Teachers have multiple roles. They teach, they inspire and they motivate children. Often, all these functions are concentrated towards achieving higher marks in exams. This often burdens those children who are capable of being creative and are skilled at pursuits that are not examined through report cards. There is a famous TED Talk by Ken Robinson about how schools kill creativity.
Among his musings is one that has stuck profoundly, which we paraphrase: “teachers try to create more teachers”, not dancers, not singers, or not even engineers! We were therefore inspired to create this post, to remind our teachers the importance of activities that fall outside the curriculum.
Schools typically have two classes for co-curricular activities. Even that is often cut short on, during exam days, citing the need to ‘completing portions’ and for ‘course revision’. This has a debilitating effect on the children’s perspective on education. When the fun in school is taken out, education systems stand as roadblocks to children’s creativity. We must work towards bringing down those barriers. Let’s examine why, and how.
Co-curricular activities make education delightful!
What is the point of reciting a poem, if children are unable to create some of their own? Co-curricular activity should invigorate and stir the creative conscious of children. What is the use of knowing different forms of speech, if children are unable to piece together their opinions in debates? Co-curricular activity should make use of the curriculum at hand. Introduce poetry in English class, encourage children to write stories, ignite debates in class, and watch as children pick up the art of speaking boldly, clearly and smartly.
Extracurricular activities are a window to the world out there.
What would school be without a science exhibition? A shell, that’s what! Science exhibitions, English plays, Olympiads are wonderful ways of exposing students to greater heights in fields of their interest. To this end, we must also consider scholarships, which not only are the result of extracurricular interests shown by the students but something that will also help them in their higher studies. For example, prestigious scholarships such as Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) are awarded to students who take the time out to pursue extracurricular studies in basic sciences.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Playing a sport, dancing to the tunes of classical and/or popular music, singing soulfully, drawing caricatures, enacting plays, and so much more are activities that jolt children into the wonderland of studying the world around them! The pursuing hobbies is a lifestyle choice for people, and it would best be realized when encouraged throughout childhood. Hobbies such as dancing, sometimes, can even lead to careers in dance! Such offbeat careers are very much possible today, with guaranteed success. Similarly, our classrooms are probably hosting little Tendulkars who are discouraged from taking up a hobby they love. It’s the duty of us, the teachers, therefore, to allow children space and time to explore their interests and to pursue it with all their heart.
The best kind of education for the children should be a holistic one. Every child has an all-rounder in him/her. It is up to the teacher to harness the talents hidden in the children, without rules or prejudices about what constitutes education and what doesn’t. We aren’t saying all-rounders are those who can extempore with flair, who can read fiction for hours together, who can enact Shakespeare with panache, and who can score a goal in a football match are rare to come by. All-rounders are those who can enjoy all these activities, without feeling in any way less smart than children who can score centum in exams!
Let’s celebrate ALL our children; the painters and debaters alike, the toppers and footballers alike. Let’s ensure our children grow into excellent adults, with the education that’s holistic and well rounded. Let’s always remember that every child is a shining star in his/her own right. Let’s celebrate that awesomeness!
Examinations are approaching and nightmares have already started paying visits to many students at nights. You want to go through each subject before the outset of the examination days. You devoted all your time, but it seems almost impossible to review all the contents of the chapter in such a short time. If it is the same story with you, then we have come up to give you a hand.
Just bring the following changes in your way of preparation and you will enable yourself to take up examinations with high ounces of confidence.
Befriend Your Clock
Start by making a timetable and follow it religiously. Divide the chapters according to the score value. Some topics may be too long, but stand rare chances of being asked in the exam, keep them for the last. As you have limited time, so it becomes utmost necessary to utilize each second of the hour wisely.
Make Space for Yourself
It is important to find a peaceful place to study. The place you choose should be away from all the distractions and the crowd. Places like a library or any other silent room work best. An appropriate environment connects the mind to work. A calm and relaxed mind works more efficiently and with greater concentration.
Make Quick Notes
You have countable hours and you should not kill time by writing down long and beautiful notes. Try keeping your notes short & clear yet informative. Make flowcharts, diagrams, tables and bullet points. You can also use mnemonics and slangs for the quick recapitulation.
Effective Time Utilization
Be wise, and make your time plan effectively. It is not the time to touch new topics. New things take a lot more time to be understood and this hampers the entire plan. Instead, devote that time in re-revising the learned topics and cement them in your memory.
Our brain also experiences fatigue as our body. If you overload it, it begins to lose the information stored. It is advisable not to sit and study for long hours constantly. You can take naps, listen to soothing music, go for a walk or take breaks to grab a bite. Monitor the time and keep it short.
Take up a Test
Questions from previous years’ paper and classroom tests are of extreme use. You should try 4-5 papers for each subject. These papers provide a good collection of questions and you can also check your preparation while solving them. Fix the hours for completion and act honestly.
Say Bye to the Hi-Tech World
Limit your time spent on the social networks and web surfing. Also, try to keep a minimal dependency on gadgets and the Internet. Although you can make a good use of the Internet by solving online papers or watching videos around question solution, avoid doing it at the last moment. Make sure you also reduce your dependency on the calculator with small calculation hacks.
Food is the fuel for your brain. Do not compromise with meals. Avoid junk food as they release free radicals and leads to slow brain damage. Eat fresh and healthy food to energize your brain. Items like fruits, eggs, green vegetables, peas and pulses are full of nutrients and work best.
You have been working too hard, so take up activities to distress your body and mind. Sit upright, fold your hands and do breathing exercises. It will improve blood circulation to your brain. You will also get rid of impatience and uneasiness, which takes you long way in the examination hall.
Work with Art
Make stick-on and flashcards to memorize important dates, events, definitions and formulas. It is easy to carry them anywhere and revise. Revising multiple times assure building a great memory of it and this would definitely help you reduce retrieval time in the examination hall.
Don’t let examinations provoke panic, make a smart move. We are sure these tips from Vedantu will definitely help you in revising the syllabus quickly and maintaining the peace of mind. Excellence can only be achieved through confidence and determination.
“Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” – Zig Zigler
Everyone needs motivation, be it a grown-up person or a child. Motivation is what that drives us to the path of success. We have often seen great leaders motivate people to start a revolution of change. So, what is motivation and why is it so necessary?
According to the Oxford dictionary motivation has been defined as ‘a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way’. So, from the definition, it is clear that motivation does not always mean something positive. This is the same thing with parents who find it difficult to motivate their children to study. More often parents stick to the method of ‘carrot and stick’, which tends to do more harm than good to the kids.
As a parent, you must be worried if your child comes home with a report card that shows that his performance has been poor. No matter how many tuitions or professional courses you are providing him/her with, it does not seem to help. It is enough to make any parent worried and have sleepless nights with nightmares about his/her child’s career. This is when motivation plays an important role in making your child’s future bright. Here are seven steps that will help parents to motivate their children to do better:
1- Learn what your child wants
You cannot motivate your child in the right direction if you do not know his/her interests. First of all, parents should know that they should not enforce their interest upon their children. Some children are better at mathematics while some are good at humanities. Remember, if you understand what your child wants to do (academically), then you can motivate him/her to be good in that field and he/she will react positively.
2- It is always best to make your child self-motivated
Motivation is not a button which can be pressed and magical things happen. You cannot transfer motivation. So it is necessary for you to understand that your child needs to be self-motivated. What you can do is show him the path that will lead to the destination and he/she should work towards reaching it from within and that’s the motivation we are talking of.
3- Try to have an open and friendly relationship
The best parents are also good friends to their children. They are always open in their relationship and respect the opinions of their children. As good friends do various activities together, you can associate with your children on some activities of common interest. This will help strengthen the bond and let them speak their heart out to you. Try and know how they feel about various things related to academics. Help them with their homework and play with them.
4- Identify your child’s weaknesses
Learning about your child’s weakness, if they have any, will help you to carve out plans accordingly. You can then plan on the ways that will motivate your children by accepting the truth about their learning behaviour and interests. Handle it carefully and do not show that they are poor in such matters. Try to grow confidence and give the examples of how you overcame your fears.
5- Be firm but do not get angry
If your child is making mistakes, do not get furious. This will instil fear and demotivate them. Be firm to show that it is wrong to do certain things that harm them in the long run but do not get angry on them for making mistakes. Making mistakes is also a way to learn new things, encourage your kids not to repeat same mistakes.
6- Celebrate your child’s achievements
There is nothing more motivating to your child than celebrating and rewarding them for their achievements. Take them to their favourite entertainment park, buy them their favourite toy or treat them to their heart’s content. Celebrate all those achievements of your child, no matter how big or small they are. Everyone likes to be recognised. Don’t you want to be recognised when you achieved something in your workplace? It is all human.
7-Take him on learning and knowledge tours and trips
Supplement their learning. Go on a trip that provides your kid with a lot of learning on the field. It can be anywhere like a museum or a science centre. It may even be taking a trip to one of the places where he can enjoy the beauty of nature or learn about the achievements of famous personalities. These type of trips and tours are better if they connect with the interests of your child. This will do a lot in motivating your child.
The success to effectively motivate is to be positive with your dealings. If you lose faith in yourself, you can never successfully motivate someone else. When it comes to your children, it is of a more sensitive thing. Keep the above points in your mind and you will see your child become motivated to perform well academically and in extra-curricular activities. The crux is – be positive no matter what, to motivate others around you!
What is Peer Pressure? Dictionary defines peer pressure as ‘the social influence a peer group exerts on its individual members, as each member attempts to conform to the expectations of the group.’ In simple terms, if your kid wishes to do something that would project him/her cool in his/her group, without a personal liking towards it – this should ring a bell of peer pressure in your mind. It is most likely that this pressure would encourage your child to develop certain unhealthy habits. Here in this blog, we’ll attempt to make you aware of the ways to handle and overcome peer pressure.
Why Your Children Fall Prey to Peer Pressure? Most probable cause of falling prey to peer pressure is desire to be liked and admired by the group or influencers of the group. Children also give in to peer pressure because they are worried of being rejected or made fun of. Some go ahead with it, just to curb their curiosity and others get influenced to try out what everyone else is doing. A few other likely reasons can be – not being sure of what to do, don’t know how to say a ‘no’, and don’t want to feel awkward of having difference of opinion with the group. How it Can Affect Mostly the peer pressure is associated with increased negative or risky behaviors in kids and adolescents. As human tendency, children are more prone to adapting to negative behavior than to positives and peer-pressure accelerates the rate. Generally peer-pressure is held responsible for smoking, cheating, shoplifting, bullying, and unethical and unsafe use of cell phones and social media by kids and adolescents. It also boosts physical abuse and violence among middle and high school students. Although peer pressure is mostly associated with negative behavior, but when in moderation, it also helps build some positive behavior in your children. It supports children to adjust in a group, it also encourages them to try new sports, activities, food, music, etc. Additionally, it motivates children to meet new people and workout the difference of opinions. It’s just that you have to be little aware of what’s going on in your kids day-to-day life to ascertain whether the peer-pressure is helping or breaking him/her.
How You Can Help Kids Deal with Peer Pressure Positively –
- Teach Them to Say ‘No’
Saying a ‘No’ to something that everyone around you is doing is a little difficult. But teaching your child to take the right decision is very important. One of the best ways to teach is to do a role-play with your kids and train them to say a ‘no’ during various obnoxious situations
- Build Good Self-Esteem in Your Kids
Are you too chicken? Is the common phrase used by influencers to prey upon group members. Teach your kids to be high on self-esteem and not to fall prey to such phrases. Studies show that children who are happy inside and feel good about themselves, are more likely to make better choices and resist negative peer pressure. So, do make it a point to appreciate your children for small achievements and reward them positively.
- Help Them Choose Their Friends Wisely
Children learn a lot from their friends and surroundings during their growth years, it is very important to interact with them regularly to be sure of their learnings. Friends and peer play a very important role in shaping up kid’s behavior. Help your kids choose friends with good moral values, virtues and superior self-esteem – this will go a long way in keeping your child away from unwanted peer pressure and risky behavior.
- Get Involved in Your Kids’ Lives
To make your kids listen to you and follow the rules made by you, it is very important to get involved with them in their lives. Take interest in their friends, their likes, and their fears. Do talk to them about their interest, aspirations, how they are spending their leisure time, who is new on their social network. Getting involved with your kids boost his/her confidence and helps him/her make an informed decision and avoid unnecessary peer pressure.
- Read and Be Informed
Keeping yourself updated with the latest in the worlds of kids is an important key to mould your kids positively. Keep a close watch on how kids this age use the latest technology, how they learn from social media, what are the most influencing factors in their lives, and how they express their anger and non-conformity. The more you know, the better you can equip them to fight the evils of negative peer pressure. We believe, by making little changes to your behavior towards your kids, you can help them to cope up with the evils of negative peer pressure. Interacting with children gives you good insights into what’s cooking in their minds and it can help you to mold your kids positively. Stay updated and keep your kids safe! Don’t forget to comment if you have some more suggestions. Image credits – Google images