“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.

 

It’s vacation time and parents are racking their brains to keep their kids occupied during these holidays. Kids want to have lots of fun while parents want them to enjoy too, but with some learning included.

Here are some ideas to give a judicious mix of both fun and learning as amazing vacation ideas for your kids. These are both fun and will enrich the mind/body.

1. Go Trekking

Get set to go a nature trail. Choose a safe location to go trekking this summer. Check out for some trek clubs near you and join one of their adventurous expeditions. Trekking is not only good exercise but it also builds team spirit and cooperation. It also instils the spirit of adventure and exploration along with a love of nature.

2. Pick up a New Hobby or Skill

Learn something new this summer that is both fun and fruitful. Opt for origami- the Japanese paper craft or our own Keralite mural painting or the famous Warli pot painting. If you care for the outdoors, learn horse-riding or boating. If you want something homebound, go for gardening or interior-decoration. Kids even pick up cooking, baking, pottery or sewing as hobbies. For those with a mechanical bent of mind, children can learn carpentry, vehicle servicing, basic electrification etc. with adequate adult supervision.

3. Learn a New Language

Why not try learning a foreign language- French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin etc? This is bound to be interesting and can come handy for your overseas education as well. Linguistic capability can open doors to a host of opportunities abroad.

4. Bond with Books

Those kids who did not have time to read storybooks during school days, can now really immerse themselves in books. Check out the latest best sellers and comics and have a go at them. Amar Chitra Katha and Panchatantra are fun and teach morals. You can also check out the ‘Feluda’ series by Satyajit Ray. Be sure to spend time reading books of authors like Roald Dahl, JK Rowling, Agatha Christie, and Enid Blyton. Fiction novels really help expand the child’s imagination and creativity. Raid the library for old classics and new hardbacks that you might have missed out on.

5. Sign Up for a Fitness Regimen

Go health-conscious this summer. Get into a fitness regimen eating the right diet, doing exercise, Yoga and meditation.  Gear up your body for the upcoming year of academics with fitness training, aerobic exercises or yogic asanas. Swimming is a great way to cool off in the summer heat and exercise at the same time. Other good options are cycling and badminton and they can be easily done.

6. Opt for Organic Farming

Learn the nuances of home gardening with organic fertilizers. Train yourself on vermicomposting,  manuring, weeding etc. Take a trip to a farm nearby and study their agriculture and way of life. See what practice can be adapted to do city-farming and try implementing them.

7. Go Tech-Savvy

Kids who are really into computers can enrol for a programming course or basic course on machine hardware. They can learn to use the computer for more than just games and entertainment. Robotics is also another area that is keeping kids really busy these days.

8. Join a Summer Camp

A summer camp could be the right place to give a mix of both learning and fun. Summer camps usually have sports like swimming, crafts like pottery-making and a bit of fun learning like arts and crafts. Lets Practise has organized such an innovative summer camp with a pack of productive activities that will keep them usefully engaged.

Points to remember while choosing vacation activities for kids

  1. Choose an activity that your kid has a genuine interest in. It is your child’s interest and not yours, and that is important. Choose something they want to do. Half-hearted involvement does not help.
  2. Ensure that the activity is suitable for your kid at his age. Small kids might not be able to undertake advanced software or digital courses or read complex novels.
  3. Make sure that the activity is safe for your child. For instance, swimming is not advised for kids with asthma.
  4. Let the activity centre be close to your home, always accessible, and in a hygienic environment.
  5. Do not choose rigorous activities that will stress your child out. Your kids need a break during the holidays. Let them enjoy their vacation.

Vacation time is a valuable time for both kids and parents.  Make the most of it by bonding with children and indulging them in fun activities that will revive them for the coming academic year.

Check out the innovative summer program from Lets Practise and feel the difference!

Hurray! It’s holiday time! Kids deserve a break after working so hard doe their exams, don’t they? But it’s summertime and many places in Maharashtra are really hot. How to beat the heat and yet occupy children enjoyably and productively? The answer is obviously “Summer camp”.

Here’s a list of Summer Camps for kids in Maharashtra. Take a look and decide.

  1. Kolad’s Nature Camp

Gear up your kids for a Nature Adventure with this summer camp at Kolad conducted by Small Steps Adventures. This unique summer camp focuses on outdoor activities and experiential learning for 7- 15-year-olds. Lasting for 3 days and 2 nights, this camp concentrates on improving the social skills and the love of nature for kids. Packed with excitement, this summer camp offers thrilling activities like Monkey Tail, Slackline, Burma Bridge, Low Ropes etc. Even /archery and Rifle Shooting are offered for the truly interested. Teamwork, Leadership, Nature awareness etc., are the learnings from this camp.

  1. Nilshi Summer Camp

The Nilshi Summer Camp is a unique opportunity to embrace adventure. Nilshi is a verdant village nestled in the Western Ghats between /Mumbai and Pune. This short excursion for adventure lasts for 3 days and 2 nights. Children find this an excellent opportunity to interact with nature and bond with their friends. Exciting activities like Kayaking, Target Shooting, Rock Climbing, Outdoor Cooking etc. are great fun for children.

  1. Pune’s Rainbow Island Summer Camp

Short and stimulating weekend summer camps are organized by Pune’s Rainbow /spello to Doodhsagar Waterfalls, Prabalmachi, Trikon etc. The Doodhsagar Waterfalls trek and Tour offers great opportunities for Bird Watching, Photography etc. Prabhalmachi, located between Matheran and Panvel is another nature spot to explore. Trikon tour has an evening of sailing at sunset and enjoying the scenic beauty of the ocean waters.

  1. Pune’s Surya Shibhir Camp

Located 50 km. from Pune, the Surya Shibhir offers an exclusive experience for children to sharpen their intellectual skills along with their physical vigour and nature awareness. At this useful Summer Camp, kids learn the use of windmills, biogas, solar panels, dairy farming, vermicomposting etc. Apart from this, adventure activities include flying kites, rock climbing, valley crossing, rappelling, rifle shooting and swimming. This camp offers a good exposure to organic farming while indulging them in fun activities.

  1. Nashik’s STEM Summer Camp

The thirst for knowledge is unquenched for some. For kids like these, who have an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Nashik is the destination. This STEM summer camp offers project-based learning and practice on the Maths and Science topics with audio-visual aids.

  1. Nagpur’s Edify Summer Camp

If you reside in Nagpur, your kid is lucky. Nagpur’s Edify Summer Camp has a lot of educational and fun activities for kids aged 5-14. Unique art and craft activities like Pottery, Music, Zoomba and even Hair Styling and IT designing are taught at this innovative camp along with swimming and sports.

  1. Aurangabad’s Full to Dhamaal Summer Camp

For kids aged 5-16, this summer camp offers skating, karate, music, swimming and lots more. With affordable and active learning opportunities, this camp is accessible to all the kids in Aurangabad.

  1.    Mumbai’s mind-blowing summer classes

Mumbai is a marvellous place in Maharashtra and the best to equip your kids. Come summer, you have summer classes galore at Mumbai. Children can dabble in Water Origami, Terrarium, Aroma Candle Making, Block Printing, Theatre, Social Media and Email Marketing and more. Such innovative workshops give lots of scope for learning and exploration.

Summer Practise Papers from Let’s Practise

Summer is always a fun time for students and it is important that they go outside and enjoy themselves. Physical activities such as swimming and other sports are always encouraged. These are much better than watching TV or playing computer games all day.

Keep your kids sharp with practise papers from Let’s Practise. We have mock tests in maths, English, science, languages, and other subjects, for a variety of school boards. They are perfect for getting your child back into the school groove. Blend fun and education into a sort of edutainment. Contact us now.