Page 1

May-June 2012 • vol 1 - Issue 6 • `100/-

Why

Children Must

Read!

p 06

Back to School Checklist p22

Ellen Winner On Gifted Children p 75 Say Yes To Yoga p96

In this Issue Career in Event Management P26 | Social networks- do they teach you social skills? P34 Choosing the Right College P62 | Children’s Libraries P82 | mango mania P85 | Children and Music P86


Say It Like It Is

Write to us at editor@parentedge.in

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s usual, Parent Edge continues to have me hooked. I loved the summer edition as it has covered a wide range of topics. From examination stress management to ideas on how to plan a vacation, from choosing the right school to information on important websites for children, from food for the brain to yummy recipes for summer.......... Congrats, Parent Edge and team.... you are getting close to all parents who are reading this magazine. Waiting for your next edition with the article on Social Networks.... Deepa Holla, Bangalore

“I

find ParentEdge very comprehensive and well addressed. Kudos to your efforts. Jaishri Ramakrishnan, Consultant Psychologist & Specialist in children with special needs, Chennai

“A

After reading any “Parent Edge” issue.. the wait for the next one seems endless! And this time, as a mother of a 16 yr old who’s pursuing Psychology, my happiness was multiplied by a million to see “Cross Roads” which gave crisp information on the subject beautifully. I also loved “Different Strokes”, as one of my art students is autistic. Her mother always reads Parent Edge at my place and says “ it’s the best parenting magazine she’s come across”. Way to go, Parent Edge...wish you all the luck and success! Mukta Ajaykumar, Noida

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went through this issue of ParentEdge. It is really good and covers a lot of information which I was really looking for. It is very relevant for the present day to day life. Archana K. V, Bangalore

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found ParentEdge very informative and relevant. The articles and expert opinion are really apt for present generation parents. There are several sections of the magazine which offer practical guidance. However, “Building Blocks” section has been personally very useful and I have implemented certain tips provided by the experts at my pre school. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the magazine and recommend it to all parents and teachers to read ParentEdge. Mrs. Rukmini Vijaykumar, Co-Founder Daffodils Pre-School, Mumbai


Editorial

Panel Of Experts

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

- Albert Einstein.

Yes dear Readers, Even in a world dominated by technology, reading has its place - the benefits of reading to children have been reiterated through numerous research studies. And so, at ParentEdge, we decided to focus upon this topic “Why Children Must Read” in our Cover Story. You could use an idea or two from the feature and encourage your child to spend this summer in the company of books. In case you are wondering where you to find the right books, check out Infocache where we have carefully compiled a list of good children’s libraries in your city. Also go over our recommended list of books to read, age-wise, in Bookworm. Again, if you are wondering how to keep your young ones engaged this summer, check out Building Blocks where we talk about Learning through Playing — or try out some mango recipes from our Scrumptious feature. We also realize that, while you and your kids make the most of the break, it is also time to start thinking about going back to school. And so we have put together a helpful back to school checklist in Tips, Tricks and To-Do Lists. Our newly introduced feature Pursuits and Passions focuses on Music this time - do browse through this feature to get useful suggestions on how to get your child started on her musical journey. For the highschoolers and their parents, Cross Roads spotlights careers in Event Management. For those amongst you with aspirations to send your children abroad, Education Across the Seas gives you the low-down on Choosing the Right College. When we talk about teens, can a discussion on social networking be far behind? In Xchange, teens and their parents debate on the pros and cons of social networking. Check it out for some very interesting perspectives! Eminent psychologists Howard Gardner and his wife Ellen Winner toured India recently. ParentEdge is proud to carry an exclusive feature on our interactions with Prof Winner, a specialist in Gifted Children, in Different Strokes. The more we progress, the more we feel the urge to go back to our roots. And so we bring you the Benefits of Yoga in Apple a Day. So, go ahead, and turn the pages right now and enjoy the pleasures of reading! ParentEdge Editorial Team

This issue’s Student Editor - Aanandita Vaghani

Aanandita is a Grade XI student pursuing the IB programme in Mumbai. Writing has been Aanandita’s passion for as long as she can remember- a dog eared journal that she has maintained from primary school stands testimony to this! And when she cannot put her emotions into words, she sings her heart out. Travelling and experiencing new cultures is of great interest to Aanandita- her dream is to travel the world and write a book about it someday. A budding psychologist, Aanandita aspires to understand the way people’s minds work in the near future.

Thomas Bunchman is the founder of JumpBunch, Inc., a leading sports and fitness programme for children. He has over 14 years of experience in creating a curriculum focused on the development of body balance, motor skills, and eye/hand coordination skills for children in the age group 15 months to 12 years. Thomas strongly believes that physical activity can boost academic performance, and promote healthier lifestyles. Sridhar Ramanathan is the Founder of IDEAS-RS where he is also a Strategic Innovation Coach. Sridhar’s mission in life is “To help those who want to do things better and differently”. His work involves conducting creative problem solving workshops for clients, and buidling competencies in creativity and innovation. Nirmala Sankaran is the co-founder of Heymath!, a curriculum based online programme that builds a solid foundation in Mathematics through world class teaching methodologies and rigorous assessments. HeyMath! has successfully impacted over half a million students in over 50 countries since 2000. Sulata Shenoy is a child and adolescent psychologist. A Ph.D in Psychology, she has worked as a psychologist at a number of hospitals in Bangalore. She is the Director of Turning Point Centre for Guidance, which specialises in psychological assessments and therapies for children and adults. She also conducts workshops for parents, children and teachers. Prab Singh heads CollegeSource, an organisation that provides life coaching to adolescents and support to their family through the process of deciding their higher education and career goals. Meena Sivaraman is an early childhood development specialist. With rich experience in holistic enrichment of children’s intellect during their formative years, Meena is a firm believer in involved, hands-on parenting. She is very well read on topics related to parenting and child development.

Intent of the magazine

Jyoti Swaroop is an educational consultant who works with Ratna Sagar Publishing. Jyoti interacts extensively with schools across India on many topics including the interpretation of the recently introduced Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation. She is also associated with a career guidance organisation for school students. Jyoti has authored several English Language text books for many leading publishers.

Please e-mail your feedback on this issue and suggestions for upcoming issues to editor@parentedge.in

Dr Jaishri Ramakrishnan is a consultant psychologist associated with Billroth Hospitals and two leading schools in Bangalore and Chennai. She has over three decades of experience in handling children with special needs. Jaishri has conducted several seminars, workshops and training programmes on Parenting, Handling children with special needs and Stress management. She writes regularly for ‘The Hindu’ and ‘Times Of India’. In addition, Jaishree is associated with multiple NGOs in Chennai.

Learning is a continuous process, and needs to happen both in and outside of school; thus parents have an important role to play in shaping their children’s future. ParentEdge aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children.


C

over Story

Why Children Must Read!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” – I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! by Dr. Seuss

Listing all the benefits of reading will take the better part of this piece; still, for the sceptics, a short list should serve to convince you. Scientific studies have established that those who read are more intelligent than those who don’t, because they have a better knowledge of the world around them. For instance, Anne E. Cunningham’s study, “What Reading does for the Mind,” found that reading enhances analytical thinking and the ability to spot patterns. Little surprise, given that reading is an active mental process where you are thinking, interpreting, predicting and reasoning, unlike sitting passively in front of a television.

Why Children Must

Read! Few people will dispute the immense benefits that the habit of reading brings in its wake. Even in a world inundated with technology, TV and video games, reading manages to hold its own. What does it matter whether your fingers turn pages 06 | ParentEdge | May - June 2012

or glide across a Kindle, as long as you’re reading? And everyone who matters – experts, teachers, parents and students – are united in the belief that the habit of reading is one that has to be inculcated early on in a child.

Evidently, reading increases your exposure to a language, thus helping to build your vocabulary. You also learn to express yourself better, not just because you have a better command over the language, but also because you have been exposed to a range of ideas that automatically influence your thinking. And writers have admitted that to be a good writer, you need to first be a good reader! But the one benefit that everyone seems to unanimously agree on is that reading makes you a confident person – one who is expressive and able to present himself well in society, thus enhancing self-esteem.


Cover Story

Inculcating the Reading Habit in Children

“T Here are some other benefits of reading: • Improves memory, concentration and focus • Hones your creativity • Reduces stress and relaxes the mind • Familiarises you with other cultures and countries and helps you appreciate their diversity and ethnicity, building empathy • Improves your social skills by allowing you to talk knowledgeably about a variety of topics The reading habit seems to take on even more importance when it comes to children. A study in a Rhode Island hospital compared two groups of eight month olds – one group was read to often as babies, the other was not. The babies who were read to, increased their ‘receptive’ vocabularies (number of words they understood) by 40% from babyhood onwards, while the babies who were not read to increased their vocabularies only by 16%. And you will all agree that language development in children is very important. Malini Rao who runs Chimply Fun, a preschool in Bangalore, has observed that children who are read to develop better language skills and are better communicators. On the other hand, children who have not been exposed to books from an early age don’t develop an adequate vocabulary and are often unable to express what they are feeling – this sometimes leads to frustration and anger, resulting in aggressive behaviour and tantrums. A well-read child also performs better academically, not just because he has better language skills, but also because he has an improved attention span, better retentive and analytical powers, and the ability to

draw from a variety of fields and ideas to help him formulate his thoughts. At higher grades, a child has to process large volumes of written content, and the skills of speed reading and quick assimilation developed at a young age come in handy. In this context, it must be mentioned that it is important that you encourage your child to read beyond his text-books and the books assigned to him by the curriculum. As Aparajita Bose, a parent of two young children, observes, “When a child reads widely, he begins to link information gleaned from the different topics. And more than the knowledge he gathers, he benefits by having a healthy attitude towards what even his text books offer.” And there is no doubt that reading widely exposes the child to more ideas than you alone will be able to give him, thus fostering his creativity and enhancing his imagination. Reading to your child helps you spend some qualitative ‘bonding’ time with him as well, and will also inculcate in him a positive attitude to reading. Teachers claim that they can see a definite difference between children who read and those who don’t. “Those who read are more independent, know how to keep themselves occupied, form opinions and views as to when and what will be important and express them with clarity. They are confident while speaking and can read fast, with better contextual understanding,” says Sudha Mahesh, Principal, Headstart International School in Chennai.

here are many reasons why one should be wellread. Reading is, of course, the building block for all education. Whatever profession one wishes to enter later in life, if you desire to obtain a complete grasp of it, being well-read is essential. Being well read also makes a young person knowledgeable about a variety of matters, allowing him to stand out in any gathering as an erudite and sophisticated individual. But over and above all this, reading is a gateway to the unknown worlds of the imagination, and a tremendous source of entertainment and enjoyment. Reading is the key to our own imaginations. Anyone who has read a book, and then seen a movie based on it and been disappointed by it, will understand this. There is nothing that really beats our own minds’ interpretation of the written word.

– Aditya Puar Head of Marketing, Scholastic India May - June 2012 | ParentEdge | 07


Building Blocks

Learning Through Play

All Play Is Work! –

Learning Through Play

»» Distressed that your child spends too long playing around, and less of it ‘studying’? »» Concerned that other children may be acquiring many more skills at her age? »» Overwrought that your child needs to develop additional skills for her school interview?

Albert Einstein once stated — “Play is the highest form of research,” but it doesn’t take a genius to understand why. The verb ‘playing’ connotes different things to the adult and to the child. Adults use the word to mean recreation, while children play all day long, and their recreation is to sleep. Therefore, play is to a child what work is to an adult; in another words, the child’s work IS to play!

If you answered in the affirmative to even two of these questions, you have just been diagnosed with ‘parental paranoia’. Pause before you panic further, because the cure for this is simple. The solution to your ‘problem’ lies, in fact, in what you observe your child doing naturally everyday – with just a little bit of monitoring and modification thrown in to enhance its effectiveness — namely, encourage your child to PLAY!

Play forms an integral part of the child’s learning process. To begin with, playing builds a child’s imagination; simple everyday objects become stimuli, representing other things that your child desires to be or have. Channelling their ability to pretend, children can transform a few pots and pans into a drumset, and themselves or their friends into superheroes. The roles that they assume in the process of pretend play symbolise the life roles they actually play or would like to play, or situations they actually face, albeit exaggerated. Using play, children interpret dramas of everyday life, and practise the rules of social behaviour. In this way, they learn the social skills of negotiating, co-operating and sharing, especially during playdates.

48 | ParentEdge | May - June 2012


Education Across the Seas

Choosing the Right College

Choosing the Right College

There are two parts to preparing to study abroad—

and universities in the US alone, and around 280 universities

one is getting a handle on the application process, which

and higher education institutions (with several colleges

is what we covered in the last two issues. The other

affiliated to each university) in the UK. Over and above

is deciding on a set of colleges to apply to. The latter

this, we have several universities and colleges in Australia,

can also be a daunting exercise, given the plethora of

New Zealand, Singapore and UK. Feeling overwhelmed?

choices and the numerous criteria that come into play.

Let’s do this step-by-step.

So, how does one go about creating this list of colleges? How long should this list be – two pages

Do refer to our earlier features that cover

long or just three to four colleges? What criteria

the size and types of colleges (Sept-Oct 2011)

should be used to select these colleges?

and the pros and cons of studying in Big Brand

There are more than 4000 private and public colleges

62 | ParentEdge | May - June 2012

colleges (Nov-Dec 2011), for more information on the subject


In the Next Issue

COMING UP!!

Cover Story A tribute to the Nurturing Parent Xchange Biggest cause of stress to teens – Peers or Parents? Cross Roads The Process of Choosing a Career Education Across Preparing for Life Abroad 103 | ParentEdge | May - June 2012

1

st Anniversary Issue July-August

Tips,Tricks & To-Do Lists Child-friendly Healthy Meals Pursuits and Passions Children and Dance Building Blocks Educational Television

Vol 1 Issue 6  

Few people will dispute the immense benefits that the habit of reading brings in its wake. Even in a world inundated with technology, TV and...