Month: November 2016

This is to remember while finding an ideal school for your child!

A school is a place where your child will spend the next 14 years of his/her life.

Is the school your child is going to, offering the best of resources?

Is it helping your child learn outside of textbooks?

More important, is it equipped to meet the future?

After all, the choices you make early on can have a significant impact later.

For many parents, getting admission in the school with the best facilities and a good transport system is paramount after all, passing out from a good school is a ticket to future success.

Parents may not appreciate the gravity of the decision they’re making – after all, the child will spend the fourteen most formative and crucial growth years in a person’s life in the institute they select.

For most parents, a choice of school for their children is driven by perception, word of mouth (reference from other parents), and infrastructure provided by the school. But, it’s just not enough parents need to discover more and realize how important these coming 14 years would be for their child and make a wise decision.

Here are some points enlisted which parents should keep in mind while searching for an ideal school for their ward:

How future ready is the school?

It is more important to know how the school is prepared for the future than its past pedigree. Your child will be in this school possibly for fourteen years. The world will be a totally different place by the time she/he is ready to go to college. It is important to equip children with skills in this context, skills that can help them navigate the uncertain future and succeed in the jobs and workplaces of that era.

How skilled are the teachers?

Very rarely do parents who go school hunting ask to meet the teachers of the school. This is a mistake because these are the people who will mould your child. Your son or daughter will spend over one-third of his/her life with them for the next decade and a half.

Ask to speak to a teacher or two, a short conversation can give you tremendous information on the teacher community in the school.

In this age and time, good schools focus on having a good program for their teachers and make them learners as well.

Does learning happen outside the classroom?

What percentage of the school week is typically spent in the classroom and what percentage in labs and sports?

Do children go on field trips or visits to local museums?

Do they meet achievers in various fields?

Making real world connections to what children learn inside the classrooms are becoming very important. Classrooms are the most artificial of places in the real world. Many schools have started designing programs to ensure children see the purpose of their learning, by being exposed to the real world.

How is the technology used in the school?

Most schools have a computer lab at the very least. Classrooms fitted with digital and ICT aids (smart classes) are fast becoming the norm. In these classrooms, teachers use a variety of digital aids like images, video, and PPT presentations to augment their teaching. Are children being exposed to the application of technology as opposed to just being taught features and functions? How a school uses technology and involves your child in this realm can be a big differentiator for life and careers in the 21st century.

How are children assessed?

Ask to look through a few textbooks. What will children learn in the different subjects?

How are they assessed for what they are learning?

Do assessments consist of observations, interviews, journals and anecdotes beyond the usual battery of pen and paper tests?

Are guidelines for assessment still mired in marks for different subject silos? Usually learning within schools focuses on subjects (90% or more) and every other element of reporting consists of cursory reporting of several ‘co-scholastic’ parameters.

Are involvements and achievements outside academics encouraged and supported?

Children who participate in tournaments and competitions outside school especially children who are gifted in sports or performing arts often miss classes. While schools are willing to give them ‘attendance’ credit, the children are still expected to play catch-up with their peers upon their return and ace the required tests and exams. Is the school supportive enough to provide some kind of extra class or additional aid for such students to manage their studies well.

What is the value system of the school?

Many schools incorporate orphanage visits or community drives or a weekly ‘Value education’ or ‘Moral science’ class to help children imbibe a good value system. Values must be practiced day in and day out within the school — from the management and principal who address the children at the podium, to the teachers who interact with the children for one-third of the child’s day, to even the support staff. Unless value education is driven in a well-structured program in a consistent manner, values will not become integral to the character of the student.

It’s not enough if the school has a great building, play areas, air conditioned classrooms, activity labs, and computers or tablets. There is more to learning than just an infrastructure, real learning lies in creativity, discoveries, and practical approach.

Provide a protective shield for your child against Asthma!

Asthma is ongoing (chronic) inflammation of airway in the lungs. This inflammation makes the airway vulnerable to episodes of difficulty in breathing (asthma attacks). Common triggers include allergies, cold, and exercise. Asthma is managed by controlling inflammation with drugs, avoiding triggers when possible and using medications to treat asthma attacks.
Diagnosing and managing asthma in children under age 5 can be difficult. In infants and young children, the primary symptoms of asthma — wheezing and coughing — may be caused. Also, standard diagnostic tests used to measure how well someone is breathing cannot be used easily or accurately with children under age 5. Some treatments available for grown up children for managing asthma are not recommended for infants and preschool children.
Asthma is typically diagnosed with a medical exam and a test that measures the airflow in and out of the lungs. Children who are of preschool age or younger may not be able to complete the airflow test, which requires blowing very hard into a tube. And since infants and toddlers can’t describe how they feel, parents, other family members and caregivers need to be alert for symptoms.
Being Parents and teachers you need to be extra careful about how to keep your child safe and away from the proximity of Asthma danger. Follow these measures and give your child better health and safer environment.
Make sure your child’s pillow and mattresses are allergy-proof: Wash bedding weekly in hot water (above 130 degrees F) to get rid of dust mites and use a dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture and help prevent mold in your home.
No Pets in bedrooms or on furniture: Pet dander – a common asthma trigger – is often difficult to avoid entirely because, for many of us, our pets are just like members of the family.
Clean the carpets and avoid keeping stuffed toys in the bedrooms: If carpeting cannot be removed, vacuum at least twice a week with a cleaner equipped with an air filter. Ask your doctor about which cleaning products are best to use.
Avoid smoking zones: Breathing smoke – even second-hand smoke and smoke on clothing, furniture or drapes – can trigger an asthma attack. Be sure to ask for a smoke-free hotel room when traveling.
Play Indoors: Physical activity is important – even for people with asthma. Reduce the risk for exercise-induced asthma attacks by working out inside on very cold or very warm days. Talk to your doctor about asthma and exercise.
Fix leaky faucets: Mold is a common asthma trigger. To reduce mold in your home, remove household plants and keep bathrooms clean and dry by opening a window or using a bathroom fan during showers or baths.
Let the friends and colleagues around know your child has Asthma: It’s important for family members, friends, co-workers, teachers, and coaches to be able to recognize symptoms of an asthma attack – and know what to do if one occurs.
Talk to your child’s teachers and coaches: Chalk dust can trigger an asthma attack – so it may be helpful for your child to sit away from chalkboards in class. His or her coaches and/or physical education teacher can provide important information about asthma symptoms during exercise.
Keep quick-relief asthma medicines readily available: Follow policies at your child’s school to make sure he or she is allowed to carry an inhaler and any other emergency rescue medications that may be necessary. Make sure the school nurse knows your child has asthma.
Few simple measures that can save your children from the suffering of an Asthma attack take such preventive measures and give a better environment for your child to breath.

‘Moral Education’ a subject lost in various schools.

When most parents talk about a school curriculum or have to make a choice about their wards school, they think about math, science, social studies, and language courses. Seldom do we hear or read about moral values as being part of the curriculum. The problem is that the neglect of teaching moral values in schools is affecting our students and is causing problems in the society in the longer run. Students are the future of India, the future of our country depends upon the moral values imparted to them during their student life. Moral lessons should be properly implemented among students in school and colleges.

Children have an immense power of observation and their feelings are deep rooted. They always observe their parents at home and their teachers in school and learn a lot from them.

Education means the fostering of the personality through the continuous development of innate qualities of a person. It aims to adjust the rhythm of the individual life with the rhythm of the society. This adjustment involves the strengthening of once character and consolidation of the moral fiber. Today our education system lacks these moral standards.

As parents and educators, we should all advocate the teaching of moral values in our schools for the following reasons:

Preparing Our Children for Future Roles in Society:

Knowledge gained in school is only one goal of education. The primary goals of education should be enabling students to gain knowledge and moral values. Our children will need both in preparing themselves to be good parents and citizens in society.

In the busy schedule parents spend less of time with children:

The sad fact is that a lot of kids are not learning from their parents the difference between right and wrong. This is because most mothers and fathers in their busy work days spend only a few hours with their children and tend to forget the importance of imparting moral education.

There is Too Much Violence and Dishonesty in Society:

Every day students are exposed to violence, dishonesty, and other social problems in the media and the real world. Cheating in exams, bullying in schools and fight between students should be taken seriously and strict measures should be taken not with the intention to punish the students but to teach them that it is morally wrong and they need to improve.

To Counter Bad Influences in Society:

Unfortunately, many of the role models of young people are setting bad examples. These bad examples range from sexual promiscuity, degrading of women, advocacy of violence, and the condoning of dishonesty in order to succeed. Children require optimum exposure they will come across many such things but we need to make them morally aware for taking the call between right and wrong.

Moral Values Will Stick With You For Life:

It’s amazing the amount of math and science knowledge that we forget since our school days. We haven’t, however, forgotten moral value lessons learned in school. ‘Honesty is the best policy’ and ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’ are the phrases which drive us throughout our life and benefit us more than any maths or literature learned.

The process of learning for a child is not magical. It is important that the students have a sound base of strong moral values. It calls for much caution and observation from school as well as from parents at home. Children observe their surrounding and learn a lot from it. Be careful next time they are around you, watch what you say, do or act, they are watching and will learn the same.