Fun Activities For Kids This Summer Vacation

Little boy learning about the world around him.Summers are upon us and school going children can’t be more happy. Kids wait for summer vacations but it becomes a task for parents to keep them engaged when they don’t have school to go to. To stop those “I’m bored” howls, you need practical ideas and activities to keep them occupied and engaged. It’s good to plan ahead so that you have plenty of time to stock up on required items and execute the activities well. Here’s a list of some activities that will help your kids learn new things in an interesting way in this year’s summer vacations.

Cooking Easy Meals

Kids enjoy eating different things but you should also make them learn how to cook some of their favourite dishes. Find recipes according to the difficulty level your kid can handle in his/her age, there are innumerable kid friendly recipes available online. To add more fun, make them act like their favourite chef on the TV and give costumes to them.

Connect Them With Nature

We live in a web of artificially created things. As summer is the best time to explore different things, parents should utilize this time to explore the natural environment with their kids. Depending on your child’s preference, take them to nature-friendly activities like swimming in an actual pond rather than a swimming pool, camping, gardening, hiking, fishing and so on.

Develop Their Creative Side

Stock up on craft supplies and old newspapers and teach your kids to make new things from them. Let them experiment on their own sometimes to develop their creativity. It will be a win-win situation for both of you as it’s time-consuming and your kids will get new items to decorate their room with.

Set Up A Shop For Your Kids

Make your kids learn the art of buying and selling in the easiest possible way. Set up their shop and put some real items on sale to make it more interesting. You can also try the foolproof ‘Lemonade Shop’ idea, where your kids will sell the lemonade they made. Keep play money as the trade currency and your kids will love it!

Scavenger Hunt

This is an activity that’s equally fun to play and create as well. Make your own scavenger hunt cards to give your kids as a clue and scatter them around the house strategically. Reuse the same cards by placing them in a different place so that it doesn’t require much effort to create a new hunt every time. This activity will help your kids in evolving their brainstorming skills.

So, which activity are you trying with your kids this summer? Let us know in the comments below.

The Use of Reward In Positive Parenting

Father Holding Daughter's Hand

The Use of Reward In Positive Parenting

Children are born curious. There is a whole new world to explore and most of their behaviour is adopted from adults, particularly their parents. Whatever be the age of your child, teaching them the benefits of discipline could be rewarding in the long run. Tangible rewards or social reinforcements are the most effective way to incentivise your child for their behaviour.

Rewarding good behaviour promotes learning and also helps parents to focus on their kids right doings. Tangible rewards can lead to a regular habit of greed–getting something in exchange for good behaviour; therefore, the motivation for good behaviour fades as the incentives stops. Instead, rewarding in the form of verbal encouragement and motivation can sustain internal motivation.

Let’s take a look at some tips on how to reward your child effectively for good behaviour:

Model an ultimate rewarding strategy of self-satisfaction and discipline.

Teach your kids how to take responsibility and ownership of their behaviour and get satisfaction from their own good deeds. For example, “My mom enrolled me for a dance class once I started keeping my room clean.” “I feel good about cleaning my room.”

Identify the type of incentives that would keep your child motivated.

A deep sense of emotional attachment motivates children. Rewards such as hugs, a pat on the shoulder, smiles, and positive attention works best for kids in understanding that they have done something worthwhile. Tangible rewards such as toys, money, treats, etc. can be effective too, but should not be given very often.

Positive reinforcement can be effective when started early.

Shower your toddlers with effusive praise, preschoolers with daily rewards, elementary children with documenting rewards charts. This will instill a sense of self-esteem at a young age. The incentives can be a special outing or a small toy for a week-long good behaviour.

Make good behaviour a daily habit.

Teach your kid how to follow a set routine by completing the non-fun stuff first, and then enjoying the fun stuff. This will help them start taking responsibilities. This isn’t a reward, but as parents and teachers, (Pearson School) it’s your responsibility to make good behaviour a habit, a daily routine both at school and at home.

Use consistent rewards to promote good behaviour with gradual decrease of rewards later.

Regular rewards could be fun, but stopping them could be daunting for parents. Positive reinforcement or rewards should be temporary as it helps in teaching a disciplined life. When the desired behaviour is learnt, providing irregular incentives will make good behaviour likely to persist. Ultimately your child’s self-satisfaction and self-approval will be rewarding enough to maintain that expected behaviour.

What should be an appropriate reward to promote good behaviour, in your opinion? Write to us in the comments!

5 Ways To Help Your Teen Understand The Value of Money

6848822477_11c5a7dfab_b

It’s said that one of the greatest gifts you can give your child is to prepare them to be a responsible adult with money. As parents it’s your responsibility towards your children to help them develop a frame of mind that understands the value of money. When your child starts to believe that money can buy them anything and everything, they don’t understand where to stop or their limits. It’s in the interest of parents and their child alike to instill a sense of financial responsibility from early childhood through their teen years.

Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to prepare your child to manage his/her finances:

Teach them how to manage their limited budget.

Start teaching your kids about money early in life so that it becomes a habit. If they get easy money they will never value it. Fix their allowances. Make them earn their allowance rather than just providing it for free. Once you’ve given them their allowance, let them buy stuff they want. They will soon understand that being a spendthrift is not the right attitude as they won’t be able to afford anything new until their next allowance. This is how they will learn how to manage with their limited allowance.

There is no bank with unlimited supply of money.

It’s important for kids to understand that money is not an inexhaustible, limitless resource. Let them manage their finances but let them learn to avoid unnecessary expenses. Ask them to help you with the household budget. Take them to the store with you, let them watch you pay the bill and that’s when they will understand the real cost of things and what they can buy and what they cannot within their budget.

Practise how to stay within a budget.

Once you’ve given your child allowance, help them prioritize their expenses. Help your kids to make a list of the important things they want and urge them to keep a separate amount for unexpected spendings. The best way is to allot a daily budget and to assign dates to all the expenses and this is where parents need to guide their kids. Help your children to create a budget worksheet in order to track the flow of money.

Set a good example as parents.

Children mimic their parents even while managing finances. So, if you’re a person who uses a credit card often, your kid will follow the same pattern; and if you are someone who saves a little amount every time you buy something, your kid will value money the same way. One way is to include your kid in your financial decisions like buying something online and how you consider good deals before spending your hard-earned money. Don’t hesitate to share your financial mistakes and your learnings. Giving an example is easy, but setting one is difficult.

Developing a habit to save.

Learning to save money is a vital skill. Talking to your teens about saving money may seem like a daunting task, but it shouldn’t stop you from encouraging your kid to save little amount for their short-term goals such as buying a dress, football or cricket bat. Teaching your kids long-term saving can help them achieve long term goals, such as buying a car, house, and so on in future.

Being a parent is a full-time job, and this job comes with a lot of responsibilities. Inculcating good habits like understanding the value of money in your children is only going to make things easier for them in the future. So, chart out a plan, get set on the task, and make your kids responsible adults who know the value of money.

Help Your Child Become A Better Questioner

Pearson School

The human race is curious by nature; without the curiosity of certain human beings, we would still be stuck in the stone age. Curious minds urge people to question the why, what, how, and when of things. Asking questions opens-up a vast matrix of information floating around to dig upon and comprehend.

Students–the younger ones, especially–are the most curious of all the human beings. Students who are curious and ask questions are the ones who seriously seek answers too. It is no hidden fact that asking questions is an indispensable tool. Questioning can help learn, explore and adapt to changes.

In our educational system, we often find that while answers are applauded and questions are seen as a sign of weakness. It’s therefore the parent’s and the teacher’s combined responsibility to provide a conducive environment for kids to ask questions.

There are several ways in which you can encourage your child to ask questions in the classroom and even outside it, here are some of them:

Provide A Safe Haven For Questioning

Asking questions can be scary for kids especially when most of the kids perceive questioning to be a weakness, or an ego issue in front of other classmates. Teachers must take the responsibility to change the game by designing an environment where asking question seems interesting and welcoming, and where curiosity is rewarded. Parents must do the same at home by treating the ability to question as a strength and not a weakness.

Make Questioning The New Cool

Kids at school are under the impression that it is “cool” to know everything or ignore it if they don’t. What if parents (and teachers like they do in Pearson Schools) take the responsibility to help kids understand that asking questions is the greatest sign of intellect? Give your children (and students) examples of Sir Isaac Newton or Alexander Fleming, who were the explorers, mavericks, rebels–and the coolest of the lot.

Questioning Can Be A Playful Activity

Kids enjoy learning things if it is learnt with an element of play involved. There are countless ways to inject a game element in the exercise of questioning, like converting answers into questions, making it an open-ended question, or a closed question. Designing questions with Why, What, and How, to  encourage students to tap into their questioning abilities making it a fun activity.

Make Questioning Challenging and Rewarding

Aim to create a path for the students to find a meaningful answer to every question without Googling it. The whole point is to make students spend some time thinking over questions, grappling with them, and coming up with a result after complete understanding–something that could lead to a well deserved reward!

Make Questioning A Habit

All the above mentioned activities are to create a lifelong habit to question and learn, and to pave a path to develop it into a behaviour. People who question are the ones who learn to observe things differently. Every parent must inculcate in their children the habit to question and then articulate.

What are some ways in which you inculcate the habit of questioning at home and/or classroom?

How To Get The Most Out of Parent-Teacher Meetings

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 1.13.40 pmParent-Teacher Meetings present a great opportunity for you to learn about your child’s school life, their performance, and social developments. As a parent, you also get to know your child’s teachers and make plans about how you can work with them to support your child better. Furthermore, while attending the meeting you’re able to let your child know that you care about their progress.

The faculty at Pearson Schools specifically, are just as interested in your input as you are in theirs. Your child’s teachers will want you to apprise them with your child’s comfort level in the classroom, whether they’ve found a best friend yet, and whether the classes are having a positive impact on them. This will help you and your child’s teacher understand his social and emotional well-being and ultimately his performance in class.

Let’s look at how To Get The Most Out of Parent-Teacher Meetings:

BEFORE THE PARENT-TEACHER MEETING

Prepare early: Keep a check on all the test scores and home assignments from the beginning of the school year. Make a note about the things your child told you or any specific issue you might want to address.

Speak with your child: Get access to your child’s school life. Ask them about what happens when they reach school and in the class, about their teacher and their new friends. You need to find out your child’s perception, both positives as well as negatives.

DURING THE PARENT-TEACHER MEETING

Be punctual: Every parent is allotted a fixed time. Ensure that you make it on time so that your child’s teacher can give you and your child the attention you deserve.

Meet with a positive attitude: The goal of the meeting should be the success of your child. Rather than engaging in arguments, have an approach where you and your child’s teacher can help your child do their best in school. Don’t restrain yourself from complimenting the teacher for your child’s performance. Don’t hesitate from making notes regarding your child’s scope to improve.  Understand your child’s learning style and needs, and then share the information with your child.

AFTER THE PARENT-TEACHER MEETING

Check your notes from the meeting: Going through your notes will help you address the issues that your child’s teacher had pointed out in the meeting. Work out the steps to put the plan into action.

Brief your child: Apprise your child about their core strengths and weaknesses. Talk about the areas they need to work on and how you can help. Compliment them on their performance in class and help them follow the tips they can use to improve it.

While attending Parent-Teacher Meetings could be yet another point in a parent’s to-do list, the aim should always be to enhance the Parent–Teacher relationship to help your child reach their maximum potential.

10 Ways To Raise A Child With A Creative Mind

child Head.Children Learn to think

As a parent it’s only natural to want your child to reach their full intellectual and creative potential. While doing well in academics will without a doubt give your child a huge advantage all their lives–what’s more important is that they derive lifelong joy from learning, exploration and natural curiosity.

Raising a child with a creative bent of mind can be both challenging and fun for young parents. The first step is to understand that creativity is more skill than inborn talent, and one that you can help your kids develop through the years.

Here’s how you can start:–

  • Find answers together. As your child grows older, they will ask questions that you might not necessarily have the answers to. Rather than guessing the answer, a better response is, “I don’t know” and add, “Let’s find the correct answer.” Then you could do some research with your child in order to find the answer.
  • Teach them how to cook. Cooking, and especially baking, is an incredibly creative process. Once your kids learn the basics–making cookies or frying an omelet–let them experiment. Don’t correct them beforehand unless they are endangering themselves, others or your kitchen. By experimenting and seeing what happens, they will learn a valuable creative process.
  • Encourage them to make mistakes and fail. If your child is afraid of failure and judgment, it will curb their creative thoughts. Tell them about the mistakes you’ve made recently, so they get the idea that it’s okay to mess up. Laughing at yourself when you do is a happiness habit that will take your child a long way.
  • Encourage them to participate in the arts and read for pleasure. Limit their TV and other screen time in order to make room for creative activities like acting out a play, reading fiction, learning to sketch, crafting knick-knacks for the house, designing their own clothes, etc.
  • Provide them with resources that will help in creative expression. You can start off with having a basic inventory of art supplies at home–blank papers, crayons, oil paints, fresh markers, glue sticks, etc.
  • Designate a space for them to use–their study table for crafting/painting or a corner in the family room for their Lego, where they are free to make their creative mess.
  • Provide them with unstructured playtime. Instead of telling your child what activity you want them to do, let them take the lead. Your child needs the “white canvas” time in their day where it’s completely up to them to CREATE the activity they want to do.
  • Take them outside! There’s no greater source of inspiration than the great outdoors. Cut out the computer/TV/video-gaming time, by taking your child to the park, the zoo, or a heritage site on the weekends. Encourage them to use their visit as inspiration for their next project–a short story, drawing, poetry or skit.
  • Don’t correct immediately. Ask why instead. If your child pronounces a word wrong or uses bad manners at a dinner party, don’t immediately correct them. Ask them “why do you think that?” or “why did you do that?” instead. You will teach them how to question things this way, which is important for a creative mind.
  • Get creative yourself! No one understands your child’s personality and interests better than you. So, don’t hold back when encouraging them or gently nudging them towards intellectual and creative pursuits that are best suited for them.

With these fun steps you can raise a child who’s intellectually creative, excited about learning and curious on every level–for the long haul. 🙂

Pearson India Wins At The Indian Education Awards 2015

Pearson June 15 - June 21-13

We’re excited to share some great news with you! Pearson India has won at the Indian Education Awards 2015 for the 2nd consecutive year at the glorious ceremony held at Vivanta by Taj in Delhi on June 10 and 11, 2015.

The awards conferred were in 3 categories, namely, Best Educational Use of Social Media, Best Education Webinar Series, and Best Vocational Training Institute of the Year. The awards were received at an event brimming with the nation’s best minds, intellectuals and entrepreneurs in the education sector.

Known as Asia’s biggest education show, the Indian Education Awards 2015 by Franchise India draw attention to best practices and promote innovation to capture consumer interest, and aid the growth of the Indian Education Sector.

The jury considers standards, ethics and best practices at the top of their agenda. Through positive recognition of those that lead the way, the Indian Education Awards are seen as the education industry’s top accolade. As India’s foremost publisher education segment, we at Pearson India, proud to receive this honour.

Click here to know more about the awards: <http://www.educationbiz.in/congress/award_winners.php>