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+2 votes

Source: BM

For parenting, this is a magical microcosm, real-world simulator for our children to navigate

It’s been a hectic week and weekend. Faraway relatives have descended on namma ooru to celebrate. Mid-week dinners, late-night airport trips, and chatting assemblies, have thrown life as we knew it, into happy chaos. The scheduling that we’d honed as parents (decimated by the summer holidays) was just recovering. Now, carefully-crafted bedtimes and routine fly out the door, as grandma celebrates a birthday. It’s not just any birthday, it’s the 80th.

And she’s not alone; there’s an identical twin who is twice as crazy as her. It’s the event of a lifetime, one worth commemorating; and in true Indian style – over many days and meals. Goodbye, quiet time. The pluses are many. And I’ll start with the one that makes parenting lighter 1. I don’t need to worry about our meals at all – and what parent doesn’t love that! It’s all good. Day 1 is a full-on excitement-overload. 2. There’s so much ‘lurrve’. And compliments.

The children have obviously grown and everyone is staring at them in amazement. “How tall! How and when did this happen?!” I often borrow the line , “We water their feet every morning!” The children are enjoying the attention/smiles/bad jokes/stories/ laughter. And guess what? They’re learning from the village. The stories will, no doubt, remain. Well, the scandalous ones will. Especially, when they’re grandmas’! As I watch the shenanigans, I can’t help but notice 3. the psychological value of socialising. Everyone is loosening up. There’s the old aunt sitting with one of the children, giving her advice on what not to take seriously, and how to ignore a baby brother who’s bugging you. The older-but-still-young relatives giving career-advice to someone or the other, and the giggling cousins (notice how no one is on their phone?!), well, just giggling. There’s the oddball relative who’s missing a filter between his thought and words.

He’ll say something inappropriate for sure. And that’s okay too. Our kids are getting exposure to the real world, in an atmosphere that largely positive, and within their parent’s earshot.As the kids practise a special song for the twin grandmas, I see them ‘collaborate’. The “leaders” steamroll their way, the peacemakers hone their skill. It’s such a pond of learning, and one that’s rich in human relationship and interaction. Such bliss. Well, at least until the tiredness sets in. My rose-tinted reverie was interrupted by Ms. Teen, the super girl who’s tackling school, projects, early-rising, co-curricular, tuition and partying. She burst through the door with a whiny voice that I haven’t heard in a long while. “I have no time for myself and the family has moved ahead without me, and I have tuition while you all have fun. And I haven’t completed my Geography project, and someone stepped on my white shoes and ruined them, and I didn’t get any presents, and....”she said crying. As always, the cure is, to put her to bed.

This morning, I woke up to a strange jolting sound and heard myself shout out to Mr. Dad, What’s that?”He replied calmly (as he was right beside me), “The alarm.” Then, school frenzy began. Two out of three children could not wake up, and when I decided to give in and get back under covers, she decided to do school. Back to the frenzy – this time, with lost time.

Argh. Even the even-tempered Mr. Dad is kinda grumpy this morning. He blames overeating; we’ll blame exhaustion. And honestly, these are small prices to pay for the fun that was – creepy uncle included.


By Christobelle Joseph, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Jun 20, 2017,
posted Jun 20, 2017 by Sidharth Appu

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+1 vote


Photo Source:  consiliumeducation

Managing the media

Children learn not only through real life experience, but vicariously through media exposure which defines our culture and shapes our norms. Exposure to television programming and video streaming profoundly affects how children view their world. Leah Davies advises us to take control.

By Leah Davies, M.Ed.

Negative effects

Adults who care about children developing positive life skills need to be aware of the various messages and ideals being conveyed to children through a variety of media.
As early as 1984, the American Academy of Pediatrics cautioned adults concerning the potential of television viewing to promote violence, obesity, sexual activity, drug use, and ethnic stereotyping. The Academy’s Policy Statement in 1995 confirmed that frequent viewers become desensitized to violence and believe that violence is a justifiable response to problems, and that television viewing is related to obesity and lower academic performance.

According to the Academy, by age eighteen the average American teenager will have spent more time watching television than learning in the classroom. In addition, they will have seen an estimated 360,000 advertisements that are often misleading and exploitative.

Negative messages

The following are some negative messages being transmitted to children via television programming and commercials:

– Be selfish, not generous or cooperative
– Be insensitive rather than empathic
– Show contempt rather than respect for adults
– Expect instant gratification instead of being patient
– Value things instead of relationships with others

– Be aggressive rather than using self-control
– Use violence instead of negotiating a solution
– Feel anxious and fearful, not safe and secure


– Use profanity instead of decent language
– Be abusive rather than caring
– Be promiscuous, not chaste



– Use drugs without regard to risks instead of saying no to harmful substances
– Eat junk food, not healthy food
– Take pills to feel better rather than taking responsibility to be fit


Through constant, unsupervised media exposure children are being socialized to be self-centered, unthinking, dissatisfied, impulsive, disrespectful, sexualized, violent, scared and alienated.

Taking control

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+1 vote


Photo Source: LUMINOSITY

Recently I was facing some problems in my home front due to which I couldn’t send my daughter to school, she told me that she was selected for a participation in an event in her school. It was very important to attend her school. I was in a dilemma. On the one hand, was the situation which required my immediate attention and on the other hand, was my daughter’s auditions in her school.

by vidhiduggal

“What should I do now? If she doesn’t go to her school, she will miss her auditions. Her participation is very important for her.” I kept thinking. 

I thought of talking to her teacher. I sent her a message telling her about my problem. She told me that she would consider. I felt as if a burden was lifted off my shoulders.

Two years back, when I was expecting my second baby, I had certain complications and was advised bed rest. I could pay very little attention on my daughter’s studies which started affecting her academic performance. I sent a message to her class teacher and informed her about my condition. Her teacher understood our problems and helped my daughter a lot. She not only provided academic help but gave her emotional support as well. Her immense love and care helped my daughter in sailing through even those days when I was in the hospital. I felt very grateful to her for all that she did for us.

This kind of informal interaction with the teachers has always helped me and my daughter in solving her problems at home or at school. I would like to thank all the teachers who not only take care of our children in school but give more than their usual time for the betterment of our children.

Having an informal and healthy interaction with the teachers is a very important asset and can prove to be very helpful in our children’s development. We can discuss the problems faced by our children on a day to day basis. Earlier, we could meet the teachers only on parent teacher meetings which were formal interactions. We could only discuss the result and report cards of the child.


We expect so much from the teachers of our children. We lay the entire responsibility of the academic development of our children on them. The teacher gets to spend only half an hour per subject in a classroom of over 40 students. She must include so many things in her curriculum and look after many aspects. How can we expect her to excel each child in every sphere?

At home, at times, we find it difficult to teach our kids. We often hire tutors for our children to teach them. In school, a teacher must teach so many students in a class wherein each child is unique and has different capabilities. It would be unfair on our part to expect a teacher to know and understand every child’s caliber and potential.

The parent teacher meetings that are conducted at regular intervals are also very helpful in the development of our children. It gives the parent an opportunity to interact not only with the teachers but also with other parents as well. We can thus bond with other parents too. This way we can get to know the areas where our child is doing well and where he needs our support.


If we want our child to excel, we must interact informally with the teachers regularly. We should also take out time to attend the parent teacher meeting. It helps the teacher in getting to know our child better. Since the aim of both the teacher and the parent is same, we must bridge the gap between the parent teacher relationship and work together as a team for an all-round development of our child.

+2 votes

Source: TOI

BENGALURU: After a 10-year stint in the corporate sector, Ashish Rajpal quit his job to work in education. Disillusionment with the nonprofit sector and a left-liberal upbringing inspired him to improve the quality of education in India. The idea led to the birth of XSEED in 2008, a company which is transforming the way 10 lakh children in 3,000 schools, including 296 schools in Karnataka and 100 in Bengaluru, are taught by 75,000 teachers.
The company provides a comprehensive teaching toolkit to English-medium schools. In an interview with TOI, Ashish spoke about the need to move away from rote learning and more. Excerpts:
Considering that our education system is largely based on rote learning, how disadvantaged are Indian children compared to kids elsewhere?
I once asked a professor from the University of Pennsylvania the same thing and he told me, `Indian students are great at answering questions but don't know how to ask the right ones.' We are trying to prepare children for the 21st century and make them capable of understanding, communicating and questioning. Instead of learning by rote, we want them to have a dialogue with their teachers. Children in other countries are more used to learning by doing things on their own and voicing their opinions.
You've called yourself an `elementary school in a box'. Explain We believed that the problem of access was more or less solved. We wanted to work on quality control using the existing infrastructure.We provide teacher training, textbooks, question banks for internal exams, an evaluation system as well as a curriculum. We are one of the largest school book publishers in the country and work within the structures of CBSE, ICSE and state boards. We have prepared lesson plans for teachers to tackle any topic from kindergarten to class 8. Teachers have told us how their students now ask more questions and are more confident and open-minded.
How does your company reach out to so many children?
It has been a long journey . When we went to schools in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, it was an uphill task to convince the principal that we were offering something for a reasonable one-time payment which would benefit them for years. We have 100 education coaches who have about 30 schools under them which they visit once in six weeks to give the teachers a refresher course. Our presence is most widespread in Tamil Nadu, with 2.50 lakh kids in 800 schools.
How much do you spend per student?
There is a reason why we have not expanded to higher grades. We want to focus on building a strong foundation for students. We considered there may be a clash between the learning provided in higher classes and the way students are evaluated (by boards). The programme costs us Rs750-Rs1,500 per student. In eight years, we have rebooted our model thrice to be up to date with the latest trends and teaching methods. MIT studied our company while working on social entrepreneurs.

How widespread is the initiative in other countries?

We focus on other developing countries as they face similar problems.We provide services to schools in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nepal, Bhutan and Philippines among others. The initiative has been remarkably successful in Philippines.
Have you collaborated with any state governments so far?
We tried but it is hard to engage with governments. You spend time building a rapport to get them on board but they may change their mind.Such initiatives require long-term implementation and cooperation.

+1 vote

Source: TOI

With Harry Potter, Tintin and Sherlock Holmes being included in the school curriculum, students from junior and middle school, have a reason to rejoice. The Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE) had announced that these books will be included in the syllabus for the 2017-2018 academic session. We asked some students to speak about their favourite books that could enter school syllabuses, like Harry Potter did. Here's what they have to say...
Swathi Seshadri (2nd PUC student, Christ PU College)
" Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, has definitely been one of the most amazing books I've ever read. It has inspired me to follow my dreams irrespective of all the hardships. Ranging from deadlines, life changes and dreams, it covers everything a teenager would want to know about life after school. Fangirl is a book which proves that simplicity is the utmost sophistication."
Hemangini Singh Rathore (10th grade student, Presidency School)
"Much like how Harry Potter stands for values of love and determination, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, is packed with important ideals that would fit right into the principles that schools try to instil in their students. From unending grit for survival, to sacrifices, and proving that tyranny is always overpowered in the end, this book is a goldmine of good ideals. Plus, it's always a better read than Shakespearean 'classics'!"
Aditi Maria Das (1st PU student, Mount Carmel College)
"I feel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini will make for a good read. When you read this book, you tend to have a new perspective about the world and the way you think. Shakespeare's writings are kind of forced on us, whereas these books every student will enjoy reading."
Brinda Sridhar(2nd PU student)
" The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Contrasting to the horrors of the World War II against a deep love for language and reading, it presents a personal and moving account of wartime reality. Students should be exposed to literature like this, because the entertainment aspect of the novel is balanced by important historical details that everybody ought to know."
Pradhyumna S (1st PU student)
" The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara. Not only does this memoir appeal to the sensibilities of students that are interested in travel, but it is also a very inspirational piece that pushes readers to step out of their comfort zones and widen their horizons. The story outlines how Che's life turned out, and sends out strong messages about core values."
Rishvanjas Raghavan (2nd PUC student, VVS Sardar Patel PU College)
"I would love to see Sudha Murthy's How I Taught My Grandmother to Read: and Other Stories in school syllabuses. This book is true Indian-ness at its heart. While the short stories are very elegant and well-written, they promote all values a student is expected to learn at school, such as respecting elders, valuing time, or even saving money, in an irresistibly interesting manner. The book can be used as a whole, or in parts over middle and high school."

By Sanjana Sindhe


+1 vote

Photo Source: LUMINOSITY

I think all of you here, must agree with me when I say that Maths is not everybody’s cup of tea. As kids, many of us would have found Maths as a ‘boring’ subject. The number would often get jumbled up in our minds. And when it comes to solving word problems, very few hands would be raised in class.

For this very reason, we now have many mental maths classes coming up. As parents today, enrolling our kids in some maths class comes on top of our list. Hiring a tutor for maths has become almost necessary today because we feel that it is a difficult subject. It might be for the simple reason that we as kids never liked maths as a subject and as parents now we find it a little difficult to teach this subject to our children.

By- vidhiduggal

But why does this happen? Why do children begin to develop a hatred and at times even a fear for this subject? What are the reasons for it?

  1. Mathematics is abstract

Children cannot see mathematics when it comes to solving mathematical problems. Children need to visualise something clearly before liking it.

  1. Teaching Methodology

The conventional system of teaching this maths lacks innovation. Students find it boring and their interest level begins to go down.

  1. Conversion of word problems into equations

Children find it difficult to convert word problems into equations. Without any kind of visualisation, children fail to understand the concepts thoroughly and often end up mugging them just like any other subject.

  1. Poor command over tables

Most of the time, children do not learn the tables properly. It makes it difficult for them to perform even the simplest calculations. As a result, they take a lot of time in solving mathematical problems which makes a simple paper difficult for them.

  1. Lack of interest in trainers

A common mistake that we as parents make is to admit our own dislike for the subject in front of the kids. We often tell them that maths is a difficult subject, they cannot teach them maths as they themselves feared it and never scored well in the subject. Children immediately start thinking maths as a difficult subject.

So, what can we as parents do to help our children. developing an interest in this subject. Here are some possible ways to do so:

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