Created on 2015-07-11 08:13 AM
We have completed one month of teaching and learning this academic year (2015-16) in Hill Blooms. Here are a few of our favorite things to do and remember.
1. Reading and the ability to write without mistakes are our primary targets from class 1 to 5. We must together accomplish that no matter what it takes before they reach class 6. Please talk about that to your child regularly.
2. If you look at the text books in Class 6, it is pretty obvious that those who designed the books expect your child to read and understand straight from the book. In Class 6 (that is age 11) if we continue to teach them questions and answers and get them to score marks by lots of drilling (repeating exercises until the child memorizes) we would be defeating the purpose of those who designed the curriculum. In fact this pattern of expecting children to read and comprehend at age 11-12 is universal.
3. Reading to your children bedtime stories is probably the single biggest support you can give to what we are doing at school. Please do that for 15 minutes every night. It will change your child’s life.
4. From class 3 on wards there is a newspaper reading session in the morning. If we get our children to use that time well, our primary goals will be easily met. We will also have children growing up connected to all that is important in our district, state, nation and the world. If you ask me, newspapers should be made our primary learning tools for all children who can read. Please try to use our newspaper reading time effectively. Talk to them about news and events that they have read to kindle interest in happenings. As much as possible get your children to read Malayalam newspapers. That will help them to relate to events and people close to them, a very important factor in mind development. Hill Blooms is probably the only school in the district that uses the first period of the day to read a newspaper. We are sure the impact of this program is massive. Please continue to support the effort.
5. Please make it a point to read your child’s Handbook daily. Important communication would be missed if this is not done.
6. Note books and workbooks should get regular attention from parents. Teachers here in Hill Blooms will provide you some measurements with the simple instruction that next time the number should change for the better (such as number of mistakes in a chapter of notes that must show a decrease in the next chapter) to see progress on how well writing assignment are being done. Please make sure that you follow them and give compliments to your children on their positive accomplishments.
7. We have Yoga, Karate, Dance classes and regular Physical Training classes conducted as part of the schoolday every day. Every student gets one physical activity period every day. This is an attempt to fight health problems associated with low physical activity among children. Please instruct your child to participate wholeheartedly and follow up on her/his physical achievements. These classes had been running in thousands of schools all over our country and the world for millions of students for hundreds of years and we are yet to see any adverse effects from such activities to the physical, mental or spiritual well being of individuals. Please do not stay away from these classes and deprive your child of their wholesome benefits.
8. There are two kinds of Blooms. Those who speak English well and those who don't. Those who can’t speak English well wind up so only because they don’t practice. They don’t practice because they are confused about its cultural implications. Please ask yourself the question: Is my child being trained to handle two languages fluently important to me and the family? If the answer is YES, instruct your child to practice English at the school. We need your full support to get your child to learn to speak English. Please explain to them that there is scientific evidence to support the fact that bilingual brains have functional advantages compared to single language brains and that is all we are trying to get them to do.
9. Instruct your child not to copy solutions from guides. Children should learn to think. The homework, especially in Maths is to train them to think. All that the Math teacher needs is an assurance that this child has worked on this problem.
10. Avoid tuitions. For a class of 1 hour our children are wasting about 2 hours on travel. They also run the risk of building unwanted friendships. However, there are a few children who need a person to sit near them, control them and give directions while they study. In such cases please introduce that person to the teachers too. Together they can solve the child's problems. Sending them to a tuition class does not really make them good students.
11. Stop permitting children to use cell phones on their own. Daily phone calls at a young age cannot possibly have any positive outcomes.
12. Give them access to internet. But give them access when the entire family is present. Limit Facebook and other social media time to weekends. Never allow children to go to internet cafes for school work. For all projects use reference books such as Year Books and old news papers. Cutting and pasting from internet pages is not required for any project. Our teachers are instructed NOT to give any project work that can only be done using the internet. Those who found it difficult to register and log on to school website for notes may use the username: Blooms6 and password: blnqt6 if they are in class 6. In class 7, username is Blooms7 and password is: blnqt7.......and so on for each class.
More next time.
May the Force go with you always.
Hill Blooms School