Tag Archives: kids

Why reading matters

Reading is one of the most fundamental skills a child needs to learn to succeed in life. Developing good reading habits is vital to your child’s future not just academically, but in everyday life as well. What can good reading habits do for your child’s development? Here are five reasons you should develop reading habits young, and why they are so important.

Reading develops vocabulary: The more your child reads, the more new words will find their way into his vocabulary. Reading allows for exposure to words and phrases that you might not use as part of normal speech. “When you read aloud to your child, you are not only helping to prepare her to learn to read, you are also exposing her to rich language she otherwise might not hear,” states Susan Canizares, Ph.D, a specialist in language and literacy development.

Reading increases attention span: Encouraging good reading habits from an early age develops your child’s attention span and allows them to focus better and for longer periods of time. Reading combats the epidemic of poor attention span in today’s children.

Good reading habits prepare children for school: Children who spend a lot of time reading prior to attending school will have an easier time adapting to the reading-focused learning environment in their future classrooms.

Developing reading habits early leads to a lifelong love of books: Children who start reading regularly from an early age are more likely to enjoy reading later in life. This will serve them well throughout their education and beyond.

Reading encourages a thirst for knowledge: Children with good reading habits learn more about the world around them, and develop an interest in other cultures. Reading leads to asking questions, and seeking answers, which means children learn more every day.

You can teach your child good reading habits and motivate them to read by:

  • Reading to them from a young age, as early as possible
  • Modeling good reading habits by taking the time to read yourself
  • Encouraging conversations about content of what your child has been reading.

Encouraging good reading habits and modeling them as well sets up a parent as a role model for the love of reading. Susan B. Neuman, Ph.D, director of the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement at the University of Michigan, says teaching motivation is key. “Children develop motivation to read by being read to often, learning firsthand the pleasures that reading can bring.”



Create Original Artwork Online

List of 45 websites where students can create their original artwork.
Create original artwork online

Why kids like horror stories

Whether it’s shuddering through the latest horror film or delighting in the gory side of Halloween, many children seem to love being scared. What is it about being scared that lights up so many kids, tweens and teens?

Being Scared is an Easy Way to Take Risks
Children, particularly those in the late tween and teen years, tend to want to take risks. This occurs due to their cognitive development, which makes them feel invulnerable. They have few opportunities to take actual risks, however, like jumping from high places or traveling at high speeds. In other words, adult supervision, days filled by structured activities and their own self-control thwart their developmental desires. Therefore, it’s easiest to “take risks” by braving a haunted hayride, watching a scary Halloween movie, or going on a mind-bending roller coaster. They get the same sense of living on the edge, but in a forum that’s accessible and acceptable.

Being Scared Creates a Sense of Adventure
Tweens and teens also crave some unpredictability and adventure in their lives. A good portion of their days center around routines, including school, homework, mealtime and bedtime. While routines are important for healthy functioning, too much of the same thing can lead to boredom and even mood issues. Developmentally, tweens and teens are peaking in terms of physical abilities, energy and need for novelty. It makes sense, then, that they love being scared, because it “shakes things up” in their lives.

Being Scared Provides a Feeling of Success
Young tweens are developing a crucial part of their personality called industry. This means they want to feel like they can take on tasks and be successful at them. By putting themselves in scary situations, they get to actively test themselves. When they’ve made it through a whole horror flick, for example, their sense of industry is bolstered, as is their sense of self-esteem.

Being Scared Helps Children Understand Death
Children do not have an adult understanding of death until about thirteen years of age. As they struggle to understand the abstract concept of death, children often become fascinated by the topic. Since death is rather removed from everyday American lives, however, it is a difficult topic to explore. In addition, children find that if they discuss death or draw pictures involving death, teachers and parents tend to respond negatively. Therefore, a safe and culturally-acceptable way of exploring death is through horror movies and Halloween activities.

All in all, although being scared may overwhelm them at times, children find the feeling irresistible because it serves their ever-changing developmental needs.

[From http://tweenparenting.about.com%5D

Make sums equal: Mathematics puzzle 2

[The following Maths puzzle is sent by Mr.S.Muraleedharan, who has worked as a Maths Teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya Port Trust for several years. The author conducts motivational sessions both for students and teachers. He handles the column “Work it Out” for school children in Deccan Chronicle. The answer to the puzzle can be seen by clicking on the link “Click here for answers” at the end of the page.]

Puzzle 2: Eight numbered bricks are arranged vertically in two columns as shown below. Can you make the sum of the numbers in each column equal by just changing the position of one brick?

Click here for the answer
[NOTE: The answer page is password protected. The Password is puzzlex.]

Puzzles for the mental development of kids

A century ago Sam Lloyd, America’s greatest puzzler, said “I have always treated and considered puzzles from an educational standpoint, for the reason that they constitute a species of mental gymnastics which sharpen the wits and train the mind to reason along straight lines.”

A child’s IQ and scholastic performance always depend on the quality of intellectual stimulation and social environment. As a teacher I feel that puzzles are an often neglected, but commonly available, resource.

Puzzles are often an individual activity, requiring a high degree of concentration for an extended period of time. Such fascinating mysteries can captivate a child’s mind — and in the end the success is theirs alone! It is a wonderful way for children to gain confidence in their own growing abilities.

Puzzles develop social and literary skills
Puzzles can also be an enjoyable family or group activity. These games can promote collaboration for strategies, observation, teamwork and a sense of collective achievement.
Picture puzzles give excellent opportunities for conversation between child and parent, and between children. It also promotes “self-talk” which helps children develop their own language skills. Puzzles are an excellent way to introduce new words and concepts in a comfortable setting.

Parents can groom their kids while doing puzzles with them. Children can develop social and moral skills while having fun.

How to select a good puzzle?
Kids often enjoy doing puzzles that seem “easy” to elders — but the puzzle is just right for them. They may even do the same puzzles over and over again. The important thing with puzzles is experiencing success and mastery of logic in a entertaining, non-frustrating way.

All puzzles develop patterning and problem solving skills and will increase your child’s self-confidence.

As a teacher for many years, I know from experience that there is an educational value in all types of puzzles. The skills acquired and practiced in completing picture puzzles are a fundamental part of successful learning. Doing puzzles develops several functions of the brain simultaneously as a child is engaged but also learns. Most notably developed in this learning process are the abilities to reason, deduce, analyze, sequence, and develop logical thought and problem solving skills.

Children will move to harder puzzles when they are ready. Some children move quickly through puzzles while others will take their time. Children should be encouraged to do puzzles at whatever level to enjoy repeated feeling of success. Puzzles should be designed so that children can easily advance through various stages of puzzle difficulty. Puzzles are an excellent activity to enable kids to think critically.

I fully agree with Lloyd, and believe this prince of puzzles was most apt in saying that “Puzzles are a school for cleverness and ingenuity”.

[This article is by Mr.S.Muraleedharan, who has worked as a Maths Teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya Port Trust for several years. The author conducts motivational sessions both for students and teachers. He handles the column “Work it Out” for school children in Deccan Chronicle.]