Can Video Games Improve Learning?

When we talk about the video games, an image of couch potatoes, teenage quarrels, scolding and a lot of crazy activities come to our mind. For most of the people, the video gaming hampers the brain growth of the children and make them less attentive and lazy. Has anyone ever thought of the positive side of it? It can be a real trailblazing when taken up in moderation and with an optimistic approach. Video games can be used as a teaching tool to strengthen the learning. These games train the brain to think quick, build a few qualities and develop intellectual skills that improve the learning efficacy in the children.

 

 

Let’s take a look at the advantages of the video games in improving learning outcomes for kids.

  • Games like Cityville gives the aim to complete various targets in a defined time period.  At any given point of time, players have to build the city and maintain the welfare of the citizens. Player(s) need to manage the finances and upgrade the activities. Such tasks incorporate the accounting and strategic planning skills in the children. A child’s interest in such games shows his aspirations in economics, engineering, designing, etc.

  • Most multi-players games require a coordinated action to achieve the goal collectively or players have to compete against each other to finish the stage. It tests the social responsibility and team spirit of the child. Such games encourage harmonized communication among the peers and refine the child as a social person. While competing against another player, kids experience the virtual competition, which promotes the urge to excel and the spirit of winning.

  • NFS, car racing and other games that are based on speed and time, advance the integrity of the visual reflections and mental command. A child with such skills greatly reduces his/her reaction time and becomes a better performer with quick thinking and disciplined working.

  • Games encourage introspection and enhance self-worth in children. Away from the sight and instructions of parents, the child performs at an individual level. It makes them more responsible for the actions and the decisions they make.  They take up challenges and a victory in those activities boosts their confidence. On the other hand, losing the same challenge prepare them for critical thinking and re-evaluation of the previous actions. Altogether, a child becomes a good decision maker and a fine analyst.

  • Just as examinations, games also provides instructions in the beginning to direct the player about the working of the system. Gradually, it becomes a practice for the child to read the instructions and move forward accordingly. This help them increase the grasping and analyzing powers and makes them concentrate more on their studies.

  • Some virtual quizzes and tests give a detailed analysis of the child’s performance. The data helps in finding the weaker section, as well as the strengths of the child, which help identify the possible steps can be taken to work on the problem areas. It is an effective tool for both the parents and teachers to understand the difficulties faced by the children that retard his/her performance.

  • Games also have a calming effect on the mind. It keeps the child away from the stressful environment and inculcates the positivity. It boosts the concentration, sharpens the mental ability and also maintains the physical well-being. It is basically a bi-directional learning. It brings the play and work at balance.

  • Games also improve the reading, technical and problem-solving skills. Educational games also develop spatial thinking and enhances mental coordination. It makes the entire learning process easy and entertaining for the children.

we have only listed some very basic advantages of video games to help you clear your mental block. There are many others to explore.

We, as parents, should definitely encourage our children to occasionally spend some time on video games, but make sure that this doesn’t become an addiction for them. We need to make sure that a child is not spending too much of his/her playtime on a video game. Excess of anything has a deleterious effect, so as this. We need to make sure that we know the boundaries well and keep our kids healthy and safe.

Let your children learn in a playful mood and gain wisdom!

 

 


Importance of Holistic Education

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!

 

 

 


Help Your Child Fight Stress and Anxiety

Stress is a condition, where your body carries out hormonal response against an unfriendly situation. It is not always harmful. It prepares the mind for either, ‘fight or flight’. Students who are able to counter it, come out as an excellent winner. Sometimes, this hormonal discharge surpasses the optimal threshold and causes dreadful feelings. These feelings appear when the child is unable to fight back in an optimistic way. The actual trouble arises when the stressful entity begins to hover around the child. In such situation, a child finds it hard to get through and loses his main aim.

If you notice some unusual habits or activities developing in your child, then you must help him/her to cope with stress. We have mentioned some signs that can help you figure out if your child is showing some symptoms of stress. It is a must to study your child’s behavior carefully. Do not make any hasty conclusion until you have observed a group of symptoms simultaneously over a period of time. Stress management starts right from identifying the signs and symptoms in the child.

Once you have found that your child is stressed, you should plan on helping him/her out, here are a few ways that can help you do that –

Spend quality time – Stress can germinate from the feeling of being neglected. Children may hesitate to approach when parents are busy in their own work all the time. It may look difficult to go out, play, sit back and talk for hours after a tiring day at the office, but spending time with kids gives a feeling of security and concern to them. Listening to their activities at school helps to chalk out a better plan of indulgence for them.

Create a positive environment – A stressed person gets entrapped in negative thoughts. It may get exacerbated and give rise to depression and withdrawal from love and fun. In extream cases, children can also develop suicidal tendencies. In such a scenario, parents should accept the flaws and help the child in rectifying. Criticism should be taken over by understanding and support. Parents should inculcate the spirit of confidence. They should motivate their kids and teach them to stand over again after any fall or fail.

Group activities – Pamper your child by participating in their daily activities. Help them in their studies, play with them, take them for outings, organize a get together for their friends at home, etc. If your child is facing problem in performing well for the upcoming sports event, join them. Even if you cannot participate, be a spectator and cheer them up throughout the practice sessions. A caring and loving parent can help them more than any medical help.

Healthy from within – As mentioned, a child under stress tends to skip meals and that can cause health issues. It can deteriorate their health. A proper watch should be kept on their eating habits. Make sure to serve them healthy food that keeps the mind active and body energetic.

Share stories – Bedtime stories take a child to the dreamland. Similarly, stories of great warriors or cases of common people who achieved victory after several defeats act as a catalyst in keeping their morale high. They learn the theory of ‘never give up’ and that boosts their conviction.

We hope these simple points from Vedantu along with parental support can pull out your child from the stressful situation. Remember, stress is not a disease, it’s the way of your body to show that things are going out of reach, hurry up and nip the stress in the bud!


Is Food Important In a Student’s Success Story?

We are sure, you keep everything prepared that can help your child to shine out in the examinations, but something always curtails his best possible achievement. Does it always bother you and your child that how his fellow classmates manage to excel? Your child must have done all his/her preparation, but have you contributed rightly? They say that food plays an important role in physical and mental health. It is important to watch out what you serve on the plate.

Food is for the body, but healthy food is both for body and mind

We will here enlist a few food sources that are essential for mental exercise and help you to improve kid’s performance.

Bowl full of grains

Whole Grains

It is important to keep the body active and energetic. The right choice of grain generates the full amount of energy for better performance. Eating more of refined cereals leads to fatigue and lethargy. Switch to preparation with whole grains for the same meal. It has a reversal action that increases the concentration and focus. It helps in improving memory function as well.

Drink enough water

Drinking water

Water hydrates the brain. Advise students to drink 7-8 glasses full of water in a day to have a healthy glow and cool mind. A dehydrated brain can cause headaches, loss of focus and mood swings.

Go nuts!

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Nuts are a good source of essential fatty acids, as well as iron. Iron increase the binding of oxygen with hemoglobin and thus provide sufficient oxygen to the brain to perform. Nuts like almond, walnut and pistachios help in enhancing alertness. They are also a good source of vitamin E, which is important for glowing skin and delays ageing.

Veggie affair

cooked veggies

It has been seen that dark green leafy vegetable stays longer in the stomach and subsequently satisfies the hunger. They are a good vegetarian substitute for fish for obtaining omega-3 fatty acid.

A neurological study has found that people consuming spinach in their daily diet have a better focus  than their mates. A folic acid source; Spinach has a unique property of reversing the memory loss. Vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, etc. also improve the gut motility and thus regulates the bowel functionality of your system.

Love for dark chocolates

Dark_chocolate

Dark chocolates release pleasure in the mouth and antioxidants in the blood. Antioxidants fight against free radicals, which are destructive elements to the brain and other vital organ activity. Ultimately, it increases the alertness, clarity in perception and improves blood flow.

Feed on fish

Fishes

Fish is a brain food. It is a must-have component in a student’s diet. It provides proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids and rare minerals like zinc. Most importantly, it lowers the risk of dementia (memory loss). It additionally augments the mental fitness for effective and efficient studies.

Fruit punch

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Fruits are rich sources of important vitamins (including A, B, C, and D) Fruits from the berry family (like blueberry, tomatoes, strawberry, cranberries, black currant, grapes, etc.) makes up for the free radical damage in the brain. In particular, they decline the risk of Alzheimer’s syndrome (Permanent short-term memory loss with advancing age). They also promote recalling power and concentration.

Adding all these superfoods in your diet will definitely add to your hard work and will reproduce in the results. Eating the right food will enhance the function of  the brain and greases the neural system. When you study & revise perfectly,  it becomes mandatory to retain and produce the same on the examination sheets. So, eat to live and eat right to succeed!

Image source – Google Images


7 Easy Tips for Parents to Positively Motivate kids

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“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!


Stress: How to Identify Symptoms in Kids

Life is not all about sunshine and rainbows. It never fails a chance to show you ‘who the boss is.’ Everybody, from every age group, someday or other, finds himself/herself in a situation that might ‘make’ them or ‘break’ them. Our body’s reaction to such situations defines stress. Some of us come out strong, while some fail to do so.

Stress is your body’s hormonal response to working under pressure and out of the comfort zone. It encourages one to be in his/her best form and gives the ability to perform better. However, if the body starts releasing these stress hormones in ‘a little too much’ quantities, it may hamper the quality of life and performance. Stress can be self-generated or imposed. In case of students and young kids, stress can be provoked by the pressure to excel in the examinations, to win a match, or a feeling of being lonesome and threatened. It can additionally be evoked by comparisons, relationship trauma, physiological transformation, inequality, etc.

Continual stress may give rise to various emotional and physical repercussions like depression, anxiety, stroke, hypertension, neurological disorders, immune disturbances, sleep disorders, gastric disturbances, etc. Studies have also shown that it may also aggravate skin problems, breathing difficulties and sexual impairments in a very few cases.

We now know what havoc stress can be to our bodies and it’s functioning. Let’s have a look at a couple of symptoms that can help you identify the signs of stress in your kids and help them to cope up with it well in advance.

  1. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding, stammering and lips trembling – if your kid is experiencing any of these frequently, be alert, something is bothering him/her too much.
  2. Sudden and frequent headaches – if your physician couldn’t give you any concreate cause for the headache complaints from your little one, you can safely blame it on stress. It is one of the major cause of headaches in most of the cases.
  3. Neck aches, back pain, muscle spasms and muscle contractions – Although these symptoms are common with adults, but frequent complaints from kids is something you should worry about.
  4. Dizziness and tremors – if your kids face shaky hands, legs or fainting too often, you should get them checked with a physician. If there isn’t any deficiency of vitamins & minerals, its stress that’s causing these symptoms.
  5. Buzzing or popping sounds in ears – We often treat this as our kids’ trick to avoid studies or grab attention. Don’t forget to pay your keen attention, it might be because of stress.
  6. Excessive blushing, sweating, goose bumps – We all love those chubby red cheeks when our kids blush, but too much and too often can point towards something wrong.
  7. Dry mouth and swallowing problems – Kids are prone to a range of respiratory and gastric infections that lead to such symptoms. If that isn’t the case, it’s due to stress that your child might be experiencing.
  8. Frequent cold and infections – need we explain it? It’s body’s way of alarming you, something isn’t perfect with your kid’s health.
  9. Unexplained or frequent ‘allergy’ attacks – Sneezing, rashes, breathlessness, and/or fast and deep breaths are all signs of stressful period in your kid’s life.
  10. Sudden change in appetite – although kids keep making fuss about food and their choices, however of you notice some drastic changes in the appetite (either increased or decreased), you can blame it on stress. Your child might also complaint of nausea, frequent stomach pain and/or heartburn.
  11. Abrupt and unexplainable mood swings – if you notice unreasonable, abrupt laughs, tears or aggression; increased anxiety and nervousness; or increased heartbeat, chest pain or palpitations you can be sure that the kid is in too much of stress.
  12. Insomnia – if the child experiences difficulty in sleeping, sees nightmare, or wakes up often during the night in a state of confusion, it indicates lack of peace of mind.
  13. Indecisiveness – Difficulty in making decisions, trouble learning, and lack of confidence and concentration is also hugely visible in kids who suffer with stress issues.
  14. Problem in communication – Hesitation in expressing opinions, emotions or virtue and inability to understand and follow common commands is also a sign of stress that our kids’ behavior tell us.
  15. Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts – Sense of meaningless life is generally seen in elder kids suffering from chronic stress

In addition to above mentioned signs and symptoms, behavioral changes and change in habits are also seen in some children. Stress directly affects the working of the brain and ultimately disturbs the body functions.

Additionally, stress causes inefficient performance, intolerant behavior and poor judgement of the situation. The child also experiences inability to keep the mind calm and relaxed and loses control over his actions quickly and frequently. The worst part is, stress generates the sense of negativity around the sufferer, which lowers the self-confidence.

Having said all that, we would still say, stress isn’t bad always. Many a times it helps one to push himself/herself to gear up and take up challenges of higher level. Although when persists, it can exacerbate serious health problems.

Stress, in today’s world is omnipresent and occurs in individuals of all ages. We should devise our own means to deal with it and try to beat it with positive actions. One should identify the stress related events in the lives of our kids and loved ones and help them to fight it out.

Take a chill pill, ‘stressed’ is just ‘Desserts’ spelled backwards.

Note – These signs and symptoms can strike with some other ailments as well, so it is important to consult a qualified doctor and take a specialist’s advice and counselling.

 


How to make your fidgety child learn effectively?

Watching your child achieving milestones in his/her life is a bliss and we always expect to see their constant progressing victory. Just as a coin has two faces and one flips over another, similarly our kids also turn obnoxious when something upsets them. We need to stay prepared for the darker sides of our children’s mood. It is necessary to understand their behavior and act in the right manner.

Most of the problems arise when we fail to relate to their issues. A school-goer goes through several transitions both mentally and physically. In such situation, it becomes a fight to make them study.

We need to follow some simple tricks to tackle such chaos and today, we are going to talk just about it.

  1. Give attention to the problem rather than emphasizing on the consequent aggression. The problem should be eradicated deep down from the roots in order to block it from flourishing furthermore.
  2. Make a kick start from pulling them out from the thinking process that runs through their mind at that moment. Talk about the things they like the most or they do the best.
  3. Be a motivating parent. Over criticism builds up negativity in their minds. Empower them to accept your virtues by listening what they want from you.
  4. Do it in a playful fashion. You know that you love them the most and it is the right time to express that. Cuddle them, mimic their activities, cook for them, pamper them, etc.
  5. Reward them for the good behavior.
  6. Set time for different activities. This ensures them that you take care of all the needs that are important for them.
  7. Befriend your child. Hang out with them, appreciate their attempts.
  8. Keep an eye on them so that they do not get distracted while studying. It also makes them alert. Do not go harsh while pointing out instead help them to stay attentive.
  9. Cultivate the sense of competition with a positive approach. Show them that how awesome one can become if they perform well.
  10. Keep your explanations restricted to short sentences. Deliver a clear, simple and lasting message that stays in their mind.
  11. Work along with them to rule out the difficulties that trouble them and pushes away.
  12. Participate to develop skills which they lack.
  13. Tell them that it is normal and everyone faces problems while learning. This will strengthen their will to put in efforts.
  14. Share success stories of great personalities with them, who succeeded after facing failures in their lives.
  15. Try word games, flow charts, pictorial representations and other interesting methods of learning that dissolve the dullness they encounter.
  16. Put examples from day-to-day life for better and easier understanding.
  17. Inculcate the habit of writing down notes. isn’t it a proven fact, practice makes a man perfect?
  18. Teach them that whatever they study now, they’ll be able to implement in later stages of life.
  19. Restrict yourself from getting involved in any fun activity around them, while they are studying.
  20. Share their failure just like you brag about their success.

We are sure most of you must be using the above-mentioned points with your school-goers. If not, try them out, it will help you to get closer to your child and you will find it easier to deal with them. Be a smart parent and work in collaboration with your child to win over the hurdles that stop them from reaching the paramount.

Image courtesy – Google Image.