Feb 27, 2010

Proud To Be a Home-maker

It’s very seldom that you’d hear a house-wife saying that she’s proud to be one. These days almost all ladies are well educated and usually have experience of working in the industry or being associated with something creative in some form or the other. But they need to stay at home due to some family commitment or the other. We ladies often feel frustrated and left-out but I feel that this should not be so.

Just as the back-end is essential for any business enterprise or organization, an efficient, effective and reliable support system is needed for all families. With the break-up of the joint-family system, the task of looking after the children lies entirely with the parents and usually the females have to sacrifice their careers for this. But if both the partners are going out for work, the families need to rely on hired-help to keep their lives on track and this might not be a very good option. As a strong back-bone cannot be replaced by anything else the unconditional support which the lady of the house can offer to its family members cannot be matched by anything else.

The achievements of the husband and the children should be credited to the lady first and foremost because if it hadn’t been for her they probably would not have achieved anything. After all, if one is emotionally disturbed or mentally out-of-place or physically tired doing humdrum chores how much can one achieve? So we ladies should feel proud to be home-makers because we choose to be so and are the ones who make a house a home worth coming to!!

Feb 22, 2010

The Real Heroes

We are a nation obsessed with youth icons like film actors and superstars. Children want to imitate the style of the people in the showbiz and do not realize that all what they see is an eye-wash… It is not the real thing but an image which is cleverly crafted and presented before us.
The real heroes are the ones who work behind the scenes and many of whom die unknown and unsung. A few days back I came across a small news item which stated that 17 soldiers died in an avalanche due to heavy snow-fall in Srinagar. This was mentioned on the 6th page of the news paper and appeared almost insignificant. But the headline on the first page of the leading daily boldly shouted how demonstrations were being held in Mumbai against as well as in support of actor Shahrukh Khan’s comments prior to the release of his movie My Name is Khan.
Is this the kind of importance deserved by our soldiers who leave their cozy homes and families behind to guard and protect us? Some people may argue that these soldiers are just doing their work and are paid for their services. It is true to a certain extent but what is Shahrukh Khan doing? Isn’t he doing his work? Why is there such a hue and cry about a movie or an actor and not about those SEVENTEEN FAMILIES who lost their dear ones and maybe the only earning member in their family? The whole of Mumbai police came into action so that the movie could be released safely but what about the safety of those policemen whose lives were at stake for this movie?
This is not fair. This disparity should be bridged. We need to teach our children who the real heroes are and who they should look up to. This is not about just doing a job but doing it with zeal and passion. People choose this as a career despite knowing that the returns shall be insignificant. It is not easy staying away from home at minus 40 degree temperature with almost no means of communication leave alone entertainment… life’s tough and we need to respect those heroes who brave it all for US!!

Feb 19, 2010

Dilemma Of Having A Single Child

There was a time when families were large, joint and inter-dependent. But today we have small, single unit independent families with both parents often working and with this the days of having multiple children are gone.
In our fast-changing society and urban-lifestyle bringing-up children has become a challenge. These days so much attention is paid to details that it has become virtually impossible to consider child-rearing as one of the chores. In earlier times though parents often didn’t know how their kids were growing up and moving on. Today the whole family revolves around the child, in fact the schedule of the house is determined by the needs of the child-- school hours, hobby classes, study time, play time, sleeping time… so on…
Here comes the question of how many children can we manage given the constraints all couples face – time, money, emotions, stamina, etc. Definitely the answer would be ‘Less is More’ for most of us. Having a child in the family not only fulfills the parental needs of all couples but also makes a family what it is supposed to be –FAMILY! But isn’t one enough??
Many people profess that the first child is for the parents but the second child is for the first one. They emphasize that having a sibling changes the attitude of the child and also teaches various qualities like sharing, support, etc. A single child becomes self-centered and attention seeking. But how far is this true. How often do we actually go to our siblings for support when we grow up… don’t they become part of separate families later on. Infact friends form a better support group in today’s times. As far as qualities like sharing are concerned, children these days spend more time in schools with their classmates and there they learn a number of qualities. All children these days need to be treated as individuals and parents need to pay special attention to their specific needs so it doesn’t matter whether you have one or two or more children.
But the dilemma still persists—I don’t want to be wrong in taking a decision for my child today –I just want the Best for him.. I hope I’m thinking right….

Feb 16, 2010

Nursery Admissions

Mr. Kapil Sibal and many other educationists in a recent meeting proposed to increase the age bar for nursery admissions in New Delhi, from current 3 yrs to 4 yrs of age. This will be quite a welcome respite for parents of toddlers. Ms. A.Wattal, principal of Springdales, Pusa Road was also of the same opinion. According to her, kids of age 3 to 4 yrs, feel a sense of alienation in a formal school.
I too, strongly feel the same. In fact a standardized curriculum can be planned for playschool teaching which should include the pre-nursery, nursery and kindergarten. Then onwards the kid from then age of 6 yrs can be put into a formal school, which should have having classes from 1st standard onwards. In short, why not shift the Nursery and K.G education to playschools and begin formal education from 1st standard onwards.

"The aim of education should be to teach us how to think, rather than what to think; to improve our minds so as to enable us to think for ourselves than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men" - Bill Beattie

Feb 13, 2010

Science Made Simple

• "How does an air plane fly?"
• "How does a ship float?"
• "How do birds migrate without maps?"
• "How do birds sit on high tension wires and do not get electrocuted?"

Can your kid answer these simple science questions? If yes, then great! If no, then it’s not your kid who is at fault but our entire education system. We need to bring a radical change in our education system; and for that we need to first create awareness amongst ourselves. What is 'science education', if not breaking complex stuff into simpler ones? Simple questions require simple answers. Science is all around us, in us, with us. It is not in books. Every person, be it a rickshaw puller, laborer, etc on earth is applying science in his daily routine. It’s just that he doesn’t understand its basics? That’s where our education comes into play.

We need to have lesson plans for teaching science not prospectively, but retrospectively; not by books, rote learning but by field work primarily and then supporting that by class room teaching. Science is a dynamic subject and so is our mind. Science cannot be contained in books; it needs to be pushed out of the text books and into our daily lives.

Feb 11, 2010

Little Readers

Today, I will elaborate on the concept of teaching English language through phonics. You can teach your kid using “Flash Cards” or by simple “Write and Tell” method. Here I will demonstrate how to make and use flash cards for teaching English to a kid of 4 to 5 years of age. You can make flash cards using your old set of playing cards. Try using different color papers for different sets. Following are the 4 sets:

25 Flash Cards: Alphabets (one on each) including the sound written in Hindi

Approx. 25 Flash Cards: Vowels combination
i. A - ab, ad, ag, am, an, at
ii. E – ed, eg, en, et
iii. I – ib, id, ig, in, ip, it
iv. O – ob, od, og, op, ot
v. U – ub, ug, un, ut
vi. Long E – ee (tree, peel, bee, etc)
vii. Long O – oo (book, took, cook, etc)

Approx. 15 Flash Cards: Prefix and Suffix
i. Br, dr, fr, gr, tr, pr
ii. Sh, sl, sm, st
iii. Ch, Th,
iv. Bl, fl
v. Ing

Approx. 20 Flash Cards: Sight Words
i. As, he, my, by, is, to, on, in
ii. She, has, and, the, you, her, his, why, how
iii. There, this, what

Your pack of 85 phonic flash cards is now ready. You can play ‘mini scrabble’ with her anywhere and anytime. This way you kid will learn to read quickly and easily and that too without any stress.

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark" - Victor Hugo

Feb 9, 2010

Words!

Ever heard of playing ‘Word Game’ on Rubik’s Cube? No? Well, try it out. Paste cut outs of alphabets, one on each square of the cube. Do not repeat letters which are used occasionally, like J,Q, V, X, Z. Paste more of vowels. Be careful not to disrupt the color scheme of Rubik’s cube, so that it can be used both ways.

Your vocabulary building Rubik’s cube is now ready. Just juggle with it to make out different 3 lettered words. See how many words you are able to make at a time. Make learning fun. Try this out with your kid, friends and don't forget to share the inputs. I will look forward to your critical analysis.

Feb 8, 2010

Work v/s Home

Just the other day, one of my friends called me up. She was literally in tears. The first thing she said was,


Neha, I’m frustrated sitting at home, just looking after my baby and doing nothing!
I asked, “I don’t see any problem in that. Try making some arrangements for your kid and start hunting for a job.”
She answered, “I want to work but at the same time I want to be there for him in flesh and blood. I want to give him all the love and security he is so deserving of. I want to bond with him. But at the same time I cannot stop thinking about myself. I want to enhance my career too.”
I said, “So what is stopping you? Look out for a job with convenient timings. That way you can work and also have ample time for your kid. It will be a win-win situation.”
My friend answered, “Easier said than done. There seems to be a dearth of jobs with flexi timings. It is either that you work full time or don’t work at all.”


This small conversation with my friend made me think that there are thousands of women here who are facing the same dilemma. Well, there are some fortunate ones who are working flexi hours (one of my acquaintances is working in ADOBE which believes in this concept)) and have the joy of fulfilling both; the responsibility to home as well their career. But my friend said rightfully that more flexi timings jobs should be created. The upcoming entrepreneurs can consider employing people part time; this way they don’t even have to pay EPF and other monetary benefits to their employees. The employees on the other hand will happily provide quality work since they have the liberty of choosing their work timings. So it is a win-win situation for all. What do say? Any suggestions?

Feb 5, 2010

Life is Beautiful

Life is forever changing, and so are the priorities and the circumstances surrounding us. Change is something which is inevitable. So we have to either flow with time or just remain frozen in a particular time frame. The choice is always ours!
My choice is to embrace the changes around me and flow with the time. What about you; what will your choice be?
Change is the law of nature

Feb 4, 2010

Amazing Statues!


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Help Your Help

It was just a few days back when I found my maid mulling over her dreadful financial condition. It seems that her husband is a chronic alchoholic, who not only spends all his earnings on procuring liquor but also takes way her hard earned money for the same. They have a 3 year old daughter, and naturally my maid was worried about her future. She wants her kid to study in a good school and follow a career path, unlike hers. But it seems a dream far fetched for her.
All this made me ponder a while. My husband has been donating a relevant sum of money to CRY foundation. I thought that instead of sponsoring for an unknown kid's education, why not first spend that money for the education of my maid's daughter. After all, her mother works for us; isn't it our duty to help them in times of need. So I have decided to financially adopt her daughter and see to it that that she studies in a good school and take up a respectable and fulfilling career.
Please do not misunderstand; I am not discouraging anyone from funding organizations like CRY. On the contrary, I wish to encourage people to try donating to people around you and if that is not possible, then you have many NGOs' and other organizations for the same.
"Charity begins at home"

Feb 3, 2010

Teach your kid to read

Times have changed drastically; teaching methodology of yesteryear is fossilized. Schools of today believe in newer and far more interesting approach towards teaching subjects. Gone are times when we used to mug up spellings of cat, rat, dog, etc without the understanding of phonics. Not anymore. Kids of today are being taught to spell out words using phonics and visual stimulation. This is a far cry from rote learning which was widely used earlier. Many schools like Amity, Apeejay and others in tier I cities use this technique to teach nursery kids the art of learning English language. What about tier II cities? What about your kid? How is he being taught in nursery and kindergarten? Let us interact and share our views on this. There is a good website about phonics: http://www.atozphonics.com/. You can have a fair idea from that. If you find it complicated, let me know; I'll post a simpler version of reading with phonics on my blog.


"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education" - Albert Einstein

Feb 2, 2010

A New Beginning

I have been thinking since a long time to note down my thoughts. Thoughts are precious.....and sometimes they just vaporise into thin air. I guess that happens with So I thought of writing down my views on this platform where I can share them with you. This is just a humble beginning with a 'hello' note and there's more to come. So watch out!

"Brevity is the soul of wit" - William Shakespeare