What is common between Edison, Wright Brothers, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, G.B.Shaw and H.G.Wells? Well, they are all famous personalities and they all are also school drop-outs! Each and every one of the above eminent persons in that list dropped out of school aged 11- 14 and yet they had illustrious careers.

Does this mean we should endorse dropping out of school or shirking academics? No way! It just makes us a question – “Is education the only important thing for students?”

Education and Its meaning

Education is lately associated with  ‘academics’ and synonymous with books, exams, marks and ranks. Today it is all about cramming, learning by rote and just stuffing long-winded answers into the exam paper.

Education has become a rat race with competitive exams for each and every field. Children are forced to fill their heads with the information they have totally no clue about. For instance, Indian schools force students to learn about European or World history without enlightening them about the history of their motherland!

Even after all this memorizing and poring over books, schools churn out children who are far off from meeting benchmarks of self-confidence or impressive personality. Most of the children lack in confidence, communication and lack basic social or life-skills.

Yet another drawback in the current system of education is its lack of focus on morality. Children today are more disrespectful, arrogant, or wrongly diverted than ever before. The percentage of obedient and well-behaved students in a school is just a handful.

Is this the education we are aiming at for the future citizens of our country?

Education means ‘imparting inputs of information for the overall betterment of the individual’.

This should include instilling moral, ethical and social values in children.

True Education

In the days of yore, India had the system of ‘Gurukul’ where the student resided with the teacher. He assisted him, served him and did even menial duties to receive education from the teacher. This concept was not to enslave children or extract menial labour out of them. The idea of the ‘Gurukul’ system was to induce ‘obedience, humility, respect and discipline’ in children.

True education should include moral lessons in its curriculum apart from mere academics. The following aspects are a must for today’s children.

  1. Character

Children should be drilled this information-

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost;

When health is lost, something is lost;

When character is lost, everything is lost!”

Yes, the integrity of character is a must for every individual. This includes many aspects like truth, honesty, loyalty, virtue and so on.

Children can be shown examples of men of illustrious characters like Sardar Patel or Lal Bahadur Shashtri to emulate and follow.

  1. Honesty

Children have come to think of the proverb – “Honesty is the best policy” as a title for essay writing. Teachers must emphasize the importance of honesty in daily life and also narrate real-life incidents to prove this.

Examples of honest police officers, politicians, and other people in a position of power can be narrated to inspire children. Honesty is a very important aspect of being a moral human being. Although there will be scenarios where you are forced to lie, it is best, to be honest as often as possible and not to cheat, lie, or deceive others. This should be required learning for students.

  1. Moral virtue

Every child must understand the importance of moral virtue and fidelity. Staying true to one’s family and partner in life is called moral virtue. Faithfulness is extremely important in today’s society, and you should not hide anything from your partner. This will be very useful later on in the student’s life. Children can be taught the stories from Hitopadesha, Upanishads, and from great Indian epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata to prove this.

  1. Humility

Children must be taught to be humble in lives and not boast of their actions. Pride is an evil intruder in a noble mind. Children must be taught that humility means ‘acknowledging the contributions of others without thinking too much of oneself’. They must be taught that humility makes them extend their performance and achieve more results. this is because humility tells us that ‘if we are good, there is always someone better than us’.

  1. Discipline

Under discipline comes obedience, punctuality, neatness, perfection, and other traits.

Obedience is sadly lacking in today’s younger generation. Children must be taught that obedience does not mean submission but acceding to authority. They should be taught that ‘one who follows today is bound to lead tomorrow’.

Punctuality is another thing which children do not follow today. They must be taught that every second they lose now is going to cost them dearly. this should be illustrated by real-life incidents counting minutes or seconds.

A famous proverb says ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’. Unfortunately,  children of today are more keen on sporting style and fashion, rather than focussing on cleanliness. They must be taught that every person is judged by their appearance. They must understand that cleanliness of the self and workplace speaks volumes of their character.

Perfection is another point worth teaching today’s children. A job half-done is better not done. This must be emphasized and illustrated.

  1. Social & Interpersonal Skills.

Children must be taught about unity and team spirit. While leadership is an admirable quality, it is unity and team spirit that works in the long run. Illustrate this with examples. Students should be taught to communicate with others and work with them. Everyone has less work to do and the work will get done faster. Group projects are a good way to make students work with their fellow classmates.  

The point is that simply studying books and being book smart is great, but not enough. Students should be street smart as well and be educated on character and behaviour. All the above factors sum up the aspect of moral education. This should be made a part of today’s syllabus to achieve a better tomorrow.

However, education and studies are still important for students. Let’s Practise is dedicated to helping children learn in a better manner. We have practise sheets and model papers for math, science, English, and other languages. We have condensed the information to make it easily digestible for the students. You can contact us right now to begin!

 

It is morning 8.00 am school time. One can see scores of children walking towards their schools. They walk slowly, bent double under the weight of their heavy school bags. The huge schoolbags are like a camel’s hump!

They walk with their feet dragging slowly, muscles straining and aching back. Yes, children develop backache issues and spinal dislocations due to the burden they carry. It has come to the point where some students don’t like going to school simply because they have to carry a heavy schoolbag.

What then is the weight of the ideal school bag? How much should children carry? How can their schoolbag load be reduced? Let us discuss.

Ideal weight of a Schoolbag

The maximum weight that a child carries in their backpack inclusive of their books, lunch box/snacks and a water bottle should be ideally one-tenth their body weight. This figure has been quoted by reputed paediatricians and spinal doctors. According to a survey, currently, the schoolbag of a child weighs at least double the ideal figure! Children carry loads from 20% of their body weight to even 50% or half their body weight! In the UK, the weight of the schoolbag stands at 20% while in India, it sometimes exceeds 50%!

What happens if the Schoolbag is too heavy?

Carrying an overweight schoolbag makes children look almost like porters or dock-workers. However, one must keep in mind that in contrast to the paid labourer, the body of a child is feeble and their bones are weak. It doesn’t matter if the child is a girl or a boy. They are hardly equipped physically to carry loads. So, children develop physical ailments on account of carrying a school bag.

Physical Ailments due to Carrying a Heavy Schoolbag

1. Musculoskeletal problems

The most dangerous consequence of carrying a heavy schoolbag is developing muscle and spine problems.

When children carry a  heavy bag, they lean or bend forward. This causes bad posture.

If the child carries the bag on one shoulder, it is highly dangerous as it leads to tilting of the spine. The vertebral column is affected as the heavyweight compresses the intervertebral disks leading to their wear and tear. The disks are at times even shifted from their original positions causing terrible pain, weakness and numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms or legs. Schoolbags are literally a pain in the neck.

Severe Spinal injuries caused by carrying the heavy load of the schoolbag are:

  • Kyphosis – Hunched back or bent spine
  • Scoliosis – Spine tilted sideways
  • Cervical Spondylosis – A compression of the discs in the neck area leading to pain or numbness in the neck and in the arms.

2. Bad posture

The child’s physical bearing or stance may be affected and he may adopt a slouching or hunching posture or uneven shoulders. This may, on a long run, again lead to cervical or spine issues.

A wrong or bad posture also affects the personality of the child as every child wishes to stand erect and tall.  Not able to stand erect or upright diminishes the self-confidence of the child.

3. Muscular spasms and aches

The pressure of the schoolbag on the child’s backs applies unwanted stress on the muscles, joints and ligaments. This causes muscular spasms, back, neck and shoulder pain, joint aches and even ligament tear. If not properly attended to, these minor ailments may lead to grave consequences later.

4. Headache

The straps of the schoolbag are on the child’s  shoulders. The heavy bag tugs at the shoulders and neck. This strains the neck and shoulder muscles leading to an acute pain in these areas. This pain then slowly leads to a headache and sometimes even a migraine.

5. Difficulty in breathing

When the child’s posture bends, his lungs are subjected to pressure, causing difficulty in breathing. This causes breathlessness, fatigue and even dizziness.

Why does the Schoolbag Weigh so Much?

We have understood the gravity of the situation of carrying a heavy schoolbag. But we still do not know why it weighs so much. The reasons could be these:

1. Books not stacked according to the timetable.

Every School has a Time Table for each class. Check if your child has stacked their bag according to the Time Table. Sometimes, the child may be lazy or they might have lost their Time Table. In this situation, the child may just bundle up all of their books leading to a heavy schoolbag.

2. Pressure from teachers to bring all books

In higher classes, some class teachers may insist on the children bringing all the books. This is to take extra classes during lean or free periods. This leads to the child bringing all books in spite of having a Timetable.

3. Too many books on one subject

In some cases, the School syllabus may have too many books on one subject. The teacher might have asked the child to allot separate notebooks for each segment. For instance, English alone may have a notebook or book each for Literature, Grammar, Non-detailed, Composition etc. Just imagine, four books and four notebooks for just English! No wonder the schoolbag is heavy.

A lot of clarity and some common sense and understanding on the part of the teachers and School would help in addressing the above issues.

How to Avoid a Heavy Schoolbag

All this is fine. But where is the solution, you may ask? Well, here are some.

1. Do away with the Schoolbag

In some countries, the cumbersome schoolbag has been done away with. Children carry laptops or iPads to school. All classwork and homework assignments are done online. This has given tremendous relief to both children and parents.

2. Leave half the books at school.

Most schools western countries have lockers for each child. The child can leave their daily books, sports gear or musical equipment safely there, under lock and key. Thus, the child only brings their assignments or homework books to school, carrying a light schoolbag.

3. Rework the Timetable

The School and its teachers can rework the timetable to minimize the class sessions or group similar sessions. This enables the child to carry fewer books and a light schoolbag.

4. Have a separate Transport system for Schoolbags

One school in Kerala in India has adopted this unique system. Children go empty-handed to school while a separate van carries their school and lunch bags. Easy, isn’t it?

The Indian Government should really try to think of more such innovative solutions to make the schoolbag lighter.

We are already doing our part at Let’s Practise by creating practise sheets and tests for your child. We have condensed the enormous chunks of material into simple parts that are easy to understand.

Students from 3rd to 9th standard can find practise papers for a variety of subjects including math, science, and languages. Many school boards from CBSE to ICSE to SSC are covered. Our worksheets make a good supplement to those big fat textbooks.   

Academics are sometimes a burden on the child. Let the schoolbag not make it heavier. Call us now to get started.

            

 

Most children nowadays seem to stay at home and play video games rather than outdoors in the fresh air. Weren’t things just so much better before those darn electronics were invented?

You may feel that way. Regardless, those pesky devices are here to stay, but there are things that you can do to obviate the situation.

Going outdoors to play is much better than staying in the house with the computer, television, and smartphone. Here is why you should encourage your child to play outside rather than with apps:

Playing in the Outdoors helps to Make Friends

Most computer games that children play are done in a solitary manner. They just sit for hours on end and play the game by themselves. There is no interaction with other kids, which is bad. Friends are a source of support and camaraderie. Sometimes they might understand your child even better than you do since they are of similar age.

Only when they go outside into the real world can children meet and greet new people. They get to make new friends who probably share the same interests as them. You’ve probably heard the saying “no man can live as an island”. It goes hand in hand with “man is a social animal”. You don’t want your child to live the loner lifestyle. Encourage them to be with their friends.

Playing Outside means Physical Activity

When your child goes outdoors to play, they are using their physical strength and energy. Both boys and girls should be encouraged to go outdoors and play. Playing outside involves actually moving your body, whether they are running, climbing, or cycling. Going outdoors is a great way to keep yourself physically active.

With a smartphone game, the child just sits in one place and watches the game. They are on the sofa or chair and barely moving. Aside from their hands, every part of their body is completely transfixed on the screen.

They get sucked into a magical realm where they can do anything. Whatever words you say will be unheard. The online world almost serves as a delusion and distraction from the things that are going on in real life such as studies and class events. Overall, it is just a lazy escape route.

Playing Outdoors is Healthier

By going outside, the child gets to breathe in the fresh air and atmosphere of the outside world. If your house doesn’t have a play area, take them to a park nearby. At the very least, ask them to play with building blocks or toys.

Playing in outdoors gets the child’s hearts racing and blood pumping. It is good for oxygen inflow and helps keep the child physically fit so they don’t become a slouch.

What do electronics do? Damage the eyes and hurt the brain of your child. Electronic devices cause the child to squint and struggle to read what is on the screen. Viewing the bright lights for too long will make them strain their eyes.

Rather than allowing your child to watch television until late in the night, make them play in the outdoors. They will get tired soon and sleep much better as a result.

Playing Outdoors takes Actual Effort

When you play in the virtual world, you can do pretty much everything easily. This is why children love it and parents should discourage it. You can point and click to construct an entire building. Through pressing of a few keys, you can smash a ball for a sixer, or score a goal, or travel long distances.

In the real world, these things are much more difficult to do. They require more effort on the part of the child. However, the child consequently feels happier when they do accomplish something in real life rather than in a video game. The difference between the two worlds should be emphasized.

Tasks are not as simple to do in reality as they are in virtual reality. You can’t become a billionaire or dancing queen or famous singer in a heartbeat. It takes time and effort and practice, and this is what video games don’t teach your kids.

Playing In Outdoors prevents Electronic Addiction

You should limit the amount of time that your child spends on their devices. For example, only one hour on weekdays and two on weekends. Playing outside should always come ahead of playing games on the mobile phone or computer.

The big problem with electronics is that they become an addiction to the point where your child can’t live without them for more than a few minutes. You never want to get to this point. Do not let your child fall into this trap. If your child is on the computer / TV/phone/tablet as you read this, send them outside right now!

Using Let’s Practise Beneficially

The online world can be very fun and creative, and it can be used in a good way as well. Therefore, you shouldn’t immediately ban all computer games and electronics. In fact, we even wrote an article about the top seven educational apps for kids.

Let’s Practise is committed to helping your child live a better life. The PE class is important for your child as their fitness should not be neglected.

Just like playing in outdoors and exercises strengthen the body, studies strengthen the mind. We have practise worksheets and test papers for a lot of subjects like math and science. Students from 3rd to 9th are all welcome to use our papers to learn. Contact us right now to begin!

Your child is gearing up for the exams. There is tension in the air. So much to study! Class notes, textbooks, assignments, worksheets, revision papers, refresher guides, etc. It’s quite a handful! No wonder your child is feeling overwhelmed.

Even a simple school exam has been made complex by the strenuous testing patterns and exhaustive syllabi. Children have to master the fundamentals and keep in touch with the latest trends and technologies. It is indeed a tough job!

What to do? One has to swim and surface ahead in this sea of academics. But what is the support for your child when he has to meet his exams head-on? The answer is practice papers.

Practice papers, or mock tests are tests held mid-way before final exams. They are model exams that help the child to have an idea about the structure of the Final exam.

Here are the eight advantages of utilising practice papers.

  1. Ideal for the Late and Lazy Students.

Most often, students tend to put off studying for the Final exams until the eleventh hour. Nearly 75% of the students admit that they procrastinate or delay studying for the exam until the last moment.  When the impact of the final exam hits them, it is too late.

For such lazy and late preparing students, Practice Exams are the biggest boon. They make the student pick up the books and study. Practice Papers also ensure that the students aware of the seriousness of the final exam.

  1. Reduces Anxiety

Some children tend to panic when it comes to facing the Final Exam. The enormity of the subjects make them feel frightened. For such students, the Practice Paper is a  saviour.

Practice papers give the students a preliminary idea of how the Final exam would be. They reinforce the confidence of the students that they know at least something. They also help the student to prepare more as they now know where they lag behind.

  1. Identifies Strong and Weak Areas

When the students take up the practice papers, they gain focus about the final exam. They come to know their strengths and weaknesses. After attending the practice test, the student clearly knows which areas he has mastered. He can now focus on the areas which he has not yet touched or dealt with.

The students are able to identify the areas where they have to still practise more.  They also know how tricky the questions may be and get ready to tackle them.

  1.  Spaces out Studies

Trying to learn the entire portions at one go is a Himalayan task. Only few students have the willpower to sit through such rigorous hours of study.

Instead if we have such Practice Papers, students can split their portions and space out their studies. This helps them to focus and retain the subjects better.

  1. Effective Revision

Practice Papers are an excellent tool for revision.  Most students cram up the portions of study but fail to revise. This makes them forget some important points at the time of the exam.

By having Practice Papers, one can fine tune his method of study and revise the final points. Recap and revision always help the student to achieve better results. For this, Practice Papers really come handy.

  1. Planned Approach to Study

Most students do not have a planned approach to study. They tend to pore over their books for hours together without segmenting the important chapters from the trivial ones. As a result, they put in long hours needlessly to no result.

Instead if students attend a Practice Paper Test, they can easily know which topics are to be focused on.

  1. Understanding the Pattern of the Question Paper

Many students do not have a knowledge of the Question Paper Pattern of the Final Exam. For example, English may have sections of error correction and essay writing which require sound grammar and logical reasoning as well as good vocabulary. The Question Papers may also have a choice pattern  where the students can choose from either of the options.

If the students take up Practice Papers, they gain a firsthand knowledge of the pattern of the Final Exam question Paper. Now they can select the chapters of study, target the heavy areas, zero in on the weak areas etc.

  1. Sticking to the Time

Some students are lengthy writers or slow writers. Either way, they tend to face a “time-out” situation where the exam time elapses and they still have questions to go.

Such situations can be avoided by taking Practice Papers. When a student writes a Practice Paper, he can time himself and know how long he takes to finish. This helps him to adjust his time accordingly at the time of the Final Exam and helps him finish the paper fully.

Practice papers can be taken both in the exam hall as well as online. The advantage of online practice tests is immediate feedback while exam hall practice tests are more strict and restrain malpractices. Either way, practice papers are a sure way to make a student turn to success.

This is where we come in. Let’s Practise has practise sheets, assignments, worksheets, revision papers, and refresher guides for students of 3rd to 9th standard. We cover English, mathematics, science, social studies, and languages. You can even avail a free trial of our practise worksheets.

Now that you know how to utilise practise papers for success, it is time to put that into practice. Give your students all these advantages and more with practise papers from Let’s Practise. Call us for more.

 

                              

 

What child would like to sit and stare at a blackboard rather than play a game online or romp outdoors? None.

Children often prefer games to school. This is because games, both indoor and outdoor are interactive and engaging. Children always like to do something while all they do in a classroom is sit and listen.

Listening to long lectures from a teacher is too monotonous and children may get easily distracted.  Then how to ensure that children stay attentive in class? How do we make children absorb all the inputs of classroom learning? How to transform classroom teaching to an interactive one? The only answer is technology.

How can classrooms use technology?

Classrooms must use technology in order to grab the attention of the students and make them retain what is taught in class. Technology today is highly interactive through the use of visual and multimedia and makes academics engrossing.

Let us look at some of the options of how classrooms can use technology.

  1. Powerpoint Presentations for Lessons

Certain subjects like history or geography can be fact-oriented and hard to retain. Children find it difficult to remember dates, details of wars and battles, names of geographical locations etc. Similar is the case with Biology too. Learning about the botanical and zoological names of plants and animals, associating them with the right species, remembering their characteristics, understanding human anatomy – a child’s head would definitely spin!

How to make it easier then?  A smart teacher can present these lessons as Powerpoint slides. Pictorial descriptions of historical events, geographical locations or biological data are more easily engrained in children’s minds.

Powerpoint presentations are visually communicating and can incorporate pictures, charts and graphs. They can even be copied or transferred as files for students to review and revise later.The teacher can use a projector to zoom it on screen or display on the laptop or iPad itself.

Powerpoint presentations are excellent alternatives to oral lessons.

  1. Allocate Assignments as Tasks Involving Online Research.

Every child has a passion for exploring. Tap this instinct of the child to make him go on an online search or WebQuest.

For instance, if the English lesson is a poem by William Wordsworth, allot an assignment where they have to make a biography of the poet or list his other works. Give them a deadline and ask them to submit it online. Award them marks for originality. Plagiarism can be avoided this way and children will also learn the values of punctuality and authenticity.

  1. Conduct an Online Poll to Develop their Reasoning and Decision-Making Skills

An online poll requires the student to think or dwell on the topic, analyze, reason and decide. This is a good practice in decision making.

Deploy an online poll on a topic in the subject lessons. It could be in English like  Should poems rhyme? or in History-“Was India right in agreeing for partition?”. Insist that every student should participate in the poll and support their answer with a valid reason award marks for the most credible logic.

Online polls create a feeling of participation and excite students immensely.

  1. Create an Assignment Activity Involving Blogging

Children have to learn the act of expressing themselves right through digital media. Assign essay work as blogging topics and ask each student to create a blog. Award marks for content, images, creativity and research. Motivate the children by publishing or sharing the article on prominent websites.

  1. Use Multimedia Videos to Explain Concepts

Math and Science are the storms looming over any child’s academic schedule. Children find it hard to understand theorems or geometrical constructions unless they are illustrated stepwise. This is possible only through multimedia animated videos. Imagine watching the construction of a quadrilateral visually. It would definitely get registered better in the child’s mind.

Similar is the case for physical phenomena and chemical experiments. Watching dispersion of light through a prism or a neutralization reaction would definitely make the child recollect it better.

Videos help the child to visually see, understand and remember stepwise the concepts illustrated.

  1. Initiate Online Classroom Sessions

To break the monotony of being confined to a classroom within 4 walls, initiate online classroom sessions.

Having an online classroom session allows students to break free from the classroom mindset. They also learn how to use web tools in joining the discussion forums.

Classroom online helps the student to educate himself in an informal atmosphere which is sometimes conducive to learning.

  1. Offer Recap of Lessons via Podcasts

For students who missed your classes or who wish to have a recap of their lessons, this podcasting feature is particularly useful.

Teachers can create a video of their lessons and upload it as a blog.  They can give an individual id and password for students only through which this podcast can be accessed. Students who wish to have a view of the blog must be asked to register online and use the facility on specific days.

blog help the students to supplement their missed portions or have a recap of the attended ones.

Technology is a valuable tool in the hands of the teacher. If used wisely, it can make classroom learning – informative, interesting, interactive and highly resourceful!

Here at Let’s Practise, we try to make learning fun and innovative. We have practice sheets and papers for many different subjects, from math to science to languages. Just take a look at all the many subscription plans that you can choose from. Just contact us today to get started.