A New Year ushers in hope for a new beginning and a fresh start. Most people make New Year resolutions to mend their ways, learn new things and improve themselves.

Both parents and children need to look back at the past year’s experiences and decide what changes have to be made to work towards a better future. This involves cooperation and participation from both parents and children to transform the resolutions to reality.

Top 10 Resolutions for 2019

Here are a total of 10 resolutions for both parents and children to accomplish in 2019.

Top Five 2019 Resolutions for Parents

The adults are up first. Here are 5 goals for parents to strive for this New Year.

1. Eating Together

This is a big one. Nowadays, the dining table is just an idle piece of furniture. Parents must make it the family hangout spot by eating together with their children at least once a day. Both parents and children must have at least breakfast or dinner together in order to bond within the family. Mobiles, laptops, TV, and other electronics should be avoided.

These family moments must be spent in happiness with healthy conversation and food as supplements. Don’t start any arguments, quarrels and controversies, so avoid talking about religion or politics. Even busy working parents or top executives must realize the importance of the saying “a family which eats together, stays together”. Put eating together on top of the agenda for 2019.

2. Reduce Gadget Time

Parents often chide their children for always using their mobiles or playing online games, but they themselves keep chatting on Whatsapp or Facebook! This is rather ironic and hypocritical. Using electronics gadgets non-stop is a bad example for your children.

Parents must lead by example and spend time at home doing quality work without electronics, like reading the newspaper, cleaning, gardening etc. Gadget time must be restricted in the morning and late evenings for all at home in this New Year 2019.

3. Family Meetings

Parents often treat children as babies and do not involve them even in any family -related matters. In fact, most of the decisions about the children like the coaching classes they attend, the hobbies they want to pursue, subjects to take, etc are often taken by parents themselves.

This New Year, in 2019, parents must have family meetings to discuss key issues. Take time to talk to the child and involve children in these meetings. Take their opinions into account before finalizing the decision. This gives the children a feeling of responsibility as well as an opportunity to express their views.

4. Reduce and Recycle

In this New Year, parents and children can take this productive decision of reducing and recycling waste. The government has already banned plastic bags in some Indian states. Saying ” no” to plastic bags and organic recycling should be made part of the family agenda for 2019.

5. Spend Quality Time With Children

These days, parents are spending a lesser amount of time with their children. The time they do spend with their children is often used for reviewing their performance, giving long lectures on the importance of discipline or good marks, or finding fault with their behavior.

This New Year 2019, parents must make a change to stop this blame game and start spending more quality time with children. Play games or sports with children, help them with their homework, talk about their day, and discuss their problems. All these can yield fruitful results for both sides without toxicity.

Speaking of children…

Top Five 2019 Resolutions for Children

Now, on to the top 5 goals for children to achieve for this New Year.

1. Learn Something New

Children can take the initiative in 2019, of learning something new, such as a new hobby, art, craft, language etc. This will help them to refresh their mind and alleviate academic stress.

Children don’t have to learn something new every day, but expanding knowledge beyond just what school teaches is important. Parents must cooperate and allow children to pursue their interests in 2019.

2. Avoid Junk Food

Staying healthy must be the top priority for children in 2019. Students tend to become overweight when they live a sedentary lifestyle. This means just sitting around at home watching TV or their mobile while stuffing themselves with chips, sweets, snacks, soda, etc.

Fat and oil should be kept to a minimum this year. Children must take an oath to avoid junk food and eat only homemade healthy food. Exercising daily must also become the prime focus for children in 2019.

3. Finish Tasks on Time

It’s time to say “no” to procrastination as tomorrow never comes. Stop putting of tasks and delaying them. No more excuses. Children must make a commitment in 2019 to finish tasks on time, whether it is for the home, the school, tuition, whatever.

It’s easy to postpone tasks but it has to be done eventually, so why not now? Get it over with. Get motivated, get up off the sofa, and just do it! Besides, punctuality and discipline will help in the long run to achieve better goals.

4. Help Parents

Just as parents should take time to help their children, the inverse also applies. Children must understand that their parents care for them most. They must learn to obey them and also help them in their daily chores. Stop with the petty arguments, bickering, and infighting in 2019.

Helping parents makes children understand their responsibilities and burdens. Above all, children learn to respect parents more when they help them. A good parent-child relationship is critical, so make it a top priority this New Year.

5. Study Harder and Smarter

Children must resolve focus on their academics. They must identify their weaknesses and work harder to correct them. It’s not just about working hard, but smart as well. The best students are those who imbibe the most amount of knowledge and information in the least amount of time. Rather than just memorizing and regurgitating facts, students should study to learn new things for this New Year.

They can make use of online practice learning forums to clarify their doubts, write sample tests and work out problems.

Sites such as LetsPractise can also come in handy.

We have a lot of practise papers and test sheets to help facilitate learning. LetsPractise serves students from multiple Boards for first standard all the way through the tenth standard. Just take a look at our plans and see for yourself. You can always contact us with any questions, doubts, or clarifications.

New Year Resolutions are made easily and forgotten quickly too. Make this time different. In 2019, both parents and children must set their own goals and resolve to adhere to them strictly. Mutual monitoring can instill a better sense of commitment among parents and children to follow their New Year resolutions meticulously.

Eloquence in English is a desirable trait among students that can be developed by reading the newspaper. A newspaper also helps students stay informed with what is going on around them, nationally as well as internationally.

However, most children avoid reading to read the newspaper as they are unable to comprehend its contents. Added to this is the influx of the, especially social media which makes appealing visual content easily available with the touch of a button. Social media content is usually like junk food; tasty, quick, attractive and totally devoid of anything useful. As newspaper reading is a must for students to master the language.

Here are some activities that teachers and parents can use to help students to understand articles in the newspaper and inspire them to read more.

Activities to Help Students Understand a Newspaper Article

1. Find Tough Words

Teachers or parents can take any article in the newspaper that is of interest to the children. Try topics on technology, sports, comic heroes, or short stories. Then, the students can read the article and make a list of the tough words they don’t understand. Once this is done, the parent/ teacher and student can look the words up in a dictionary. Finally, ask the students to read the article once again replacing the tough words with simple ones to test their understanding.

This activity is great for building the student’s vocabulary. You can make it more interesting by using markers to circle the word in the paper and asking the students to draw the words visually. This activity ensures that the students read the article thoroughly and internalize the content and language.

2. Quiz Whiz

Conduct a short quiz listing some tricky questions based on an article that interests the children. Distribute copies of the article to the class and give them time to read it. When they are finished, take the articles away and start the quiz. Only the students who read the complete article properly will be able to correctly answer the quiz questions.

This activity induces a competitive spirit among students and it gets them excited about reading articles. Students must read the entire article and hence have to grasp its contents. If the article is really interesting, it inspires them to read more.

3. Debate

Newspapers are always full of spicy news and controversy. Pick any one article with a current topic which is suitable for children to debate on. Make it interesting. Ask the students to read the article fully, jot down the points and then to align themselves. Divide the class into 2 groups (‘for’ and ‘against’) and insist on every group member expressing his/her viewpoint for just 1 minute. Declare that points should be original and clearly stated.

This activity requires the complete reading and article comprehension. Students love to debate as this gives them an opportunity to express their views and individuality. It tests their persuasion and ability to convince others, and may result in some students switching sides. Be sure to choose a simple topic that is relevant to their level. Politics probably won’t interest 2nd standard kids!

4. What is the Headline?

This is an interesting activity that is apt for article reading in the newspaper. Select an article and remove its headline. Circulate it among students and ask them to come up with catchy and cogent headlines for the article.

This activity requires a knack for writing and a flair for the language. Children can hone their language skills as they have to read the article completely and coin some crisp headlines. You can also let students vote on the best headline and maybe give a prize to students who guess the headline correctly.

5. Match the Word

“Match the word” is a unique activity. Select a newspaper article and ask students to read it. Then, they are given a list of words for which they have to find the matching or equivalent pairs in the article. To achieve this, the student must read the article completely and search for the synonyms of the given word.

You can also choose a word with multiple meaning and see if the student can find the meaning within the context of the sentence.  

Give them options and ask them to select the answer they think is correct. Let the student guess and then look it up in a dictionary or thesaurus to see if they got it right. This ensures that the student understands the meaning of every word or looks for it in the dictionary or thesaurus. This exercise is excellent for vocabulary-building.

Don’t Neglect the News

Newspaper-reading must be made a daily habit for children to develop their language skills and awareness of world affairs. Teachers and parents must work towards encouraging children to read newspaper articles by frequently using interesting activities like the ones previously mentioned. Reading articles must be made a routine habit for children to practise daily.

Sure, comics, cartoons, and computer games are fun. However, knowledge is power and the importance of staying up to date with relevant issues cannot be understated. Reading will never go out of fashion and students must be made to understand the strength of the written word through article reading.

Another way to help children improve their English skills is through practise papers and mock tests. LetsPractise does just that. We are parents and teachers ourselves with plenty of experience in the area. English Grammar for ICSE Board is one of our most popular programmes. Take a look at all our plans and contact us to get started improving your child’s English today.

 

“Kids and like school? You must be joking” I bet this is what most people would say. But you would be surprised to note that 88% of the students in the 34 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development) countries think that schools have taught them something that would help them in finding future employment. 74% of the students felt that schools gave them the confidence to make decisions. In short, kids DO like school.

What do kids like about school?

  • Learning

Be surprised or not, kids love to learn. Yes, a child has an innate curiosity to know more and learn new things. The school is the right atmosphere to do so. Every child has at least favourite period per day, which he is eager to go to school for.

  • Constant activity

No kid loves to sit idle. Every child likes to be constantly engaged in some activity and the schools provide abundant opportunities for the same. With a diverse curriculum including core subjects, sports and arts, robotics, 3-d printing, storytelling, the schools offer a variety of the activities a child would like to pursue.

  • Right peer group

For kids, friends mean a lot and schools provide the right company. Some kids don’t even want to change school for fear of losing their friends. Schools provide the right like-minded set of friends who share the same interests and concerns. This enables kids to foster long-term friendships.

  • Favourite Teachers

Ask your kid why he likes a particular subject and he would probably mention a teacher. Teachers leave lasting impressions on students with their teaching skills, subject knowledge,  the mode of interaction and inspiration.

  • Teamwork

Schools provide a forum for working as a team. Be it games, laboratory sessions or project activity, teamwork is encouraged at schools and children just love it. The prolific exchange of ideas, the heated debates and discussions, the doubt clarifying sessions-all these are part of team activities and just add to the thrill of being at school.

  • Competition

Healthy competition exists among students in studies and sports and this is what kids thrive on. Competition propels a child to move forward and gives him that extra-plus to perform. School life is full of competition in every arena and kids just love it.

  • The Routine

The very act of getting up and dressing for school, packing their favourite lunches and thinking of the time to meet and greet friends- this routine just clicks for kids. Especially lunchtime is a favourite, as they get to sample various diverse delicacies. They revel in the praise that friends lavish on the lunches lovingly packed from home.

  • Motivation

Schools provide a motivation for children to perform and excel. Leadership qualities are honed at school and kids feel this as they grow up. Schools build a confidence in kids to face life and make them aware of their inner strengths. Kids love to lead and take responsibilities at schools.They love organizing and contributing to events and the opportunity to have fun as they do so at the school.

  • A sense of belonging

Children are at their best when they are amidst other kids of their same age. They feel that they can be themselves with their friends without fear of being scolded or judged. School evokes a sense of belonging for kids and is a “home away from home”.

  • A place to perfect their skills

A school is a place where children practise and perfect their skills before they enter the real world. Children like schools for being the perfect playground to sharpen their talents and acumen.

Children love school. Make them enjoy their school life by making studies easier through practised learning.