March and April are tough months for all students in India. Firstly, the pleasant spring weather gives in to blazing heat in April. April showers do not bring May flowers. Secondly, it is the time of the school, Board, or other competitive exams. children are buy poring over their books and cramming the lessons, practicing sample test papers, or studying revision notes.

These days, children have abundant and surplus material to study- class notes, tuition notes, study guides, exemplars, question banks, past test papers, revision notes, etc. The list is endless. Children are confused as to what to study and when.

Test Papers and Revision Notes – The Difference

Here is an analysis that clearly differentiates between test papers and revision notes. This will help students to understand when to use each of the two.

1. Summary vs. Q&A

Revision notes help you to summarize the lesson briefly and give a snapshot view of the lesson in condensed form. It takes the entire lesson and concisely presents it. One look at the revision notes and the child is prepared as they have a high overview of the lesson.

On the other hand, a practice test paper or mock test cannot present the lesson in a brief and capsulated form. They only give a set of questions and answers pertaining to the lesson. They can be either general or specific questions, and there is no guarantee that the entire lesson will be covered. However, it might cover specific details that would have been glossed over in the summary.

2. Important Points

Both revision notes and test papers cover the important points of the lesson, each in their own way.

Revision notes give a list of all the important points of the lesson while test papers pose questions from important portions. By reading the revision notes, the child can be fully prepared with the concept of the lesson. With test papers, they have a fair idea of how the questions regarding these important points will be asked.

3. Coverage

Revision notes give the entire lesson in a capsule form at least mention the main information. This cannot be said about test papers as each test paper may have questions from selected areas.

This can be fixed by working out several test papers, almost all portion of the lesson are covered fully. This is why several batches of sample test papers must be worked out.

4. Tough Portions

Can the tough portions that need extra work be identified? With sample test papers, yes. With revision notes, no!

With sample test papers, there is an understanding of which areas of the lessons are difficult from the question posed. There is a realization of having to work really hard on these areas. With revision notes, there is only an overall picture of the lesson and the difficult areas cannot be earmarked.

5. In Depth

The lesson may or may not be covered in depth by the revision notes. Usually, revision notes are for last minute brushing-up of the lesson for revision purpose and not to introduce the lesson and teach it to someone new. So, they just give the important points as a bulleted list.

The entire lesson cannot be covered in depth by practicing only just one test paper. If students make a habit of practicing test papers regularly, they can cover the lesson in depth. Students must make use of productive online practice learning sites like let practise and download sample test papers from them.

How and When to use Test Papers and Revision Notes?

Both test papers and revision notes must be used during exam time. The student must first prepare for the exam and revise using revision notes. Then they must practise and test herself/himself using the test papers to gauge their proficiency in the lesson.

Parents and teachers can download these sample test papers from online practice learning sites like LetsPractise. LetsPractise has an abundant resource-pool of question papers pertaining to all syllabi- State Board, IGCSE, CBSE, ICSE, etc. and for students from 1st standard to 10th standard. Take a look at our subscription plans. See anything you like? Contact us for more.

Online practice learning sites like LetsPractise are a boon to students as they offer both  test papers and revision notes to help them gain excellence in academics.

Make full use of LetsPractise to help your child excel in studies!

Everything in life has a dual nature- day and night, good and bad, rich and poor, health and illness. All things in the universe can be a boon (good) or a bane (bad) or in other words, a blessing or a curse. So it is with mobile phones.

Mobile phone usage is growing at a rapid rate. With smartphones, people have access to a variety of information at their fingertips. Today, the world is unimaginable without the omnipresent mobile phones. From the children aged 9 to the elderly aged 90, everyone has a smartphone now.

Before we continue, here are some cold hard facts regarding mobile phones:

  • 56% of the children in the age group of 8-12 have a mobile phone
  • 21% of children aged 8 years use a smartphone
  • The average age of a child when he/she receive his first mobile phone is 12.
  • 51% of the high school students carry their mobile phone to school every day.
  • Children under 9 years spent at least 2 hours every day staring at mobile screens.

Are all the above facts for good or is mobile usage going to harm your child in a huge way? It depends on how the smartphone is used.

Mobile Phones: Boon or Bane?

Let’s start with the negatives first.

Mobile Phones: Bane

Everyone knows how harmful mobile phones can be, especially for children.

  • Mobile phones emit bright blue light which harms the eye of children on prolonged exposure.
  • Children get addicted to online gaming due to the use of mobile phones
  • Addiction to social media is the aftermath of mobile phones usage
  • Children become couch potatoes as they cling on to their mobile phones and lose the opportunity to exercise and remain fit.
  • Children might be exposed to undesirable content online and it is difficult to monitor what they are doing every second.

Everything is best when used in moderation and this is the case with mobile phones.  Parents and teachers must not ban, but regulate the use of mobile phones at home and at school.

At home, parents must supervise the use of mobile phones and monitor the content of the websites and apps their children are using.  They should also restrict the excessive use of mobile phones by clearly defining at what times they can be used.

During examination time, children must limit time sinks like mobile phones and switch them off or hand them to the parents. At school, the use of mobile phones should be forbidden during class hours so students don’t get distracted. This is already being followed and implemented across many institutions.  

Mobile Phones: Boon

Enough has been said about how mobile phones make children addicted and ruin their lives. Let us look at some positive things about mobile phone usage by children.

Here are some statistics on how parents and teachers feel about the usage of mobile phones for children.

  • 62% of parents feel that mobile phones promote children’s education.
  • 45% of parents bought or plan to buy mobile phones to aid in their children’s education.
  • 68% of parents feel that mobile phones can teach children how to read.
  • 57% of parents feel that mobile phones help children in doing maths.
  • 32% of parents feel that mobile phones should be used in the classroom.
  • 62% of parents feel that mobile phones promote children’s education
  • 86% of school principals feel that it is important for students to use mobile phones for their school work.
  • 71% of teachers use online educational apps for teaching.
  • 64% of teachers use educational websites for teaching.

Apart from this, mobile phones help parents and teachers to access children at all times with a call. Students can also call their parents in case of an emergency, thus ensuring their safety.

All the above just proves that most parents and teachers feel that mobile phones can be a blessing. However, they have to be used in a productive manner by children to enhance their knowledge.

Should Children Use Mobile Phones or Not?

There’s no right answer to this question as it depends on how the phones are used. Instead of wasting time playing online games or posting on social media, children must optimise their use of mobile phones by amassing knowledge and enriching their talent. This will make mobile phones a boon for all children.

What are the ways in which mobile phones can be used productively by children?

Academically, children can use mobile phones to:

  • Expand their knowledge
  • Improve their English skills as a majority of language online is in English
  • Improve their vocabulary
  • Strengthen their mathematical ability
  • Understand science concepts
  • Improve their creativity
  • Download educational apps
  • Improve their dexterity and reflexes

If you’re deciding whether you should get your child a smartphone, remember that mobile phones are not all bad. Of course, kids will have fun with them, but they can still be used for educational purposes. Students can use mobile phones to practice their academic lessons and test themselves using online practice learning sites such as LetsPractise.

LetsPractise has an extensive knowledge base comprising of practice questions, worksheets, test papers and revision papers for classes from Class I to X for all boards like IGCSE, ICSE, CBSE, State Board, etc. Check out our interactive learning plans to see what we have to offer and contact us for more.

Here at LetsPractise, the education and welfare of children is our top priority. We aim to enrich the lives of children by enhancing their scholastic skills and also guide them on the path to success.

Follow our blog for more such enlightening topics.

Making mobile phones a boon or a bane is in our hands. You can make the merits outweigh the demerits. Let us teach children to use mobile phones consciously for the right purpose to upgrade their lives.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!”

Dr. Seuss, Author

Reading is the window to worldwide knowledge and the beacon light that help you travel through the tunnel of life. Reading opens up the mind of children to new ideas, concepts and experiences. A book is every child’s trusted friend, philosopher, and guide.

We are living in a world where we consume news, entertainment, and information through media such as mobile phones, video games, computer, TV, and cinema. Unfortunately, books have been long forgotten and left to gather dust in bookshelves and libraries.

Children hesitate to pick up a book and shudder to read it. They do not realize the importance, benefits, or rewards of reading. It is the duty of parents, teachers, and elders to enlighten children on the necessity of reading and inculcate the reading habit in them.

Why Should Children Read?

Here is a list of benefits of reading that parents and teachers can put forth to children to convince them to read.

1. Reading gives children a head start

Right from a young age, toddlers must be taught to read. Joining letters and forming words, reading from left to right, pronunciation – all three requires some practice and this comes from reading.

Reading from the age of infancy gives children a head start from preschool itself and prepares them for school. Children know what is expected of them in class when they learn to read and hence quickly adapt to the classroom routine.

2. Reading enhance language skills and expands vocabulary

Children only learn new words when they read. Reading help children to build their vocabulary and become fluent in the language. Children learn new words, understand their meaning, and learn to use them effectively in sentences. This helps improve their language skills very early in life.

This practice helps students later on as well. In interviews, language skills are sought after and counted foremost. Proper communication is vital for any business. By reading, children can master language easily.

3. Reading improves concentration

Reading stimulates brain development and cognitive skill in children. Reading a book requires effort and concentration. Children have to focus on the words, understand their meaning, register the gist of the chapter, and so on. Children learn to focus their attention and concentrate without allowing their mind to wander or digress. It improves concentration and focus. It also taps into certain specific areas of the brain and stimulates them.

4. Reading instills discipline and patience

Children who are avid readers are more patient and self-disciplined. Reading a book continuously takes time and patience.  Reading enables children to pay attention to the book for a certain period of time in a disciplined manner. It also takes patience and dedication to finish reading a book. Reading help children to develop patience and also instills the discipline to finish the task on hand.

5. Reading incites the thirst for knowledge

To excel in their life and career, children should be knowledgeable. This knowledge can come only when they have a curiosity to learn new things. Reading introduces children to a new world of ideas, discoveries, and adventure from many different perspectives. Children develop a longing to explore new avenues, experiment with new ideas, and express new emotions. All this helps them to mature as competent individuals who are constantly innovating and improving.

6. Reading kindles imagination

Many things might seem improbable in real life, but everything is possible in a book. So, children can unleash their imagination and venture into new areas of adventure while reading a  book. It helps with their creativity. They could be flying in outer space, going deep sea diving, or exploring dinosaurs thanks to books.

Plus, children must imagine the scenarios themselves rather than a game or a movie where it is spoon-fed to them. Reading opens up new possibilities and urges children to expand their ideas and innovate.

7. Reading reforms children

Great changes have been wrought by reading. Reading teaches children the difference between right and wrong. Reading has the power to engage the reader, establish a connection with him/her, and even alter their perspective on certain issues. There are many good morals and lessons to be learned. Reading is a great reformer and helps children to realize their mistakes and mend their ways.

8. Reading relaxes children

When children have a hard day in school, they look for ways to relax and unwind. Parents must suggest storybook-reading for this relaxation. A lot of electronic media is uncontrolled and there’s no way to prevent children from stumbling upon something inappropriate on the internet while flipping through channels.

Instead of watching TV or playing games late into the night, children can instead pick up a good storybook and read. Reading is the best and safest form of entertainment for children.

9. Reading helps in good parenting

Parenting is a challenge for most adults these days. Children have gained much exposure to all sort of things, both good and bad. Parents have a tough time getting children to listen to them. This is where reading comes to the rescue.

When a parent reads a book to/with a child, the bond of affection is strengthened. Parents can even cite examples from books to convince and persuade children. Self-motivational books are a boon for parents to educate children and make them understand the way of life.

10. Reading develops personality

Reading enhance the personality of the child in a holistic manner. Children gain knowledge, academic, and language skills and life-experiences from books. Virtues like empathy, charity, sympathy, honesty etc. are also advocated by reading.

There is no replacement for reading to build the character and personality of children. What children learn when they’re young shapes their personality later on in life. Parents must set an example for children by reading books themselves and also instills the habit of reading in children by introducing them to quality books.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

George R. R. Martin, Author

Reading is a healthy alternative to spending hours playing games on the computer or watching television (also derided as the ‘Idiot Box’). Newspapers are one of the best things to read because they offer a lot of information about what’s going on around the world.

Now, imagine a newspaper made just for your child. This is what News Shuttle offers. They offer high-quality informative print media for kids at affordable rates.

News Shuttle curates information and activities, exclusively for kids in the age group 6 to 14 years. It is published fortnightly and is full of interesting news from across the world, attractive activities for kids, eye-catching news for their age and much more. Their pages are not only about up to date information but also full of relevant images to grab the attention of the young readers. They aim to facilitate logical thinking, develop critical analytical skills and nurture their creativity. You can take a look at their subscription plans here.

Similarly, at LetsPractise, we help children develop the habit of reading, studying, and solving questions by themselves. We are an online practice learning site with a cornucopia of worksheets and practice questions from 1st to 10th standard pertaining to all boards like IGCSE, ICSE, CBSE, State Board, etc. Browse our learning plans and be sure to contact our team for more.

Reading helps children to be more responsible, result-oriented and resourceful and reward them with the best benefits in life.

In today’s world of instant foods, junk foods, processed foods and packed meals, children are prone to a lot of diseases and ailments. Obesity is one of the leading problems among most growing children today, followed by a lack of immunity. Both these problems can be remedied through eating healthy and exercising by performing physical activities.

With April 7th being World Health Day, it is time to emphasize to children that “health Is wealth” and instill health-consciousness in their minds. Children must be taught to practice a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and meditation.

Healthy Activities That Children Can Adopt

Let us take a look at some of the fun-filled healthy activities and habits that your children can adopt starting from World Health Day 2019 in order to improve their health and well-being.

1. Do some physical activity daily

Today’s children are most often confined to their couches watching TV, playing games on the XBox, or pottering with their mobile phones. They go to school with a bulging school bag full of books, come home tired and flop themselves on the sofa, and grab their phone. The glowing rectangles of the mobile, computer, and TV screen draw them in and they stare at it for hours on end.

Physical activity has become a thing of the past these days and this is the reason for their obesity and illnesses. Starting from World Health Day, children must pledge to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This activity can be anything which pleases them provided it involves active body movements.

Children can go for a brisk walk or do jogging in their neighbourhood. Skipping and aerobics in the outdoor garden or at the park is advisable. So is yoga for the children who love to do these unique exercises. Children who love dance can also do Zumba or even perform some classical dance. Those who love sport can play badminton, tennis, football, cricket, or basketball. Swimming also helps them cool off in the heat. For those children with a spirit of adventure, even climbing is a good activity.

Whatever they prefer, children can do as a physical activity but they must do it for at least half-an-hour daily. It becomes fun for them if done with their friends, so encourage others to join in. Let this become a regular practice and habit for them to improve their health every day.

2. Connect with Nature

These days, children are often cooped up in the confines of their home. They do not have any interaction with nature and the outside environment. Breathing fresh air, walking in the garden, picking leaves and flowers are almost forgotten.

From World Health Day, children must vow to connect with nature at least once a week. This can be done by taking a walk in the park or the garden. Make sure they leave their phones and other electronic devices at home. Going for a nature walk and picking up rocks, leaves, and flowers can be really fun for the children.

Parents can also teach children to plant trees and experience the joy of nature. Children can even do bird-watching and butterfly-spotting if they are taught to do so.  Children can also learn to give back to Mother Nature the love they received from it by watering plants, taking pets for walks, or by offering food to birds and bees. This can be an educational experience as well.

Connecting with nature improves the child’s health and relaxes their minds. They are also exposed to fresh air and sunlight which augment their immunity and well-being.

3. Maintaining the right routine

Being healthy Is a challenge for children these days.  But with discipline, this challenge can easily be overcome. Children must follow the right routine daily to maintain their good health. It’s easy to start, but these activities must be done everyday so they become a habit.

Rising early and going to bed early are a definite must. Children should wake up early in the morning to breathe in the fresh ozone air. A hearty home-cooked breakfast is the right way to start the day.  Eating healthy food full of vegetables and fruits Is the key to a good life. Drinking plenty of water is essential for their digestion and good metabolism.

From World Health Day, children must take an oath to avoid junk and processed or packaged food. They must vow to eat only fresh home-cooked food and avoid eating out to prevent diseases like obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. Children must be taught to practise such healthy activities to maintain their good health.

Those are the three most healthy activities for kids to do starting from World Health Day to improve their wellbeing.

Develop a Healthy Mind

Just like these activities improve physical fitness, there are also mental activities to improve memory, knowledge, and sharpness.

One of these is reading. Reading is much better than watching video after video on YouTube or scrolling endlessly through a Facebook feed. News Shuttle is a site that aims to inculcate the habit of reading in students. They engage kids with fun, safe, and empowering news on what’s happening in the world around them.

Parents can also seek the help of online learning sites like LetsPractise that offer valuable worksheets and papers for children from 1st to 10th standard for CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE, SSC, State Board, and more.

Our quality learning plans help with academic training and exam preparation for children to keep your child alert and at the top of their game when it comes to studies. You can contact us for more.

Children are the future of our society. Maintaining their good health should be our first and foremost concern to evolve a better world.

“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!