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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Incorporating creativity in your child’s learning….

Recently when a mother of a 4-year-old child visited us from the United States of America she had a chance to look at my 4-year-old daughter’s homework. She was astonished at the amount of work they are required to do and the fast pace at which they study in India.

In India, because the life being so hard, many look at education as the only way out to pull themselves out of poverty or towards prosperity. Many families do not encourage children to engage in any kind of extra-curricular activities but spend time with books. Parents consider a teacher to be substandard if they don’t give the children good amount of homework.

I am all for encouraging our children to study but unfortunately the model of education in India depends heavily on memorization, repetition and recitation which can make learning boring for the child and eventually can make the child less interested to continue with schooling. Obviously we cannot expect the teacher who may be managing a class of 40 to 50 children to promote creativity but we as parents can promote creativity to promote learning. Underlying principle of creativity must be to include as many stimuli as you possibly can (such as visual, auditory, tactile, and thermal etc) with play. If you ever get stuck of not knowing how to teach something that your child may have asked, simply log on to the Internet to do search to learn. Your child might think Mom/ Dad is very smart because they know everything.

Try the following:

Do something hands on for example paper crafts to learn an underlying principle of physics.

For young children, use different kinds of home objects such as small broomsticks, small stones, and marbles to teach addition and subtraction instead of using fingers and toes.

Give plenty of breaks during homework, as their concentration level is very short.

Go on tours to places that have educational value.

Ask open-ended questions to promote imagination (for example instead of saying “Would like to go to see Taj Mahal”? you can ask “What would you like to do when we go to Taj Mahal”?)

Buy books that children can read by themselves to learn something new (such as plants, behavior of animals, and people etc)

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Ruby

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