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Showing posts from 2021

Youngest or Oldest in Class? - The Age-Old Dilemma

I was always amongst the youngest in my class, and for some reason, it filled me up with a lot of pride. If you asked me why back then, I had no idea, other than maybe the fact that despite being the youngest, I could outperform my peers academically. After all, we come from the generation when performing well academically was more important than anything else.   This was true however only right up till the time I went to b-school, and realized that my batchmates, who were older and had more experience were by and large more worldly-wise than I was (not true of all for sure, there were batchmates younger still who thrived in the environment). The point is, I eventually reached a stage where I felt that it was important to gain more experience before being thrown at the deep end of something I was potentially unprepared for, and it also gave me the chance to introspect what I had missed out during my earlier journey. For instance, while I was a good student, I missed out on a lot of e

Pushing Children Beyond Their Comfort Zone - Striking the Right Balance

My mother, who is also my partner at work (this may seem odd, but we do complement each other in our skillsets, this makes us a good team), takes some of the batches in our online homeschooling in India program. These are live and interactive sessions, where parent and child attend together and are part of small groups of children for guided learning sessions. She also handles communication with the parent body, something we have learned is a very crucial aspect - at times, it is our responsibility to give the right guidance to parents as much as addressing queries which they may have. So two instances happened in the last couple of months, where a concerned parent called us up to tell us that their child was only interested in some of the activities, which seemed more fun in nature, while they tended to either show disinterest, or run away from some of the other activities.  Their query to us had two dimensions -  1. Should the nature of activities be changed? 2. Were we pushing the c

Preschool and Daycare in the Covid Era - Handling Separation Anxiety

A few weeks back we had done a blog post on sending your child to daycare in the Covid era . Today, we go one step ahead in that. A child is the most precious being in any parent's life. Parents spend months preparing for their arrival, and then spend the next few months to years creating the most secure and loving environment for them. However, there comes a day when the child must leave the security of that nest. For some, it happens as early as six to eight months, when they go to daycare, for some, it happens a little later, when they go to preschool. At this stage, every parent and child goes through what is known as separation anxiety. We have witnessed that over the years at Morning Glorie, preschool and daycare in Gurgaon. For any parent, this can be a particularly tense experience, handling it right can lead to a rewarding outcome. Understanding Separation Anxiety First up, it is important to understand why separation anxiety occurs. For this, we need to put ourselves in t

Development of Writing Skills in Toddlers - The Parent's Guide

In a fast-paced world, everything has moved ahead. We are in a constant rush to go places and to achieve goals. This is also reflecting in developmental landmarks among children, writing skills included. At Morning Glorie, playschool in South City 1, Gurgaon, we have had parents of children as young as 2.5 years of age asking us why their child is not showing an interest in writing, and what they can do to encourage the development of this skill.  This is more apparent in our online, homeschooling program, where parents are witnessing growth day in and day out, and are active participants in the early learning journey, for possibly the first time since the concept of preschools popped up. Some important aspects - There is No One Right Age to Learn to Write The ability to write depends upon the development of fine finger motor skills. This depends in part upon the strength in the little fingers. While children around 3 to 3.5 years of age typically develop these skills, a few months eit

Active vs Passive Screen Time for Children

Morning Glorie established as a preschool and daycare in South City 1, Gurgaon almost 10 years back. Like any other institute, we had a core set of philosophies we started out with. One of the most important ones was - Gizmo Free! We have the below given poster on our premises, actively talk about it during admissions counselling, because parents do ask us whether we have smart screens, or whether we show videos or movies to kids in both preschool and daycare. I stand by us being gizmo free for kids when they are coming to us on the physical premises. These children are stepping away from home, and we are being entrusted with their social and emotional development as much as learning, if not more so. We do not need to delegate that task to screens to make our lives easier. An almost 10-year experience also tells us that children do not need screens in preschool or daycare to be engaged in any manner. The toddler age group and older children alike are able to bond over a set of games an

Childcare in the Covid Era - Sending Your Child Back to Daycare

I will choose to define Covid era as anything after 20 March 2020. Morning Glorie, daycare in South City 1, Gurgaon, had its doors open to children till about noon on the 20th, after which our doors were shut as a lockdown was announced. At that point, it was a blow to many parents, I concede. We had parents asking us when daycare was going to open, as they were struggling with childcare along with work - some parents did not have the luxury of being in industries with a work from home option.  Yet, there was nothing we could do at that time - government guidelines and advisories were to keep daycares closed. I should know, I would tweet to the authorities over and and over till they reverted.  Over time, different scenarios panned out. 1. Some parents lost their jobs. 2. Some managed at home with both partners taking turns between childcare and work from home, in addition to managing households. 3. Some families called grandparents over. 4. Some families moved back to their hometowns.

Choosing the Right School for Your Child - Aligning Your Philosophy

A few months ago, we had done a blogpost about  Conventional vs Experiential Learning for Toddlers . We had talked about the difference between conventional learning and experiential learning, and how there could be a more balanced approach which blended the two modes of learning. Today, we take that discussion one step ahead, and share our experiences when it comes to parents choosing a school for their child. This could be at any level - a parent choosing their child's first preschool, or transitioning from preschool to formal schooling. 10 years of being has taught us a lot, as the parent body at Morning Glorie's preschool in Gurgaon applied to formal schools during the admissions season, well for that matter when they came to Morning Glorie too. Some common trends could be observed, and now that we offer homeschooling through our online preschool in India, we find that they are commonly observed everywhere. Rushing to Apply for the Big Names Whichever city you may come acr

Homeschooling for Early Years Learning - The Way Ahead

When the pandemic and lockdown hit us last year in March, preschools and formal schools alike scrambled to put systems in place to ensure that learning and education did not suffer. We had done a post on online preschool in India-pros and cons  to elaborate on the various modes of distance learning, and the pros and cons associated with each mode. Now, almost one whole year has passed since the first announcement of the lockdown. Online learning systems have stabilized where done well, and there is tremendous learning for all three parts of the triad - the child, the parent and the educator. Parents have been active participants in their children's learning, educators have adapted to and thrived in a new mode of learning, and children have proved as always that they can adapt to any situation that is thrown at them. Unlike adults, they are not so rigid in their ways, which works in their favour. Online preschool in India , or even formal online school, has also evolved enough to no

Toddler Milestones - Language Development and the Role of Stories

A while back, we had done a post on Toddler Milestones and Language Development.  In this post, we will more specifically examine the role which stories play at this crucial stage in a toddler's life. Language development can broadly be divided into two parts. Comprehension Language development in children starts with understanding or comprehending what is being communicated, and this starts as early as the fetus stage of life. Children can listen to sounds before they are even born, and they learn to distinguish the different sounds around them in the first couple of months of their life. Over time, they begin to understand the exact message that is being communicated to them through the medium of speech in the language which is being used at home. Which is why children as young as 2 to 3 months and certainly around 6 to 7 months seem to understand what their parents or other caregivers around them are saying. Speech Speech is the next step involved in language development, and ty

Please and Excuse Me as Part of Children's Vocabulary

I completed my primary education from a convent school in a small town. There was tremendous focus on good and polite behavior. I remember learning how to use both please and excuse me as a part of our regular conversation. Excuse me miss, may I drink water please? Excuse me, is this seat taken? Could you pass me the salt please.  Fast forward to today - now, we are the ones in the driver's seat when it comes to raising kids. There seems to be a conscious effort on our part to follow a somewhat different approach from what our parents did raising us. To right what we thought was wrong? To keep up with changing times? Probably a bit of both. However, where does that leave terms like excuse me and please? And how do children use them these days? Excuse Me When it comes to the use of Excuse Me, there are some interesting observations, at least basis my experience with kids over the last ten years at our daycare in South City 1 , and more so now that we have kids coming in not only fro

Story Telling and its Role in Right Brain Development

This is a simple four step story. It is inspired from the Bubbles First Storybook series (which we use extensively at Morning Glorie, preschool in Gurgaon and online preschool in India). It is simple, packed full of values (as we discussed in our earlier post on Stories for Values and Good Habits in Children ), familiar and lots of fun, especially when when we add picture cards (like the ones shown above) or simple props (a monkey puppet, a banana, a plant to depict nature and so on) for visual appeal.  These and many such simple stories form part of our learning program. But take one step further into analysing the story, and go back to the very first sentence of this post. It is a four STEP story - the story is the sum total of the number of steps, and the order that they appear in. When you look at a story in this way, you realise that story telling is an excellent tool to help build recall in children. This helps exercise and activate the right side of the brain - recall is a part

Right Brain Development - What the Hype is All About

In the last few years, one concept which has come up really fast, and appears to have taken deep roots in the early years learning methodologies everywhere, is Right Brain Development. Either your child's preschool is offering it, or your friend's child's school is, or you have heard or read about it in different forums. At our preschool in Gurgaon , we have had parents enquiring on whether we do right brain development activities. So the question is, what is right brain development, and why is there so much of hype surrounding it? The concept actually first came into picture with the work of Nobel laureate Roger Sperry, who discovered that the human brain is made up of two parts - left and right, and that both these parts of the brain handled specific functions. The left side of the brain handles language, facts, processes data at a slower speed, and works on the conscious. The right side of the brain works on the subconscious, handles the sensory, visual and spatial perce

Stories for Values and Good Habits in Children

Do you have a favourite book/series? Have you ever thought about why it is your favourite? Even when the entire story line is not perfect (it can never be), you are drawn to it over and over. You maybe drawn to a different book in different stages of your life, but there may still be some that will remain eternal favourites. If I reflect on my favourite books/series, the main attraction for me has been associating with the characters, figuring out what was best in them, associating with those traits in myself, and trying to emulate those that I thought I didn't have as yet. Hermione was who I thought I was - follow the rules, do everything right, strive to be the best. But Fred amd George had traits I wanted in me - dare to follow your dreams, don't compare yourself with others, it only matters that you are the best version of yourself. Howard Roarke taught me that it is important to have conviction in your own work - it does not matter what others think, so long as you are hap