Families are Beautiful

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It’s nice when the whole family spends time together. You share a special bond between one another that cannot be recreated with anyone else. Father, mother, sister, brother, you all belong to each other in a special way. Each member of the family needs to rely on each other for love, companionship, advice, support and sometimes just to listen. Times aren’t always going to be smooth sailing. A family that is strong in love can make it through the worst of times.
 
In order for a family to work well together, each member needs to give of themselves to one another, without thinking about getting anything in return. This is giving from your heart. If each member were to do this, everyone’s needs would be met and there would be no selfishness in your family, only true love for one another.
 
Sometimes in a family, there can be a fight where it is so bad, that one seperates themself from a member of the family or the entire family for a long period of time. It’s a shame when something like this happens. It can hurt a family really bad. There’s bitterness and pain that winds up leaving a void in one’s heart because they seem to have lost that bond they once had. No matter what happened or how terrible it may have been to cause such a seperation, families need to be reunited. Forgiveness can mend more than one heart. Pride is not worth losing family over.
 
There’s nothing like having dinner together as a family. There’s just something that makes the end of the day more pleasant. Take for instance if you had a bad day or you have a problem that you would like to discuss. Here at the table, you have loved ones that are willing to listen and help you get over your bad day. Nothing like quality time with your family. You have to eat, right? Eat together and spend that time keeping the bond tight and the love flowing.
 
Family time together, whether it would be watching a movie or going to a movie, or a day in the park, or maybe a camping trip(here’s a hint:you could even camp out in your backyard) it’s what you do with the time you have together. There’s many things a family could do together. Sometimes there’s always that one member who doesn’t want to go. If you are that one member, forget about yourself and think of your family. Remember that you are not always going to be living together. The time is going to come when either you are going to be moving out or if your the parent your kids are going to be leaving. Don’t miss out on the time you could be sharing with one another. Quality time together is important.
 
Many households have both parents working. The kids come home from school to a empty house. These days even if everyone is home, you can still be seperated. There are so many electronic gadgets to keep everyone busy by themselves. Let’s see what we have. Cell phones, gaming computers, laptops, ipods, mp3 players, video games, 200 plus channels on T.V., etc., etc. All the things on the web that will keep you busy like blogging, chat rooms, my space, and so on. There are so many things one can do to entertain themselves without the family. Most of these things can be addictive. People can become strangers in their own family.
 
It only takes one family member to get the ball rolling. So if your family is not as tight as it should be, you could be the one to change it. There’s nothing worse than sitting down one day and looking back at the time one missed with their family. You can’t go back and change things. Regret is very painful and it will last you the rest of your life. May God Bless You.

Recreational vs Educational After School Activities

Children in Khorixas, Namibia

Image via Wikipedia

So, your child is beginning to get restless and make you restless. He has got more time than is good for him, and you are now considering after school programs – anything that will keep him busy for a few life-saving hours! Most after school activities can be broadly classified into three – recreational, educational and society-oriented. The last bit usually comes in when your child is already a bit grown up and can voice his own interests.

Educational activities aim at furthering the knowledge of your child. His general awareness, his understanding and his memory are targeted and he is given various techniques that will help him improve one or all of these. Programs such as intensive memory training and speed mathematics are educational after school activities. There are academic programs that will go over your child’s homework and class work and help the child gain more in-depth knowledge in the various subjects. Thus academic programs have a definite edge over the fun and games, especially if parents feel that their child has a lot of catching up to do.

Recreational activities include sports and games, fine arts, painting etc. The main thrust here is to have fun. Of course, classes become more competitive as the child climbs up the ladder. Many sport events, competitions, stage performances etc are held to encourage the child.

When we compare the merits of the two kinds of activities, I believe that the recreational programs have more meat. Firstly, children do not enjoy learning unless they themselves feel curious about something. Most academic programs are standardized courses that are not too flexible. They have a general purpose and a well laid out methodology. After a number of hours at school, the child may feel bored. Further study may overwhelm him and make him feel frustrated. Burnout is very much a possibility here.

Recreational programs provide a welcome break from the monotony of learning and studies. The mental challenge and the physical exertion make the child feel a renewed zest and a pleasant sense of fulfillment. Group activity teaches him social skills, discipline and patience. It is a proven fact that children involved in extra curricular activities get better grades than others. Sometimes closing the textbooks and playing a game may be the best way to handle your studies.

Whatever program you choose for your child, regular evaluation is the key to success. You will have to measure the child’s progress. If progress is unsatisfactory, shift your child out of the program. The child should also have the freedom to reject an activity if and when he feels bored with it. Generally, programs that combine the educational with the recreational are best suited especially for younger children. This way, children can have fun while they learn.

Educational Toys – Do They Help?

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Most parents complain that their child does not concentrate on his/her academic pursuits, but instead whiles away the time, playing with toys. For such parents, and for all others, educational toys have come like a breath of fresh air and a ray of hope.

Purpose

As the name suggest, the purpose of educational toys, is to educate. They essentially make learning fun, and have helped many a child to grasp the basics of various subjects. Over a period of time, many teachers, education experts have also started prescribing the use of educational toys to increase the intellectual ability of the child.

Developing a child’s abilities

Educational toys are instrumental in developing the child, both emotionally, physically, as well as, intellectually. While buying an educational toy, you must take into consideration the age of the child.

For example, a baby needs an educational toy that will help it grasp concepts like stimulation and hand-eye coordination etc, toddlers might just enjoy toys that will help them indulge in various activities etc, older children need a different set of educational toys.

Target the area of development of a child, and buy a toy accordingly.

Stimulation of creativity

Educational toys also stimulate the creative pursuit of a child. There are many such toys available in the market that help a child learn the basic of drawing, crafts, or any other creative activity.

Look for toys that will give wings to the imagination of a child. In the modern world, be wary of toys that, in the guise of education, focus on the play, and not practical education. The best toys are those that make a child think and perform accordingly.

They get rid of stress

All toys de-stress children. However, these toys go one step further and not only entertain, but also mold the psychological tendencies of the child. This means that they positively affect the core of the stressful condition and try to eliminate it.

Again, at the same time, they assist the mental development of the child.

Enjoy the learning process

Such toys are getting increasingly popular because they are vibrant mix of entertainment and learning. Children get tired of studying and learning, more so, when they are forced to do the same.

With educational toys, children might never realize that they are actually gaining some valuable learning lessons from the use of educational toys. They will learn, but in a way that is natural and thus they will understand the concepts in a better way.

Educational toys make learning fun.

Building knowledge and interest

One of the most important benefits of using educational toys is that they increase the knowledge base of the children. More importantly there are various curriculum based educational toys that are specially designed to cater to particular subjects, such as science, mathematics, language etc.

If such educational toys are used at a very young age, they help in piquing the interest of the children in the subjects that they might study after a few years.

Increasing intelligence

As a general course of occurrence, educational toys also increase the general level of intelligence in a child. This is because they make a child think and then perform.

In most educational toys, there is a set of instructions that a child has to follow. This also teaches the child a certain level of discipline.

Cognition

Many of the educational toys cater to the needs of children, who have not yet started kindergarten, focus on developing their cognitive skills.  There are toys that focus on the use of fine motor skills, in a child, before kindergarten.

This helps a child, to effectively help in learning how to hold a pencil and to write with it.

Helps specially challenged children

Educational toys help people with either physical or mental disability to grasp the basics of various day to day activities, which they might otherwise not be able to learn. Even at the classroom level, many teachers use educational toys to explain various subjects to disabled children.

Many a dyslexic child has learnt how to read and write through the use of various educational toys that are designed specially for their use.

Increases dexterity

Not only do they help in increasing mental dexterity, but physical dexterity as well. This is important for people who have learning difficulties or are suffering from conditions like autism etc.

Such toys, help in problem solving and at times, are so effective that even specially challenged children, learn to read better, get good test scores, and think faster then they would have done if traditional methods of teaching had been used.

Extensible toys

There are quite a few educational toys, available that have an extensible nature. Meaning, a child can use them through various stages of his/her development. Throughout this time, the toy does not lose its inherent educational value and the child can learn something new from it all the time.

All, this answers the question in our topic. Yes, educational toys are useful and will continue to be an integral part of the educational process of a child.