“Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.”

– Sir Francis Bacon

Your child studies well and knows the answer to the questions. However, the teacher cannot figure out what he/she has written!

Well, in this case, you cannot blame the teacher, as they can award marks to only what has been recorded on paper and not based on assumptions. Sometimes the child can’t read his or her own handwriting!

The only way to resolve this issue is to improve your child’s handwriting.

The Need to Improve Handwriting

From a very young age, children are taught to focus on handwriting by practicing cursive writing in a 4-ruled notebook. Still, some children do not take this exercise seriously and fail to work on their handwriting. Unknown to them at the time, this gross neglect of improving the handwriting will cost them dearly in their later years.

Unfortunately, they will lose precious marks for handwriting. Even a “-1” for handwriting can alter the grade grossly and no sincere student would be willing to lose that.

Before we think about correcting your child’s handwriting, let us take a look at the problem that your child might face while writing.

Problems in Your Child’s Handwriting

Your child might face the following problems in his/her handwriting:

1. Wrong grasp of the pencil

2. Poor pressure or grip on the pencil

3. Poor formation of the letters

4. Poor letter sizing

5. Poor spacing between the words

6. Wrong direction of writing

7. Indiscriminate use of capital and small letters

8. Difficulty in copying words

9. Poor motor skills

Identifying the root cause of the problem is the key to resolving it. This is known as ‘Why-Why or ‘5 Why’ analysis. Keep asking why until you get to the main cause of the problem. The same applies to handwriting as well. Once you do that, improving your child’s handwriting is simple.

Tips and Techniques to Improve Your Child’s Handwriting

So, why let your child feel depressed about something as easy as handwriting?  Let us help your children improve their handwriting with these following simple techniques.

1. Proper Pencil Grasp

Children may love crayons and sketch pens, but good handwriting begins with a pencil.

Poor handwriting result from weak motor skills which are exhibited through a poor or incorrect grasp of the pencil.

  • Teach your child to hold the pencil correctly between the thumb, index, and middle finger.
  • The pencil must be gripped gently and not tightly. Ask your child to relax the grip on the pencil and not hold it too tightly, or the lead tip may break. If the grip is tight, your child might be stressed. Ask your child to unwind, relax and then continue writing.
  • Buy some rubber pencil grips from the stationery shop to improve your child’ grip.
  • Some children hold the pencil too close to the lead tip. This will apply pressure on the lead, causing it to break often. Let there be a 1-2 cm distance from the lead at all times.

2. Use the Right Materials

When it comes to your choice of paper, pencil, and eraser, you and your child have to get it right.

  • The right pencil helps your child produce the right imprint without much pressure on it and without leaving dark smudges on the paper.
  • Let the pencil not be longer than 6 cm. However, extremely short pencils aren’t right either. Test different sizes and see which works best for you.
  • Everyone makes mistakes. That’s why there are erasers on pencils. However, your child should have a seperate eraser (or ‘rubber’). A good eraser removes all writing without leaving any dark patches on the paper or tearing it. Throw out a used eraser and get a new one. It will be worth it.
  • The best paper to begin handwriting practice would be a 4 ruled paper sheet and not plain white paper. This makes sure your child stays in the lines and all letters are of even height, making your handwriting legible.

3. Correct the Style of Writing

There is a right and wrong way to write.

  • There are 2 forms of handwriting: cursive writing and block writing. Cursive (also known as ‘running’) refers to the usage of joint letters while block writing has the letters not joined but separate from one another.
  • Teach your child the correct way to form letters, whether it’s cursive or block font. Encourage them to write legibly, neatly and boldly with the correct size and spacing.
  • Instruct your child on the proper use of capitalization and small letters and show them the difference in size between them.
  • Teach your child to write the letters upright and not in a tilted fashion.
  • Instruct the importance of allowing space between words for legibility.
  • Once the child gets used to a form of writing, as long as it is legible, they should stick to it so teachers also get used to what they have written.

4. Check for the speed of writing

Some children tend to write hastily. In this process, their handwriting gets spoilt.

  • Teach your child the importance of adjusting the speed to follow legible handwriting.
  • Slower handwriting is usually neater and easier to read.
  • In the beginning, let the child start off writing slowly and steadily.
  • Eventually, they can pick up the pace while their handwriting remains legible.

5. Improve Dexterity With Fun and Games

Strengthening finger and wrist coordination will improve dexterity and help in writing. The better control over fingers, the better control over the handwriting. Use these fun activities  to improve finger agility:

  • Coloring with crayons
  • Cutting paper
  • Clay modelling
  • Bead stringing
  • Playing with forks and spoons
  • Wooden block games
  • Word puzzles
  • Hangman
  • Joining the dots

Practice Makes Handwriting Perfect

For good handwriting, the right remedy Is practice. Ask your child to practice his/her handwriting daily. Download some fun exercises from online practice-learning sites like LetsPractise to help them improve their handwriting.

Unfortunately during exam time, they do not have the luxury of writing slowly, so it is essential to keep practicing on a regular basis. We offer practice papers for students from 1st to 10th standard, from many boards including IGCSE, SSC, State Board, CBSE, ICSE, and more.

Our ICSE English worksheets are very popular among students. You can take a look at all of our pricing plans and see which works best. For any questions, feel free to contact us.

The advantage of using such online practice learning sites like LetsPractise is that they not only enable your child to sharpen their academic skills but also hone their handwriting skills with regular practice.

Legible handwriting is important not only for exams, but later on in life as well. Cultivate neat writing from a young age. Encourage your children to improve their handwriting with regular practice and watch them embark on an excellent future with their impressive handwriting!

School means lessons and lessons mean notes. Pages and pages of notes, question and answers, summaries, and hints have to be jotted down in class. Most children hate taking notes or skip this process and suffer later. When exams arrive, it is the class notes that are the saving grace and help a student pass with commendable marks.

It is obvious that note-taking is an absolute must at school and can never be avoided.

Why is note-taking a must at school?

Note-taking is an absolute must in class because:

  • It helps briefly summarize the lesson.
  • It highlights the important points.
  • The teacher might give extra questions, cues, and tips not available in the textbook, which need to be jotted down immediately in class.
  • The important questions or relevant portions for the answers might be highlighted by the teacher and these have to be noted.
  • Ensures retention of the lesson and facilitates easy recall.
  • Helps gain clarity in the subject and easy understanding of the lesson.
  • Facilitates easy last-minute revision.

3 Most Effective Note-Taking Methods for School

Note-taking is a race against time, as students write slower than their lecturers speak. The more words written down, the longer the time taken. In this case, writing down more words may ironically lead to less overall information being covered (as the student might get hung up on one point and fall behind).

Therefore, an effective system is one where students get maximum information on the topic from the least amount of words noted down.

So having established without doubt that note-taking is essential for good academic performance, and the necessity for a quality notes system, let us move on to the various methods of note-taking.

I.  Outline Method

Also called the Linear Method, this is the most commonly used method. It is probably the one your child uses as well. The Outline Method is popular because it covers all facts in the lesson and marks them specifically as points.

How to use the Outline Method?

1. In the outline method, write down information as it is received. Rather straightforward.

2. Start the lesson with the main heading.

3. Write subheadings for each section and make bullet points under each as required. The subpoints are indented to the right. Points under that are indented even more, etc.

4. Expand on the bullet points if necessary with relevant information.

5. Continue this until the end of the lesson.

Advantages of Outline Method

1. This method is thorough and exhaustive.

2. All points are covered.

3. The lesson is neatly structured and divided into sections

4. Each section is dealt with individually, in detail

5. It is easy to form questions for each section.

II. Cornell Method

The Cornell Method of Note-Taking (also known as Cornell Notes or the Cornell System) is an excellent method of note-taking that requires a little preparation but achieves great results with regular practice.

The main objective of note-taking in class is to provide comprehension and clarity to the lesson. This is possible only if the lesson is dissected into various sections or structured in an organized manner. this is what the Cornell Method does.

How to use the Cornell Method?

Here is how the Cornell Method works.

1. Divide the page into 3 sections-the margin section, the notes section, and the summary section.

2. First, divide the page into 2 halves horizontally- the top three-quarters of the page is for notes and margins while the bottom quarter is for the summary. Now, divide the top portion of the page into 2 vertically- a small 2″ for the margin (recall column) and the rest of the 6″ on the right (notes column).

3. The notes column is for jotting down notes during class. The margins (cue column/recall column) are for highlighting the important points or write cues and pointers.

4. The summary section at the bottom can give a brief summary of the lesson for easy review. Here is a visual representation of Cornell notes:

Advantages of the Cornell Method

1. Since the lesson is segmented into notes, cues, and summary, the reader gains a lot of clarity on the topic.

2. Important points are easily identified.

3. It is easy to review and revise the lesson. Just cover up the right side and see how much information you can recall about the keywords on the left.

III.   Map Method

For learners who prefer visual depiction of the lesson for easy understanding, the mapping method is the best. This method represents the topic visually and outlines the flow of the lesson. Each segment of the lesson is mapped to the next and this correlation helps students to remember the lesson easily.

How to use the Map Method?

1. Start with the main topic of the lesson.

2. From this, branch out to other topics by writing headings for them.

3. Under each heading, write notes.

4. From this branch, again form sub-branches.

5. Continue this until the end of the lesson.

Advantages of the Map Method

1. This works best for visual learners. A complex topic is turned into one image, which is easier to remember.

2. Pictorial representation makes understanding of the lesson simpler and easier.

3. Continuity of the topics in the lesson is maintained, and this helps in the easy recall.

Improved Notes for Improved Learning

Those are the three most effective note-taking methods that students can use in school.

Remember, each method has its disadvantages too. The Outline Method requires much more writing to be performed. With the Cornell Method, there are more restrictions and there needs to be intense concentration in class than with the other methods. The Map Method might be hard to implement during class while listening to the teacher and is better-suited for post-lesson summarization of the material in visual form. All these methods also need the lesson itself to be presented in a methodical format instead of jumping back and forth.

Whichever method your child chooses to adopt, make sure they write notes easily and legibly. Use markers or highlighters to make the important points stand out.

It is also worth noting that these methods work best for theory-heavy subjects like History, Biology, Civics, Literature, etc. However, they can also be modified for practical subjects like Maths and Physics. Although for these, another method such as the Charting Method may be more appropriate.

Reach out to expert practice-learning sites like LetsPractise that teach novel methods for easy exam preparation and study. We have practice papers, mock tests, and worksheets for all the subjects mentioned in this blog post and more.

Our learning plans are applicable for students of all boards (IGCSE, State Board, CBSE, ICSE, etc.) from 1st to 10th. Feel free to contact our team for more.

Practice these methods of note-taking regularly to form a habit and this will yield success for exam preparation and revision.

Remember, practice brings not only perfection but perks too. Good luck!

Throughout the world, children are the same: full of fun, laughter, games, and pranks! Anywhere you go, you can see children laughing and enjoying themselves only when they are playing. However, this usually does not occur when they are learning.

Learning is an absolute necessity for children to open their minds to knowledge. So, how does one make such a kid totally engrossed in playing, learn? It is a Himalayan task, indeed, but not impossible!

Children can be made to develop their learning skills and take an interest in academics with the help of some invaluable tools like the ones given below. It is all about ‘edutainment’ (education + entertainment). Let’s take a look.

5 Learning Tools Which Will Interest and Challenge Your Child

Getting your child to learn can be a formidable challenge. Parents need the help of some tools to incite their children to learn. Listed below are some websites that enhance learning skills and can be used to evoke your child’s interest in learning.

1. Cram

Cramming their heads with information is one thing that children hate. However, they can use Cram – the online flashcards app. This app allows children to learn and memorize facts on any subject. The simple interface has the question on the front and the answer on the back of a flashcard.

Aptly named Cram, this app uses the flashcards created by others to fill a child’s mind with facts easily. Since the app works both online and offline, it is very useful as your child can access it anytime and anywhere.

Dry topics become fun when your child uses Cram. With an enormous resource-pool of over 1 crore flashcards, there is no dearth of information. The students can create the cards themselves and fill in their own answers, or use those from the pool.

Instead of cramming for a test at the last minute, use Cram!

2. SparkNotes

While preparing for exams at the last minute, students often find it tedious and time-consuming to go through the entire lesson. They prefer to refer to study guides instead, where the lesson is briefly summarized. One website which offers study guides for many subjects is SparkNotes.

SparkNotes is an able study tool for subjects like English Literature, History, Poetry, and more. An easy-to-use website, SparkNotes features 500+ study guides for many subjects like philosophy, sociology, or political science.

With SparkNotes, even last minute learning becomes easy for your child. This tool, and similar ones such as CliffsNotes and Shmoop, are especially great for English literature and novels, providing simple explanations. You get summaries of popular books written by everyone from Jane Austen to Stephen King, in an entertaining and educational manner. They even offer modern-day translations for Shakespearean texts.

Never fear when Spark Notes is here!

3. Khan Academy

For children grappling with Maths and Science, Khan Academy comes as a saviour. Khan Academy is a popular and interactive website that offers online video tutorials for many subjects like Physics, Engineering, Calculus, Computing, Arts & Humanities, Economics, Finance, and more.

Kids can view the videos for free on YouTube or on their site. The Khan Academy Kids app is also available for young students and can be downloaded for free on the Google Play Store to learn on the go.

Khan Academy is a great way to understand the basics and get a solid foundation on a subject before diving in-depth.

4. CoolMathGames

Maths is something that must be learned through practice. CoolMathGames is just the website you’re looking for. It allows your child to tackle Maths in a playful way through fun and games. Thanks to gamification, your child can learn about Maths concepts such as strategy, skill, logic, and numbers and enjoy it in the process.

Many kinds of games, from random games to daily games are available on this site. If your child loves computer games, then they can quench their thirst here. The difference is these games are not just for fun. Instead, they give the added benefit of automatically training your child’s brain to execute the Maths problems more swiftly.

So, the next time your child wants to play games online, log him/her on to CoolMathGames.

5. LetsPractise

An expert online learning website, LetsPractise aims at assisting children to understand the concepts learnt in class in a better manner and helps them to prepare for exams. LetsPractise is designed to make exam preparation for students easier as it focuses on the concept of practice to attain perfection in academics.

LetsPractise has a huge repository of practice materials in the form of solved and unsolved question papers,  board questions, past question papers, worksheets, revision sheets. Questions are available in both Multiple choice questions and Long text format questions.

A database of 4 lakh questions is available catering to the various syllabi like IGCSE, State Board, CBSE, ICSE, etc. for classes from 1st to 10th.

When it comes to exam preparation, LetsPractise is the best study tool your child can use to gain perfection by practice in academics.

Why is LetsPractise the best tool for upgrading your child’s learning skills?

  • Learning is not just the input of concepts but has more to do with applying them efficiently. This is where LetsPractise scores over others. Let’s Practise has a unique assortment of questions that require your child to apply concepts only after thorough understanding.
  • LetsPractise ensures complete understanding of concepts by posing different types of questions on the same topic.
  • LetsPractise is specifically tailor-made to suit the Indian Educational System and has its course content prepared by expert teachers and parents who know the time-tested formula for practice-learning.
  • LetsPractise does not stop with mere question papers but also offers concise worksheets for quick revision and study.
  • The panel of academic experts at LetsPractise are forever ready to clarify any doubts from children anytime online.

If you want your child to get a better understanding of their subjects, it’s time to start using these tools. Browse through the various pricing plans that we offer and contact us if you require additional details.

Gear up your child’s learning skills through daily practice with LetsPractise.

Today (March 8th) is International Women’s Day. It is a day for advancement of rights of females all over the planet, both young and old. The theme for Women’s Day 2019 is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.

The day is also an important time for raising awareness of feminine issues. One such burning issue is “Education of the Girl Child”.

Facts About Female Education

While we are on this topic, there are a couple of facts we should be aware of first.

  • ‘Literacy rate’ is defined as the ability to read and write. Do you know that the world average for the female literacy rate is 79.7% while India stands at just 65.6%? Even our neighbor, the heavily populated China has surpassed us with 82.7%.
  • Are you aware that 65% of female students drop out of school when they attain puberty?
  • In India, do you know that while Kerala boasts a female literacy rate of 92%, Bihar is at a pathetic 51.5% female literacy rate?

What does all this mean? One thing: There is still a dire need to educate girls.

Even though the world as a whole may be advancing in terms of technology and transportation, one thing remains suppressed: female education. Why should we educate girls? We’ll tell you.

10 Reasons Why We Should Educate Girls

There are a lot of things that can be achieved by providing quality education to women. Educating girls has a lot of potential benefits to the society and the world. We have listed some of them here.

1. Creates a Healthy Family

According to the UNESCO, providing secondary education to mothers can save 12 million children from stunted growth and malnutrition. Since most of the infant deaths under 5% are due to malnutrition, this can be prevented by educating mothers.

An educated woman takes better care of her family and children.  She will be more aware of the importance of providing healthy nutrition and timely vaccination for her children. Mothers, especially single mothers need to be educated in order to take care of their child or children.

2. Lowers Infant Mortality

By providing girls with secondary education, we can reduce infant mortality by 50% and save the lives of 3 million newborns on Earth. The child of educated women is less likely to die before its first year. This is when they are the weakest and most vulnerable This is because an educated woman is less likely to contract HIV or AIDs and does not pass it on to her children.

She is more alert and aware of the causes of infant mortality and protects the child from infant death by taking timely vaccinations during her pregnancy and other health precautions. Thus, by educating a woman, you are not only helping one life, but saving another.

3. Decreases Deaths From Pregnancy

Women who are educated are more conscious of their health. They have fewer pregnancies and are hence less likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth, or the post-pregnancy period. Educated potential mothers are also more informed of what to do and what to avoid during pregnancy.

Educating more women also means providing more female healthcare workers to assist other women during pregnancy and childbirth. All this reduces maternal mortality and deaths during pregnancy by half. Again, we are saving not one life, but two.

4. Improves Socio-Economic Growth

Educated women stand better chances of gaining employment. This means a better quality of life, better health, education and future for the family. More well-educated people in the workforce leads to a healthier business sector and economy for the country.

It also helps in female empowerment and reduces female discrimination in offices. Educating women enhances the socio-economic growth of the family and society.

5. Stops Child Marriages

Educated girls aspire to study further, gain employment and enhance their personal standing in society. They wish to be self-reliant and independent. so they say “no” to child marriages and concentrate on pursuing their education.

Child marriages are the worst kind of social evil and cause early deaths of mothers and children. By educating girls, we can make them realize the risks of child marriage and prevent them from getting married early for their own welfare. The family will also not marry off their girl child for money.

6. Reduces Population

An educated woman knows that a “small family is a happy family”. Educating women makes them understand the perils of repeated pregnancies and the disadvantage of population explosion.

Educated women will also place more focus on their careers rather than just raising a family. Lesser population means better resources and opportunities without much competition. Women’s education is the first step to decrease population explosion.

7. No More Domestic Violence and Harassment

An educated woman knows how to exercise her rights and safeguard herself at both home and in society. The rate of exploitation, harassment, and domestic violence will go down because an educated woman will not be afraid to stand for what’s right.

Educated girls stand up boldly against domestic violence and sexual harassment or exploitation. In this #MeToo era, education gives a girl the courage to defend herself and seek social justice against such evils that plague society.

8. Better Political Participation

Representation of women in the governance of a nation is an absolute must and educating the girl child is the first step towards this process. No one knows women better than a woman herself and females deserve a right to vote and be heard. Educated women will both vote for politicians and run for political offices.

It goes without saying that women should have a say in the political process of this country, and educated women are more informed of policies. They should exercise their voting rights and choose the candidate who will work best for their cause. Educating girls from a young age helps them understand politics and gets them involved in the political process of the country. The more educated people that vote, better the future of the world will be.

9. No More Anti-National Tendencies

Uneducated girls are easy prey to terrorist organizations or enemy nations who brainwash them and force or fool them into becoming anti-nationals or terrorists.

Educating a girl child prevents her from going astray and becoming unknowingly militant. They cannot be duped or tricked as easily as an uneducated person. They are now well informed and contribute positively to the nation.

10. National Progress

Educating a woman is the first step to national progress. Educated women become better entrepreneurs, better administrators, and spokeswomen, furthering the progress of the nation. They are proud to represent the nation.

Girls must be educated in order to promote the welfare of the family, society, and nation. We must put a stop to female infanticide, child marriage, discrimination, and harassment against women if we want our planet to prosper. Female education is the answer.

Educate Girls to Improve the Country and World

Online practice learning sites like LetsPractise are dedicated to contributing to the cause of women education and further female participation in the education system.

We offer many educational plans for various subjects and school boards. Your daughter can learn about history, maths, science, languages, and more in fine fashion. Test sheets, practise papers, sample worksheets, and quality assessment reports will all be at her disposal. The more she learns, the more she knows. Contact us now if you have any questions that need answering.

On this Women’s Day 2019, let us all take a pledge towards women education and empowerment. Beti bachao, beti padhao.

Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired. Learning new concepts is the foundation of amassing knowledge. However, without practice, what is learned may soon be forgotten. This applies to school, college, office, and your personal life.

Practice is not only the key to retaining information but also the effective means of applying it. After your child learns something at school, they need to put it into practice. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the idea to be ingrained into their brains. Let us take a look at why practice after learning is important for every child.

Why Practice After Learning?

Practice after learning Is highly crucial and beneficial in the following ways.

1. Improve time management

Students are usually used to small cyclic tests and monthly tests as these tests are conducted more frequently than the longer ones. The annual exam or the currently ongoing Board Exam is conducted only once a year and for a 3-hour duration. Students are not used to sitting at a desk and writing such a lengthy exam. So, most of the students fail to complete the paper due to lack of time.

Improper time management is the reason for this incomplete execution of the exam. This major flaw can be corrected only through practice. Students who undertake practice tests while timing themselves are able to fare much better and finish the test on time. Their answers are well-structured and to the point. They learn the knack of answering questions pertinently and become masters at the vital skill of time management. Thus, practicing after learning improves a student’s time management ability.  

   2. Increase self-confidence

Many students do well to learn their subject, but when it comes to answering questions, they lose their confidence. The reasons for this are varied. The child may be afraid of getting the answer wrong or are unsure of how to write it out. Some face starting trouble and are better at oral communication.

These problems can be fixed, and the solution is to practice. Practicing helps students because it develops their ability to answer questions. They now know how to respond to the question in the proper manner and get a much needed morale boost.

With repeated practice, a student understands his/her strengths and weaknesses. They can then work to improve or cover up their weaknesses and build on their strengths, hence gaining confidence.

  3. True self-assessment

Some students are overconfident and this causes them to be careless in their studies. For such students, practicing after learning is the key to bring them to their right senses. Overconfidence is their weakness. By practicing, they understand the need for preparation done thoroughly and not just that done at the last minute.

It’s important to be confident, but not overconfident. Practicing exposes just how much the students really know. They may think they know something, but it may not turn out to be true. This is why practicing after learning offers the student an opportunity for true self-assessment.

  4. Gauge pace and coverage

The sad truth is that students can hoodwink parents, but not practice tests. Practicing clearly reveal which portions the student has learnt thoroughly and which ones he/she has rushed through.

Practicing and working out the answers requires an in-depth analysis and understanding of the subjects. Concept-based questions require high-order thinking skills and without a clear understanding, the student will be stumped. In this manner, practicing reveals how far the student has understood the portions, and gauges their pace and coverage of the material.

  5. Learn the art of answering

A student has to master the art of answering questions and this is easily done via practice. Practicing after learning teaches a student how to answer questions briefly and to the point, based on the marks.

It teaches the student how to structure the answer and present it effectively. Through continuous practice, the student is ready to face the actual exam as they have already put themselves through the scenario. They have gained familiarity and know the best way to tackle the questions.

LetsPractise for Learning

Learning is incomplete without practice. Practicing after learning is a must and every child needs to do it, not just to succeed in their examination, but also to have a stronger grasp on the subject and get more knowledge.  

Often times, it is not enough to simply learn. Parents should always emphasise the importance of practicing after learning to their wards and ensuring that they practice after learning by questioning them on their subjects in a random manner.

Where can you get practice tests and material for these subjects?

Online practice-learning sites such as LetsPractise offer an endless range of model questions in a standard -wise and syllabus-wise format. Take a look at our plans, order the material, and write these practice tests on a timed basis online. We have sheets for many subjects, standards, and school boards. Contact us now.

Practice makes perfect!