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For the love of the language

// September 30th, 2013 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Over the years that I have been working with children, I have noticed a growing trend of learning for exams rather than for the love of the subject, especially English. The beauty of the language and the subtle nuances it offers for the reader to revel in is lost. While the children are adept in pointing out the threads of grammar, they seem to be missing the implied meaning in the text.

I fondly remember my father reading out the works of William Wordsworth every night before we went to sleep. The depth of what he explained did not reach to us but the depth of our appreciation for him did. The bond which develops is something that no amount of toys or goodies can buy. And this is only the fringe benefit, the main benefit being the way in which these children take to recreational reading.

Recreational reading is often a neglected entity and to some parents it is even a waste of quality time. Here are some thoughts on recreational reading compiled from the internet:

  • When students read books of their own choosing, they are likely to be more motivated, independent readers. The ultimate goal is to encourage motivated, skilled readers who choose to read widely and who develop lifelong reading habits.
  • Recreational reading also has social benefits . It increases the social awareness of readers as they become open-minded and more knowledgeable of other cultures .
  •  Studies show that recreational reading also makes individuals more involved in their communities. This could be attributed to books which tackle the importance of helping others and making the world a better place.
  • Recreational reading also helps in developing the social skills of children by sharing with others what they learn.
  • Recreational reading improves students’ reading achievement and attitudes.
  • On a long haul flight, while others are bored and don’t know what to do, there is an activity which the children can do and what more they pick up incidental knowledge and spelling, and grammar.

It is to be noted that the field of children’s book reading behaviors is a complex arena.Key research topics related to self-selected reading include analysis of text features, genre awareness and preferences, selection processes, gender differences, developmental aspects, ability issues, and motivational factors.

I would encourage parents to replace part of their kid’s Television/ computer time with reading for fun time so that they learn to appreciate the art of writing, the rhythm in words and the beauty of the language.

Let me conclude this article with the saying “Reading is a corner stone for success”. Let us contribute to this cause by being role models!

Worth sleeping over it!

// September 12th, 2013 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

As a parent and a teacher, I attach a lot of importance to  routine. I simply believe that we can get a lot done if we start off by following a routine and adhering to it. The direction of this narrative is not on routine, atleast not this time, but an off shot of it which is getting enough sleep time every night.

 Research shows that children under the age of 8 require 10 hours and those above 8 require 8 hours of continuous sleep every night, the lack of it causing a host of challenges starting from the curse of the modern age gadgets- obesity to the more disturbing behavioural adversities.

 I wonder why we don’t register the simple math

Lack of sleep= Obesity+ General malaise+ irritability

Obesity+ General malaise+ irritability= Poor performance

Therefore, Lack of sleep= Poor performance

 I have noticed that it has become a viscious circle

 vid art 1

We can break this circle by adopting very simple measures. It just takes a week of conscious effort to regulate the sleep pattern of your child especially the under 8s. Get them to bed 15 minutes earlier than their usual sleep time, continue reducing the time by 15 minutes everyday till you get to 8 p.m. Two weeks later it will take you an effort to keep them awake. Imagine what the extra 2 hours minus your kids can do to your schedule, it is a win- win situation for all sides.

Let me leave the ones keen on more research articles with the following lines…

  • Until recently, the effects of partial sleep deprivation have been seriously underestimated.
  • We know, based on common sense, that inadequate sleep makes kids more moody, more impulsive, and less able to concentrate.
  • We’ve known for more than 20 years that sleep deprivation makes it difficult to learn (Journal of Experimental Psychology, Mar 1975).
  • Recent research has verified that chronic poor sleep results in daytime tiredness, difficulties with focused attention, low threshold to express negative emotion (irritability and easy frustration), and difficulty modulating impulses and emotions (Seminars in Pediatric Neurology, Mar 1996). These are the same symptoms that can earn kids the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, popularly known as ADD).
  • How do we know how much sleep our children need? First and foremost, every child is different. In general, toddlers and preschoolers sleep approximately 12 hours per day with one nap. School-age children need less, about 10 hours per day. Most preteens and teens need around 9 hours of sleep per day – though we all know that many teens get much less! These are just averages!

Something to share

// January 8th, 2013 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Read this article and thought we should all read it  and make an informed choice on vaccines