Time for a lets Practise Summer tip. Summer is here again and is usually seen by children as the time where they can wake up late, fiddle around on the phone / computer / TV for the whole day, and generally be lazier than during school days. While this is partially true, it is important not to let the child slip past the point of no return.  

Of course, summer is the time where your child can enjoy and have fun, but make sure they don’t get too carried away. After all, school is fast approaching and it is important to stay on top of the next year’s class material. You don’t want to fritter away your child’s summer days.

Here are four things you can do to make sure your child has a productive summer:

Read

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~ George R. R. Martin, Author

Reading is one of the great activities your child can do during their summer holidays. Reading expands your knowledge and lets you create new worlds and characters. It improves your child’s creativity and imagination.

Make sure your child reads a lot of books during the summer. Reading a good book is better than sitting at home and watching a television or playing on the computer, smartphone or other electronic devices all day. Electronic gadgets make children strain their eyes more than books. Also, video games, movies, and shows don’t force the child to be creative as the visuals are already on display. Reading in this case doesn’t have to refer to school books. Just reading novels and storybooks can help improve your child’s vocabulary as well as teach them good life lessons.

Many stories such as Aesop’s Fables, Amar Chitra Katha and Panchatantra teach morals to children in an entertaining manner. Reading also lends perspective on the cultures and ideas of other people.

You can even go more in-depth and ask them to discuss the books they read during dinner. This way, the whole family gets involved and your child can improve their oratory skills. Older children can keep a diary for their books or write reviews for a book detailing their favorite and least favorite moments.

Strengthen Weak Subjects

Summer is the best time for your child to strengthen their knowledge on school subjects, especially the weaker ones. Catching up on weak subjects helps the child be on top of their game and they will be sharp mentally for the next year of school.  When school starts, they will be bogged down with new material and will thus lag behind. Studying during summer helps them get a head start on the material and makes sure they are ready by the time school comes around.

You should sit down with the child and set a timetable where they take time out of the day to work on math problems or revise their Geography. This can either be one hour every day, half an hour every day, or two hours every other day. Be sure to set something that both you and your son or daughter can agree on. However, remember that studying is probably the last thing that a child wants to do during the summer holidays, so don’t make them spend a lot of time on it. Be fair with them and they will be happy to be your kid!

Join a Hobby Club

There are many activities that your child can join during the summer. Try to find a group or club nearby where your child can learn a new skill or hobby. Some examples of activities include chess, swimming, singing, cricket, and football. There is also karate, dancing, art, singing, and much more. The advantage of these classes is twofold. One, your child can learn something new. Two, they now have their own clique of sorts and have found children with similar tastes as them. This helps them make more friends and expand their social circle.

If your child is old enough, consider enrolling them in a summer camp. Camps are full of action and interesting pursuits for your child. They will learn how to live without their parents and develops their independent growth. They can learn new abilities and improve upon their existing ones. In a way, summer camps can shape how the child grows up to be. If you are worried that they will be alone or won’t fit in, ask a friend to enroll as well. The best part is that they are separated from technology, but will be too busy having fun to notice.

Community Service

You can make your child volunteer at a place like a temple, clean up the beach, or park.  They can also help out at an old age home. Volunteering teaches children the value of hard work. A trip to a place like an orphanage lets the children know about those less fortunate than them. It makes them feel thankful for what they have and not take things for granted. If possible, take your child to a farm so they can learn more about farming techniques and how vegetables are harvested.

We advise just telling your child to go outside and getting fresh air. We know it’s tough to beat the heat, but don’t just let your child stay inside the house. Make them go outside and play and be physically active. You don’t want them to be a slouch once the next school year starts.

The main goals for your child in the summer are to make more friends and gain knowledge. The key is to minimize the time they spend inside the house as this will put them into a rut that is difficult to get out of when school begins again. Summer is the only time when they can freely play outside and not worry about homework or tests on the next day.  

If you follow these tips, you will end up with a summer that makes both your child and yourself happy. Let’s Practise wishes everyone a fun and productive summer!

Are you, as a parent, more anxious to check the results than your children? Of course you are, and why shouldn’t you be? The CBSE ICSE mark sheet is an encapsulation of the entire year’s work, which makes it a very important document.

Do you know how to read the mark sheet? Viewing a mark sheet can be overwhelming and confusing. You may not know what is important and which factors you can ignore. Let’s understand what certain phrases mean and what to watch out for.

Here are five aspects you should look for while evaluating your child’s mark sheet:

The Grade Point System

Mark sheets have a point system for the child’s marks. Alongside a number for the exact marks, there is also a letter for the range of marks. Sometimes, there will only be a letter and not the exact score. Here is an explanation of the grade point system and what it means.

Below is the current CBSE grading scale for classes 6 – 8:

CBSE grading school

It is important to note that these are the general letter grades on a mark sheet but may vary depending on school and board of education. The scale differs for class 9 and 10. Check the mark sheet for a key with the exact values.

Attendance

Marks are important but be sure to look at the attendance section as well. It will tell you if your child has been cutting classes. If there is less attendance than you expected, look in the teacher’s notes. Poor attendance may indicate low interest in school or in a particular subject.

Teacher’s Notes  

Often in the case of younger students, teachers will leave personalized remarks in the mark sheet. Does he pay attention in class? Is your child following instructions? Is he getting along with others?

The answers to these questions can be critical to identify your child’s behaviour in class. As a parent, you should not neglect this behavioral aspect. It shows their attitude towards other students, teachers, and learning in general. Marks are not the only important factor as the child can learn life lessons and get practical experience for the future.

If your child has not performed well, these remarks can also point out the reasons. You will get notes on their personal attributes, communication, behavior, work habits and social skills. If they talk a lot in class or be very silent, do not dismiss it as something that young kids do. The problems may continue unless you remedy them now.

Percentage vs. Percentile

These are two terms which you will probably encounter on your child’s mark sheet. They are often used interchangeably, which is wrong. Both of these have different meanings.

Percentage is more common, and it means, in the simplest terms, ‘a representation out of 100’. The word ‘percent’  can be divided into ‘per’ and ‘cent’, which literally means ‘a part of 100’. The values are being converted to a total of 100.

You should note that percent is indicated by ‘%’ but percentile is not. If your child has scored 20 marks out of 40, they have scored 50%.

Percentage is usually used in general terms whereas percent is for more specific purposes. One might say ‘A large percentage of the children aced their exams’.

Percentile is a bit more complicated. It denotes a measure of distribution through statistical means. If your child is in the 60th percentile, this means they scored higher than 60 percent of the kids who took the exam. You can use percentiles to compare your child to their peers. Was the exam for everyone or just your child?

Percentage – Representation of data out of 100

Percentile – Representation of data in comparison to the rest out of 100.   

For example, a child scoring 95% on the exam means they got 95 marks out of 100. However, the exam could have been easy and many others could have scored 100 marks. Percentage doesn’t tell you anything about the others.  

If the child was in the 95th percentile, you know for sure that they did better than 95 percent of the class. Therefore, a high percentage is good, but a high percentile is better.  

In the end, percentile seems to be the fairer way to judge your child’s performance and know where they stand in class.

Extracurricular

There are periods apart from the main subjects that are on your child’s schedule. Karate, music, swimming, art, singing, and dance are just some of the other activities that your child may excel in.  It is important to test the waters and ask your child what they like to do. Look at their performance in areas such as PT, writing, and public speaking.

Schools also conduct programs and tournaments for sports, drawing, chess, etc. See if your child is interested in any of these. You may have uncovered a hidden talent and found an athlete or singer.

Other Tips

Try not to compare your child’s marks in front of them as this is off-putting. Not all children learn the same way and someone who excels in one subject may struggle with another.   

Do not scold or verbally abuse your child for missing out on marks. Try encouraging them and asking them a genuine reason for failure rather than berating them. This will only make them dislike studying even more.

Knowledge is the top priority but marks are a way of measuring that knowledge. The system is not perfect, but as of now it is the only one that exists. Apart from this, meet the teachers so you can know more about what your child does in class.  

Focus more on whether they are learning rather than memorizing and regurgitating information. If they only study so they can do well in exams, the knowledge will get stored in short term memory and be forgotten after the exam.  

At Lets Practise, it is our constant endeavor to keep you abreast of what’s happening in the educational scene. If there is a topic you want us to write about, do let us know. Fill in the contact us page or send us an email.

Never forget that these are the formative years for your child and will shape the rest of their life. Keep this in mind and your child is sure to go places. Happy parenting!

Summer is finally here, after all the stressful exams, piles of homework, assignments and continuous hard work through the academic year! The scorching sun and sweltering heat cannot stop you from having fun now. 

Aside from visiting relatives, going to the mall or movies and/or enrolling in summer classes, do you have any summer plans?

Here are six amazing ideas to utilize this summer effectively:

Inculcate the reading habit

Reading is an essential part of learning. With multiple distractions, it is very difficult to develop the reading habit in your child.  So, this vacation gift your child some wonderful books of interest to her – fantasy, adventure, fiction, etc. Ask her to critique the plot, main characters, the beginning and the end. This develops a structured thinking process in their minds.

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” – Maya Angelou

 Cooking can be fun!

Cooking with kids is another fun activity. If your child is a foodie and she has a passion for cooking, encourage her. Let them experiment with ingredients and flavors. Find some kids friendly recipes here and make sure you are there to assist during the entire process. Help them with the chopping and grinding to ease their work but keep younger children away from knifes and scissors to avoid any injury. We are sure you will be pleasantly happy to see the big smile on her face once the dish is ready.

Experimenting with Science

Children can grasp concepts better if they experience them. Here are few science experiments that your children will love.  Buy some ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) kits that are available in the market. Watch your child learn as she plays!

Transform a boring visit into a fun time

Children can get bored if you pack too many visits to temples and museums in a single-day schedule. Research these places on the internet, ferret out nuggets of information about our glorious history and ancient science, offer them prizes for guessing artifacts or dates correctly. Check this list to plan your summer day out.

Create a summer scrapbook

Ask your child to create an online scrapbook this summer and build a photographic diary that represents good memories of the day. She can then upload these pictures, pen down her experiences and share with a close group of trusted friends or relatives. Who knows, a brilliant photographer or talented writer may be unearthed?

Awaken her creative genius

creative genius

Summer is the time to follow interests, discover new passions, and experiment with new ideas. The School organizes few arts and crafts competitions but academic pressure may limit her from sharpening her creative genius. Now is the time to try new things. So encourage her to craft something special. If she loves beaches then here are some beach crafts that she can start with.

LetsPractise has launched a great summer program for students. To know more contact us here.

 

Advancement in science and technology has also seen the disadvantages: Deforestation, burning fossil fuels, emission of industrial wastes, mining, oil spillage are some major causes of man-made disasters. We ruin Mother Earth for food, shelter, and comfort, etc. When will this stop?

“The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago – had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.”

– Havelock Ellis

We are not able to breathe fresh air or consume organic foods that our great-grandparents used to relish. However, we can ensure that our children don’t continue the inevitable path of man-made destruction.

Here are few tips to bring your child closer to nature through evoking the sense of social responsibility:

Dedicate some time for exploring nature

Even in a crowded metropolitan city, there will be oases – a pond, park or a beach. Avoid the distractions of the internet and simply relax. Encourage your child to absorb every moment in the silence. The waves, shapes of clouds, birds chirping, sea shells on the shore or birds and squirrels in the park. You and your little one will surely appreciate the experience.

Build a Nature Collage

If your child has the hobby of collecting stamps or coins, then this one is for him. Ask children to collect leaves, twigs, flowers, and more from each trip and visit you make to a beautiful place. He can later put them together in a nature journal or scrapbook. Recollecting the memories from the journal will fill him with excitement as he grows older.

Tend to Kitchen Garden

If you are lucky enough to have a garden at home, then get set for a wonderful family bonding activity. Ask him to take care of your kitchen garden. Let him maintain each plant himself – protecting it from insects and birds, pruning dead or infected twigs, watering, etc. but make sure you are there when he needs help.  

Start a Home Garden

If you don’t have a garden, then start a small garden today! Find a space to develop the garden – a rooftop, balcony or even the space near the windows will allow you to grow a few plants. Take your child to a nearby plant nursery and ask him to choose seedlings for the garden. Help him pick the right ones that will fit your space and are suitable for the climate. Teach him to transfer the seedling into the pots and how many times it has to be watered. Let him observe the growth of the plants and nurture them. This entire process will teach your child to be patient, caring, responsible and also create a sweet bonding with nature.

Take him to an organic grocery shop

Picture courtesy: Blossom Chutti Playschool, Chennai.

Take your child for grocery shopping. Point out a fruit or vegetable that he has not seen before. You can then answer his questions about them. This gives him an opportunity to see and learn about a wider variety of foods. You can also discuss about various healthy foods, differences beteen where they grow and how they are packed and transported, etc.

Many foods, animals and even trees are slowly becoming extinct due to callous human behaviour. By giving your child proper environmental education, you can build their interest in environmental and community services. This also expands their knowledge and makes them responsible about conserving our resources.

LetsPractise provides ICSE & CBSE students easy and interesting resources for their education. Check them out at cbseinfosst.

 

“Competition is very good… as long as it’s healthy. It’s what one  needs to strive to be better.” Christine Lahti.

Active participation in competitions enables development of many positive traits in children. However, unhealthy contests can cause stress and disappointment in children.

Even child experts recommend healthy competition for children. But if you are still hesitant to involve your child in tournaments and worried about its effects, then here are a few ways to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy contests:  

How to red flag unhealthy competitions?

  1. The competition will arouse anxiety or make him nervous.
  2. He will not be prepared to accept his defeat.
  3. Resistance to further participation.
  4. Previous contests caused disruption in friendship.

How to green light healthy competitions?

  1. Your child will sound excited about the competition.
  2. He should be okay with losing the match or tournament.
  3. He will focus on improving his skills.
  4. Competition is seeding improved confidence.
  5. The child has fun and looks forward to participating rather than winning.

How can a healthy competition benefit your child?

 

  • Motivates children.

 

Tournaments are an interesting way to keep your child motivated. Despite the ups and downs, their passion for doing better keeping them going.

 

  • Builds confidence.

 

Participating in meets gives a good dose of self-esteem to the child. Continuous participation and interactions help them overcome negative emotions like fear, anxiety, etc.

 

  • Makes them goal oriented.

 

Contests set a goal for victory and children to practise hard to reach those goals. Thus, these children turn out to be focused individuals.

 

  • Prepares them for the real world.

 

In today’s world, one cannot move up the value chain without competition. From a seat in a reputed college to a decent job, you will face rivalry everywhere. Hence, school level contests would be a good start for him.

 

  • Life becomes interesting.

 

Youngsters are always curious and enthusiastic. Meets are a wonderful platform that enables them to exhibit talent and interact with teachers better. Thus teachers can work with students as a team, making even the introverts life interesting!

Three tips for encouraging healthy competition in children:

 

  • Help them set the right goal.

 

Your child can’t win all the time so make sure that failures do not stop him. Parents can help children in fixing achievable goals for the contest. Exceeding these goals will prevent him from getting dejected.

 

  • Ask them to compete with themselves.

 

Explain the importance of practice and perfection to your children. Contesting with oneself is always a good idea than with others. This will help him try harder and perform exceptionally than always.   

 

  • Don’t compare instead appreciate their efforts.

 

Parents should never compare their kids with others as this can evoke negative emotions in him and also lead to an inferiority complex. Always encourage your child to give his best and appreciate even his smallest achievements.  

 

Competitions help children to understand and develop social skills and values. Taking part in group matches will encourage them to cooperate with other team members for success. Winning in these matches not only boost their self-esteem but also prompt them to practise, research and develop their skills. Even if they lose one of the tournaments, they can learn from their mistakes and give their best the next time.

So will you encourage your child to participate in the next contest at school? Let’s know here.