Monthly Archives: April 2014

GUIDE FOR TODDLER STUDENT’S PARENTS – 2

It’s looking like letting go isn’t as easy as it sounds, isn’t it? But we can make it as easy as possible. Here are other steps to take:

  1.  Learn not to break down emotionally in front of them. The more secure you feel, the more confident they will be. Weeping in front of them sends signals that moving forward, i.e., going to school, is a negative thing. Also, it will generate guilty feelings in them, so that instead of focusing on their new life; they will be busy worrying about you.
  2. Avoid asking too many questions about school. This will send signals that you are not confident that they can take care of themselves. Ask just enough questions just to show that you care, no more.
  3. Know when to let them do their homework by themselves. It’s part of giving them their independence. If they need your help, they will ask. But let them be the ones to ask. Don’t smother them with too much attention. It will disrupt their emotional growth.
  4. Let them make their mistakes. And relax too. Don’t get all protective and defensive whenever they trip. Just ensure that they learn from their mistakes and move on. This will let them be more cautious and innovative in future. Education is all about learning, unlearning and re-learning.
  5.  Deal with your own separation pangs with a friend, relative or colleague. If you don’t, it will affect your own well being. Find parents who have trod this path before and share notes. This will help you cope well without putting too much emotional pressure on the children.

GUIDE FOR TODDLER-STUDENT’S PARENTS – 1

We know. It’s difficult letting go when your child is going to school for the first time, especially when you have been so attached to the child for long. Also, releasing your hold gradually from one class to the other could be tough. Here are some tips to ease off your children at any stage.

  1. Build their confidence. Let them be comfortable in their own skin. A healthy self-esteem will help them cope with different people anywhere they find themselves.
  2. Separate your child’s experience from yours. A lot of times, parents often act based on what they went through in school, and this may make them overprotective. Try as much as possible to let your children live their own lives. Forget about that bully in your primary school or how your parents weren’t there for you half the time. Focus on your child and his/her own life now.
  3. Let them know what to expect. If it’s your child’s first time ever in school, practice reading some of the books and materials he/she is going to be reading. You can even go to the school with him/her a couple of times. Walk around the school compound to ensure familiarity. That way, both you and the child will be relaxed, knowing that his/her experience won’t be totally strange.
  4. Practice the new routine beforehand. Remember how you had to introduce baby food a week before crèche? Then try and wake up early, cook and pack lunch box a couple of days before resumption. This will make adjustments easier for both of you.
  5.  Look around the classroom and school for cues and issues to discuss with them after school. This will create a common ground and help open up conversation. Also, it will send subconscious signals to the child that you care enough to notice details.

What have been your experiences in this regards? Do leave us comments 🙂

CURSIVE HANDWRITING

Whenever we hear cursive handwriting, what comes to mind is that special writing that is used for greeting cards or art work.  But do you know that there are benefits of learning cursive handwriting for anyone?  Learning solutions could be achieved by learning cursive handwriting. Whether young or old, student or worker, knowledge of cursive handwriting has great advantages for everyone. Sadly, cursive handwriting is not usually taught in schools. If cursive handwriting could be integrated into nursery and primary school education, it will have great benefits.

The first benefit of learning to write cursive handwriting is that it helps us to read cursive writing. A lot of people, especially students, cannot read anything written in cursive. Learning to write cursive is a sure way of understanding cursive writing.

Cursive handwriting also improves writing speed and attention span during writing. Because of its format, it enables the writer to write faster and the writer gets to take this to other kinds of writing. It also increases continuity and fluidity in writing, which in turn encourages greater amounts of writing.

Cursive also helps improve spellings. This is possible because cursive is about connectivity of letters.  This helps the child to see the words as a whole instead of seeing separate letters.  Also, the hand acquires knowledge of spelling patterns through movements that are used repeatedly in spelling. Since cursive requires children to write from left to right, thus making the letters join in proper sequence, it is easier to read.

Discipline is also cultivated by learning to write in cursive. This is because the art of cursive writing is complex and it is associated with the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This involves a lot of discipline which is an important skill for everyone to have.

EXAMINATION ANXIETY

Most people can relate with that pounding in the chest, rumbling in the tummy, freezing in the limbs during or just before examination sessions (Oral or written).

Examination anxiety could be caused by various factors: student’s lack of confidence, presence of competition among other students/participants, expectations of family and friends and most importantly the gains of success and consequences of failure.

Teachers, Friends and families can take up a very effective role in overcoming exam anxiety by:

  • Encouraging student to talk about their concerns and listening carefully.
  • Providing support in preparation for the exam in any way possible.
  • Encouraging students to follow steps outline below.

Step 1-  Be careful of what you eat and drink during preparation and on the examination day.

Step 2- Get enough sleep. Six to eight hours are recommended. If you have trouble getting to sleep, ensure you get an hour break from revision session before jumping to bed.

Step 3- Take regular exercise.  Even if it is just a walk, exercising helps to use up the hormones and nervous energy produced when you are stressed, it  increases the blood flow around the body and can help you to think more clearly.

Step 4-: Control your breathing. If you notice that you are starting to feel very stressed,  try to regulate your breathing by concentrating on breathing out to a slow count of four; the breathing in will take care of itself. It will be helpful if you practise this exercise when you are not stressed so that you are very familiar with the technique when you actually need it.

Step 5- Make time for fun. Build leisure time into your revision days and the days that you sit your exams. Get involved in a non-academic activity, such as sports, crafts, hobbies or music. Anything that you find relaxing or enjoyable which will give you a break from thinking or worrying about your exams will be beneficial.

Step 6- Improve your study skills. Effective study skills make you feel more in control of your work and more confident that you will succeed. You might need a more resourceful text on the subject, a more quite place for reading, or need to take trial version of exams e.t.c.  It may also be useful to talk to your school course tutor to get subject specific advice to help make your revision more focused.