Categories
Growing Up

Homeschooling hours

Home-schooling-gains-traction-among-US-familiesHow many, how often and when? These are some oft-repeated questions when it comes to homeschooling hours. Flexibility is of course one of the key underlying principles behind homeschooling.
This flexibility applies not only to the curriculum but also to the number of hours. It is only natural that parents, especially if they have just started out on homeschooling should feel that their children should be at their books all the time when regular school-goers are at school. This is not only fallacious but can also be damaging and counter-productive.
One of the most ignored but glaring drawbacks of the public schooling system is the sheer waste of time and energy that it causes. Many periods are simply wasted away and the child effectively derives only 1-3 hours of study everyday. Then, there are days when the studies become too intensive and other days when it’s only games and no work at all. There is a lot of ‘invisible wastage’ involved here.
Early on in your homeschooling practice, work out a schedule. It is advisable to stick to the same hours everyday. A routine makes it easier to learn and gives structure to the learning experience.
It also tells the students that parents are strict about their learning. A routine also allows your child to free his mind from other activities and concentrate on studies. He knows that a particular time is strictly set aside for learning.
The actual number of hours that you need depends on the curriculum you have chosen and the learning style that suits your child. If you are dealing with a subject that seems to be more complex, you may need to sit with the child for a longer period. Using various techniques, it may be necessary to demonstrate what you are trying to teach. For instance, a lesson in Algebra may take more time than a lesson in English.
Homeschooling does not refer to the practice of sitting in front of the books and learning the printed matter. Field trips, watching documentaries, visiting factories and libraries also make up an important slice of the homeschooling process. It makes sense to intersperse these activities so that learning becomes fun.
You may want to finish off the few hours of textbook learning in the morning and dedicate the afternoons to these kinds of activities.
Given the fact that too many public school hours are wasted in meaningless activities ranging from talking to extra-curricular activities, do not allow public school hours to dictate the time you should spend teaching your child at home. Remember that at home, he is getting a high-quality one-to-one time that is highly productive. About 1-3 hours of study is enough in the primary
level. It is of course true that the more number of hours you put in, the more learning takes place. This is also the reason why homeschooling children are much smarter and more balanced than regular school going children.
 

Categories
Growing Up

How to Bring Up Your Children Properly

Childhood years are the best times to learn. Somehow, a person’s comprehension is at its peak during childhood. Parents should take advantage of these learning years to ingrain the values of life in their children.
If you’re a parent, teach them positive habits so that they will know and see the beauty that life has to offer. Make them enthusiastic about life. Instill into their hearts and minds all the wonders and magnificence of being alive by living life to its fullest in a positive way.
 

Teaching your children how to be independent
Teaching your children how to be independent

There’s a startling difference between children learning through self-discovery, and children learning through self-discovery with proper guidance. The first things that children learn are usually the things that stay with them and mold formative years until they reach adulthood.
Let us suppose you let your children learn through self-discovery. To a certain extent, self-discovery is good since it develops full independence and self-reliance. However, the learning process might be slow. In a sense, it is like a trial and error experience for children. They have to segregate the good from the bad, the right from the wrong, what they like and what they don’t. It is most likely that what they will like are the ones that come easy to them or the ones that they enjoy the most. And the ones that they enjoy the most might not necessarily be the good ones. Without proper guidance, what they like and enjoy the most might actually be hurting them although they are not aware of it. Perhaps later, if they find out that they picked the wrong choices, it may be too late.
With self-discovery through proper guidance, you will be able to leave room for them to develop independence and self-reliance. At the same time, show them what is right and what is wrong. Explain to them why. If possible, cite instances or examples based on true-to-life events to make them more convincing and realistic. The more realistic they are, the more easily the children are convinced. Likewise, try teaching them in a friendly and humorous atmosphere. Children are more attentive and eager to learn when all (both teachers and students) are in an easy mood. You will know and feel their eagerness to learn through the sparkle in their eyes and by the way they answer your questions. You can be sure that what they learn from you is acceptable to them and will stay with them. That is why, as a parent, you must show enthusiasm in life to your children.
There’s a third method of making children learn. That is through proper guidance leaving negligible room for self-discovery. But there are drawbacks. You take away from them the benefits of self-reliance and independence. The guidance you devote to them may be good and well intended, but they must not rely on you on almost everything they do. They become decision-dependent on you. There are instances wherein this type of guidance might be worse than giving no guidance at all.
There are parents who underwent hardships during their childhood, strived, and became successful financially. Although they are financially in the position to guide and assist their children to a better life, they prefer that their children undergo the same difficult experience they underwent during their younger years. Their reason: so that their children will value and experience the same things they went through. This may be applicable to stubborn and rebellious youngsters, but not to disciplined ones. Why must their sons and daughters repeat the same difficulties? There’s no reason to. This is like punishing the innocent. Instead of repeating the experience, they should learn from it. Life is too short to repeat unsavory experiences.
One of the best ways to broaden your children’s knowledge about life is by traveling. The world – its varied people, places, and cultures – has a lot of information to offer. It is perhaps as important as the conventional classroom. If you are financially able, traveling is one of the best educational experiences you can give your children. Look for exhibits or world fairs, and take your children there. Books are the next best things. It’s traveling by reading.
 
Fill your children with thoughts of self-importance, confidence, and positive attitude so that there will be no room for negative thinking. More importantly, fill their world with laughter, love, and understanding. You‘ll never go wrong.

Categories
Baby Care

MOTHERS' ROLE IN COMBATING DISEASES OF CHILDREN

Mothers should know when their children are ill
Mothers should know when their children are ill

The especial province of the mother is the prevention of disease, not its cure. When disease attacks the child, the mother has then a part to perform, which it is especially important during the epochs of infancy and childhood should be done well. I refer to those duties which constitute the maternal part of the management of disease.
Medical treatment, for its successful issue, is greatly dependent upon a careful, pains-taking, and judicious maternal superintendence. No medical treatment can avail at any time, if directions be only partially carried out, or be negligently attended to; and will most assuredly fail altogether, if counteracted by the erroneous prejudices of ignorant attendants. But to the affections of infancy and childhood, this remark applies with great force; since, at this period, disease is generally so sudden in its assaults, and rapid in its progress, that unless the measures prescribed are rigidly and promptly administered, their exhibition is soon rendered altogether fruitless.
The amount of suffering, too, may be greatly lessened by the thoughtful and discerning attentions of the mother. The wants and necessities of the young child must be anticipated; the fretfulness produced by disease, soothed by kind and affectionate persuasion; and the possibility of the sick and sensitive child being exposed to harsh and ungentle conduct, carefully provided against.
Again, not only is a firm and strict compliance with medical directions in the administration of remedies, of regimen, and general measures, necessary, but an unbiased, faithful, and full report of symptoms to the physician, when he visits his little patient, is of the first importance. An ignorant servant or nurse, unless great caution be exercised by the medical attendant, may, by an unintentional but erroneous report of symptoms, produce a very wrong impression upon his mind, as to the actual state of the disease. His judgment may, as a consequence, be biased in a wrong direction, and the result prove seriously injurious to the welldoing of the patient. The medical man cannot sit hour after hour watching symptoms; hence the great importance of their being faithfully reported. This can alone be done by the mother, or some person equally competent.
There are other weighty considerations which might be adduced here, proving how much depends upon efficient maternal management in the time of sickness; but they will be severally dwelt upon, when the diseases with which they are more particularly connected are spoken of.

Categories
Growing Up

After school activity for the hyperactive child

FC21ADHD refers to attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder. Most children who suffer from this disorder suffer from attention problems as well as hyperactivity. Parents of such children are well aware that inattention and hyperactivity continue throughout the day. Keeping such children busy after school hours can be as difficult as keeping them safe during the school day.
The first step while choosing the right after school activity for your child is to understand how ADHD affects him. Is your child interested in sports? Is he put off by the fierce competitiveness, or does he find it hard to get along with teammates? Does your child vocalize his feelings, or is communication a problem?
For a child suffering from ADHD, physical exercise is always beneficial. Exercise takes up the extra energy and helps to stimulate the brain. Team activities teach social skills and discipline. But, if your child shies away from team sports, you may want to look at activities like dancing, cycling, swimming or gymnastics. Martial arts not only teach techniques of self-defense but also teach self-control and patience.
If your child shows aversion to sport and shows inclination towards the fine arts, you may need to look at some other options. Acting classes are a wonderful form of creative exercise. It also provides the child with ample opportunity to develop his social skills. Music, art or dance can help the child to keep himself busy and entertained.
In case the child is not interested in any of the above, you may want him to join a Boy Scouts club or other community oriented clubs that take up social work. Cleaning a park, putting on a show, helping out in an old age home are various activities that may pique your child’s interest.
Whatever form of activity you choose, make sure that you monitor your child’s progress periodically. If you feel that there is no progress, you may need to change the activity. Anything that increases your child’s self-esteem is good. You may enlist the help of the coach or teacher to assess your child’s development.
There are certain activities that are detrimental to a child suffering from ADHD. Computer and video games are a definite NO. Since these games need no interaction, children will feel all the more isolated. These children also find it difficult to distinguish between the good and the bad messages. They may therefore show an inclination to stick to messages that are not needed. Games that need the child to sit and wait for his turn patiently tax his patience and will not be a success.
Although you would want these children to be as near to normal as possible, understanding their needs and limits will help you select the right after school activity – one that is fulfilling, tiring as well as challenging.

Categories
Growing Up

After school activities and relationship building

15578-02dgAfter school activities are the rage of the day. With about $500 million invested in these programs and more than 10 million children attending  them in America alone, the popularity of these activities cannot be  overlooked. Everyone understands the need to develop new skills, gain more  knowledge and keep the children safe when parents are working.
The most important factor in the success of any program is the  relationship between the children participating in the program and the  adult members who work with these children. Often, children may confide in  an adult member who is not a teacher. This kind of emotional interaction  is a must when children are struggling to make sense of the whirlpool of  emotions that assail them.
Direct contact with professionals can be an inspiring experience. Children  are very much impressed by the knowledge and experience of these adults.  Young people gain a lot of knowledge and experience when they deal with  experienced adults and older youth who serve as teachers or mentors in  these programs. These mentors are different from the teachers in the  school and children are more likely to draw inspiration from them.
After school activities that are managed professionally by people who are  successful in their own fields of expertise will produce children who are  more enthusiastic and successful. Meaningful interaction with adults is a  learning experience in itself.

After school program – recreational vs. educational

So, your child is beginning to get restless and make you restless. He has got more time than is good for him, and you are now considering after school programs – anything that will keep him busy for a few life-saving hours! Most after school activities can be broadly classified into three – recreational, educational and society-oriented. The last bit usually comes in when your child is already a bit grown up and can voice his own interests.
Educational activities aim at furthering the knowledge of your child. His general awareness, his understanding and his memory are targeted and he is given various techniques that will help him improve one or all of these. Programs such as intensive memory training and speed mathematics are educational after school activities. There are academic programs that will go over your child’s homework and class work and help the child gain more in-depth knowledge in the various subjects. Thus academic programs have a definite edge over the fun and games, especially if parents feel that their child has a lot of catching up to do.
Recreational activities include sports and games, fine arts, painting etc. The main thrust here is to have fun. Of course, classes become more competitive as the child climbs up the ladder. Many sport events, competitions, stage performances etc are held to encourage the child.
When we compare the merits of the two kinds of activities, I believe that the recreational programs have more meat. Firstly, children do not enjoy learning unless they themselves feel curious about something. Most academic programs are standardized courses that are not too flexible. They have a general purpose and a well laid out methodology. After a number of hours at school, the child may feel bored. Further study may overwhelm him and make him feel frustrated. Burnout is very much a possibility here.
Recreational programs provide a welcome break from the monotony of learning and studies. The mental challenge and the physical exertion make the child feel a renewed zest and a pleasant sense of fulfillment. Group activity teaches him social skills, discipline and patience. It is a proven fact that children involved in extra curricular activities get better grades than others. Sometimes closing the textbooks and playing a game may be the best way to handle your studies.
Whatever program you choose for your child, regular evaluation is the key to success. You will have to measure the child’s progress. If progress is unsatisfactory, shift your child out of the program. The child should also have the freedom to reject an activity if and when he feels bored with it. Generally, programs that combine the educational with the recreational are best suited especially for younger children. This way, children can have fun while they learn.

After school safety – tips and reminders

When parents send their children for after school programs, they take it for granted that the child is safe. But since the number of children  participating in these activities has increased, it is necessary to look  into safety issues.
Children are vulnerable when they are outside the classes. While going or  returning, they should know the safest route to take. Many kids hang out  with their friends just after these classes. Find out ‘danger zones’ from  your neighbors and make the children aware of these.
The child has to know how to handle emergencies. It is better to discuss  various scenarios with your child. Tell her what she should do in case the  class is suddenly cancelled. Show her the first-aid kit at home and make  sure she knows whom to call in an emergency. Post any important contact  information in a place that is easily accessible to the child. If the  child will be alone at home, discuss a few unexpected things with her.
Tell her to use the safety chain ALWAYS.
Relay on your neighbors and friends when needed. Let your child know who  can be contacted at times of emergency. Ask your child to check in by phone. Above all, always tell the child to be in a group. Visiting toilets all alone or going home via isolated streets must be avoided.

After school programs and discipline

How important is discipline when it comes to after school programs? Since most of the activities are recreational, does a program have to adhere to  strict rules? Discipline is just as important here as it is in  activities that pertain to the school. The child is sent to a program  because you want him to learn more. Discipline in one form or the other is  necessary to facilitate learning.
Every program should begin by laying down the rules. The supervisor or  teacher should explain each rule and can thus prevent future mishaps.  Misbehavior should be addressed as and when it occurs. Deal with the  problem in such a manner that it causes the least disruption. It is unwise to turn a blind eye to misbehavior because it catches on like fire, and soon you will have a bunch of unruly children on your hands. Besides, however much they resist it, children like to operate within the safety net of strict guidelines and rules.
When a child misbehaves, it is mostly due to a craving for attention. A supervisor should observe the children and find out what the child wants. Talk to the child so that you can understand what he or she wants. Appropriate disciplinary measures should be taken if there are no apparent reasons for bad behavior.