How to encourage your child to ask questions

Human beings are born with an innate need to satisfy their curiosity at all times. We are the only creatures smart enough to wrack our brains about anything and everything happening around us, to the point where it becomes mandatory to find an outlet that can answer all our questions, while simultaneously allowing us to expand our horizons and attain as much information as possible.

Unfortunately, most human beings tend to live in a culture where knowing everything is considered to be an indication of strength while asking questions is generally seen as a sign of weakness. This backwards mentality is prevalent in society, which means that most people don’t end up learning about the basic fundamentals merely because they’re too intimidated to pose a question in the first place.

This can prove to quite a hurdle, especially for a child whose mind is a blank slate that’s just waiting to be scribbled on. Instilling the mentality in these children that asking questions is perfectly fine is the first step that needs to be accomplished in the process of in-taking as much information as possible during these formative years. Here are the best ways through which you can encourage your child to ask questions constantly.

1. First and foremost, questioning should be considered as a perfectly normal thing to do: It’s understandable that most children might perceive the act of questioning to be intimidating mainly due to the negative stigma attached to it. However, this is the most crucial aspect of questioning that needs to be rectified – a child should not feel that asking a question is a sign of weakness. The concept of an “ego” being weakened should not even come into play, in the first place. It’s only after overcoming this seemingly impassable obstacle that a child will be able to expand their horizons by asking the relevant questions. Basically, what we’re trying to say is that questioning should be – and this is putting it very simply – “cool.”

2. An element of playfulness and interactivity can be added to questioning: Gamification is taking over the world by storm, and something so simple as the act of asking questions can also be integrated with this concept as well. This will compel more and more children to ask questions and attain knowledge. There are many ways through which this can be accomplished –incentivising the act and adding certain levels to the questions being asked are both great ways to achieve this goal.

3. Questioning should not be easy: there should be a challenge and reward element to it: The act of asking questions should never be easy. If this is the case, then every Tom, Dick, and Harry will start asking questions left and right without any sensibility. To counter this, these queries should involve a fair bit of effort. Pondering over a problem, connecting the logic threads, and deciding upon a proper conclusion is infinitely more rewarding than a simple Google search.

4. It shouldn’t take any effort to pose a question: Rather, it should be natural: Children shouldn’t push themselves to ask questions. If even a bit of effort is required to ask a question, then something somewhere has gone wrong. Asking questions should become a habit for children since it will allow them to observe situations from an analytical angle and attain quality insights as a result.

Therefore, by following the points mentioned above to a T, you’ll compel your child to develop an inquisitive mindset that will allow them to push the boundaries of their mind and attain a better understanding of the world around them as a result.

Facilitate a productive Parent-Teacher Meeting

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It’s evident that any parent would have a vested interest in knowing about the development of their child at all times. However, when it comes to schooling, there’s a significant gap every weekday during school hours, where the transparency of information related to this development is lacking. This mandates the need to set up a parent-teacher meeting so that the parents can be informed about the performance and progress of the child in his or her respective school.

However, the parent-teacher meeting can be so much more than just that. It’s not just the teacher’s opinion that matters – the input of parents is also vital to ensure that the overall development of the child is at optimal levels. The child’s comfort level, social life, and personal growth are all factors that can be positively affected through a mutually productive parent-teacher meeting.

So, how should one prepare to facilitate a productive parent-teacher meeting?

BEFORE THE MEETING:

  • Keep track of all the developments of the child from the ground-up. Pinpoint any specific issues that you feel need to be addressed, so that you can bring up these points of discussion during the meeting.
  • Talk candidly with your child about his school life. Doing so will allow you to understand their likes and dislikes in the classroom, what they learn about all day, how the teachers interact with them, and any other relevant information.

DURING THE MEETING:

  • If you want to facilitate a productive discussion in the first place, then the first thing to keep in mind is to be punctual. If you’re not willing to respect the teacher’s time, then how will you expect them to do the same?
  • Try and maintain a positive attitude at all times. Being argumentative is okay at times, but keeping the same approach during a parent-teacher meeting is not recommended in the slightest. Make notes, listen attentively, and understand the best way to augment the growth of your child.

AFTER THE MEETING:

  • If you’ve taken notes, then read up on them and reflect on what was told to you at the meeting. Keeping these pointers in mind will help you direct the growth of your child in an effective manner.
  • Talk with your child after the meeting and go over all the points that were covered. Praise them for their strengths and mutually figure out the course of action that can be taken to overcome their weaknesses.

Attending the parent-teacher meeting should be more than just a to-do on your list – it should be a productive meetup that will benefit the student, teacher, and the parent equally.

Staying Involved in Your Child’s Education

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Parents are a child’s lifelong teachers. While many parents may not have the time to be fully-involved in their child’s education, it’s imperative for them to be consistent about keeping communication channels open with their child and their child’s teacher. This will help them achieve an accurate picture of their child’s academic experience. Staying involved in your child’s education will enable you to support them effectively. Your involvement in their life is crucial to their social and educational development. These are some ways in which you can stay actively involved in your child’s education:

  • Have a conversation with them about their day at school and the homework they have received, every day. You should know your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses.
  • Designate a quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place with a study table and school supplies for your child.
  • Encourage them to develop a routine, which they feel responsible to follow. This will enable them to avoid distractions. Put away smartphones/tablets/laptops during study time.
  • While you should help them with their homework, doing it for them will slow down their learning. Instead, praise them for their efforts and help them clear any doubts, which they may have.
  • Create a small library in the house with books, magazines, and comics to encourage reading and learning from outside the prescribed syllabus.
  • Encourage your child to participate in before and after-school activities. This will help them stay involved outside of the school day.
  • Interact with their friends and their friends’ parents. Work towards developing parent groups and programs, or organizing play dates for the children.
  • Attend parent-teacher meetings, educational fairs and special meetings, whenever possible. At Pearson Schools, parents are methodically appraised of their child’s progress with the help of personal portfolios, while regular Open Houses allow them to directly interact with teachers.
  • Show your support by attending annual days and sporting events. Volunteering at your child’s school may also help you actively participate in their life at school.
  • Make an appointment with your child’s class teacher whenever you feel necessary to discuss their progress. Pearson Schools record every student’s efforts, progress and achievements in individual portfolios, integral to assessing their academic journey. They can help you set achievable goals for your child.
  • Class teachers must always be informed about any significant changes in your child’s life, such as a death in the family, a new sibling or the divorce/separation of the parents. This will help them give your child special attention, if needed.
  • Emphasise on the importance of school rules and expectations at home. Read school newsletters, follow the Pearson School’s Facebook Page, or visit the school website to keep up-to-date about what’s happening at school.

Staying involved in your child’s learning will help you enhance your child’s academic progress. You can also talk to friends or counsellors for any extra help with your child. Consequently, you will be able to create a safe, positive and nurturing environment for you child, both at school and home. 🙂 Follow our Facebook Page for more schools and parenting tips to help your child learn better.

How to Help Your School Going Children Overcome Bullying

How to Help Your School Going Children Overcome Bullying

Bullying is one of the most prevalent social evils, and it leaves a lasting impact on the victims, especially children. In most cases, kids say that bullying takes place in school. Most cases bullying happens in school, tuitions, online or on the playground. Most of the time bullying is verbal, but sometimes it may lead to someone getting seriously hurt. If your child is being bullied, you need to find a way to put an end to it as soon as possible. There are many ways in which bullying takes place like teasing, hitting, cyber-bullying or mean gossip. It’s important to discuss bullying with your child so they are prepared if it ever happens. Let them know that they can come to you with their problems.

Identify Bullying

Being teased by a sibling or friends is not bullying, but games children play for fun. It’s not harmful if done playfully, and in a friendly and mutual way. It usually ends with both children laughing and forgetting about it very soon. When the teasing crosses a line and becomes hurtful and unkind, it turns into bullying, and needs to stop immediately. Bullying is intentionally hurting someone. It can be physical, verbal, or even psychological. Bullying needs to be taken seriously and not brushed aside as something children should deal with on their own. It’s known to have a serious effect on a child’s sense of security and self-worth. Name-calling, pushing, hitting, teasing, and, taking a child’s money are all acts of bullying. Children who are bullied are often ignored or shunned by other classmates as well.

Cyber Bullying

With the dawn of the Internet Age, bullying has moved into cyberspace now. Cyber bullying can happen anywhere, at home, email, via text, and social media websites throughout the day. For the victims, the effects can be lasting and devastating, leaving them feeling hurt, angry, humiliated, or depressed. Bullies target young, vulnerable children and taunt them to hurt their feelings. A lot of times this is done using anonymous profiles. These tips can help protect your child from cyber bullies:

  1. The first step would be that the parents should learn about the Internet and be abreast of social media & it’s use.
  2. Almost all websites have an minimum age requirement. Parents should pay special attention to this. Install parental control filtering software, it’s just as important for you to monitor your child’s computer.
  3. Talk to your child about cyber bullying and tell them it is harmful and unacceptable. Ask them not to reply to the bully and to come to you if any stranger contacts them online or if one of their friends is being rude.
  4. Ask them not to say anything online that they wouldn’t say to a person’s face.
  5. Ask them to save the evidence of the cyber bullying. Keep all the abusive texts or take a screenshot of the page, and report it to the school, parents or, the concerned authorities.
  6. Prevent any communication with the cyber bully. Block their email address, phone number, and delete them from all social media. Talk to them about appropriate internet behavior.
  7. You can even report them to their internet service provider (ISP) or to the websites they are using to bully.

Helping Your Child Cope

  1. Don’t let them blame themselves. Tell them it’s not their fault, and no matter what a bully says or does, they should not be ashamed of who they are.
  2. Help them look at bullies from a different perspective. Say the bullies are unhappy and frustrated people who want to feel good by hurting you.
  3. Tell them not to think about what the bully says or does.
  4. Ask them to talk to an adult they trust about bullies.
  5. Boost their self-confidence. Play games, exercise, crack jokes with your children.
  6. Let them focus on their hobbies or do things they enjoy to help them get over what the bully said to them.

Bullying can have a lasting effect on your child so don’t let it slide. No parent wants to see their child being bullied or being a bully, but a lot of children are involved – either as a perpetrator, victim or witness. Young children are particularly vulnerable. Work with your child and his teacher if your child is being bullied till the problem stops.

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How Can Healthy Sleep Patterns Improve Your Child’s Learning

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A good night’s sleep is very important for all children. It helps your child stay healthy, happy, calm and ready for school or any other activity the next day. Getting ample rest is critical for brain development and it directly influences everyday functioning, performance in school, etc.

Good habits and a set routine will help children feel sleepy and ready for bed at the right time. A well rested child is likely to concentrate more in class and get better grades. It is very important for school going children to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep every day. Studies have shown that sleep is directly proportional to better grades. Children have shown signs of improvement in subjects like maths and science if they sleep on time at night.

Children suffer from restlessness, nightmares and disturbed sleep. Work towards getting your child relaxed before bedtime to reduce the chances of bad dreams and nightmares. In some cases, children may experience severe problems with sleep. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) find it extremely difficult to sleep on time.

Follow these steps to help your child maintain healthy sleeping patterns:

  1. Make sure your child sleeps early. He needs about 10 – 11 hours of sleep every night. Children are usually tired after school or play time or homework and their bedtime can be early.
  2. Maintain a bedtime routine to help them wind down. Get them ready for bed at the same time daily, and do not disrupt this routine. An hour before sleeping make them turn the television off or pause all computer games and engage in quiet activities.
  3. Reading to your child is a lot of fun. Make them read to you when they grow older.
  4. Talk to them calmly about their day so they sleep stress-free.
  5. Wake them up at the same time daily. Even during holidays.
  6. Most children have frequent nightmares. When it happens, go to your child as soon as possible. Reassure your child that nothing will happen. Talk calmly and gently and stay with them till they fall asleep again. If your child has woken up scared you might have to distract them with another activity or make them imagine an alternative to the nightmare.
  7. Talk to your child about his routine. See if something is bothering him/her that could be causing the nightmares.
  8. Make sure your child gets enough exercise. This is very important for his general health as well.
  9. They should listen to relaxing music to help them wind down. Remove all noisy things from your child’s room, and ensure there are no loud sounds when they sleep.
  10. If your child continues to have disturbed sleep speak to a health professional or a children’s counsellor.

As the saying goes “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”  A good night’s sleep will keep your child healthy, active and happy throughout the day. Learning is made easy if the child is well rested, and he has a happier and more fruitful day in school. Remember to follow these steps and your child will wake up fresh and ready for action every day. 🙂

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7 Ways To Help Your Child Develop Self-Discipline

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Self-control is the first step to self-discipline. It’s important for those who want to become successful in life. Children need to be taught the value of self-discipline from an early age. Every time your child accepts a limit that set by you, they are practicing self-control.

Developing self-control can be a lifelong process for some. By learning self-control at a young age, children can respond to stressful situations in ways that yield positive outcomes. To help your child develop self-control, follow these 7 steps:

1. Practice what you preach. Managing your emotions in front of your children is very important. Remember that your actions send a clear message to your children about how to deal with various situations in life. If you are calm during stressful situations your child will also learn to be calm. Compassion is another thing children learn from their parents.

2. The foundation of any relationship is trust. Parents need to be responsive to their children’s needs to foster trust. When a baby is fed it understands that food will come. Soothing your child will help him regulate his emotions. You will also teach him how to soothe himself, and give him a feeling of safety and acceptance.

3. Developing the brain is an important step. Children cannot resist grabbing whatever comes in front of them. They also have very little idea about what is good or bad. Parents have to develop that understanding in them. This is a long process that takes a lot of practice. The brain’s development takes place in many ways. Reading a wide variety of books, sports, art, etc. are excellent ways to develop a child’s mind.

4. Keep practicing. A child needs to understand how to prioritize. They will want one thing, but there will be another thing that they want more. They need to understand that they cannot always get what they want. Giving them a choice between two things will help them understand the importance of making decisions. They will be able to associate it with self-discipline. Remember that it has to be the child’s decision. When they are forced to give something up, they are not practicing self-discipline. If they are not given the chance to choose between two alternatives, they cannot practice controlling themselves.

5. Punishment doesn’t encourage self-discipline. The right kind of limits give children practice in self-discipline. If the child isn’t choosing to stop what they were doing; they are being forced. In this case the child doesn’t feel the need to stop himself. The point is to motivate them to discipline themselves, and not punishing them.

6. Patience is an essential step. Patience is a virtue, and most find it very difficult to be patient in difficult situations. Every time we exercise self-control, we build our ability to draw on it to meet our goals. You cannot expect your child to be patient when he is young. It’s something that they develop gradually. If you’re asking them to be patient, then make sure that the amount of time they have to wait coincides with their ability to wait patiently or they would resort to screaming to get what they want instead of learning self-control. Don’t be impatient, and yell at your child to wait. They will see it as punishment.

7. Children learn self-control on their own too. Do not underestimate your child. They can develop self-control when they’re motivated by something important to them. Playing with other children requires them to manage their emotions. Cooking or baking teaches them to wait till the food is ready and not put it in their mouth when it is hot. Playing their favorite game helps them understand that they need to practice in order to get good at it.

Every time children have to manage themselves, they learn a strategy that helps them in the future. Teaching children self-control is about teaching them to regulate their emotions, which allows them to regulate their thoughts and behaviour.

Pearson’s Rules of Safety – Always Be Careful!

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When it comes to providing preliminary education to our children we always know which school to contact or where we want to send our child for the best education possible. Often in the process of doing this we tend to miss on an important part called safety and security in Schools. Most of the time we focus on the school’s learning outcome, overall school result and the brand name of the school.

But with all the recent incidents happening in schools, it is a growing concern. Many schools have taken serious steps to spruce up the security and safety measures in their schools but still a lot more needs to be done.

With Pearson School’s Rules of Safety and Always Be Careful Program, we have introduced many innovative and new methods of safety measures in the school premise. Safety measures like fire evacuation drill, evacuation plan, awareness of fire exits and emergency assembly signs, first aiders helps the child to take the first step towards safety precautions.

Pearson Health and Safety Committee keep a constant check on the health and safety aspects of teachers and students in school. The school is under CCTV surveillance which records all the movement of a student in and outside the classroom with security sentry at all gates. An Identity card is provided to every student, parents and staffs of school which they will have to show at the gate before entering the premise. The School does not allow any unsupervised interactions between visitor and children.

Safety in the bus is specified with specified speed governors with fire extinguishers and a first aid box where the children are looked after by trained lady attendants. The buses also have the provision for GPS tracking and SMS updates (for parents).

At Pearson Schools, the safety and security of children comes to a utmost need and importance as they believe in the old saying of precaution is better than cure and a child needs a lot of safety and security in school to help them built a better future for them.