Archives: parenting

Teaching Children How To Be Tidy

 “Tidiness” means “being orderly and clean in appearance” and “keeping things clean and in order”. Forget whatever else you have heard, but nobody likes dirty kids. As a parent, it is paramount that you teach your children how to be clean, tidy and presentable always and as early on in their lives as possible. It helps them grow into stable young men and women. Apart from its health benefits, it is a good social habit. These are some ways to instill tidiness in your child:

1) Start Early. The earlier the better. Start teaching your five year old responsibility and neatness by making her pick her toys off the floor or clean her mouth after eating. Teach your 8-year old son how to wash his socks and panties. Starting these lessons early helps the child get used to such and considers it a routine, as opposed to a punishment or inconvenience.

2) Draw up a schedule. Make a well detailed chore-schedule, which includes time and sanctions. Make sure you include every member of the family.

3) Be a good role model. When trying to instill the nature of cleanliness into your child(ren), you as a parent must also be clean. It is called leading by example. You should learn to arrange your things
well and maintain a healthy lifestyle so that the young ones can imitate you.

4) Try to make the chores fun. Play some music, discuss casual stuff, crack jokes and give little treats after the completion of the chores as reward for their cooperation (make sure this isn’t a bribe or an incentive for them to work)

5) Encourage them. Try to criticize and shout less because they’ll eventually get immune to those insults and become recalcitrant which will lead to other issues. So, watch your tongue. Harsh words mostly do more harm than good.

First Veritas has a series of Social Habits Books for Pre-Primary. Click on image to find out more

Cleanliness is a continuous process. Share some of your methodologies in the comment box below

Teaching Children How to Save

    This can be tricky. For many people, they have memories of their parents collecting any money given to them by neighbors, family friends and relations, when they were younger, for “safe-keeping”. Many a time, these “safe-keeping” memories end with talks of “who has been paying your school fees? Who has been buying your clothes?” and its likes, whenever attempts were made to enquire about the whereabouts of the “safe-kept” money.

Should children handle their money gifts by themselves? No and Yes!

“No” because children are INDEED children, and expectedly lack a sense of financial responsibility, thereby requiring adult guidance. And “Yes” because what better time is there to teach your child about financial responsibility and saving, than when he is a child, and like a sponge, ready to absorb knowledge?

How can parents go about getting children ready for this great responsibility, you ask?

1) Get them a saving box/piggy bank. Get them to start saving those little Kobos and Nairas with an aim of getting their grandma a birthday gift or getting a bicycle for themselves. With an aim in mind, they will feel better about saving.
2) Remember that kids notice things a lot, even when you think they don’t. So please, try to save alongside them, thereby encouraging them and showing them that it’s not a form of punishment.
3) Make them earn commissions for little tasks. This will teach them to value, understand and learn ways of earning money and understand its worth early in life.
4) If your child is in his or her late teens (16,17,18,19), open a bank account for him/her and monitor the money there, encourage him or her to save a particular amount monthly.
5) Please teach your children to give. They shouldn’t be tight-fisted. You can encourage them to religious institutions, charities or individuals of their own choices.

Without a doubt, these steps will open up the possibilities of a great financial future for your child. What methods have you used or devised? Which ones worked for you and which ones did not?

Please share/comment.

 

Teacher-Ward Dispute Resolution- The Parent’s Guide

  I did not like so many of my teachers when I was younger, maybe I felt like they hated me and were created to make my life miserable. I mean, just imagine a chubby 3-year old who thinks of nothing but food and cartoon more than half of the time, being asked to learn the alphabets or spell “tiger”.

So yes! Some children hate school and might take a longer time adjusting to the institution because they don’t know the importance of education (after all, they are only children!!!) or because they think their teacher(s) hates them. You as a parent need to explain to the child, as best as you can, that school is a necessary sacrifice for success in life.

My neighbor recently complained to my mum about her son’s teacher, she said her son, Michael, reports his teacher’s harshness towards him to her almost everyday after school. She was in a bind and did not know how to handle the situation. My mum advised her to cool down and not fight the woman because kids actually exaggerate. Are you in this kind of situation? Here are a few nuggets she said which I found useful:

Step 1 – Understand your Child’s Concern Well!

Children sometimes make generic claims such as “She hates me and wanted to beat me till I fainted”. So, make sure you find out in detail what your child means. Sometimes children forget the details of what happened. Probe until you get concrete and reasonable answers. Make sure you let your child understand that the teachers are working for his/her own good and should never hurt him/her on purpose. You can even suggest that he tells the teacher about how he feels politely. (This is a way of teaching the child to face his problems headlong in life). Depending on what the outcome of this stage is, you might need to progress to Step 2.

Step 2- Speak to the Teacher
If you decide you really have to speak to the teacher, set a time that is not drop off time or pickup time because these hours are rush hours in every school and the teacher might be indisposed. Try as much as possible to be very polite and uncritical. Start by asking about the performance of your child, listen carefully for any undercurrent of frustration in the teacher’s voice, and then calmly state your child’s report and feelings. Despite your light touch, the teacher might feel criticized—some people are sensitive, particularly, beleaguered, tired and underpaid educators who occasionally deal with parents who are a little overzealous on behalf of their perfect little angels. Do your best to reassure the teacher that you’re not blaming him/her. Ideally, the teacher should explain what’s going on to you and if he/she doesn’t, then it’s time to take Step 3. I really hope you don’t have to go here though.

Step 3 – Report to the Principal
Report to the principal. Most parents don’t like going this far, but sometimes extreme measures are necessary to ensure immediate improvement. Explain that you have spoken to the teacher and you haven’t noticed any improvements. At this point, the teacher will definitely have no love for you and your child. If you notice that the teacher is pouring his/her frustrations with you on your child, it’s time to change classes, unless this can affect your child on the long run. The child might feel ignored or ostracized. If the complaints aren’t attended to, you might have to consider changing your child’s school or perhaps, reporting to a higher authority still, like the CEO/Proprietor(tress)

NOTE: Whatever you do, please don’t quarrel or fight. Understandably, there is the need to defend and protect the “younglins” but let everything be done with grace, dignity and respect for our fellow partners-in-progress.
Good luck in helping you kids settle down in school.

As for me, need I say I soon got over my love-hate relationship with my teacher?

This article was written by Tosin Abejide, a 1st year Law Student in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Roles of Vegetables and Fruits in Academic Excellence

index1

The first place to start when trying to improve your child’s nutrition is to add more fruit and vegetables to his/her diet, this is because fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of numerous nutrients. They contain necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, starch and fiber necessary for proper brain development.  Research has showed that people who consume diets rich in fruits and vegetables have lower risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers. Focus on offering your child a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure your child is getting the many different nutrients he/she needs. Too much of anything good is bad. We need to understand that fruits and vegetables should be eaten with discretion. Excess intake may:

– Cause Indigestion

– Affect the intelligent development and bone growth of the children. Scientists have discovered that the
excessive intake of vegetables will hinder the absorption of calcium and zinc in the body, thus affecting the intelligent development and bone growth of the children. This is especially harmful to the pregnant women and the children at the growth and development stage.

– Lead to Calculus(also known as kidney stone). Some vegetables such as spinach, celery, and tomato,
contain a large number of oxalic acid, which will combine with the calcium contained in other foods and form into calcium oxalate, thus easily leading to calculus. This is one of the main reasons why many vegetarian children are susceptible to calculus.

– Lead to malnutrition and iron-deficiency anemia in children.

From what we have discussed above, we can see that it is very important to keep a balanced diet in daily life. Excessive intake of fruits and vegetables is not advisable. Be warned.

The Importance of Good Nutrition in Academic Excellence.

      We all know that eating is one of the basic actions needed to maintain good health and stay alive. Good nutrition is necessary for every living being to grow. If we don’t eat the right food, our body won’t function as it should. Healthy food choices are essential to help children grow, develop, feel good and do well academically. Kids need good food because it helps:

1)Build bones and muscles
2)Repair and replace worn out cells
3)Keep all the systems in their body workingindex
4)Keeps the children stay healthy and full of energy

Always remember that children require a variety of foods from the 5 different food groups (grains, dairy, vegetables, fruits, protein) to attain maximal use of the brain and all its functions.

  • Grains/ Carbohydrate : Grains refer to foods such as breads, cereals, pasta(spaghetti and noodles) and rice and should make up the foundation of any child’s diet. Foods in this group are important sources of calories, vitamins, minerals and fiber children need on a daily basis. Eating different types of grains is necessary. Choose whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, bran cereals(e.g. Kellogs “fruit and fiber”) and oats that are lower in calories and provide more nutrients over cookies, cakes and pastries which tend to be high in calories and fat and provide little nutritional value for
    your children and Family.

PLEASE NOTE that although carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body too much of it can cause excessive weight gain, sugar addiction and elevated blood sugar for your children! So please watch it.Look out for the next post in this series.

For School Admin: Leveraging During This Ebola Period

As a school administrator/owner, how are you adjusting your academic calendar plan in view of the holiday extension due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus (EVD)?

Holiday extension due to health concerns should not totally disrupt the school’s teaching plans. As such, if you are a futuristic school with an already vibrant e-learning platform, kudos to you! However, if you do not have existing e-learning platforms, here are a few tips you can use before school resumes:

  • Assign revision assignments and communicate them via bulk SMS to the parents of your students (See why you should keep school records?)
  • Mathematics and English (and all their variations) are the bases on which others course subjects are built. Therefore, start students on course work in Mathematics & English
    Graded Readers Book

    Graded Readers Book

    before school resumption. Encourage their parents to come to the school to purchase relevant textbooks.Below are some of the textbooks you can utilize:

    • First Veritas Grammar and Comprehension for Primary Schools (Books 1-5)
    •  The Book of Phonics for Primary Schools (with complimentary Audio CD) (Books 1-6)
    • First Veritas Quantitative Reasoning for Primary Schools (Books 1-6)
    • First Veritas Verbal Reasoning for Primary Schools (Books 1-6)
    • First Veritas has Universal Basic Mathematics for Primary 1-6
    •  First Veritas Graded Readers for Primary is a series of 36 storybooks across 6 levels. Give them essay assignments based on these story books. Engage the students!
    • For the pre-primary schoolers, our Pinwheel Books can be very beneficial. Pinwheel Jumbo Activity
      Jumbo Activity Book

      Jumbo Activity Book

      Book is a wholistic  activity book to engage the mind of the very active pre-schooler.

    • First Veritas Question Bank is a CD compilation of WAEC past questions (over 20 years) in 11 subjects. Students can practice with this software in the comfort of their homes before school resumption and even after school resumption.

This is a very challenging period for the education sector but it could also be an occasion for you to differentiate your school as a creative, practical and pro-active institution by taking these necessary steps.

You can call 08104039756 to order for some or all of these books.

When Children Question Everything

It is commonly accepted that kids say the darndest things (Bill Cosby’s Show; anyone?). It is also known that

Source: Google

Source: Google

kids ask questions about anything and everything. Some times, those questions are pretty uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing. There is often the temptation to brush them off and send them to go play a game or get some work done when they start pushing along certain lines. They are kids, after all.

 But perhaps, we can use the natural inquisitiveness of our children to help them learn to think and analyze. Can it be that we can find a place of balance in which we let kids be kids without stifling their curious and exploring minds?

 Experience hows that kids who question and poke at everything possible tend to develop into adults who can think through situations and concepts better. While it may be scary for some parents, it is also true that children who are much more outgoing, and often pushing the boundaries and crossing lines, tend to grow up into adults who are able to take the bull of life by the horns. They tend to be able to thrive even against the greatest odds. They are used to not conforming and taking no for an answer.

 It is that place of balance where we teach children the place of order and authority, yet let their minds and bodies roam in adventure and exploration that guardians, parents and teachers must find in raising and training children. Some parents lock down the child completely, insisting that a child’s place is absolute submission. Such children often grow up timid and incapable of coping when life’s storms hit. Other parents just let the child have their way a hundred percent. Usually, such kids grow up to become delinquents. Both approaches are fraught with problems. The place of balance is needed.

Do you remember how your parents handled your questioning everything and pushing boundaries? As a parent, how do you cope with this need to strike a balance?

A FAMILY TRIP THIS HOLIDAY IS AN EXCELLENT IDEA

familytrip

It is easy to wave off holidays as times to give children a break from learning. However, this can be a grave mistake. While children should be given a break from formal learning and schooling, there are many fun ways of ensuring that they do learn even during long holidays.

A field trip is an excellent idea of a fun way to teach your children and /or wards in a hands-on way during holidays. By definition, a field trip is a trip made by students to learn about something

A field trip can be to places like nature spots e.g. water springs, water falls, rocks and nature trails, zoos, schools, museums, etc. It is fun, exciting, and yet educational. Here are some benefits of a field trip:

  • children have fun traveling and experiencing new places and things
  • children learn in a hands-on manner different from what obtains in a school environment
  • children get more exposure to the variety of peoples and customs that exist in the world
  • children get to know their country better

Holidays – especially to affluent Nigerians – often mean one or more trips to choice cities in Europe, North America, Middle East or the Asia – New York, Paris, London, Atlanta, Singapore, or Dubai. However, Nigeria is a large country, with lots of beautiful locations that all provide learning experiences. Those experiences include: historical, cultural, religious and scientific. Here are a few such places:

  • Olumo Rock, Abeokuta
  • Ikogosi Water Falls, Ikogosi-Ekiti
  • Arinta Water Fall, Iponle Ekiti
  • Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife
  • University Of Ibadan Zoological Garden (and the campus too)
  • Obudu Cattle Ranch, Calabar
  • Kainji Dam and Lake Kainji, Niger State
  • Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

These are just a handful of places to visit. Each of them have a rich history that involves stories based on culture and/or science. Your children will see and hear things for themselves that will reinforce the theoretical classes they have had in school. A lot of things will be clearer to them. And they will have great fun while at it. You should give it a try these holidays.

Don’t forget to pick up one or more of First Veritas books with homegrown content that helps your children learn from the point of view of our local environment.

LEARNING SHOULD BE FUN

As adults, we may have been conditioned to believe that education and a serious face are inseparable. After all, learning how to get serious is a key part of growing up; right? Or so we are told. Yet, it has been proven again and again that the more fun even adults have at something, the easier they are likely to find doing it and the better they are likely to become at it. If that applies to adults, perhaps we need to review how we teach children and young adults.

Learning can be fun. Learning should be fun. We need a paradigm change. That someone is having fun at something shouldn’t mean that they are not learning or that they are unserious about their studies or work. Many people went through school without any inkling that learning does not have to be drudgery and uninteresting. For most, schooling was painful and something that they couldn’t wait to get away from. But if we make learning fun, there is no reason why anyone should want to run away from it.

  • The teacher ought to have fun teaching. How effective can a teacher, trainer or instructor be if they do not enjoy what they do? Do we really want to entrust the training of our children to people who do not enjoy teaching them?
  • The pupils and students ought to have fun learning. When they find their studies and classrooms fun, we will hardly ever have to chase them around and be able to spend our energies to more productive tasks and experiences. They will read and learn of their own accord more than ever.
  • At every tier of the educational system should be an air of fun. From the policy makers to administrators, the idea of learning being fun should be imprinted from the very start or else it won’t work.

Usually, we reserve learning as fun (or is it fun as learning now) for nursery and pre-school children. We expect that after that, learning should be sober and serious. While there is some sense in which that is true, what happens usually is that we squeeze out all the fun from that point on. A grave mistake. Make leaning fun and watch as more knowledge goes round.

COMPREHENSION- DICTATES PASS OR FAIL

New PictureComprehension is the ability to understand and interprete what is being read. It is an important skill in the educational process. Why do we say so? Many of the challenges and problems that students are required to solve in life require a good deal of comprehension. If a child is unable to understand a question, how will he or she provide an accurate answer?

Problem solving often requires:

  • understanding the question or what has been stated is the problem
  • being able to connect the question or problem with other knowledge already acquired
  • being able to critically work out the solution

Have you ever made a statement or asked a question, and someone provides a response that does not fit in? In all probability, that individual did not understand the question. There was a problem comprehending your question or statement.

Failure does not always arise from a lack of knowledge or skill in the specific subject, but from poor comprehension skills. Some students fail physics not because they do not understand physics, but because they lack comprehension skills. Same goes for other subjects. Years later, as adults, they will require this same comprehension in whatever field they may embrace as a vocation.

This is why we must not only teach English as a language, but also promote a reading culture. Note that by reading culture, we include the use of dictionaries and other reference material.

Here are a few pointers:

  • we must make our children read and ask questions for the purpose of developing comprehension skills
  • materials to read: good story books and novels (both fiction and non-fiction); newspapers (though some of these have fallen behind in recent times); and magazines
  • a good dictionary should be available to children
  • if internet access is available and the child’s use can be monitored, a Google search for unknown words and phrases yields useful results

Growing up in the seventies and eighties, children had fewer distractions to reading. Today, the distractions are legion, yet we must polish the minds of our young ones by exposing them to well written books and periodicals.