Maths Worksheets For Kids – Top Online Resources

maths worksheets for kids

Looking for maths worksheets for kids? Text books have limited exercises. To make maths fun, all you need is a lot of practice. Why not make your kids learn with online maths worksheets? Better still, you can print customized worksheets every time you need your child to practice different maths concepts. If you need fun, printable and free maths worksheets, check out these websites below.

maths worksheets for kids

via jimmiehomeschoolmom

Maths Worksheets For Kids

Online Maths Worksheets – Best resources on the web

www.homeschoolmath.net

This website is a very valuable resource of online maths worksheets grouped by topic as well as grade. These worksheets are customizable. You can change the font size, spacing, number range, number of problems per page and so on. This lets you print exactly what you want. Besides the worksheets are generated randomly, giving you a unique one each time. Take a peek at these online maths worksheets at www.homeschoolmath.net

www.math-drills.com

This website has lots and lots of free maths worksheets categorized by different topics – Time,Fractions, Money, Measurement, Integers, Geometry and what not. You can easily download them in pdf format and print them. Sometimes it is easier to simply focus on one maths topic and make your child cover it, then follow another and so on. Check out free maths worksheets at www.math-drills.com.

www.softschools.com

Here you can generate and print free maths worksheets for basic topics like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, geometry, matrices, fractions, algebra etc. You can customize the formatting and difficulty levels. It even gives you the answer key. This is again an interesting resource to look into. Access maths worksheets for kids at www.softschools.com

www.math-aids.com

In addition to all the maths concepts discussed above, this site also gives you interesting print outs of maths word problems. This site lets you dynamically generate each worksheet. It also covers lots of interesting maths concepts. Access free maths worksheets at www.math-aids.com

With so many valuable online maths worksheets, your kids can get a lot of practice for important maths concepts. Print these free maths worksheets and make learning maths a fun exercise for your kids.

Do let me know of any other resources that you would like to share here.

 

A Paragraph On My Mother – For Kids

best paragraph on my mother

A paragraph on my mother, straight from the heart was the last thing I ever expected my naughty little boy to write on his own, at school.

best paragraph on my mother

This is what my sonny boy wrote for “write a short paragraph on My Mother” question in his semester 1 English exam at school. Till I read this, I hadn’t gauged the depth of his love and affection for me. In spite of all the nagging and coaxing we subject our kids to, they do have a special place for us moms in their hearts.

Love you loads Ishaan! ♥ ♥ ♥

 

Essay On If I Win KBC for Grade IV Essay Writing Contest

Check out this essay on IF I WIN KBC written by a grade IV child for his school essay writing competition in Navi Mumbai, India. The word limit was 300 words.

 

Essay on If I Win KBC

Coming face to face with Mr.Amitabh Bacchan in all his majestic glory has been a fascinating dream for me ever since I have been watching ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ on Sony Television. It would be an interesting challenge for me to field tough questions from diverse knowledge zones right before a huge audience. Of late, I have been fantasizing about what I would do with the prize money of Rs. 1 crore, when I win KBC.

I would begin by doing some selfless service to the society. First and foremost, I would start an NGO that focuses on waste management and bio fuel generation. This would be a boon to rural areas besides solving at least 25% of the waste management issues Mumbai faces today. Next, I would start a state wide tree plantation drive followed by buying a 50 acre plot to begin organic farming. This will help many poor farmers to earn a decent livelihood. Helping the elderly from old age homes is next on my list. Here, I will ensure jobs for those who have no financial backup to find jobs as per their skill sets. I would then fund a ‘Pick a book’ project for poor street children. Public reading places will be equipped with informative picture books for these children.

Finally it would be time to do something for myself. Taking cues from the movie ‘Charlie and the chocolate factory’, I would start a chain of chocolate shops selling rich milk chocolates and delectable confectionery from across the globe. Embarking on a world tour with my parents would be a dream come true. We would love to visit ancient historical places around the world. The last entry on my wish list is to buy my dream car – a sleek, white Audi R8 LMS.

I sincerely wish that KBC organizers would allow children below 18 years to participate in the show. On second thoughts, they could start a new show on similar lines, just for children like me. I am optimistic that one fine day I will be a winner on KBC and be able to fulfill all my dreams.

Hope you get an idea on how to write an essay on ‘If I win KBC’, now.

Hindi Diwas – Importance of Hindi for kids

hindi diwas - hindi for kids

Hindi Diwas is celebrated every year on September 14th, the day on which Hindi was adopted as the official language of the constituent assembly of India in the year 1949.

Now for some interesting facts! Did you know that Hindi is one of the oldest languages in India? Hindi has been derived from the Sanskrit language. It is written using the Devanagri script. India is known as a land of diverse cultures. Each region has its own language and sub dialects. Hindi is the only language that lets you connect with people across the length and breadth of India, without you having to know the local language or dialect. We must teach kids the importance of Hindi , our “Rashtrabhasha” or national language.

Hindi Diwas in India

On Hindi Diwas, several schools and colleges conduct workshops, hindi speech competitions, hindi essay competitions, plays and other such activities.

Hindi speech for kids – video

Here is a video on hindi speech for kids in the preschool classes. On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, this preschool conducted a hindi Speech competition for kindergarten kids. This little kid from Senior Kg. class won the second prize. The hindi speech topic for competition was “Mera Priya Pashu” or my favourite animal.

Hindi for kids – Learning resources

Unlike regional languages, Hindi is simple and easy to understand and follow. Hindi learning for kids need not be akin to learning rocket science. Youtube has several videos for the purpose. Check out this Hindi learning video for kids.

A few sites like www.balmitra.com and www.kidzpark .com have simple, downloadble/printable hindi worksheets for kids.

Of course, English is here to stay. Being well versed in English is vital for a great career ahead. However, your kid must know Hindi in addition to regional languages. Don’t you think, they need to be in touch with their culture? So make hindi learning for kids a fun filled activity with all these useful resources.

 

How To Teach Phonics – For Kids

how to teach phonics to kids at home

how to teach phonics to kids at home
via twicepix

How to teach Phonics to kids?” or “What is Phonics?” are questions often asked by parents of kindergarten goers. Your kids enter preschool and the teachers begin by teaching alphabets. The next obvious step would be to learn how to spell and read. This is the tricky part. It is mandatory in almost all schools to learn phonics before learning how to spell. Phonics is the study of co-relation between alphabets and their sounds. Once a child masters alphabet sounds, he or she can easily form spellings and learn how to read. Of course, English sometimes does make your head spin, like for instance the “o” sound is different in the words “do” and “go” 😉 However, phonics makes spelling formation and sentence formation very simple for kids. In fact, once they get their basics in place, they will not get confused between exceptions similar to “do” and “go”.

Kids who skip the phonics part find it very difficult to spell correctly in higher classes. They tend to learn spellings by rote, which is not what we want. Check out this basic list of phonics that you should teach your kids.

Phonics Sounds

Begin by teaching them consonant and vowel sounds. Alphabets a,e,i,o, u are vowels and all the remaining alphabets are consonants. Note that the consonant sounds remain the same. Vowels a,e,i,o,u may sound different in different spellings. You can see the table below for alphabet sounds and related examples.

 

Alphabets

Sounds – Example

A a /a/ – Apple
B b /buh/ Bat
C c /kuh/ Cat
D d /duh/ Dig
E e /eh/ – Egg
F f /fuh/ Fish
G g /guh/ Goat
H h /huh/ Hut
I i /i/ – Igloo
J j /juh/ Jug
K k /kuh/ Kite
L l /luh/ Light
M m /muh/ Monkey
N n /nuh/ Nose
O o /o/ – Orange
P p /puh/ Pen
Q q /qu/ Quill
R r /ruh/ Rat
S s /suh/ Sat
T t /tuh/ Tall
U u /uh/ – Umbrella
V v /vuh/ Van
W w /wuh/ Wall
X x /ks/ Axe
Y y /yuh/ Yellow
Z z /zuh/ Zebra

Following this you need to teach them the sounds of alphabet combinations, alphabet blends, long vowel sounds and short vowel sounds.

Alphabet combinations, blends and sounds

“Ch” sounds /chuh/  as in church

“Kn” sounds  /nuh/ as in Knight

“Ph” sounds /fuh/ as in Phone

Check out useful worksheets for alphabet blends and sounds at www.havefunlearning.com

Phonics Worksheets for Kids

Teach basic sounds, alphabet blends, long vowel sounds, short vowel sounds and words using these phonics worksheets. You can download them and take a print.

Phonics games

An easy word game like this one can turn out to be an enjoyable phonics game for kids. You start off with a simple three letter word like ‘Bat’. Your kid has to come up with a new three letter word that starts with the ending sound of ‘t’ i.e. /tuh/. So he may come up with ‘top’ and then its your turn to think of a word that begins with ‘p’ or /puh/.

Check out these interactive phonic games online
Phonics games at www.supersimplelearning.com
This site offers simple, interactive phonics games for kindergarten going kids. Fun to play and learn.

Beginning Sounds Game by www.softschools.com
This is a basic beginning sounds game for kids where they have to guess the first letter of a three letter word by looking at an object.

Deep Sea Phonics by BBC
This is an interactive phonics game that is sure to make learning a lot more fun than usual. However, this game has medium and hard levels only. Ideal for kids who have already gone through basic three letter words beforehand.

Phonics Books for Kids

Madhubun offers  phonics books for kids – Easy ABC for kindergarten series 1 & 2 that makes alphabets, phonics and simple sentence formation a lot easier for kids.

Phonics  for Kids Videos

Video on basic alphabet sounds

Phonics video for learning three letter words with sounds

 

This is all you need to get started. The rest depends on two Ps – Patience and Practice. So get going!

When will I have a wife? – Amusing questions children ask!

questions children ask

A few funny questions children ask, are enough to drive parents crazy. In fact, every parent dreads certain funny questions asked by children and tries to avoid them. Every child is unique with so many gifted talents topped with a lot of innocence. It is this innocence coupled with a super zealous, developing brain that fuels them to ask questions that are natural but not socially acceptable, sometimes.

Questions children ask

Photo Credit: Dhaval Jani

Amusing Questions Children Ask!

Like the time when my son asked me  when will I have a wife?

The situation was something like this – I was reading an article in the newspaper – one that featured an all student rock band. Each of the band members sported a different hair do. One was bald, the other had shoulder length hair, and one was kind of normal – with spiky hair. My son glanced at their pictures and I told him not to sport shoulder length hair when he grows up. At which he asks me “Why mamma? Will my wife get angry?” I looked at him and said,” You can’t have a wife when you’re a student in college!”

That was just the beginning! He went on to ask “Why can’t I have a wife in college?”, “Why can’t I have a wife now?”, “When exactly can I have a wife?” and “Can we go and buy a wife from a wife store?”

To hear this from a 7 yr old little fellow, I was taken aback. So I used my instincts to get to the core of the issue and find out “Why exactly did he want a wife?”  And he tells me “Mamma, it’s been a looooong time since you made vegetable biryani and baby corn-cheese pizza. If I had a wife, she would do it. You could take rest.”

I told him if he were to have a wife, it would be his responsibility entirely. If she wanted a new dress or some snacks he may have to pay for it. And he could afford to pay for it only after finishing college, some more college and then joining a big office. Besides, if he had a strong feeling to have something to eat, he might as well get up and cook it or order it from out, instead of waiting for his wife to come and cook it for him. All this typically meant that he had  to wait till he was financially independent.

Well, that seemed to din some sense into his head. My little one stopped pestering me and continued watching T.V.

It is amazing how their little brains come up with the most intriguing questions which make us scrunch up our eyebrows in frustration.

I remember, when he was in pres-school, he had asked me “Why did dad marry you?” to which I had replied,” ‘Coz, I’m his best friend, I love him and care for him.” He thought for some time before telling me, “Mamma, then will you marry me too?

Questions children ask stem from their innocence. Though it makes our eyes go round sometimes, we shouldn’t forget this fact!

Another obvious one, which I guess many of you may have faced is “Where did I come from? How are babies made?

Well, here I had to cook up something like “I wanted a naughty baby boy. So I told God Uncle to make one for me. He made you and put you in my tummy with a few magic spells. Then Doctor Uncle cut my tummy and took you out!”

Another instance was him asking me this “Mamma, why is Tom running after the girl cat? Why are red hearts coming out of his head?

A close friend of mine was explaining “what is a blood relation?” to her 9 year old son. She gave an example – “People from the same family,related by birth are blood relations. You and your brother are born from me, so you are related by blood. ” Her son however was in no mood to stay put after getting this answer. His next question was – “Then how can dad and I be blood related?” – to which she had no answer!

Parenting could not get any tougher than when it comes to answering tricky questions children ask! What do you think? Have you come across a few tricky questions yourself? What were they? Do share them here for other parents to read!

 

 

Top 5 Fathers Day Gift Ideas – For Daddy Dearest!

fathers day gift ideas

Have your thought of any fathers day gift ideas? Or do you end up procrastinating, like me? Well, for one, tomorrow is fathers day and here I am at 12 am midnight, putting my thinking cap on and trying to come up with a few decent fathers day gift ideas – for my daddy dearest!

fathers day gift ideas

Photo Credits : asenat29

 

Top 5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Drill and Toolkit

fathers day gift ideas - tool kit and drill

Photo Credits : toolstop

An electrical tool kit and drill set is the best gift for a dad is loves being busy with home improvement stuff! You get a lot of decent ones online at www.junglee.com, www.homeshop18.com or even www.amazon.com.

Necktie Storage Box

fathers day gift ideas - necktie box

Photo Credits: www.amazon.com

Look at this cool necktie organizer that your father is sure to appreciate. This 12 compartment neck tie organizer will keep all his neck ties in one place, dust free and tidy.

Gift your father a good read!

fathers day gifts

Photo credits: brewbooks

You know what kind of books your dad would love to read, don’t you? Well, simply login to an online book shoppe like flipkart and buy him some books!

Get your dad a Sony Cybershot

Fathers day gift ideas - sony cybershot

A Sony Cybershot with 8x optical zoom and 16 mega pixel features is great for clicking pictures with super clarity and several photo effects, the easy way. This is just great for dads who hate carrying DSLR cameras around and changing lenses every now and then.

Gift him Good Health

fathers day gift ideas

 

How about a blood pressure monitor and blood glucose monitor for your dad? In case you are far away and constantly worried about an elderly father, gift him these medical gadgets. Help him monitor his health at home, without having to visit medical facilities every now and then.

Well, for one there are several thousands of lovey-dovey, cute father’s day gift ideas that you can always DIY. This list is for those who do not have the time for DIY fathers day gifts and yet wish to give him something really useful.

Maybelline Colossal Kajal – A review

maybelline kajal

Maybelline Colossal Kajal is a Kohl pencil worth every penny. I had been looking for an anti smudge Kajal / Kohl that is safe for the eyes, something better than what I was using. I wasn’t very happy with Lakme Kajal pencil. The tip was broad and its pointed tip would become blunt too soon. Besides, it used to get smudged making me look like a depressed alcoholic. Maybelline Colossal Kajal is a product I loved!  Using this Kajal gives you dark and intense looking, jet black eyes.

maybelline colossal kajal

All About Maybelline Colossal Kajal

Maybelline Kajal – Ingredients

Enriched with olive oil, emollient butter, vitamin E and vitamin C derivatives, this  kajal does not irritate the eyes and is so soothing. You can apply it in the waterline without any worry of smudging or irritation to the eyes.

Maybelline Kajal – Price

Rs.175 which is not too much considering the excellent quality of  this branded product from Maybelline.

 What I liked about Maybelline Colossal Kajal

This  is a water proof  kajal that does not smudge or fade. It guarantees a 6 hour no smudge application. It has a sleek , roll- to-open structure that exposes the tip of the kajal stick which glides very smoothly.

I prefer using a kajal pencil on the outer line of the lower part of my eye rather than in the waterline. This is possible only with Maybelline Colossal Kajal on account of its unique tip and anti smudge properties.

The quality of this kajal is so good that it did not sting or irritate my eyes at all. The Colossal Kajal from Maybelline  renders an awesome smokey eye look. Besides, the yellow color case looks very trendy.

What I did not like about Maybelline Colossal Kajal ?

This is one product that I loved completely. There is nothing about it that could have displeased me.

Would I recommend this ?

Definitely, Maybelline Kajal is a must have in your make up kit.

Online Grocery Shopping – Bigbasket.com Review

online grocery shopping - bigbasket.com

Happened to go in for online grocery shopping the other day – I was running short on time for visiting a supermarket and buying stuff. So I decided to buy groceries online at BigBasket.com. I had a wonderful experience. Of course, there are a couple of points that I would like to share with the management. But that is another thing.

online grocery shopping - bigbasket.com

Last few years have seen a sudden upward spurt in online shopping with people buying almost everything from apparel, electronic goods, books, cosmetics online. Not many have resorted to shopping online for groceries. People are still skeptical about the quality of perishable food items like milk, meat, fresh fruits etc. and the time of delivery – it should be done when people return home from work as is the case in Mumbai and other metro cities.

online grocery shopping - bigbasket.com

 

Online Grocery Shopping At BigBasket.com.

What is BigBasket.com?

BigBasket.com, an initiative of Innovative Retail Concepts Private Limited is a popular online food and grocery store in India. It has a team of experienced professionals from the retail industry, on board. You can shop from an online catalog of several branded products – farm fresh fruits and vegetables to organic products, beverages, spices, pulses, food grains, personal care products, meats and more.

What I liked about online grocery shopping at BigBasket.com

No more parking woes at supermarkets. No long queues at the billing counter. The website interface is very simple and easy to use. The quality of products is good. The best part is they offer four delivery slots as in  7am – 9.30 am, 10 am – 12.30 pm, 4.30 pm – 7 pm and 7.30 pm – 10 pm. You can choose the one best suited to your convenience. Door step delivery is done the very next day of placing an order. They have a cash on delivery option – you can check the products before paying for them. They accept food coupons for food products. You can also pay online using debit/credit cards. Currently they offer services in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Go green with BigBasket.com

These guys are doing their best to save the environment. No plastic bags. They deliver groceries in crates which they take back after delivery. Even the fruit and vegetable trays are taken back and reused. Also, BigBasket.com bring products directly from the wholesaler to your doorstep. They do not store products at storage facilities as is the case of supermarkets. This saves a lot of energy that would have been wasted in lighting and air conditioning , refrigerators and freezers.

A few suggestions though

They deliver groceries in crates. The more number of products you order, the number of crates is higher. This means double trouble for the delivery boy as well as for the elevators. In some housing complexes, elevators are small. In others, housing societies do not permit carrying so many crates in the elevators to higher floors. I wish they would consider using cloth bags instead, for delivery.

Some products like whole grains and pulses are available in standard pack sizes of 500 gm, 1 kg, 5 kg etc. I faced a problem – ours is a family of three – we require only 3 kg of wheat every month. There was no 1 kg pack size option for that particular brand of wheat. So I had to buy 5 kg instead of 3 kg.

Other than these two points, my entire online shopping experience at BigBasket.com was a breeze. The staff is cordial. The delivery guy personally checked if all the items were delivered correctly. As soon as you place an order, you get confirmation via sms, email and phone call. You also have an option of locating your address on google maps. They save this information for later use.

Will stick to BigBasket.com for online grocery shopping every time.

 

Baby Bottle Sterilizer – How to sterilize baby bottles?

baby bottle sterilizer

How to sterilize baby bottles? Buying the right baby bottle sterilizer is very important  if you use feeding bottles for your  baby. Sterilizing with hot water can be an intimidating task especially when you need to get up in the middle of the night to feed your baby. Using a feeding bottle sterilizer lets you be at ease. It sterilizes baby bottles to make them 100 percent germ free.

Best baby bottle sterilizers and types

Cold sterilizing baby bottles

how to sterilize baby bottles - baby bottle sterilizer

This sterilization method for  baby bottles is easy to follow. You can rule out possibilities of scalding or burning as you won’t be using hot water. This method involves using a disinfectant solution in cold water. Immerse baby bottles, caps and teats in this solution and keep them soaked for at least 30 minutes. After that, you can take these out and rinse them in boiled and cooled water. Usage instructions depend on the instructions for use mentioned on the pack.  Buy baby bottle sterilizing solution here

Electric Steam Baby Bottle Sterilizer

how to sterilize baby bottles - steam baby bottle sterilizer

This sterilizer is a container with an electric heating mechanism and trays for arranging bottles and teats. The electric mechanism makes the water boil and generate steam. It takes 10 – 15 minutes for the steam to form and sterilize the baby bottles, caps and teats. The baby bottles remain sterilized for 2-3 hours if the lid of the baby bottle sterilizer is kept closed. This works on electricity and is very convenient. Get steam baby bottle sterilizer with lockable lids.

You can buy Pigeon two bottle Steam sterilizer or Mee Mee Advance Steam Bottle Sterilizer for four bottles and related accessories for sterilizing baby bottles. Buy steam baby bottle bottle sterilizer online

Microwave Baby Bottle Sterilizer

This type of sterilizer is a container in which the baby bottles, caps and teats must be placed along with a specified quantity of water. Place this container in a microwave oven for 3-4 minutes. The baby bottles will stay sterilized for 2-3 hours in the sterilizer. Make sure you rinse out the used water and let the container dry. Again Philips Avent Microwave Steam Sterilizer is good for this purpose. Buy microwave baby bottle sterilizer online

Note: Before buying a microwave bottle sterilizer, do check if your microwave is big enough to hold the sterilizer container.

All this is no big deal once you know how to sterilize baby bottles and types of baby bottles sterilizers.

Abacus Maths For Kids

abacus training kids

Lessons in abacus maths for kids are conducted in almost all children’s play and activity centers across India. Other than this there are special coaching centers conducting simple to understand classes on abacus for kids. What are the benefits of abacus training? Should I enroll my child for abacus classes? Can I teach abacus skills to my kid at home? These are various questions parents have in mind. I am planning to send my kid to an abacus class as well. So thought of sharing the benefits with other parents like you.

Abacus Maths for kids – Factsheet

What is abacus?

The abacus is an ancient tool that was used in Egypt, China, Japan, Russia and different parts of Asia for performing simple calculations like addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, fractions and even square roots. The abacus that is often used to teach kids today, is the Japanese version, called Soroban. This is made of a wooden or metal frame divided into two parts with a horizontal beam. The upper part has a single row of beads and the lower part has four rows of four beads each to facilitate 10 based calculation.

abacus maths for kids
Photo Credits:sbassi

Abacus Maths can be used to teach kids simple and complex mathematical operations like square roots, cube roots, L.C.M., G.C.D., and decimal calculations.

Abacus maths for kids – Levels

There are 9 to 10 levels in Abacus Maths, again depending on the institutes that offer training. At the end of every level, exams are conducted and certificates rewarded. Abacus competitions are also conducted at regional and national levels.

Why should you enroll your child for Abacus Training?

Normally kids learn to count using fingers. However, counting by fingers is limited to 10 due to lack of counting objects. All that changes when using an abacus to learn numbers. Kids can perform addition and subtraction on larger numbers with an abacus. Multiplication concepts get easier after  abacus training. With regular practice, kids can visualize and perform mathematical operations on an imaginary abacus. Thus, abacus training is a wonderful opportunity for kids to excel in mental mathematics.

Children pick up concepts and facts in a much faster way with Kinesthetics – a combination of visual observation and physical touch. Abacus is ideally suited for this approach. The colorful beads of an abacus stimulate visual observation, allow kids to touch the beads and understand the result. Get an abacus with colorful beads. The toy like look makes kids happy enough to concentrate on abacus training to learn mental mathematics as against written exercises on paper.

Now the left part of the brain is responsible for analyzing information, languages and sound. The right side of the brain is responsible for information integration, creativity and thinking. An abacus stimulates and optimizes the working of both the right and left parts of the brain during early developmental years of a child. A child can make good use of his brain, to its fullest potential. Abacus training makes your kid mentally alert and capable of solving complex mathematical problems in later years.

Abacus maths for kids – Ideal age group

The ideal age for kids to enroll for abacus classes is 5 to 12 years. That is the time when basic mathematical concepts are taught in school.

Abacus Books And Worksheets

Check out this website for some free abacus worksheets for kids. You can download abacus  lessons as pdf files at Turtle Diary.

SIP Abacus

You can also contact SIP Academy. They conduct ABACUS training at various centers. You can get details at www.sipacademyindia.com 

Door Safety – Child Safety Products For Doors

door safety - door stoppers kids

Door safety is a twiddly bit that gets the least attention when planning a baby. Toddlers and preschool going kids can end up pinching their fingers and hands when they  slam the door shut. They can also accidentally lock themselves in. You should be aware of these baby friendly products for door safety. These must be purchased if you have toddlers and preschoolers around.

Door Safety – Best Child Safety Products

Door Stoppers

door safety - door stoppers kids

Wooden Door Stoppers By Vividha–Everything Kids

Check out these cute guard door stoppers from Vividha. Ideal for your kids room, they make sure there is no accidental slamming of doors. These little fellows protect your toddlers’ tiny fingers from getting pinched. You can even use these door stoppers in all the rooms of  your house. Made of wood, these door stoppers come in different  designs and colors. Their dimensions are 13.5 x 2.7 x 6.3.

You can buy these from www.hoopos.com

Door Knob Covers

door safety - child door safety

dreambaby Door Knob Covers

Many toddlers open bathrooms, store rooms, kitchen and laundry areas when parents are asleep or busy with something. This can turn out to be dangerous. They can get locked in accidentally. Door knob covers are an absolute must in case you want to avoid this. These cover the door handle lock avoiding accidental lock outs.

They can be bought online at www.firstcry.com or www.hoopos.com

Sliding Door Safety Guard

door safety - child door safety

Use these to prevent injury to children by collision of sliding doors, windows or sliding door closets. Safety guards must be installed in case of sliding doors of balconies in multi-storey apartments. You can keep the sliding windows slightly open to let in fresh air and at the same time prevent kids from going out when no one is looking. Remove the suction cup when the door needs to be opened. Door sliding safety guard from Farlin and dreambaby are the best. Get it at www.Hoopos.com. Check out the video by dreambaby.au to find out how sliding door safety guards work.

 

Door Safety –  Security Gates For Kids

door safety - child safety

dreambaby Swing Closed Security Gate

Install dreambaby door safety gates for babies and toddlers at the top of stairways and across doorways. This gate opens in both directions and swings shut on its own. It cannot be opened by your baby. This is a must have product if you have stairs at home.

Buy from www.hushbabies.com

Farlin Safety Door Gates

door safety - child safety

This cute safety gate for babies, by Farlin can be bought online at www.babyoye.com

Locks For Cabinet And Cupboard Door Handles And Knobs

dreambaby Secure-A-Lock

door safety child door safety

This is an adjustable lock for different handles and knobs, ensuring proper door safety. Inquisitive toddlers can get locked in stuffy kitchen cabinets, pull down things and injure themselves, without your knowledge. Your toddler cannot open kitchen cabinets, doors and cupboards after installing this. Ideal for mushroom shaped locks and D-Shaped handles, it closes with a sliding action. Buy this product at www.firstcry.com

Online shopping sites in India have brought us closer to virtual stores and access to much needed baby safety products at home. Why compromise on child safety when you can order child friendly products for door safety online, from the comfort of your home?

Autobiography Of Mother Earth

Autobiography For Kids - Autobiography Speech Example

Check out the video for an interesting Autobiography Of Mother Earth. Autobiography competitions conducted in school are usually in two formats. It would either be an Autobiography Essay Competition or an Autobiography Speech Competition. In either case, you need to keep in mind a few points.

Select A Topic

Autobiography topics for kids can focus on any inanimate object, a tree or an animal or they could speak or write on their own life so far, their aspirations, likes, dislikes and so on.

Prepare A Write Up

Jot down a few details about the selected object in the following format.

Introduction

Give a basic introduction about the object or person. Speak in first person. Include details like birth, a few features, history.

Main Passage

Move on to likes and dislikes and major life transforming events. Add a touch of drama to keep the audience interested – For Example, in the video below, Mother Earth talks of being harassed by elements contributing to Global Warming.

End

End the autobiography for kids with a message like a social cause or social message.

Duration Of Speech or Length Of The Essay

Make sure the speech  lasts for 2 minutes. In case of  essays on autobiography for kids, the content should not exceed one and a half or two pages. This is for kids in the age group 5 years to 7 years. Do check with the grade teacher if you are not sure of the time limit or word limit.

 

Video : Autobiography Of  Mother Earth


 

Autobiography For Kids – How To Prepare Children

Once the write up is ready, you must start preparing your kids for the speech. Begin a few days in advance. Make sure your kids understand the matter first. This way, they can speak in their own words and  stay rooted to the context even if they forget the lines. Make them learn their lines in front of a mirror, with expressions.  3 lines a day is sufficient if kids find it boring. Appreciate them for their efforts. This encourages them to perform better.

Check out the video for more details on autobiography for kids. And yes, it won the little boy in the video, the second prize for the autobiography speech competition at school.