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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Role of nutrition bringing positive change in child behavior

There is a direct link with right food choices and child behaviour. Normally we can notice that when a child is not properly nourished, he/she cannot perform well in physical or mental tasks at school or home. Nutrition play an important role in not only physical or mental growth of a child but in child’s behaviour as well. This post  provides facts and statistics proving that nutrition can help bring positive change regarding child behavior.


Experts have discovered that food can ramp-up children’s behavior. Now recent research and studies have proved that foods and ingredients can, indeed, make a difference. It makes perfect sense that what kids eat affects their behavior. It is well established that poor nutritional intake and deficiencies in zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein can impair brain function and lead to violence and antisocial behavior in children. Nutritional deficiencies, including zinc, magnesium, calcium and essential fatty acids, as well as carbohydrate cravings, have also been noted in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD).
Nutritional supplements may be helpful in deterring violent and anti-social behavior. When vitamin and minerals were given to elementary school children with behavioral problems, it led to a reduction in the incidence of anti-social behavior.
The researchers said that "undiagnosed and untreated malnutrition may be impairing their brain function to such an extent that normal learning from discipline does not occur."
Malnutrition in the first few years of life leads to antisocial and aggressive behavior throughout childhood and late adolescence, according to a new USC study.
“These are the first findings to show that malnutrition in the early postnatal years is associated with behavior problems through age 17,” said Jianghong Liu, a postdoctoral fellow with USC’s Social Science Research Institute and the lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry’s November issue.


How we can make healthy change in food habits?
By:

• minimizing exposure to junk food and food additives, 
• choosing nourishing, primary, low allergenic foods as dietary staples, 

• assuring nutrient adequacy by careful monitoring of the child’s food intake. 


Supplemental Diets 
It stands to reason that an adequate diet is necessary for a child’s healthy growth. Proper nutrition, including an array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids (EFAs), is particularly necessary in the first few years of life to support brain development and prevent certain neurological disorders. Even among older children, a lack of certain dietary components such as protein, or an insufficient number of calories, can negatively affect a child’s learning and behavioral abilities, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies can certainly interfere with learning over the course of a school year.
Research shows, however, that a young child must be significantly malnourished in proteins and calories before brain development is seriously affected, and this level of malnutrition is rare in the United States. To date no convincing evidence has shown that a poor diet causes ADHD, or that dietary supplements can be used to successfully treat the condition.


First published at 'factoidz'

Useful links:
 * Your Child’s Diet: A Cause and a Cure of ADHD? 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What are the essential foods for kids to stay healthy?

Getting the necessary nutrients is necessary for long-term health. Having basic information about the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for your children — and what they shouldn't eat regularly — can establish healthy habits to last a lifetime.

Essential Foods for Kids: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, professor and chief of the section of neonatology at the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia, says children's daily caloric intake, which provides them energy, "should be balanced between carbohydrates and protein, with the remaining energy coming from good fats." Children also need iron, vitamin D, calcium, and fiber, but these four tend to be lacking in youngsters' diets, he says.

Iron, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Fiber

Here is some guidance on where to find these kid-elusive dietary components:

* Iron comes from meats, beans, green vegetables, and fortified cereals.
* Vitamin D is derived from sunlight, fish oil, eggs, dairy products, and fortified cereals.
* Calcium can be found in milk and other dairy products.
* Fiber, one of the most forgotten of the nutrients, according to Dr. Bhatia, comes from eating unrefined carbohydrates such as fresh fruit and beans.

Carbohydrates

For children over 2 years of age, 50 percent to 60 percent of their RDA should come from carbohydrates. The key is to stay away from refined carbohydrates, such as white rice and white flour, which cause the body's energy level to spike and then drop, and may also lead to diabetes and heart disease. Instead, introduce your children to these unrefined foods:

* Brown rice
* Whole-grain cereals and bread
* Fruits
* Vegetables
* Low-fat dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt

Protein

Protein should make up about 12 percent of your child's RDA and should come from the following:

* Lean meats
* Fish
* Nuts
* Beans
* Eggs

Fats

Fats should make up about 30 percent of your child's RDA. Most of the fat in your child’s diet should be from sources of "good fat," which raise levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and lower the bad cholesterol (LDL). These fats include:

* Nuts
* Vegetable oils such as olive oil, corn oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil
* Fatty fish such as salmon
* Avocados

 Portion Sizes: 
It's important to pay attention to your child's portion sizes. "The food guide pyramid is best for determining how many servings a child would need depending on age, weight, and gender," says Janet M. de Jesus, MS, RD, a nutrition education specialist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children 2 to 3 years old should consume no more than 1,000 calories each day; girls 4 to 8 should consume about 1,200 and boys of the same age 1,400. Girls between 9 and 13 should get about 1,600 calories daily and boys 1,800. Girls 14 to 18 should aim for approximately 1,800 and boys should shoot for around 2,200. These calories should include:

* 2 to 3 cups of low-fat milk
* 2 to 5 ounces of lean meat or beans
* 1 to 2 cups of fruit
* 1 to 3 cups of vegetables
* 2 to 7 ounces of whole grains

Setting an Example:  "Being a role model is very important — your kids are really watching you more than you think," says de Jesus. "Also key is the availability of certain foods in the house. Have fruits and vegetables around as much as possible and serve them at every meal." The more accustomed children are to eating these foods, the more likely they are to develop a lifelong habit of healthy eating.

Source: 'Everyday Health'

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Importance and benefits of hobbies for children

Hobbies are very important for personal growth and progression for all age people. Hobbies are extremely important for children as well. Children who grow with productive hobbies can perform well in their life, both personal and professional. Hobbies can have a number of multiple effects that have a series of cascading results. Hobbies can help children to develop social, academic and moral skills.


It is always better to introduce good hobbies in our children right from the time, when they develop their brain. It also pays us, if we have children who can show or display some talents in form of some good hobbies.


Hobbies can also provide an opportunity to accomplish something other than academics.


Hobbies can help your children -------
  • develop self esteem, self image, will power and strength. If your children realize that they have been able to achieve something, they will also develop very high levels of confidence.
  • Help your children develop reading habits: Hobbies form the main gateway to learning and understanding.
  • Reading and writing hobbies can help bring children, who spend too much time watching TV or play games, to engage themselves in reading good books. Reading is good hobby that assists your children develop the noble qualities of patience and tolerance.
  • Learn goal setting: With good hobbies, your children can learn how to set goals and achieve them. Goal setting is very important life skills that can anyone to realize his or her dreams .
  • Develop immense levels of confidence: Hobbies can provide something productive to do when your children are idle.
It is up to you to find out what your children are interested in and encourage them in developing those hobbies. As a parent or teacher it is your part to motivate them to learn and develop those hobbies.


Useful links:
* Importance of Hobbies and Leisure Activities for Kids
*Importance Of Hobbies For Kids
* The role of hobbies in our lives

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Free online encyclopedias for learning and knowledge

We all are familiar with the term ‘Encyclopedia’ which is meant to be a source of information. Internet offers lots of useful resources for learning and online encyclopedia is a great tool for information and knowledge.  Most of the encyclopedias are free to use and these are the best places for students, scholars, researchers, and teachers to collect knowledge. For any topic or subject you can access the free encyclopedia sites and search for it.


Do you know what is meant by ‘Encyclopedia’ and what we can get from it?
This article would be useful for students, teachers, scholars or parents, who search the world wide web for information . Included is a list of encyclopedias which you can further search for a specific type of information.


According to the definition by "Wikipedia":
"An encyclopedia is a comprehensive written compendium that contains information on either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge. Encyclopedias are divided into articles with one article on each subject covered. The articles on subjects in an encyclopedia are usually accessed alphabetically by article name and can be contained in one volume or many volumes, depending on the amount of material included.
“ Indeed, the purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, and that we should not die without having rendered a service to the human race."


Difference between a dictionary and encyclopedia?
-  ‘A dictionary primarily focuses on words and their definitions, and typically provides limited information, analysis, or background for the word defined.’
 - ‘ An encyclopedia treats each subject in more depth and conveys the most relevant accumulated knowledge on that subject or discipline, given the overall length of the particular work. An encyclopedia also often includes many maps and illustrations, as well as bibliography and statistics.’
Free encyclopedia
The concept of a new free encyclopedia began with the Interpedia proposal on Usenet in 1993, which outlined an Internet-based online encyclopedia to which anyone could submit content and that would be freely accessible.
The English Wikipedia became the world’s largest encyclopedia in 2004 at the 300,000 article stage. As of July 2007, Wikipedia has over 2.0 million articles in English and well over 8 million combined in over 250 languages.
Wikipedia is one of the first "user generated content" encyclopedias.
Famous Encyclopedias:
Upto now Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Inc., is a leading provider of learning and knowledge products. It is one of the world’s most trusted sources of information on every topic imaginable - from the origins of the universe to current events and everything in between.
Encarta encyclopedia  from msn article centerProvides more than 42,000 articles on the world of knowledge–from aardvark to zither.
HighBeam Encyclopedia provides you reference entries from credible, published sources like Britannica, Oxford University Press, and Columbia Encyclopedia.
At HighBeam Encyclopedia, you get free access to nearly 200,000 reference entries from sources you can cite. Plus, more than 50,000 topic summaries feature related pictures, videos, topic summaries, and newspaper and magazine articles from around the world. HighBeam Encyclopedia also provides innovative tools that allow you to rate and sort the reference content you find to be the most useful.
AskTheBrain.com is the world’s first computer generated encyclopedia. All vital stats information has been inferred based upon text on the subject.
It is an automated encyclopedia that brings together the best information from around the web on over 200,000 topics. Try searching for anything at all in the search box provided. The entire database is made available free of charge from the website.
Kids Encyclopedias:
Kids.net.au kids safe portal for children, parents, schools and teachers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Online useful resources for teachers and learners Part-2

There is a vast knowledge available online relating to educational needs, educators, learners, students. I have started writing about useful links and resources for teachers and learners. This is part 2 which will be updated if required and I plan to add more sites and online links which can help us learn more.

Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) is a major resource site about Social Learning (ie the use of social media for learning)for those in Schools, Colleges, Universities and Business(profit- and non-profit making organisations)

Site offers very useful posts like:
  • The FINAL Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010 List
  • 30 Ways to use Social Media to Work Smarter
  • 100+ Free Websites to find out about Anything and Everything
'100+ Free Websites to find out about Anything and Everything' is an alphabetical list of websites which provide information and/or instruction about a wide range of subjects. The websites cover a wide range of informational and educational topics and include general reference resources, how-to guides, wikis, how-to videos, podcasts, courses, lessons, tutorials (including open courseware), e-books as well as other reference resources and places to ask questions both online and on your mobile.
The resources are suitable for learners of all ages: students as well as workplace learners and lifelong learners - as well as teachers, educators and trainers.

Link: 100+ Free Websites to find out about Anything and Everything

Check 'resources' tab to discover more stuff.

Online useful resources for teachers and learners Part-2

There is a vast knowledge available online relating to educational needs, educators, learners, students. I have started writing about useful links and resources for teachers and learners. This is part 2 which will be updated if required and I plan to add more sites and online links which can help us learn more.

Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) is a major resource site about Social Learning (ie the use of social media for learning)for those in Schools, Colleges, Universities and Business(profit- and non-profit making organisations)

Site offers very useful posts like:

  • The FINAL Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010 List
  • 30 Ways to use Social Media to Work Smarter
  • 100+ Free Websites to find out about Anything and Everything
'100+ Free Websites to find out about Anything and Everything' is an alphabetical list of websites which provide information and/or instruction about a wide range of subjects. The websites cover a wide range of informational and educational topics and include general reference resources, how-to guides, wikis, how-to videos, podcasts, courses, lessons, tutorials (including open courseware), e-books as well as other reference resources and places to ask questions both online and on your mobile.


The resources are suitable for learners of all ages: students as well as workplace learners and lifelong learners - as well as teachers, educators and trainers.

Link: 100+ Free Websites to find out about Anything and Everything

Check 'resources' tab to discover more stuff.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What parents can do to save their children from objectionable stuff on the internet?

Is there really that much pornography (or other objectionable content) on the Internet? and how parents can save their children from pornography and other objectionable stuff is discussed at this post.

There is a vast amount of pornographic material easily available on the Internet. Although many pornographic sites demand credit cards for full access, there are lots of free sites and “sneak peeks” available online.

Trying to control porn in a global medium like the Internet is difficult at best. Most Internet pornography, while offensive and distasteful to many users, is not illegal.

A research study shows that the older the kids, the more likely they are to pay purposeful visits to pornography sites (the figures almost triple between Grade 7 and Grade 11 for boys). Teens are more prolific and diverse Internet users than younger kids – and they are less likely to be supervised – which means they have more opportunities to encounter this sort of content through their online activities.

To contextualize pornography, we have to recognize that today’s children and youth live in a highly sexualized media culture where the lines between pornography and popular entertainment have become increasingly blurred.

Perhaps more importantly for most parents, is the reality that frequent unintentional exposure to pornographic sites is unavoidable. Once again, making sure your children know how to handle this is crucial.

A recent British study determined that the average teen there spent 87 hours/year, looking at porn on the Internet. That's an hour and 40 minutes a week.

What should parents do?

  • Banning all access to the Internet is one solution. Unfortunately, this draconian approach carries with it a huge educational disadvantage; the Internet today is the greatest single educational reference resource available. More information, from more sources, is available here than in any library in the world.
  • Personally supervising all Internet access is another solution. This is great, if you have the time.
  • Installing a software filter, to provide a technology fix, is another possiblity.
  • Block pop-ups, which are commonly used by pornographic sites.
  • Set up the computer in a busy area of your home – never in a child’s bedroom.
  • Use kid-friendly search engines and Web browsers or adult search engines that provide filtering options like Google. Test the different search engines to see which ones give the best results.
  • Talk to librarians or teachers and create a directory of good kids’ sites by bookmarking them on your computer. But be aware that porn distributors often purchase expired domain names, including those of kids’ sites.
  • At a minimum, make sure your children know your feelings about it, and what your expectations are for their behavior.

Source: 'Super Kids'

Useful links and resources:

* Exposure to pornography

* Internet porn stats: should parents be concerned?

* 'Safe Families.org' helping you keep children safe online.

* PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM PORNOGRAPHY AND SEXUAL PREDATORS ON THE INTERNET

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Early head injuries can have long term effects among young children

Every year, millions of people suffer from head injury symptoms. Most of these are minor because the skull is designed to protect the brain. Most closed head injury symptoms will usually go away on their own. However, more than half a million head injuries a year, are severe enough to require hospitalization.

Seek professional medical attention immediately for severe or penetrating head injuries. Knowing the signs of head injury symptoms can save a life.

'Dr. Goodman' (clinical assistant professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia) says, "kids and sports have been around for a long time. It is up to the adults who are involved in children's sports to keep a balance between safety and competition."

Head injury symptoms will vary depending on the type of injury. There are two types of head injury, closed or penetrating.
A closed head injury is caused by a hard blow to the head by striking an object. These closed head injuries can be either minor or severe, each having a different set of head injury symptoms.

- Minor blunt head injury symptoms (sometimes referred to as a concussion) can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and a general feeling of instability.

- Severe head injury symptoms can include loss of consciousness for longer periods. Some symptoms can mimick those of a stroke and can lead to permanent damage if not treated immediately by medical professionals.

Early Head Injury Can Have Long-Term Effects

Although young children with brain injury usually recover their mental abilities quite rapidly, they can have serious problems later. "These kids have incredible learning deficits even when the IQ returns to normal," said Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, a University of Texas neurologist. She noted that 70% of children's brain injuries affect the frontal cortex.

Because growth in the brain's frontal regions continues throughout young adulthood, early injury there can damage formation of the protective myelin insulation around neurons . This can impair their ability to control emotions and inhibit inappropriate behavior. These kids have trouble responding to subtle social cues and planning difficult tasks.

Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), also known as concussion , can damage your brain at the cellular level.

"Concussions are caused by a blow to the head," says Michael Goodman. "They can occur when a child falls and during any sport that can involve a collision of the head with another object – be it a head, a ball, or the ground."

All concussions are cause for concern, but not all concussions are the same. Symptoms can include confusion, headache, concentration problems, mood swings, or sleep difficulties.

Parents and children should heed the guidance of medical and athletic professionals during these situations.

Source: 'Watch your head'

Useful links: ''Brain Injury' is a site dedicated to provide medical, legal informations about traumatic brain injury.

* ''The brain injury Information network'

* Children who suffer a head injury are much more likely to have another one within six months, researchers reported. More at: At Risk: One Head Injury Sets the Stage for a Second One in Children

Child brain injury blog

* A very useful post at 'Parent24' about head injury.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Get origami projects or crafts ideas online

Origami can be used for skill development for educational, developmental, and therapeutic aspects. Origami is good for any age as it provide an entertaining and creative feeling when you are busy doing it.

For kids at preschool or kindergarten stage you need to teach them easy origami which they can learn themselves. Your instructions should be clear and easy to follow. You can find lot of sites and links online where you can get ideas, projects details and even step by step tutorial helping you learn origami projects or crafts ideas yourself or for your kids. This post is helpful for teachers, parents who are interested to start teaching this creative activity for kids.


* 'How to origami' is full of easy projects for children. You can get an idea from the pictures I have loaded here. These easy instruction are enough to start learning with basic folds. As you can see that the 3rd picture shows a table chair made with origami folds which seems difficult to make, but as first two pictures show easy steps to follow, you can easily learn it. Even your kids can follow these instructions by watching these pictures or online videos.

* 'Free Homemade bookmarks, crafts and gifts' 

* 'Origami Resources' Helps you make Origami crafts, Origami Crafts for children, free videos on Origami, Origami Aeroplane, Origami Flowers, Origami Animals etc.

* 'Simple Kids Crafts': Daily, Easy, Educational, Functional Children Arts and Crafts projects for children of all ages using easy to find materials such as recyclables, egg cartons, cardboard, paper, boxes, string, crayons, paint, glue, fabric and pompoms, pipe cleaners, beads, ribbons, construction paper and more. They offer toys, games, school crafts, experiments, FREE printable coloring pages/templates and craft recipes.

'Easy origami forkids'

Paper the World offers simple origami of models that focus on endangered animal species.
It educates and teaches some charming origami animal figures to children so that they can enjoy the art and creativity of folding paper and making beautiful things from such common material.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why you need to help your child build self esteem?

Self esteem or self confidence is one of basic skills which play an important role in the life of a person. This basic skill is nourished and developed from the early childhood and parents plus teachers can help build self esteem among children. As a parent or a teacher, you have a great influence over the self-esteem of your child.

What is self esteem?

Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself. It includes such things as your self-confidence, self-respect, pride in yourself, your independence and your self-reliance. All the ways you feel about yourself and your abilities are wrapped up in the term "self-esteem".

In general, the more positive your self-esteem, the more successful you will be at dealing with life. The same holds for your children. The more positive their self-esteem, the more confident and proud they will be. They will try harder, be happier and have greater self-respect. They will make friends easier and will be more giving. Children with positive self-esteem are more secure and loving than children with negative self-esteem.

Negative self-esteem is related to low self-confidence, insecurity, underachievement, anxiety, depression, acting-out behavior, sleep problems and being a loner.

Self-esteem is your child's passport to lifetime mental health and social happiness. It's the foundation of a child's well-being and the key to success as an adult. At all ages, how you feel about yourself affects how you act. Think about a time when you were feeling really good about yourself. You probably found it much easier to get along with others and feel good about them.

Factors affecting child self esteem:

* How much the child feels wanted, appreciated and loved
* How your child sees himself, often built from what parents and those close say
* His or her sense of achievement
* How the child relates to others

Self-image is how one perceives oneself:

The child looks in the mirror and likes the person he sees. He looks inside himself and is comfortable with the person he sees. He must think of this self as being someone who can make things happen and who is worthy of love. Parents are the main source of a child's sense of self-worth.
Lack of a good self-image very often leads to behavior problems:

Most of the behavioral problems that I see for counseling come from poor self-worth in parents as well as children. Why is one person a delight to be with, while another always seems to drag you down? How people value themselves, get along with others, perform at school, achieve at work, and relate in marriage, all stem from strength of their self-image.

Healthy self-worth doesn't mean being narcissistic or arrogant; it means having a realistic understanding of one's strengths and weaknesses, enjoying the strengths and working on the problem areas. Because there is such a strong parallel between how a person feels about himself and how a person acts, helping your child build self-confidence is vital to discipline.

Throughout life your child will be exposed to positive influences builders and negative influences breakers. Parents can expose their child to more builders and help him work through the breakers.

Useful links:

* Building Your Child's Self Esteem

* 12 ways to help your child build self confidence

* 16 Techniques For Parents And Teachers

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why you should choose alternative therapy for your kid with asthma?

There are various reasons to choose alternative healing or therapy for you or your kid. I am a mother of asthmatic child who is suffering from asthma from the age of 3 and now he is 11. With my experience with alternative therapies, I can assure you that whatever therapy you select, it can help you in healing process. I am practicing acupressure therapy for common ailment myself and it is really effective, easy to apply and without any side effects.

The best side of these alternative therapies is that you don't have to worry about side effects. These alternative therapies may include acupressure, acupuncture, aromatherapy, homeopathy etc. Remember whatever therapy you use for the prevention or healing of asthma, don't discontinue the use of medicines prescribed by your health practioner.

Now I want to explain the side effects of medication which are commonly used for the treatment and healing of asthmatic patients.

The mainstay of conventional treatment is medication, primarily with oral or inhaled bronchodilators like albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin), isoetharine (Bronkometer, Bronkosol),isoproterenol (isuprel), metaproterenol (Alupent), and terbutaline (Brethaire, Brethine, Bricanyl).These medications work to open up the airway, easing breathing. They can cause a variety of side effects, including nervousness, increased heart rate, tremors, increased blood pressure, and dizziness.

In more advanced or chronic case of asthma, corticosteroids may be prescribed, in either oral or inhaled form. Inhaler forms include beclomethasone (Beclovent, Vanceril, Vancenase, Beconase), fluticasone (Flovent), and triamcinolone(Azmacort, Nasacort), Prednisone is the most commonly prescribed oral form. These medicines work by decreasing the swelling and inflammation of the airways, but they do have several disadvantages. First, they have an adverse affect on the functioning of the immune system and the adrenal glands. Oral yeast infection can be a problem with inhaler forms. All steroids have the potential to cause significant side effects, especially when taken over the long term, that need to be understood. Talk this over with your doctor or pharmacist.

Theophylline and related drugs, once commonly prescribed for asthma, are less often used today because they are more likely to cause side effects such as restlessness, insomnia, headache, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Long-term use of theophylline may also be associated with behavioral problems and learning disabilities, although the evidence for this is not conclusive.

Source: 'Mother nature'

Useful links:

A useful post about the acupressure therapy: 'Healing and cure from asthma with the help of acupressure therapy'

* 'acupressure for asthma'

Monday, October 4, 2010

Are there any natural remedies for ADD and ADHD ?

I have experience of facing kids at school who display poor sustained attention to tasks or were impulsive or were excessively active and restless. We know that they all suffer from ADHD, which is characterized by destructibility, impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

Although, these symptoms are found in varying degrees in most, this condition becomes a medical disorder, if they’re excessive, long-term and pervasive. About one-half to two-thirds of children suffering from ADHD will continue with this disorder as adults.

It is thought that diet with refined sugar and food additives can causes children to become hyperactive and inattentive. Though there’s some truth in it, scientists at the National Institutes of Health conclude this may apply to only about 5% of either very young children or children with food allergies.

Treatment of ADD or ADHD

Most of the medications have a lot of side effects.
However, there are some excellent natural remedies that are perfectly safe and effective, without any side effects. These remedies can be adopted for the treatment of ADD and ADHD for the relief of these neurological disorders.

List of natural natural remedies:
  • Ginkgo biloba: It’s effective in restoring the functioning of the circulatory system and improving blood flow to the brain. Its active ingredients include flavone glycosides, bioflavins, sitosterol, lactones and anthocyanin.
  • Skullcap (Scuttellaria laterifolia): This is a relaxing nerve tonic and anti-spasmodic, which reduces excitability and relieves depression. Its active ingredients are flavonoids, tannins, bitter, volatile oil and minerals.
  • German chamomile (Matricaria recutita): This has traditionally been used tocalm and soothe nervous tension. Its active ingredients include volatile oil, flavonoids, valerianic acid, coumarins, tannins, salicylates and cyanogenic glycosides.
  • Gotu cola (Centella asiatica): It is used to revitalize the brain and nervous system, increase attention span and concentration, and combat ageing.
  • Green Oats (Avina sativa): Also called Hawer, it’s used to treat nervous exhaustion and as a general nerve tonic. It’s active ingredients are saponins, flavonoids, minerals, alkaloids, steroidal compounds, Vitamins B1, B2, D, E, carotene and wheat protein.
  • Umbabazane (Urtica Urens): This circulatory stimulant is effective in lowering blood sugar levels. Its active ingredients are histamine, formic acid, acetylcholine, glucoquinones, minerals, Vitamins A, B and C and tannins.
  • Massage therapy: According to a study published in 1998, massage therapy has proven especially effective for children. A daily massage makes them happier, less fidgety and hyperactive, and more focused on their tasks.
Natural remedies have proven quite effective in treating ADD or ADHD. But it is important to consult your physician before adopting any of them.

Source: www.natural-remedies-for.com

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Easy and simple exercises to improve your vision and prevent from Computer Vision Syndrome

Eye relaxation exercises are really important for improving vision naturally. They reduce eye strain which in turn increases the flexibility of your eye muscles - a function which enables you to see clearly.

Scientists have stated that near-point stress is a major cause of vision problems like nearsightedness (myopia). We can reverse the damaging effects of eye strain using simple eye exercises. All you have to do is consciously relax your eyes during times of near-point stress - such as working on the computer, reading, or doing any other close-up work.

If you feel any symptoms of CVS, stop working at the computer and practice eye exercises. Exercises should be done daily to reduce strain, headaches and dry eye as a result of using the computer too many hours in a day.

The first exercise you can do is to hold out a pencil, an arm's length away from your body. Focus your vision on the tip and slowly bring it towards your eyes, while keeping your vision locked on the pencil tip. As soon as you bring it close to your nose, you will begin to see double. Repeat the exercise five to 10 times, throughout the day or as soon as you feel CVS symptoms.

A simple exercise to do in order to exercise the eye is to look up from the computer when you begin to feel symptoms, focus on an object that is across the room and stare at it for approximately 20 seconds. After the time is up, lock your vision on an object that is close to you for the same amount of time. Alternate between far and close objects about 10 times, continuing that exercise throughout the day as needed.

When at any point in the day you feel symptoms of CVS, look outside if you have a window or focus on an object across the room until your eyes feel relaxed. Staring at a computer monitor strains the muscles in the eye that deal with focusing, so looking away will relax those muscles.

Few tips to keep your prevent your child from vision problems:

The adequate distance from the screen holds the key to the reduction of eyestrain.
  • For television, a distance of 96 inches is a must. It could also be calculated as 6 times the diagonal of the television screen. Television should not be watched in a dark room.
  • For computer, a distance of 18 -25 inches should be maintained with open space behind the computer (not against a wall).
  • For reading material, always use good light. Hold the material no closer than the distance between your knuckles and the elbow (13 inches). The closer one holds the things, the more likely one is causing eye strain.
  • Sit straight. Don’t read leaning over a table or lying down. This causes your eyes to adapt and may cause eye strain.
Useful links and resources:

* Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS):Stop Computer Eye Strain Now!

* Exercises to Strengthen Eye Muscles

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ideas to teach good manners to your kids with the help of toys

Toys are meant to play or have fun but toys can play a role of a teacher when you use them as a learning tool. Toys can keep the kids busy for hours while calming them down at some annoying moments. Toys can also help children teach good manners. This article offers tips and ideas to learn how you can use toys as a tool to manage your child's behavior.

Toys make amazing rewards that can encourage kids to behave. Toys can be used to encourage general good behavior or you can use them to teach manners, stop phone interruptions and more.

The power of kid’s toys is utterly amazing when you start using them as leverage for positive behavior.

How Kid’s Toys can Encourage Overall Good Behavior?

Get three of anything. It can be three pennies, three rocks, three trivial toys etc… Put the three items in a drawer. Put your child’s name on a plastic cup. When you see your child doing something good like using manners, treating his sibling nice or more then place one of the three items in your child’s cup.

Tell your child that he earned 1 point for his good behavior and compliment him on a job well done! Let him know that if he earns 3 points that day that you will play with him and his favorite toy at the end of the day. Now if you find that it’s too easy for your child to earn 3 points consider bumping it up to 5 or more. When play time arrives, count up the points and if he’s earned the right quantity let him go and get his favorite toy of the day and play with him for at least 30 minutes. You’ll find that doing this will improve your child’s behavior very quickly and once he learns that you’ll play “his way” for 30 minutes he’ll be very determined to earn those points every day!

Using Kid’s Toys to Teach Manners

If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or doll then you’re in luck! You can use his furry friends to help teach him good manners. You’ll first need to write down a list of manners that you want your child to learn. Do you want to teach him table manners and help him learn to say please and thank you often? Do you want him to know how to address adults like Mrs. Smith instead of using first names? Do you want to teach him how to say hello and goodbye on the phone and in person? What you teach your child is up to you, but it’s a good idea to write a list and practice often till it sinks in.

To teach table manners, have your child bring is favorite stuffed animal or doll to dinner. Ask him how his doll should be sitting and have him place his doll in the appropriate sitting position. Then ask your child to do as doll does. Then ask him to tell you what his doll should do if he wants to talk, but has a mouth full of food. Use his doll as an example for every table manner you want to teach your child. You can even have him place a napkin on dolly’s lap. You could have your child roll play his “inside” voice talking through his doll and even talk about how dolly could use his manners at a restaurant.

Later, go to the family room and have your child and doll sit on the couch. Have your child tell you how dolly can use the words please and thank you throughout the day. Roll play with the doll. Encourage your child to have fun with the roll plays to really “show off” his knowledge of good manners. Let him add lib and make things up and ask him to have dolly show you all the good manners that he has. This can be very fun, as well as, quite educational and effective at teaching manners.

Using Kid’s Toys to Stop Phone Interruptions

Everyone has been on the phone and had their child run up making tons of non-stop noise! This is annoying for mom and annoying to the caller, but it can be prevented by simply creating a phone call kid’s toy box. First step is to get a box. You can choose a pretty basket or plastic bin depending on where you want to keep the container. Get a box that’s big enough to fit 2 or 3 kid’s toys. Then you’ll want to choose some toys to put in it. I’d advocate choosing toys that encourage long-time play such as: blocks, pretend play toys, puzzles or anything else that will keep your child’s attention.

Talk with your child about the importance of not interrupting you while you’re on the phone. Let him know that he now has a special “phone toy box” that can only be opened when you’re on a phone call. Show him the box and the special toys inside. Tell him that every time you’re on the phone he can play with those toys. Let him know that if he’s really good you’ll let him choose some new toys every 2, 4 or 6 months (depending on what you decide and your budget) that he can put in his phone toy box.

If he’s quiet while you’re on the phone then he can keep playing with his special toys until the call is over. If he interrupts, then the toys go back up on the shelf straightaway. If he needs to tell you something “important” you can practice teaching him how to interrupt the nice way. Have him walk over to you and place his hand on your arm or knee and wait till you excuse yourself from the call. Teach him not make noise as he approaches.

As you start using toys as rewards you’ll ascertain how much fun it can be to teach your child good behavior without having to use negative consequences. These techniques are a win/win for you and your child because each of you will get what you want in the end!

Author: Kim Proulx, a Certified Parent Coach.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Importance of breakfast for children

I have noticed at my nursery class that few children come to school without eating breakfast and parents don't know that breakfast is important for young learners. 

National studies consistently confirm that breakfast provides fuel for school and boosts brain power. Eating breakfast:
  • Improves classroom performance, including better test scores and grades
  • Increases children's ability to focus and concentrate on school work
  • Decreases behavior problems, tardiness and visits to the school nurse
  • Increases attendance rate 
When students routinely start their day with breakfast, chances are good that it will become a habit that carries into their teenage and adult years. 

Tiffin or break time can be an alternate to breakfast if kids skip their morning breakfast or snacks.

There is a lot of evidence that breakfast, either at home or at school, is an important way to start the day. Many studies suggest that regular breakfast skippers don't optimize their nutrition during the day. And, going without breakfast can lead to poor behavior. Breakfast eaters are more likely to be calmer, less anxious, more focused and learn better. Breakfast also tends to organize children's day, particularly if they eat breakfast at school.

A regular pattern of missing breakfast is likely to lead to not eating all the important nutrients. Breakfast offers an opportunity for children to make up whatever they might not get in the rest of the day, especially if they snack on foods that provide few nutrients and little fiber.

Plan the breakfast or tiffin in ahead keeping in mind:
  • Let the Food Groups Be the Guide. As a rule-of-thumb, make sure lunches include at least three of the MyPyramid Five Food Groups. Pack whole, fresh foods instead of processed foods. For example, fresh fruit instead of fruit snacks.
  • Have Children Buy Milk. Send money to school for children to purchase milk with their lunch instead packing a fruit juice, fruit-drink or soft drink. Research shows that children who drink milk with lunch are more likely to meet their daily calcium needs. Fruit flavored beverages and soft drinks provide calories and few, if any, nutrients. If children bring juice with lunch, make sure it is 100 percent juice. Make sure you pack low-fat cheese or a yogurt in their lunch for a Milk Group serving.
  • Let Children Choose Flavored Milk. Flavored milk has the same nutrients as white milk. Research shows that children who drink flavored milk don't consume more fat or sugar than children who drink only white milk.
  • Serve the Same Foods with a New Twist. Cut cheese into cubes instead of slices or cut apples into circles instead of wedges.
  • Consider Likes and Dislikes. Have your children help you create a list of foods they like for lunch. Take them to the grocery store and ask for lunch box suggestions.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tips to help reduce screen time for your kids

Screentime is the time spent in front of a screen. Anything that has a screen counts towards screentime, like televisions, computers, video games, and even cell phones. The more time that is spent in front of a screen, the less time is spent moving. Time spent watching TV takes time away from reading, playing and being active. Watching a lot fo TV can be bad for children's health and can effect the children's weight.

 The researchers found that children who spent the least amount of time watching television, using the computer, and playing video games had much lower blood pressure levels than those who spent the most time in front of a screen. There are more bad effects of spending more time in front of screen.

Preschoolers with TVs in their bedroom watch an additional 4.8 hours of TV or videos every week.
1 in 4 children under the age of 2 years has a TV in their bedroom.

According to 'The Kaiser Family Foundation':

"American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV."
Tips to Reduce Screen Time
  • Talk to Your Family: Explain to your kids that it's important to sit less and move more in order to stay at a healthy weight. Tell them they’ll also have more energy, and it will help them develop and/or perfect new skills, such as riding a bike or shooting hoops, that could lead to more fun with friends. Tell them you’ll do the same.
  • Set a Good Example: You need to be a good role model and limit your screen time to no more than two hours per day, too. If your kids see you following your own rules, then they’ll be more likely to do the same.
  • Log Screen Time vs. Active Time: Start tracking how much time your family spends in front of a screen, including things like TV- and DVD-watching, playing video games, and using the computer for something other than school or work. Then take a look at how much physical activity they get. That way you’ll get a sense of what changes need to be made. Use the Children's Screen Time Log (230 KB) to do it.
  • Make Screen Time = Active Time: When you do spend time in front of the screen, do something active. Stretch, do yoga and/or lift weights. Or, challenge the family to see who can do the most push-ups, jumping jacks, or leg lifts during TV commercial breaks.  
  • Set Screen Time Limits: Create a house rule that limits screen time to two hours every day. More importantly, enforce the rule.  
  • Create Screen-free Bedrooms: Don’t put a TV or computer in your child's bedroom. Kids who have TVs in their room tend to watch about 1.5 hours more TV a day than those that don’t. Plus, it keeps them in their room instead of spending time with the rest of the family.  
  • Make Meal Time = Family Time: Turn off the TV during meals. Better yet, remove the TV from the eating area if you have one there. Family meals are a good time to talk to each other. Research shows that families who eat together tend to eat more nutritious meals. Make eating together a priority and schedule family meals at least two to three times a week.  
  • Provide Other Options: Watching TV can become a habit, making it easy to forget what else is out there. Give your kids ideas and/or alternatives, such as playing outside, getting a new hobby, or learning a sport. See more tips for getting physically active.
  • Don't Use TV Time as Reward or Punishment: Practices like this make TV seem even more important to children.
  • Understand TV Ads Placements: Seeing snack foods, candy, soda, and fast food on television affects all of us, especially kids. Help your child understand that because it’s on TV—or your favorite TV characters/actors eat or drink it—doesn’t mean a food or drink is good for you. Get your kids to think about why their favorite cartoon character is trying to get them to eat a certain brand of breakfast cereal.
Tips provided by: 'National Heart Lung and Blood Institute'

According to a survey statistics: Children ages 8–18 spend the following amount of time in front of the screen, daily:
  • Approximately 7.5 hours using entertainment media
  • Approximately 4.5 hours watching TV
  • Approximately 1.5 hours on the computer
  • Over an hour playing video games  
These data lie in stark contrast to the 25 minutes per day that children spend reading books.
Today's youth also have the following media in their bedrooms:

More than one–third have a computer, and Internet access
Half have video game players
More than two–thirds have TVs
Those with bedroom TVs spend an hour more in front of the screen than those without TVs
Health experts say screen time at home should be limited to two hours or less a day, unless it’s work- or homework-related. The time we spend in front of the screen could be better spent being more physically active (increasing our ENERGY OUT), and setting a good example for our families.

- Both scary and reassuring. Scary because it makes clear just how little we know about potentially harmful effects of 'tubes' on our brains, but reassuring that someone is finally asking the questions which so desperately need to be answered!"—Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist, Author of Endangered Minds and Failure to Connect

- "Well done.... An outstanding investigative movie that begins to present interesting questions about the true nature of television. It presents many compelling facts and questions about an activity that most people take for granted."—www.turnoffyourtv.com

Useful links and resoruces:


* Reviews of :The Tube: A Film by Peter Entell
* Web MD: “Screen Time Boosts Kids’ Blood Pressure”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Online useful resources for teachers and learning Part-1

I am writing these few posts about online resources (mostly free) for teachers. This series of posts about useful resources would continue till I gather most links to share with you, so subscribe to the blog to get updated posts, so don't miss the upcoming articles.

* The Really Big List of Classroom Management Resources:
Monmouth University graduate students worked hard for whole one week scouring the entire Internet, and this list is many of the best that cyberspace has to offer.

Link: The Really Big List of Classroom Management Resources

* The Really Useful List of Fill-in-the-Blank Web Tools for Teachers and Students:

If you are looking for ways to make good use of the Internet in your classroom then the treasure trove of mostly fill-in-the-blank tools may be just what you need to get started. It includes tools, forms, templates, checklists, and interactive activities that will enable you generate Web sites, lessons, puzzles, rubrics, projects, games and a whole lot more.

10 valiant members of the Monmouth University online course, ED 554 OL Modern Educational Practices, worked night and day to bring you an impressive list of practical tools and resources you might really use in K-12 classrooms.

Link: The Really Useful List of Fill-in-the-Blank Web Tools for Teachers and Students

* Blogging, Web and Wiki Tools: These tools can be used to create blogs, web pages/sites and wikis as well as provide interactivity, RSS feeds, forms web polls, etc through a range of widgets and plugins
Link: Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quotes about learning and education

These quotes are a  reminder for teachers who want to enhance their teaching all the time.
  • The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves.-- Joseph Campbell
  • Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.-- W. B. Yeats
  • The objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.-- Robert Maynard Hutchins
  • There is a brilliant child locked inside every student.-- Marva Collins
  • A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.-- Henry B. Adams
  • Information cannot replace education.-- Earl Kiole
  • We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how.-- Anonymous
  • The kids in our classroom are infinitely more significant than the subject matter we teach.-- Meladee McCarty
  • Teaching is not a profession; it's a passion.-- Unknown
  • Your heart is slightly bigger than the average human heart, but that's because you're a teacher.-- Aaron Bacall
  • Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.-- David M. Burns
  • A professor can never better distinguish himself in his work than by encouraging a clever pupil, for the true discoverers are among them, as comets amongst the stars.-- Linnaeus
  • A teacher effects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.-- Henry Adams
  • Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.-- Mark Twain
  • An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.-- Bill Bernbach
  • Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.-- Aristotle
  • It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.-- Alec Bourne
  • It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-- Aristotle
  • Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten-- B. F. Skinner
  • Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.-- Gail Godwin
  • Education is the best provision for old age.-- Aristotle
  • Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.-- Confucius
  • The mark of a true MBA is that he is often wrong but seldom in doubt.-- Robert Buzzell
  • If I were asked ... to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of Americans ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: To the superiority of their women.-- Alexis de Tocqueville
  • Children need models rather than critics.-- Joseph Joubert
  • The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-trust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciple.--Amos Bronson Alcott
  • It is the responsibility of every adult... to make sure that children hear what we have learned from the lessons of life and to hear over and over that we love them and that they are not alone-- Marian Wright Edelman
  • Education is more than filling a child with facts. It starts with posing questions.-- D.T. Max
  • If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.-- Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in.-- Abraham Lincoln
  • It's okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are our teachers -- they help us to learn.-- John Bradshaw
  • It's not what is poured into a student, but what is planted.--Linda Conway
  • It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.-- Albert Einstein
  • Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner; put yourself in his place so that you may understand… what he learns and the way he understands it.-- Soren Kierkegaard
  • If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.-- Thumper's father (Bambi 1942)
  • A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him.-- James Baldwin
  • That is the difference between good teachers and great teachers: good teachers make the best of a pupil's means; great teachers foresee a pupil's ends.-- Maria Callas
  • A word as to the education of the heart. We don't believe that this can be imparted through books; it can only be imparted through the loving touch of the teacher.-- Cesar Chavez
  • The highest result of education is tolerance.-- Helen Keller
More at: The Really Big List of Education Quotes & Links

Saturday, September 4, 2010

So you want to be a great teacher?

I love to read and bookmark the teaching or learning blogs and whenever I am succeeded to find a site or blog I am happy to share it with my blog readers. Today's blog review is for teachers who love their profession and want to get useful information or suggestions from other experienced teachers to become great teachers.

'So you want to teach' is a teacher's blog who is trying to become a great teacher. Blog is loaded with useful articles. It includes the useful tips and ideas to manage classrooms, dealing with students, how to enhance your teaching etc.

Joel (the blogger) says: 'This blog is different -I strive to keep a personal atmosphere and writing style, while freely transferring practical information in meaningful and positive ways.'

He further says: 'I began teaching band in 2002. Though I had a lot of information, my classes were out of control. I was tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting.

I had had enough. I resigned from my school district right before spring break of my second year and made it my personal mission to learn to be a great teacher.

So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of my quest for educational excellence.'


Popular post section seems quite interesting and valuable for teachers as it includes:
  • Top 5 (Plus 14) Character Traits Of Superior Teachers
  • 9 Reasons To Quit Teaching (And 10 Reasons To Stick)
  • 5 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers
  • Are Classroom Rules Needed?
  • How Do I Keep My Students Quiet?
  • Fun Back to School Activities
  • Habit 2: Classroom Habits
  • New Teacher Survival Kit 
You can start browsing the site by going directly to the popular post titles or just click the 'Start' tab to go for 20 classic articles.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    What are the situations when parents start annoying teachers?

    I am a parent plus teacher and I can judge the situation when parents are not co-operative and make situation annoying for teachers. Parents can help teacheres following the rules and regulation established by the school authorities, as most of the conflicts happen because parents don't care about following it.

    These are situations when parents start annoying teachers and they wished parents wouldn't do:
    Bring their kids to school late
    "When a child is late every day by more than 15 minutes, it takes them out of the routine and ritual of the morning," says Otis Kriegel, a veteran New York City teacher and founder of theK5.com, a website that provides tips for parents of elementary-school-age kids.
    "If a child is struggling in class, either academically or emotionally, this is more detrimental to their success."
    It's also not OK for kids to miss important school days — state tests, curriculum-related field trips and the like, Kriegel says. Also, please get your child back to school when classes resume after vacation (if you have to miss a day, he says, miss the last day before break).
    Fail to stay on top of homework and class communications
    Katje Lehrman, a kindergarten teacher in Los Angeles, urges parents to check their kids' backpacks every day. "Children often use their backpacks the way homeless people use shopping carts," she says. Chances are very good they contain notices, incomplete homework, toys that should stay at home, and other things. I've even found fruit decomposing in a backpack when it started to leak in the closet.
    Have a 'Goldilocks' problem with homework — be too much or too little involved
    Phillip Done, a teacher and the author of "Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind," says homework that's full of mistakes is OK. "If you do it for them and it comes back perfect, the teacher doesn't know what to work on," he says. "Better full of mistakes than perfect."
    Just as you don't want to do your kid's homework, make sure you also encourage and monitor it, says Candice Broom, who's both a parent and a substitute teacher at an international school in Laos. And please, don't ask a teacher to assign more homework. That's just weird (and yes, parents do it).
    Expect the teacher to do more than teach
    Teachers are responsible for a lot of students. They are not responsible for, say, your child's jacket. "I often have parents e-mail or call and ask me to go to the lost and found to find their child's clothing," says Courtney Graham, a San Francisco-area teacher. "I even had a parent leave a message one morning right after school started to ask me to check to be sure her child's shoes weren't too tight, and if they were, to go down to the lost and found and find him a bigger pair to 'borrow.'"
    Abuse e-mail or phone calls
    Phillip Done knows a teacher who received more than 200 e-mails from a parent. Other teachers talk about receiving updates on, say, how many pieces of toast Elmer ate in the morning, and his resulting energy level — that sort of thing. E-mail is for letting the teacher know your child has a doctor's appointment, or that his lunch is in the office, Done says. If you want to talk about concerns you have with your child, make an appointment instead. (And yes, you can use e-mail for that.) Also, new technologies like Facebook are fun, but please don't "friend" the teacher.
    * At our school we teachers offer a consult timing at late evening to discuss learning related matters but it is a very common practice that many parents call us just to know if tomorrow shool is closed or not? (They often don't check the diaries, notices or holiday routines)
    Hijack the morning or afternoon
    Teachers don't have free time right before and after school. They're readying the classroom, planning lessons and doing other vital things. That's not a good time to chat with a teacher about anything. If you need a meeting, or want to talk about something, arrange an appointment.
    Behave badly at birthdays
    Though most parents know not to celebrate their own birthdays in school, sometimes they throw parties for their kids that are disruptive. Julie Rebboah, a former teacher and president of Lightning Bug Learning, wishes parents wouldn't send cakes that need cutting, or jugs of juice that need to be poured. Presents and balloons are for the party at home. "And please don't be mad at me when we can't have a full birthday party at school," she says. "My job is to teach, and the kids are at school to learn."
    Wait until the last minute to ask for assistance
    If your child needs individual tutoring before a test, or has an academic problem that needs to be solved, don't wait until the last minute. Dr. Richard E. Bavaria, Sylvan Learning's senior vice president for education outreach, cringes when he sees that happen. "Any time adults wait to alleviate an academic problem, the child is ill-served," he says. "When you suspect a child is having a problem, get help right away before the child's learning and confidence are affected."
    Believe the worst about a teacher or school
    In his 40 years as an educator, Bavaria has heard his share of crazy rumors — that there's a suspension quota a principal has to fill, or the biology teacher makes kids dissect live frogs. He and other teachers urge parents to assume good intentions on the part of the school.
    Forget who the teacher is serving
    Some parents devour the teacher's time and energy not because their student is in need, but because the parents feel in need of TLC. As warm and wonderful as many teachers are, they are not a parent's support system.
    Putting yourself in teacher's shoes would bring solution to these annoying situations.
    Fortunately, most parents are considerate and understand that teachers are juggling a lot, several teachers told me. In case you've been accidentally annoying, don't fret. You can make up for it.
     
    Sources (with the courtesy of): By 'Martha Brockenbrough'-10 Things Parents Do to Annoy Teachers -MSN 's 'Moms Home Room'

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    A nutrition and health blog from a padriatric nutrition mom -Beyong Parent'

    During writing review for 'preschooler mom' I came across another nice blog 'Beyond Parent' which is from a registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor. Debra has got a Master's Degree in Public Health. Her nutrition specialties include perinatal nutrition, pediatric nutrition, breastfeeding, and food allergies.



    'Beyond Parents' is a parent blog dealing in nutrition and health of children.

    'The goal of Beyond Prenatals is to encourage and empower women to learn more about nutrition during preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood...and to go "beyond" prenatal vitamins in striving to create healthy families.'

    As the blogger is herself a padiatric nutrition specialists it is obvious that you may get useful tips and suggestions regarding child and kid's food, health etc.
    It seems that she is also a working and busy mom, so there are not frequent articles at the blog but the advice and useful information you can get from the blog is worth to check.

    You can also follow her at 'twitter' or get subscription of the blog to get updated post news.

    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    A blog for mothers of preschoolers with tips and resources

    I love to share the resources I find during my browsing the net. It is a pleasure for me to discover good stuff, good blogs with useful tips, and resources. Being an educator at a primary school and dealing with reception stage children (4 years to 5 year old), I am in need of more ideas and tips to adopt for my own classroom. I prefer to bookmark blogs which are created with personal touch and experience. 'Preschool mama' is one of those blogs which I have subscribed to get updates of next articles.

    'Preschool mama'  is a wonderful blog sharing resources for mothers of preschoolers. The blog is created by a former Montessori preschool teacher and mother of a kid.

    What you can find at the blog?
    • Blog has a lot of stuff to help you give your child an edge, enhance his learning and reading skills, and boost self esteem.
    • You can find resources, easy tips and how tos for fun activities and crafts projects. 
    • Get advice on dealing with common preschooler health and nutrition issues.
    • Simple and easy ideas for arts and crafts that combine creativity with a great bonding experience for you and your child.
    • Resources to help with potty training and bed wetting issues, ways to enhance socials skills and encourage independent thinking, and a lot more.
    The blogger says:
    'You’ll find all the stuff that’s worked for me, the well meaning tips that didn’t, and the tricks I wish I’d known when I was raising my son.
    You’ll also find advice, inspiration and motivation for you, the PreSchool Mama, without who this blog wouldn’t exist.'

    Start seaching the sites from 'Best of preschool mama' page where you can find posts covering all the topics essentail for the skill or persoanlity development of your child.

    Note: Unfortunately blog is not being updated since two years, but still there is good stuff at the blog.

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    How we can successfully recycle at school?

    How can we recycle and save our money, resources and environment?
    Teachers can teach their children to reduce resource consumption, reuse where it is possible and utimate result is that there is less wastage and rubbish. We can learn to recycle objects near and around our classroom, and school.

     
    Recycling is only one of the things we can do about waste. It is about the 3Rs -
    1. reduce resource consumption
    2. maximise resource reuse
    3. increase the percentage of waste they recycle
    How we can successfully recycle at school:

     
    Reduce
    • Rather than asking pupils to start a new page for each piece of work, get them to rule off below previous work and continue on the same page.
    • Develop strategies that encourage your children not to throw written work away as soon as they make a mistake.
    • Cut the amount of paper used by your school through greater use of I.C.T., both in lessons and for administration.
    • Cut down on photocopying. Ask yourself whether it is the best way of presenting the information to your class. Would using Powerpoint or an OHP be better? If you do need to photocopy, do it double-sided whenever practical.
    • Is it necessary to print everything that's done in the I.C.T. room out onto paper? And if so, could it be printed double sided?
    • When sending home letters, combine information into one letter rather than sending three separate letters. Ensure that families only get sent one copy and consider whether it is feasible to send information by other means e.g. e-mail.
    • About one fifth by weight of most schools' waste consists of food. If your school has a lot of food waste, could this be because pupils are being given portions that are too big or that they are being given things that they don't want to eat?
    • Talk to the people who do the catering for your school about buying food with less packaging on.
    • Aim towards 'waste-free lunches' for those who bring a packed lunch. Encourage children not to bring more food than they can eat and to use reusable bottles and flasks for drinks instead of individual cartons or cans. They could also be asked to use reusable airtight containers for snacks and packed lunches instead of disposable wrappers.
    • Give careful thought to what is sold in your school tuck shop, both in terms of healthy eating and the amount of waste produced. Reduce the number of crisp packets in your school bin by having crisp-free days and generally limiting the number of packets eaten per child, promoting fruit as a healthier alternative.
    • For parties at Christmas and the end of term, use washable plates and cups instead of disposable ones made from paper and plastic.
    • Save money by sharing infrequently used resources with other nearby schools.
    Reuse
    • Always use both sides of a piece of paper, before you recycle it or throw it away. Make sure that every classroom has a 'scrap' paper tray and put paper that has only been used on one side into this, rather than putting it straight in the bin or sending it off for recycling. The paper can then be used for 'rough work' or at wet playtimes. Another good place for one of these scrap trays is by the photocopier!
    • Reuse items of waste in art work, and use plastic pots for growing seeds, etc. Reuse old paper which cannot be written on any more to make papier mache models or your own recycled paper.
    • Provide children with reusable 'sports bottles' that can be cleaned out and refilled every day.
    • Ask your office staff to reuse envelopes by sticking a label over the old address. This will save money as well as reduce the number of envelopes thrown away.
    • Collect in photocopied worksheets and store them so that they can be used again in subsequent years. This will save you work too!
    • Hold a bring and buy sale to raise money for your school to which people can bring old clothes, toys or books for someone else to buy and reuse.
    • Request that teachers reuse paper when changing classroom displays
    • Make use of rechargeable batteries and refillable print cartridges.
    • More than 80 scrapstores exist throughout the UK to take in scrap materials to be used in work with children. Join your local scrapstore and persuade your 'after school club' to do the same.
    • Don't just throw old school furniture in a skip. Find out if anyone else can make use of it first. Many projects exist to pass unwanted furniture to voluntary groups and people in need and there are also similar schemes for computers.
    • Give old tools from the school workshops to Tools for Self Reliance who can refurbish these before sending them on to developing countries.
    Recycle
    • Not surprisingly, the main material thrown away by schools is paper, which makes up at least quarter of their waste. Contact the recycling officer at your local council and ask them to provide your school with a paper recycling bin or equivalent. Then, set up a system of paper collection from each classroom which can be taken to the main recycling bin at the end of each day or week. Also ask them if they are running a Yellow Woods Challenge so that you can recycle Yellow Pages directories.
    • Set up a composting scheme or a worm composter for food & green waste, including all the staff's tea bags and fruit scraps. Again your local council's recycling officer may be able to help here. In some cases, compost bins can be provided to schools free of charge.
    • If your school has a drinks vending machine, put a bin next to it to collect up old cans for recycling. You can even join schemes which will enable you to make money from these for your school. For more information on these, see 'What your school can do about waste' on the Waste on the Web page of this site.
    • Cardboard milk cartons can also be recycled. Wash them out after use and store them for collection.
    • Encourage your school to buy and use recycled paper and other recycled products. Doing so may mean that in the short term you pay higher prices for some goods but in the long term it will increase demand and lower prices. A number of websites containing information about recycled products are listed on the Waste on the Web page of this site.
    • So remember to reduce, reuse and recycle your waste. It is much better to reduce waste in the first place as then there is less to deal with. Reusing things is the second best option as it saves you buying new things. After you have reduced and reused as much as you can, recycle.
    The last thing that should cross your mind is to throw it in the bin!

     
    Useful links:

     
    * 'Online resources for recycling'

     
    * 'Recycle Zone' a site for schools, children and teachers to help them learn about recycling. It is part of Waste Watch website, located at : www.wastewatch.org.uk

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Which is best age to buy your child a cell phone?

    My son is now 11 plus and sometimes he asks me to buy a cell phone. But I think that parents should be careful about providing this facility to their children. I will buy him a phone for safety reasons,  just to reach him anytime.
    Recently I read a very useful article at 'NY times' about 'When to Buy Your Child a Cellphone' which is full of advice from experts. I am writing only experts of this post, but if you want to read full post, check the source link at the bottom of the post.

    There is no age that suits all children, developmental psychologists and child safety experts say. It depends on the child’s maturity level and need for the phone, and the ability to be responsible for the device — for example, keeping it charged, keeping it on and not losing it. Instead of giving in to the claim that “everyone else has one,” parents should ask why the child needs one, how it will be used and how well the child handles distraction and responsibility.

    “You need to figure out, are your kids capable of following your rules?” about using the phone, said Parry Aftab, executive director of the child advocacy group Wired Safety.
    Ruth Peters, a child psychologist in Clearwater, Fla., said most children were not ready for their own phones until age 11 to 14, when they were in middle school. Often, that is when they begin traveling alone to and from school, or to after-school activities, and may need to call a parent to change activities at the last minute or coordinate rides.

    “Most parents want to give a cellphone to keep them safe, but that ignores the great majority of uses that kids are using cellphones for,” said James P. Steyer, the chief executive of the nonprofit group Common Sense Media, which rates children’s media. He said that with those added features can come addictive behavior, cyberbullying, “sexting” (sending nude photos by text message), cheating in class and, for older teenagers, distracted driving.
    Dr. Peters suggested that parents avoid buying children younger than 13 a phone with a camera and Internet access. “If they don’t have access to it, it’s just cleaner,” she said.

    For children, it is all about social life and wanting to impress peers. The Pew study found that half of 12- to 17-year-olds sent 50 text messages a day and texted their friends more than they talked to them on the phone or even face to face.

    Patricia Greenfield, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who specializes in children’s use of digital media, cautioned that at younger ages, parents might miss out on what was going on with their children because of a cellphone.
    “Kids want the phone so that they can have private communication with their peers,” she said. “You should wait as long as possible, to maintain parent-child communication.”

    Source: When to Buy Your Child a Cellphone
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