It is during the early developing years that the character building process takes place for a child. It is quite clear to us that educational institutions especially schools play an important role in shaping the personality and character of an individual thus influencing small communities, in turn, influencing the society at large. But is this known fact taken seriously enough to make a change? Let’s look at the current educational system! We are a part of a society that emphasizes on academic excellence and progress which is simply about the end result rather than the journey and it is high time the adults and influential members of the educational institutions actively rise to bring about the change that is needed in our society.

We are often told that it is a ‘big bad world’ out there! Is that the idea we want to instil in the minds of our future professionals and leaders? Instead, we need to create a systematic psychological pattern of behaviour to be developed at an early age to help them face the realities of our world.

1. Emphasis on strong personality development 

Why is this important? Our schools for some reason do not give room for individuality which results in mediocrity. Who would prefer to be a part of a society with a bunch of averaged potential individuals? We strive for excellence and excellence doesn’t necessarily mean it paves a way for unhealthy competition but it allows us to be the best version of ourselves. It is the role of the teacher to embrace each student’s individuality; assist in enhancing their positive aspects and creating activities that best suit their individuality. This, in turn, would result in creating a class of 40 different special individuals with firm personalities which comprise of confidence, a person of moral values and excellence in their areas of expertise. Hence when life throws a curve ball at us we have our character and values to fall back on to make the right decisions.

2. Breaking stereotypical ideologies

Since when did labelling and categorical divisions based on the behaviour of the majorities define a person? Gender differences, caste, and creed, religion or something as simple as one’s own preference gets put into categories thus diminishing the individual’s potential. Breaking these barriers that make these individuals conform to the roles they have been slotted into should be brought down. Thus, when society uses their judgement to label a person these future generations have already mastered the art of breaking down stereotypical barriers and are already on their way to stand out in the society for their true potential and not labels.

3. Mental Health 

There is ample amount of importance given to physical health but have you ever wondered about the need for mental health. There needs to be a balance in schools which give equal importance to academics, physical development, and mental health. Here we simply do not speak of improving the mental health of a student but also a teacher as well. It has been recorded that 300 million of the society has been diagnosed with depression by the WHO out of which according to the National Crime Records Bureau, every hour, one student commits suicide in India and the suicide rate of students has been on a high rise. How do we tackle this situation? Meditation and exercise go hand in hand. It releases a balance of ‘happy chemicals’ in our brain in order to eliminate the slightest signs of mental illness.

4. Emotional Quotient

EQ should be given high importance yet we seldom hear the term. EQ is nothing but the ability to identify, apply, comprehend and handle one’s emotions. With the noticeable rise in mood swings and emotional immaturity among students these days it is essential that educational institution provide students with programs that enhance their EQ levels as it is can be both obtained or acquired with guided programs.

The above points are just the basic strategies in creating a strong survivor of the society. Although the above are important, a teacher plays a major role in the life of an individual. We have vivid memories of how our teachers have contributed to the choices we’ve made in our personality, behaviourisms and even our choices in career.

Educational institutions are making conscious efforts in promoting an all-round development of an individual before he heads off into the world.

The importance of all the above is a subtle part of Letspractise. Overcoming learning difficulties, testing students abilities and areas of weakness, and creating tailormade learning material to best suit their needs is a top priority at this forum.

If you need assistance in areas such as chapter wise assessment, tailormade worksheets, and analysis of teaching methodologies to suit your child, do get in touch with Letspractise and allow us to assist in enhancing your child’s learning experience.

Is there any blueprint for success? There is- it is hard work and practice. Believe it or not, if you question the study habits of the toppers at any school, one commonality that emerges is daily practice. State and school toppers have admitted that studying daily had reduced their exam stress by 75%. They also claimed that they allocated specific hours of the day to study consistently and practise question papers.

Let us try to analyze why daily practice is a successful habit which can change your life.

Why daily practice gives success to a student?

  1. Daily practice lessens the load of studies.

Every school day has nearly 8 periods of study. At the end of the day, a substantial amount of portions has been covered up. If the student does not brush up the chapters every day with daily practice, he is sure to struggle on the exam day. This is because the entire portions will start tumbling on his head like a ton of bricks. This causes stress and tension as there is limited time on hand and excessive portions to cover.

But with daily practice, lessons are covered little by little and by the time the exam arrives, the student is thorough in his lessons.

  1.    Helps to keep main points in mind

Sometimes teachers give valuable points, references and tips which might be available in the book. The student jots this down and forgets it later. If he adopts the daily practice routine, he is bound to revise this extra information and make full use of them.

  1.     Clarify doubts immediately

Tough concepts in Maths and Science are difficult to understand in the first instance. When the student adopts a routine of daily practice, several doubts arise which he is able to clarify immediately or the next day in class. If the student keeps a backlog of portions, the doubts will get accumulated and he will never be able to comprehend the chapter fully.

  1.     Helps the student to review and self-analyze

As a result of daily practice, the student is able to identify his strengths and weaknesses in studies. He is able to assess the extent of portions covered and earmark which chapters need more revision and study.

  1.     Helps the student to plan better

With daily practice, the student acquires the ability to plan better. He is able to chalk out a study timetable and an exam study plan. this planning ability will give him valuable expertise in the long run.

  1.     Helps the student to manage time better

Time management comes easy for a student who has a routine of daily practice. The student is able to manage time effectively and allocate hours for both study and games.

  1.    Builds consistency and leadership

If daily practice becomes a habit, it builds the quality of consistency. This trait is a leadership quality which will shape the personality of the student in the coming years.

Making daily practice a habit -some tips for students

  • Get up early in the morning. This gives you extra time.
  • Allot hours for study- preferably in the early morning and evening.
  • An hour before school and an hour after school will do.
  • Revise the lessons in the morning
  • Work out practice question papers in the evening. Use online sites like Letspractise to navigate your portions in an easier manner.
  • Give an off during Sunday to relax yourself.
  • Scale up the study hours according to the need like exam time or after a vacation.
  • Never miss the routine.

One in a hundred students may be a born genius but the rest of the 99 can become winners too by daily practice.  Become a winner by making daily practice a habit and by using Letspractise to sharpen your academic skills.

“Education is not the learning of facts but the training of minds to think.” – said Albert Einstein.

But in India, children carry 2 things – a tote on their backs and rote on their minds. Yes, children are trained to learn things by rote and memorize lessons by repetition. This has had harmful effects on real education with far-reaching effects.

What is Rote Learning?

Rote Learning is the technique of learning subjects by repetition of the content several times. It is solely a memorization technique with no scope for understanding or analysis. Indian schools prescribe this technique to students to master subjects easily and score well in the exam.

Colloquially called as the “mug and vomit” system, Rote Learning focus only on scoring marks and not on the comprehension of the subject.  Rote Learning closes a child’s mind, diminishing his/her capacity to think. It lessens the interest and enthusiasm of the child is attending school and fosters mere bookish knowledge.

Statistics to support rejection of Rote Learning

  • An EZVidya survey reveals that 80% of the school principals feel that rote learning is eroding the quality of the education system.
  • A survey of 200 Indian and foreign companies revealed that only 14% of the Indian graduates were eligible as workforce; the rest lacked problem-solving skills.
  • 40% of the first year medical students in Tamilnadu failed in the first year.
  • 75% of the engineering students of Chennai failed in at least 1 subject in the third semester.
  • A Wipro -EI study on “Students learning in Metros”   conducted across the 5 metro cities of India-Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai & Bangalore revealed that even top schools exhibit rote learning.

 

Why Rote Learning is harmful to a child’s education?

Rote Learning is detrimental to a child’s holistic education because of it

 

  • Does not focus on understanding

 

Since Rote Learning is all about memorization, it has nothing to do with understanding. As a child moves on to the high school level,  Maths and Science have a lot of concepts to understand. Without comprehension of the subject, the child will find it difficult to move on to the next chapter or solve problems and sums.

 

  • Dissuades the child from thinking

 

A child who practises Roe Learning seldom thinks. Applying the mind to the subject, asking questions, looking for alternatives- all these are unknown to the child. All the child knows is to mug and repeat the answers.

In curriculums where Higher Order Thinking Skills – HOTS- are essential, these students who practise rote-learning suffer. This is because HOTS questions are totally different from those in the book and require individual thinking. The child then finds it difficult to answer such concept-based questions that require the fundamental understanding of the subject.

 

  • Dilutes the interest of the child in studies

 

“When anyone can score marks merely by rote, what is the need to study and attend classes?” This is what a child feels.

When the basic intelligence of the child goes unappreciated due to rote learning, the child loses the interest in studying or scoring well. Thus Rote learning hampers the progress of a child in studies.

 

  • Destroys the child’s enthusiasm

 

When a brainy child who understands the concepts well, scores the same as an average kid who is great at rote, the brainy child feels demoralized. His enthusiasm for excelling in studies vaporizes.

 

  • Prevents children with learning disabilities from progressing

 

Children with dyslexia or memory issues find it difficult to memorize lessons. For such children, the rote system of education is a nightmare.

Anti-Rote Campaign

Dell India stood up against rote-Learning calling it a “virus that should be eradicated from the education system”. It declared June 10 as Anti Rote Day and called for all educational institutions to stop recommending Rote Learning.

Dell advises the use of PC-based learning as the right alternative to rote. PC-based learning is interactive, informative and easily understood. Its initiative of using PC technology in transforming the education of children is called Aarambh and has been implemented on a pan-India scale.  

Dell’s Anti-Rote Campaign on social media makes use of creative visuals and videos that enlighten us on the perils of Rote Learning and the positives of PC learning.

Let us give our children a head start in this competitive world by saying goodbye to rote and welcoming the option of concept-oriented education using PC technology. Enhance your child’s interest in academics through the use of Practiced Learning using computers that will help him/her to understand, analyze and assimilate concepts better.

Every morning, the moment we wake up, the first thing we do, even before brushing our teeth, reaches for our mobile phones. Every person in the household, young or old is armed with a smartphone and so engrossed in it that it takes an effort to disengage them.

Children are no exception to this and are in fact the easiest preys as they simply imitate elders. Gone are the days of routine, discipline and exercise. Now, these are the days of Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram!

So what should we do? Dump all technology as trash?

Obviously not. Using technology in moderation and in the right way is the key to improving our life. Raising children in a world of technology is a challenge as Technology is a double-edged sword which we cannot do away with or do without. Here are 10 important tips for raising children in a world of technology.

  1. Encouraging the use of technology in the right way

We are in a world of incessant technological innovations. Every minute, technology is getting upgraded and outdated. If our kids don’t catch up, they will feel left behind in this rat race. To survive in this world, children should have the latest know-how of tech trends.

Encourage children to learn the use of the right kind of tech devices which are essential for their life. Children should be familiar with the use of email, internet, operation of home security systems etc. In the case of an emergency, technology can be a powerful weapon to have on hand.

  1. Using technology in moderation and by example

Forget cigarettes and alcohol. Smartphones are what a majority of children are addicted to nowadays.

Children should be made to understand that technology is a bane if used in excess. Explain to them the health and lifestyle issues that a child may face by using technology 24×7 like sleeplessness, obesity, poor academics etc. Emphasize the importance of exercise, sports, academics and family time.

Lead by example and strictly practise what you preach. Do not sit up with your laptop or phone until late hours. Be the example for your child to emulate in using technology. Otherwise, their excuse will be “you do it, so why can’t I?”

Staring at computer, TV, and mobile screens for too long is unhealthy and often times the children get sucked into a fantasy world that isn’t real. Beware of this and use the net with caution.

  1. Use age restrictions for using social media

Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram earmark 13 years as the minimum age to use them. Others like Reddit, Tumblr, and Discord have content not suitable for children of all ages. Enforce the same at home. Strictly prohibit the use of social media below 15 and insist on total honesty and transparency in their usage. Do not entertain the use of social media through false accounts.

There are umpteen social sites out there such as Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, Pinterest, etc. Not all of them restrict content to filter it accordingly. It is up to you as the parent to analyze what your child is watching and take the appropriate actions.

  1. Have schedules and control over what your child does

Clearly, mark the hours of technology usage. For instance, allot a single hour of 5 – 6 PM every day for TV for the child. If there are two kids, insist on sharing or taking turns. Install parental control in your TV and limit the programmes children can watch. Insist on you having access to their emails and social media accounts so that you can watch their cyber footprints.

Prohibit children from taking phones to school. Insist on knowing their passwords and frequently use their phones to check on their social media presence. The internet is not all sunshine and rainbows, so you need to block access to certain sites for a good reason. You can read our post on Keeping Your Child Safe Online for more.

  1. Highlight the demerit of technology as a distraction

Continuous surfing on the internet, talking on the phone, or Whatsapp chats will only cause delay to the school or office, leave homework or office work unfinished and diminish your self-repute. Explain to children that technology can be a major distraction and hence must be restricted.

Children use it so much to the point where grades and real life friendships suffer. This is unacceptable and needs to be stopped.

  1. Life does not run on likes or shares

Children these days are desperate for Facebook or Instagram likes. It is an unhealthy and sometimes dangerous obsession.

Counsel them saying that flattery and praise are fickle and the true realization should be from within. Getting depressed over poor social media following has become a trend for teenagers today.

You are not your Facebook likes or Twitter followers. You are you, and social media should not define you. Teach your kids the same and ask them to like themselves for what they are and not for what others see in them.

  1. All that is on the internet is not true

Children often do research on the internet for their school projects. Teach them to differentiate credible information from false. There are lies, falsehoods, and half-truths.

Teach your children that just because they read something on the internet, it doesn’t make it true. There is a lot of fake news floating around on Facebook, WhatsApp, and the like. It is important to be cautious and perform research instead of  just sharing everything you see.

Most of the content is opinionated and only some are backed by statistics. Teach children to look out for credible information from scholars like whitepapers and use them.

  1. Technology cannot replace personal relations

A smartphone can help you converse for hours but it cannot become your family.  Teach kids the value of family ties and relations and the importance of personal relations.

The online world may seem like a fun and exciting place where you can be anything. However, no matter what, real life is real life. Kids tend to use the online realm as an escape from real life problems. Sit down and talk to your child. Have

  1. Make technology the problem solver

Encourage kids to use technology to seek and solve problems in academics and in daily lives. Ask them to question what purpose technology serves each time they use it. This will help them be the right judge in using them.

You can find answers to almost everything on Google. All you need to do is look.

  1. Use technology for education

Sure, you can find games and fun content on the web. The internet is also an ocean of information if you use it rightly. It has videos and tutorials on building robots, coding, innovation, and basically anything else you can think of.

Apart from gaming or entertainment sites, your children can use sites to learn new stuff. Just search for it on Google and you will probably find the answer. Even YouTube has a lot of instructional and informative videos.

There are also websites such as Let’s Practise that are really resourceful in helping kids with their academics through practiced learning. We offer practice sheets and mock exam papers as well.

Technology is tied to our lives today. Let us make children use it judiciously through awareness, counselling and example. Contact Let’s Practise for more information.

A classroom is an assorted assembly of children. Children of all kinds mingle in the classroom- Fast learners, slow learners, active kids, lazy ones and of course the kids with attention issues.

Who are the kids with attention issues?

Some kids are restless, easily distracted and inattentive in class. They seem more fidgety than usual. Focussing on the class is a major challenge for such children.

Teachers who observe children acutely in class are able to identify such kids with attention issues. Children may be affected by this types of attention issues

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common attention issue affecting children between ages 3-17. For these kids, the attention-controlling area of the brain takes time to develop. So they exhibit the following symptoms.

  • Inability to focus on small details in a big picture
  • Be attentive without getting distracted
  • Continue a thought process even after getting interrupted
  • Require instructions to be repeated several times
  • Concentrate on one task at a time
  • Follow spoken instructions and process them
  • Continue a conversation without changing the topic

What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness is a life skill that enables a child to understand his

  • Thoughts and emotions
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Outward impression on others

Self-awareness is crucial in helping a child to optimize his potential and direct it towards his self-improvement.

Why self-awareness is critical for children with attention issues?

  • A child with attention issues knows his weaknesses, but he can realize what his strengths  are only through self awareness.
  • Self-awareness makes an attention-deficit child realize that how he perceives himself is very different from how others perceive him.
  • Being self-aware helps children with attention issues mingle normally and relate to others.
  • Self-awareness is the key for attention-deficit kids to identify unique opportunities for self-growth.

Tips to improve self-awareness of kids with attention issues.

  1.     Help them to acknowledge their attention issues

Children may be too young to understand the full implication of ADHD. But still, you can try to clarify to them that they might find certain things difficult – like retaining what have learnt or writing down what they have read. If a child understands that he has these difficulties, he may cope with it and work harder.

  1.     Bring in the big picture

Make the child understand that attention issues are not going to be the deciding factor that would rule his life. Celebrate his other strengths and guide him towards opportunities where he can excel. Children with attention issues might excel in sports like swimming, karate etc.

  1.     Make him feel comfortable with his shortcomings

Do not feel shy to discuss the weaknesses of the child. Rather make it seem as if they are minor issues. Relate his shortcomings to those close to him in a fun way- ” Look, I am good at Maths but I can’t swim like you even for a minute!”

  1.     Come up with smart solutions

Having explained his failings to the kid, now give him some smart solutions to overcome them. For instance, explain to the kid that “You might find it difficult to recall what you learnt at class. So try revising it 2-3 times instead”.

  1.     Motivate him to pursue his passion

Identify his passions and motivate the child to pursue them. “Your art teacher was pretty impressed with your work the other day. Why don’t you try a sketch right now?”

  1.     Explore new avenues

Induce your child to explore new avenues. Get him to overcome his fear of failing. Make him try his hand at boating, horse riding, art or music to build his self esteem.

 

Most children suffer attention issues in their growing years. But these attention issues can easily be surmounted by identification of alternate learning methods and with adequate practice. Practiced learning helps children with attention issues cope better with academics and excel in scholastics too.