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May - June 2013

Vol 2 - Issue 6 - `100

How to Benefit from After-School Enrichment Classes First Steps: Preparing your Toddler for School

Getting the Most out of a PTM A Parent’s Role in Career Choices Proteins: The Building Blocks of our Body Undergraduate Education: Destination Hong Kong Board Games for the Whole Family


First Steps:

Toddler for School Fact: Today, many children start school when they are a mere 18 months old! This is, of course, preschool, which has become an extremely important part of a child’s schooling experience. Typically, children will join preschool at around two years of age, but many schools now also admit one and a half-year olds into their ‘Play Groups’. For most children, preschool is really the first time that they are on their own, without their caregivers, in an environment different from home. And it’s a huge change that they need to be well prepared for.

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The sheer variety in career options available to today’s youth is mind-boggling! From sound engineering to writing, cryptology to design; from maths-based careers to one based on the life sciences – we have covered all this and more in past issues of the magazine, and will be bringing you many more! But this very choice can be bewildering to parents who have grown up with more restricted options, leaving both them and their children to confront a maze of decisions, dilemmas and simply, lack of sufficient information. ParentEdge spoke to Dr. Vikram Ramakrishnan, the CEO and Founder of the Pathways Program (http://pathwaysprogram.in), to ask him to light the way ahead and advice parents on how to guide their children in their career choices.

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Xchange

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Creativity

Xchange

and

Discipline: Creativity and discipline. Are they completely divergent concepts, or complementary forces that need to co-exist? Can creative people be disciplined? Are all disciplined people unimaginative and rigid?

Opposing or Complementary?

Popular opinion has it that creativity is about letting your imagination run wild, without any rules and restrictions; that boundaries are non-existent in a creative mind. What isn’t discussed as often is how a person needs to work in a disciplined way to become proficient at creative thinking! Confused? Does this sound contrary? Discipline is often misunderstood. It doesn’t have to be about imposing rules and boundaries on a child. Rather, discipline is about building structures and frameworks that help you progress, whether it’s in your work or in an artistic endeavour. How can a person claim to be a good writer, if she doesn’t know and follow the rules of grammar? How can someone be an artist without learning the proper paintbrush techniques? The rules have to be understood first, and then mastered. From mastery comes the confidence to know which rules can be bent. Some of the most creative people in the world – think worldclass writers – have always spoken about the need for disciplined work-hours, every single day. It is creativity on demand that keeps

the world’s leading ad-makers on their toes. Leading classical Indian musicians talk about practising for several hours every day. These artists demonstrate that creativity and discipline can exist hand-in hand. At ParentEdge, we realised that these are common quandaries that parents face every day – how do we encourage creativity in our children and yet ensure that they remain disciplined? Should the creative child be bound by rules? How do we know whether we are interfering too much in our child’s creative development? So we took these questions to some important people – people whose opinions matter – teachers, professionals in a creative field and parents just like you. Read on to find out what they think.

“If I don’t practise for one day, I know it; if I don’t practise for two days, the critics know it; if I don’t practise for three days, the audience knows it.” - Ignacy Paderewski, Polish pianist and composer

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Getting the

Most

Out of a

PTM Image Courtesy: Poorna School, Bangalore

Before the PTM •

Have a talk with your child to discover whether she has any areas of concern that you need to discuss with her teachers; these could be academicrelated, peer-related or even some issues that she has with certain teachers. However, when noting down areas of concern, choose wisely – not everything that your child mentions is a potential problem, or worth bringing up with a teacher. P repare a list of questions that you want to ask the teachers. Remember

that you will be given only a limited amount of time – maybe 15 minutes, maybe more – so you should prioritise what you want to address. Thinking through what you want to ask them will also allow you to cover maximum ground in the little amount of time you have. Do ensure that you cover diverse areas – academic, personality, social skills, etc. •

I f you have notes from a previous PTM, refer to these while making your list so you can check on improvements and progress made.

T hrough the school term, maintain a record of activities or lessons that your child enjoyed or learnt a lot from; mentioning this to the teachers will not only make them feel appreciated, but also give them a better insight into what kind of learner your child is. Similarly, note down patterns of behaviour or complaints the child has. Jotting these down through the term will help you avoid the ‘recency effect’ (where one tends to focus on the most recent problems, which may be temporary and not long-term, and forget longer standing issues).

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Calling Schools! Let us give parents ‘The Edge’ together! At ParentEdge, we are passionate about wholistic enrichment of the child and close engagement with parents. So let us join hands and run a ‘<Your School Name> ParentEdge Club’ for parents. Intrigued? Here are the details: ParentEdge will create a calendar and take complete ownership of running the following as part of the activities of the club: On-the-ground Expert talks Parenting workshops Events involving the parent and child Parents’ carnival ParentEdge magazine subscription

Online <Your School Name> ParentEdge portal – resource centre for parents with tailored content Newsletter Ask an expert

Benefits to your school Building relationships with parents with minimal bandwidth from your end A forum to educate parents on their role in ensuring that their child is “successful” Brand building/nurturing

Do write to us at info@parentedge.in and let us discuss how to take this forward.


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