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Issue No.


Thursday, 26 January 2012

‘Qatar Education’

building the nation into an effective knowledge-driven society in the world

With its solid momentum in advancing its human capital and the goal of making it one of the most functional knowledge-driven destinations in the world, Qatar is gearing up to showcase its commitment and investment in the education sector to the world, with the accomplishment of its National Vision in the coming years. Qatar believes in qualitative education. Where education needs to be developed to maintain an interaction between the country’s cultural heritage,

values and beliefs on one hand, and openness to scientific achievements and technological innovations on the other. Qatar’s National Vision 2030 rests on four pillars: human, social, economic and environmental development. The future economic success would depend on the ability of the Qatari people to deal with a new international order that is knowledgebased and extremely competitive. Furthermore, Qatar aims to build a modern

world-class education system that provides students with a first-rate education, as compared to that offered anywhere in the world. The system ensures to provide citizens with excellent training and opportunities to develop to their full potential, preparing them for success in a changing world with increasingly complex technical requirements. The system will also encourage analytical and critical thinking, as well as creativity and innovation. The National Vision 2030 articulates several educational and training goals, namely: a worldclass education system that enables citizens to achieve their aspirations and that meets Qatar’s needs; a national network of formal and nonformal education programmes that equips Qatari children as well as youth with the skills and motivation to contribute to society; well developed, independent, self-managing and accountable education institutions operating under centrally determined guidelines; an effective system for funding scientific research shared by the public and private sectors and conducted in cooperation with international organisations and leading international research centres; and a strong international role in cultural and intellectual activity and scientific research. Qatar’s education and training system prepares its citizens for success in a world of increasingly complex requirements, serving as a vehicle for social and economic transformation. The new education system will not only promote social cohesion but respect for the values and heritage of the Qatari society, evolving constructive interaction with other nations.

Choosing the right school for your child Have a backup plan

We all want to give our children the best opportunities that are available, but it pays to remember that whatever school we choose, or however limited our options are by finances, convenience or locality, the greatest influence on the final outcome will be the home and family. If the cost of an elite education includes severely stressed parents who run off their feet trying to earn enough to cover school fees, your little one is probably going to feel too stressed himself to benefit. So, as school enrolment decisions loom, here are some tips for making the choice:

The lottery might not draw your name, your application might not be accepted or your dream school might be full. Get on the wait list, if you can, and be ready to sign up at your second or third-choice schools, at least until next year.

Define your ideal school Begin with refining your search by considering what’s important to you, whether it’s math, foreign languages, art, religion, afterschool care or special education resources. Educate yourself on different teaching methods and consider how your child learns best.

Consider all the possibilities Make yourself aware of the options that are available nearby, including public, private, magnet and charter schools, home-schooling organizations, online education or partnerships with local colleges. Find out what local laws exist about where you’re allowed to enrol. Ask about cost, financial aid and how your school district is able or required to help.

Check the numbers, but don’t let them dominate your decision Numbers can give you a sense of a school, but they might not always be accurate. Still it’s worth asking about the number of students, what grades study there, the student-teacher ratio and test scores. Also check whether the scores are improving and how they’ve changed over time.

Visit before you decide While you’re at a school, meet the principal, teachers and other parents. Check out the work on the walls, how adults and children interact and what type of involvement the school wants from parents.

Ask the right questions Always ask what the school’s expectations are for students, and consider whether they match your expectations for your child. Go back to what you decided your ideal school would be

and ask questions that will tell you if this is the one, whether it’s a matter of the school’s hours, cafeteria, foreign language education or sports team.

Don’t make assumptions Parents often make school decisions based on limited information, convenience or their own experience at school years earlier. Word of mouth is helpful, but could be biased. Having a school nearby might seem like a deal breaker, but there might be transportation or child-care help for a different school that’s a better fit.

Know how to apply, and when Find out deadlines for applications, enrolment, lottery sign-ups and financial aid as soon as possible, and don’t miss them. Specialty schools, especially for older students, might require an audition, portfolio of work or letters of recommendation.

Know how to enrol Check with your school to make sure you’ve got all the necessary documentation when the time comes to enrol. For instance, you might need proof of your child’s identity and age, your residence, vaccinations, etc.

To Educate Educating kids is a challenging task. As therapists, teachers, and parents, we try to help our children learn in the best possible way while keeping the activities easy, practical and fun. Plausibly, the right approach to early childhood education is the belief that active learning is fundamental to the full development of human potential and that active learning occurs most effectively in settings, providing developmentally appropriate learning opportunities. Therefore, the overarching goal of our early childhood work is to establish a flexible, “open framework,” operational learning model that supports developmentally appropriate education in diverse settings. Likewise, the world is moving at an unimaginable speed in the area of information use and dissemination. The way information technology has changed the educational sector through the internet is prodigious. E-learning has become a new paradigm in education with a mission to serve as a development platform for our present-day society based on knowledge. It is evident that these new techniques have an edge over the traditional learning process and is seen as a means to improve accessibility, efficiency and quality of learning by facilitating access to resources and services. But as parents we require knowledge, perseverance and energy to make informed choices about our children’s education; be better equipped to investigate the rich smorgasbord of educational tools. Hence, it is important to understand the education system clearly, and make the right choice of technique as per the requirement of the child. Keep writing and suggesting how you would desire Bloom to shape up in the coming days. Drop us a word at bloom@ Your feedback is always welcome. So be it science, technology, lifestyle or fashion take your pick right away. And Facebook users keep liking our page! Follow us on


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Is your child falling prey to peer pressure?

Worry not!

Peer pressure is not necessarily a negative thing; it can be positive too. Peer pressure may convince adolescents to engage in pro-social behaviour such as doing community service or exercising. Peer pressure may also work to prevent behaviours usually connected with succumbing to peer pressure; for example, peer pressure may encourage an adolescent not to smoke or use abusive language because his or her friends disapprove. However, peer pressure’s impact is usually negative. An adolescent may encounter peer pressure

and not even realize it. It is important to clearly define peer pressure so that adolescents will know when they encounter it and more importantly how to deal with it. Even though you may feel that your teen’s peers have more influence on him than you do, studies confirm that when it comes to moral values and important issues, parents still have a greater affect. Yet, no one rebuts the fact that the influence of other children and friends is paramount in teens’ lives. In fact, even if they mean your son or daughter wants to spend a lot less time with the family, good relationships with same-sex friends are a positive aspect of your child’s life: They help your child feel like he belongs and reaffirm his decisions.

Keeping peer influences positive


The key to keeping your teenager on track is to remain actively involved in his life and to convey your values often. Here’s how: t 4UJDL UP ZPVS CFMJFGT Children look for moral guidance from their parents, even when it seems most unlikely. A child may curse just to test his parents’ values. By disapproving of this, parents reinforce the message, “This is not okay.� t ,OPX ZPVS LJET GSJFOE MJTU Get to know your child’s friends. Have them over to your house, talk to them and get to know their parents. This is more difficult when your child is driving himself around. But if you make a point of it, it will happen. If your child has friends that he refuses to bring home ask him why. Encourage the relationships with kids you think influence your child in a positive way and discourage the others. t %JTDVTTQFFSQSFTTVSF Often, kids let peers influence them because they want to be liked. But there are more important things than short-term popularity. Ask your child, “How would you feel if you gave in to negative peer pressure? Do real friends push you to do bad things?�


1SBDUJDF SFBDUJOH Role play peerpressure situations with your child. For example, a classmate wants her to smoke, or a friend encourages her to join the soccer team. Talk about ways to handle negative peer pressure, such as standing up for yourself, ignoring a peer or using humour to defuse a situation. t 1SBJTF HPPE EFDJTJPOT Notice times when your child does the right thing. If he defends an unpopular child or pledges not to involve in bad habits, support him. Say, “I admire what you did. That takes courage.� t *OJUJBUF FYUSBDVSSJDVMBS BDUJWJUJFT Encourage hobbies, sports and afterschool clubs, at which your teen may interact with other kids with similar interests and values. All in all you should be sensitive to your child’s need to conform and feel like part of a group. This stage doesn’t last forever. As your child grows in maturity and confidence, he will find where he fits into the world and won’t necessarily have to run with a crowd.

Stenden University Qatar Under the Chairmanship of HE Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani, Stenden Qatar was established in the year 2000 and have recently celebrated its 10th anniversary of its campus in Doha, Qatar. Stenden University Qatar delivers three internationally accredited fouryear signature bachelor programs in International Hospitality Management and International Tourism Management. The main campus in the Netherlands designs all study programs and issues the degrees which are recognized by Supreme Education Council in Qatar. Additionally, Stenden Qatar offers an Academic Bridge Program for students who do not meet the requirements for

entering into the full bachelor’s program. It is an ideal transition to all students who need to improve and develop their skills in English and prepare themselves for academic studies. A defining feature of the programs is that the practical element forms an important part of the studies. All students need to successfully complete practical trainings during their studies which count towards their study credits. Having campuses in Leeuwarden (Holland), in Bali (Indonesia), Rangsit (Thailand) and Port Alfred (South Africa), students can go on a Grand Tour and complete part of their studies abroad. Presently, more than 40 nationalities are studying at the Doha campus.

Integrated in Stenden University Qatar is Stenden Institute. Stenden Institute was established in 2004 as a division of Stenden University. Stenden Institute offers corporate and public training courses. It believes in “learning by doing�. Course participants are involved in dynamic activities, problem solving, case studies and role plays. Regular courses offered are English and Business Skills courses. Arabic language courses focus on conversation rather than on writing. The newest addition to the palette is ‘Qatar Insight’, a course designed for new expatriates in Qatar. The aim is to

brief the ‘newbies’ about the insights of living in Qatar and facilitate their arrival and beginning of a new life in their host country. All public courses are conducted at the Stenden Institute with classes available in the morning and evening. All corporate trainings can be arranged according to the needs of the customer booking the trainings – location and timing are up to the customer. Stenden is proud of their corporate client list which includes private, government and third sector organizations. They work with clients in the hospitality, retail, manufacturing, banking and financial services sectors as well as healthcare and the oil and gas industry. (PR)

Fun ways to include kids in fitness resolutions Parents can involve their children in any New Year’s fitness resolutions they may have in the works, says one fitness expert, by making exercise seem fun and exciting. “If you say, ‘We’re going to take the kids out for a walk this evening,’ most kids are going to say, ‘Wait, we have to leave the video games or television?’� cautioned Michael Berry, Chair of the Health and Exercise Science Department at Wake Forest University in WinstonSalem, N.C., in a University News Release. “Kids like to play games; they like to be engaged, so exercise needs to be something that is sports-oriented or game-oriented.� Berry noted that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention advises kids to get at least an hour a day of physical activity, including recreation that involves muscle strengthening. He outlined concrete steps parents can take to make exercise adventurous and enjoyable for children. Involve children in compiling a fitness “wish list� to get at what kids actually want to do, and allow them a roster of activities to choose from a couple of times a month. Replace the typical family pizza night with a family fitness night to benefit everyone’s waistline. Walking to school, strolling around the neighbourhood to see the local holiday decorations or visiting local fitness attractions -such as a rock-climbing or trampoline facility -- are additional ways for parents to engage children, said Berry. In addition to scheduling two to three moderately active half-hour exercise dates per week, parents can turn a child’s penchant for gaming to everyone’s advantage by carefully choosing those games that call for lots of movement and high energy. He cited the “Just Dance� title from Wii as an option. But in the end, Berry said, the biggest benefits occur outside the living room, whether that means signing up junior for team sports like basketball or soccer, or taking a family hike in the local nature preserve or park.

There should be more to a child’s life than just school, watching TV or playing on the computer every evening. Help your kids find activities that interest them. Support those interests through after-school activities, and you could help them turn what they love into a life-long hobby, and eventually maybe even a career. It’s never too early to start channelling your child’s interests. In fact, the younger they start the better equipped they will be to handle and develop themselves to find their maximum potential and ability as a complete individual. But deciding what the best after school activity for your child is can be a quandary. To help you find a good program read through the guide below. It’s a common dilemma: What’s the best after-school activity for my child? How do I find a good program? Read on for the answers you need to get started.

Finding Activities Your child’s school could be the best place to start. Visit the school and find out what after school options are available there, if any. Also talk to other parents about what their children are involved in and get recommendations for kid-tested classes and activities.

Choosing an Activity: Where does your child’s interests lie? After you have an idea of the possibilities, talk with your child about what he or she is interested in. Give him some ideas that complement his

Fine Living

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Tap into your child’s

inner potential!

interests. For instance, an artistic child might enjoy an art class, while a more energetic one can work off energy by playing a sport. Once you’ve narrowed down the options, visit them while they are in session so you can get a real idea about the environment, the staff, and the program.

Grade-by-Grade After-School Activities at a Glance Still need ideas on how best to channel your child’s potential? Use the following guidelines to help you decide — but at the end of the day, remember that you know your child’s maturity and

temperament best. Kindergarten Keep your kindergartener’s afterschool life simple and free. At this age one or two after-school activities a week are more than enough. Once he’s adjusted to the daily school routine, find an extracurricular that involves his creative and/or physical side, such as an art, dance, or music program. Grade 1 Balance your 1st grader’s schedule with play dates, playground visits, and one or two days of an after-school activity per week. Best bets are noncompetitive sports and other physical activities. Grade 2 Get your child involved in choosing an extracurricular. Steer him towards activities that he likes and doesn’t get to do at school, whether it’s sports such as swimming or skating, computers, or art or music lessons. Make sure your child has at least one or two days free a week for alone time. Grade 3 After an entire day in a classroom, your third grader needs to move and socialize after school. Team sports are a great choice. Other good choices a r e activities that use and develop fine motor skills, such as painting, sewing, or learning to play an instrument. Grade 4 Try to get your fourth grader involved in one or two extracurricular

activities that he is good at and loves doing. It will build confidence and help him manage stress, which is important at this age when cliques and social pressure in school are beginning to build. Grade 5 Your fifth grader is full of energy and wants to spend all his or her time participating in activities and hanging out with friends. Also block out a once-a-week family time that you and your child stick to. Middle School Try to steer your middle schooler toward activities that reinforce learning and get him away from the TV. To improve academic performance, encourage your preteen to spend time volunteering, to join school clubs like band, chess, or foreign language clubs, or to sign up for extracurriculars with a leadership element, such as the school newspaper or student council.




Thursday, 26 January 2012

Keep your mornings stress free with these easy and healthy breakfasts

For you and the kids! Though it’s true that any breakfast is better than no breakfast at all, when you are a child a daily breakfast of sugary cereals, donuts and empty calories is certainly not a plan for success. Kids need nutrients for breakfast which include fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein and dairy products. A healthy breakfast for kids doesn’t have to be complicated, but as traditional or non-traditional as you like. The key is to hit as many food groups as possible and limit the amount of refined sugar and empty calories that your child gets first thing in the morning. A healthy breakfast can even include classics that are normally featured during other meal times that are given a breakfast twist.

Scrambled Eggs and Cheese t 1/4 teaspoon salt t 1 scallion, thinly sliced t 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese t1 grape or cherry tomato, quartered lengthwise


Scrambling eggs in the microwave means no skillet to clean, and in this single serving, the same dish is used for cooking and eating.

Ingredients t t t

2 large eggs 2 tablespoons milk 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

t In a large (10-ounce) microwavesafe custard cup or ramekin, combine eggs, milk, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir in scallion. t Microwave (uncovered) on high for 45 seconds; stir with a fork. Continue cooking until eggs are almost set, about 45 seconds more. Remove from microwave. t With a clean fork, stir in shredded cheddar cheese; cover with a paper (or clean kitchen) towel. Let stand until cheese has melted and eggs are set, about 1 minute. Top with grape or cherry tomato, and serve immediately.

Strawberry Oatmeal



Breakfast Eating breakfast can help kids stay alert and do better in class. What better motivation to whip up a healthy and yummy meal in minutes? The recipe won’t slow you or your kids down during morning rush hour.

Ingredients: t t t t t t t

Yogurt Cereal Granola Fresh Fruit

Directions: Slice fresh fruits; then layer yogurt, cereal, granola, and fresh fruit in a tall sundae glass. Garnish it with extra fruit slices and serve it with long spoons. (For special occasions, such as the morning after the big slumber party, lay out a parfait buffet and let kids make their own.)

Breakfast Smoothies Any other ripe fruit, such as peaches or raspberries, can be substituted for the strawberries.

Ingredients: t t t t t t

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) plain fat-free yogurt 3 to 4 bananas, peeled, cut into chunks 14 ounces strawberries, stems removed, roughly chopped to equal 3 cups 1/4 cup skim milk or soy milk 2 tablespoons honey 1 cup ice

Directions: t t

Gradually add all ingredients to the jar of a blender; puree until smooth. Slice a strawberry halfway from the bottom up. Then slide it onto the rim of a water cup and serve.

Syscoms continues to train achievers even after 9 years Educational Provider) across the world. Syscoms is under the CADD Centre for the REP from PMI, America, and conducts several programmes in association with them. SyscomsCADD Centre courses are Autocad 2D & 3D, MS Project, Primavera, CATIA, Solidworks, REVIT and Pro E, other than PMP. Syscoms Doha has 19 instructors, including a British and an American. All of them all are highly qualified and vastly experienced.

Other Courses Offered

Besides being a child-friendly fruit (no yuck faces), strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, and folic acid.

Ingredients t t t t t t

1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and thinly sliced 1 to 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar, firmly packed 1 3/4 cups milk 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups quick-cooking oats 1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions t In a small bowl, toss 1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and thinly sliced, with 1 to 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark-brown sugar. Let sit at least 5 minutes to bring out the juices. t In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm 1 3/4 cups water, 1 3/4 cups milk, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in 2 cups quickcooking oats; cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, for 5 to 6 minutes. t Ladle oatmeal into bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream and some of the strawberries; sprinkle with brown sugar.

Syscoms is one of the pioneers in IT, Management and Language Training. Syscoms Information Technology, a unique training company, was founded in 1990 as a result of a vision by an entrepreneur – Yousef Ali, MD of EMKE Group – to impart quality IT, Management, Language Education and Training. Syscoms has been providing quality training in Doha for the past nine years (corporate, as well individual training). Syscoms is a UAEheadquartered company which has been in the training field for over 20 years. Syscoms also has a college in Abu Dhabi. Syscoms provides training across multiple platforms, especially in Higher National Diploma (HND) and Higher National Certificate (HNC), CAD, PMP, Networking, Software and Language. The highlights of Syscoms’ training is HNC and HND in IT & Business from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), UK, for those who have passed 10th or 12th grade, A Level or O level, ICSE, CBSE, and IGSE. It’s a programme for both students and the employed. Many of our students have been hired by large companies on completion of the programme. Syscoms’ educational partner, CADD Centre, is the largest network of PMI R.E.Ps (Registered

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Thursday, 26 January 2012


Kindergarten creativeness, social participation and motor expression. He chose the name Kindergarten, as it signifies both a garden for children, a location where they can observe and interact with nature, and also a garden of children, where they themselves can grow and develop, free from subjective political and social constraints. He envisaged that children will be taken care of and nourished in “Kindergartens� like plants in a garden. Over one hundred and fifty years ago, Froebel (1907) urged educators to respect the sanctity of child development through this statement: ‘We grant space and time to young plants and animals because we know that, in accordance with the laws that live in them, they will develop properly and grow well. Young animals and plants are given rest, and arbitrary interference with their growth is avoided, because it is known that

around his home. This love and respect of nature, and the trials and tribulations of a difficult childhood, might have awakened the educational reformist in Froebel.


Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel


Vinodh K. Pisharom

The name, Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel, may ring no bells with many of us, as it is hardly suggestive of the reformative education system he founded way back in 1837. However, Kindergarten (German for Children’s garden), founded by this German educator and reformer, has become a synonym of early childhood education. Derived from Froebel’s radical insight that the first learning experiences greatly influence later educational achievements of the child, as well as the health and development of society as a whole, Kindergarten has become an accepted system of pre-school education the world over. This preschool experience for children grew out of Froebel’s belief that man is essentially part of the total universe. To become one’s real self, he felt that the only way is through natural development of the inborn qualities, which made up the whole person. This process is to begin from early childhood, and under the best possible natural conditions. Froebel’s program encouraged free activity, which released

the opposite practice would disturb their pure unfolding and sound development; but, the young human being is looked upon as a piece of wax or a lump of clay which man can mould into what he pleases.’ The community of education owes so much to Friedrich Froebel, as he truly pioneered early childhood education as we know it today. But, Froebel himself had too miserable a childhood for someone to have come up with such reformative ideas on early childhood education and child welfare. Friedrich’s mother died when he was still an infant, and his father, a pastor, left him to care for himself. When he was ten years old, his uncle took over his care. As a young child, Friedrich Froebel spent a lot of time playing alone in the gardens

t 5PFODPVSBHFUIFDIJMET JOEFQFOEFODFBOEDSFBUJWJUZ CZQSPWJEJOHIJNXJUI TVĂŻDJFOUPQQPSUVOJUJFT In most countries, kindergartens are part of the preschool system of early childhood education for

Preschool stress Common sources of preschool stress t Being hurried, early or rushed mornings t Exposure to new situations t Too many demands and expectations t Separation from parents t Difficulties with peer friendship t Disagreements and fights with siblings t Moving from one activity or place to another t New beginnings such as Kindergarten or childcare t Frequent change of caregivers

Long-term or chronic stress

Vinodh K. Pisharom

Stress is our body’s response to feeling afraid, overworked, overstimulated, threatened or excited, and it is a normal everyday occurrence. Though a certain amount of stress is helpful in feeling alert and energized, if it goes beyond control it will interfere with our ability to respond to everyday tasks and challenges. Even very young children experience stress, and it’s important for adults to recognize and help pre-schoolers deal with it. High levels of unrelieved stress can lead to behaviour problems and can interfere with a child’s ability to function normally. Preschool stress comes in two main forms: everyday stress and long-term or chronic stress.

children aged two to six. Though these institutions abide by the objectives and use many of the activities developed by Froebel, the syllabi often follow the primary schooling system of the region. Irrespective of the syllabi, for children who previously have spent most of their time at home, kindergarten is expected to be a place where they learn as they play with materials and learn to live with other children and teachers. It is their first opportunity to play and interact with a consistent group of children on a regular basis. Kindergarten is also a place where adults can learn by observing children and participating with them. It also serves as a laboratory for the study of human relations, and on a more practical note, it may also allow mothers, fathers, or other caretakers to go back to parttime or full-time employment.

t Serious on-going conflict between family members t Separation or divorce t A serious illness or health condition t Death of a loved one t Frequent moves t Being harassed or bullied over time t Dealing with unrealistic demands and expectations

Common signs of stress t Recurring tummy aches, headaches and neck pain t Increased anger, anxiety, irritability, sadness, panic t Intensification of nail biting, thumb sucking, hair twisting t Yelling, crying, shutting down and overacting t Trouble relaxing, sleeping, eating t Unusual sleep patterns or nightmares t Increased dependency or clinginess t Unusually low energy, or the opposite, very high levels of energy or restlessness t Going back to less mature behaviour t Increased behaviour problems, such as biting, kicking, poor listening, t Acting out, impulsiveness t Increased whining, crying, fighting t Becoming withdrawn or listless

How can you help tConnection: secure relationships with their parents help pre-schoolers deal with their problems. Strong relationships also help children to trust and listen to the adult who is supporting them. tHome environment: Pre-schoolers can handle stress better when they have a healthy, balanced lifestyle with good food, lots of time for physical activity, play and relaxation, and daily routines that make their world feel predictable and safe. tComfort: In order for children to learn to comfort themselves, they first must know what it is like to be comforted. Regardless of anything else you might say or do to help a stressed pre-schooler, the comfort of physical contact is one of the best stress relievers. tSet the climate: You might say, “I know there are things that upset you sometimes. Can you tell me about them?� Give the child time to finish what he is saying. Listen both to his words and the feeling in his words. tChoose the moment: When do you find your child wants to open up and talk to you? Any quiet time during the day or at bedtime might work. Find a time when you are relaxed and not feeling rushed and can be together without interruption. tFind “little� opportunities to connect: Some parents find that the best time to talk to kids is when they are doing some everyday activity together, such as riding the bus, washing dishes or folding laundry. tOnce a day, check your child’s face and body: Are you able to make eye contact? Does she appear relaxed or tense? Are her eyes calm or darting back and forth? Is there tension in her body? tPay close attention: Observe her facial expressions, mood, body language and activity level. This can help you gain a sense of your child’s well-being and notice signs of stress. tGive him your full attention: Show that you are really interested in your child and what he is saying by facing him and making eye contact. tListen without speaking: Nod your head and give other non-verbal signs that you are interested in what he is saying. It can take a pre-schooler a long time to put the words together, particularly when he is trying to express something difficult, confusing or upsetting. Don’t finish his sentences, even if you think you know what he is trying to say. Give him time to put it into his own words.



Thursday, 26 January 2012

iBooks Textbooks for iPad – truly interactive, dynamic and engrossing For years, textbooks have put knowledge in the hands of students. But while the way people learn has changed dramatically, the traditional textbook has stayed the same. In fact, the textbooks that most kids use are out of date, due to the expense involved in a reprint and the speed at which new research happens every day. Besides, carrying heavy backpacks weigh down students causing an increasing amount of health problems among kids. And here’s where the transformation from textbook to eBook comes into play.

Interactive Images Pictures tell a bigger story when they’re interactive. Callouts and pan-and-zoom features add even more to the experience.

Interactive Galleries Instead of seeing just one image on the page, readers can swipe through an entire collection of interactive photos and captions with their fingertips. They can navigate the gallery using photo thumbnails or step through images one at a time.

The textbook transformation Today’s students have grown up completely immersed in technology – from desktop computers to tablets – these are the ways they interact with their world, and they need a textbook made for the way they learn. And the creation of iBooks textbooks for the iPad makes this possible. A Multi-Touch textbook on iPad is a gorgeous, full-screen experience full of interactive diagrams, photos, and videos. No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review. They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the bottom of the screen. Highlighting text, taking notes, searching for content, and finding definitions in the glossary are just as easy. And with all their books on a single iPad, students will have no problem carrying them wherever they go.

Highlighting and NoteTaking Use a finger as a highlighter when reading any textbook in iBooks. Just swipe over text and it’s highlighted. Tap a highlighted section and a palette appears. Change colours, switch to underlining, or add a note instantly. Then switch to the Notes view to see all your notes and highlights organized in one place, making it a cinch to search or go back to the highlighted sections of the book.

Textbooks for iPad go way beyond the printed page Study Cards 3D Images Readers can manipulate 3D objects with a touch — so instead of seeing a cross section of a brain, they can see all sections. iBooks Author gives book creators the option to adjust the background, allow readers to rotate the object freely, or constrain its movement to horizontal or vertical rotation.

Meet the LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet

All your notes and highlights automatically appear on study cards. Flip them over and find the definition of a glossary term or the note attached to the highlighted passage. Choose which highlight colours to review, and include chapter vocabulary from the glossary — automatically. To make sure you really know your stuff, you can shuffle your cards to study.

Learning with technology and keeping kids inspired When we were in school most of us didn’t have today’s technology options to inspire learning, so while we understand that technology has become an integral part of a child’s education, we sometimes find it difficult to incorporate it into the learning process. Integrating technology into learning is much more than choosing the right hardware – desktop, iPad, netbook, etc. Parents need to consider several other factors, such as appropriate

software, interactive e-reading programs, how to educate children about online safety when exploring social media, and how to integrate technology into the current curriculum. However, technology is important in today’s world and taking a comprehensive approach to technology education will ensure that children thrive in the modern education system and in the jobs of the future.

Weekly App Review

Bump to Share! Cross Platform Sharing App

Have you been searching for a safe, fun, engaging educational experience for your child? Opt for the LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet by LeapFrog which offers a personalized play and learning tablet for kids. Motion-based gameplay and an impressive collection of downloadable apps will have your little one laughing and learning for hours. The LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet teaches a broad curriculum that adjusts to match your child’s pace and remembers the progress from game to game and book to book. Your child will enjoy more than 100 educational and entertaining cartridge games, apps, digital books, videos and flash cards. See the world through your child’s eyes as he or she captures special moments with the built-in camera and video recorder. Easily control the action on the Learning Tablet with your finger or the included stylus and the 5” touch screen. Interested in how your child’s doing? Track his or her learning progress through the online LeapFrog Learning Path, and then show off your child’s achievements to family and friends.

durable LeapPad features innovative apps that inspire creativity and turn reading into fun and games. It’s a new way to learn, a new way to play – a new way to unlock your child’s potential!

Library of 100+ Cartridges and Apps Plug in game cartridges or download learning apps that teach school skills, creativity and life skills.

Built-In Camera and Video Recorder Take pictures and add fun effects, or use the recorder to shoot video, complete with sound!

Ultra eBooks Interactive, cinematic experiences use innovative gameplay and support features to transform traditional reading.

Create and Share

What can the LeapPad Explorer do?

Make art, learn how to animate and create interactive stories about yourself to share with loved ones.

The LeapPad is the ultimate learning tablet designed just for kids between the ages of 4 - 9 years. With a built-in camera, and a library of 100+ cartridge games and activities that you’ll need to install, the

Learning Path See play and learning details, and get email updates with tailored tips to expand learning fun.

Bump two phones together to share photos, contacts, and apps! Bump™ makes sharing with people as simple as bumping two phones together. Just pick what you want to send, then hold your phones and gently bump hands with another Bump user. Share photos, apps, and contacts. And after you bump, keep sending messages anytime, anywhere, complete with instant notifications. It’s like free texting! Bump works cross-platform between Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod. And you can even text your friends who aren’t near you – just add them as a friend inside of Bump and start messaging immediately - it’s kind of like a longdistance “virtual bump”.

Available for


Thursday, 26 January 2012

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Icon Notebooks

Nom Nom Nom Lunch bag

Inspire your kids to get back into the classroom with these fun products to get them learning. We’ve gathered the best educational accessories - from Icon notebooks to good-looking backpacks and more – that gives them a reason to be happy going to school. Younger children need learning to be fun to hold their interest and keep them engaged. Parents should include many unique ideas for their children to make them excited about going to school. Take a look through our gallery of playful stationery and cool classroomthemed trifles.

Report Cards for Real Life

What noise does a kiddo make while eating their lunch? You guessed it -- “nom, nom, nom.” This food transportation device will warn lunchroom colleagues of your imminent snacking. These gorgeously simple notebooks offer 80 blank pages of icon-themed potential.

Building Block Calculators

These authentic-looking tearout cards will let your kids assess their friends’ conduct. Making them feel- I must try harder!

Ring Binder Boogie Board

Space Invaders Pencil Case

These cute calculators are shaped like our favourite building blocks. They’re perfect for adding some childhood chic.

Paper Tweet

We love this Space Invaders pencil case with its awesome arcadey design.

Enjoy some high-tech doodling with the Boogie Board, a type of Etch-a-Sketch for one’s ring binder.

For techie kids when they can’t get online to tweet, this analog and entirely wireless solution will help them get their message out.

Space Intruders Eraser Set These Space Intruder erasers are so fun that it might make your kids purposely make mistakes just to use them.

Good-looking Backpacks

Statement Socks Notepad

This bright coloured themed footwear range puts a smile on your kids face as the weather gets colder.

The 9.7-inch “Notepad” can be used by your kids to make a drawing and is compatible with pens, pencils and crayons.

Deletus iColor Stylus

This giant eraser shaped like your keyboard’s “delete” key is pretty witty. Now all we need is a real-life “mute” button.

Your child can enjoy this fun silicone stylus which works with any capacitive touchscreen.

Colourful Lunchbox You can’t think of a cooler way to transport the energy packed sandwiches than a stylish and vibrant lunchbox.

Kids like to wear their new backpack with pride and confidence, showing it off to others that they have a one-of-a-kind.

Spill- proof water bottles If you’re tired of finding that the drink bottle has leaked through your child’s school bag, then check out Camelbak Bottles that has a spill-proof bite valve that actually helps kids drink more water through the day.




Thursday, 26 January 2012

Kindergarten Fashion Kids’ fashion product not only looks adorable, but can make life easier for kids and parents alike. Magically mixed with modern design, the easy to wear fashionable clothes are quite comfortable for the tots when at the kindergarten. The effect is fresh and lovely, based on comfort, style and functionality.

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