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Monday, September 2, 2013

Creative Writing Workshop

Does your child have a lot to say? Do you enjoy listening to his or her expanding thought processes? Is there humor, bewilderment, joy, and creative problem solving in your child’s oral communication?

How about your child’s writing? Do you see the same evolution of thoughts and imagination? Does the language flow drawing you in to his or her world? Or do you feel that your child needs more exposure to share his or her experiences to the larger world through his or her writing?

If that is case, you’ve come to the right site. Here is an opportunity to expand your child’s creative writing skills.

Our Creative Writing Workshop will reinforce the steps involved in the writing process (Brainstorming Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency and Conventions).  Students will practice their creative writing skills in their response to fiction and poetry, and write journal entries on topics of their interest.

At the end of the four day workshop, participants will take home their compiled work along with the materials used to reinforce writing skills.

Dates: The Camp will run for four days from the 29th of September, 2013 to the 2nd of October, 2013.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Venue: Hari Om Vidyalaya, 22nd street, 5th Sector, K.K. Nagar, Chennai-78
Contact Person: Ms. S
Cost per Child: Rs. 1000/

Please email me for the intake form and I will send it out to you. Limited space available

Ms. S

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Is your child 'bored'?

Most of the children I see go from activity to, after care, tuition, coaching class, dance, swimming, tennis, karate...the list is endless. I am always surprised by parents' queries on how to teach their child to occupy himself/herself whenever there is free time.

Free time! What's that? No, that is not the purpose behind this post:)

Once while dropping off my bags at the Left Luggage at Heathrow, I happened to overhear a parent asking the attendant a plethora of questions about security. She was dropping off her sons' expensive video game consoles and such. She gave such a long drawn out explanation of how 'bored' her children were going to be visiting family; how she had to take these along to keep them occupied; and how essential it was that the equipment stay safe...(Yes, she left a lasting impression on me:))

Here's something to think about if your child is bored.

The Science Behind "I'm bored."

Ms. S

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Visiting India--Schedules, Appointments and Such...

I will be in India for the first two weeks of July. I will be visiting Chennai, Erode and Bangalore. There was a longer break between my trips due to physiotherapy. Sending this out as a general post instead of individual emails...please take this as personal notification and email me at to schedule appointments or just to chat:)

Ms. S

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Afraid that your young child may get addicted to play instead of studying?

I realize our lives have changed a lot from the time I was a kid...all the nieghborhood kids used to get together and play for hours every evening. Once we got back we had to catch up with homework and study, but that play time was exhilarating!

I realized the true impact of our rush to prepare our kids to be geniuses or atleast better then the rest when a mom asked me what if her child got addicted to playtime in the park? The child in question was five years old...I reassured her it was the best thing that her child could do at that age.

Before you rush to fill your child's days with hours and hours of direct instruction of skills how about letting them explore in their play? By the way that too is research based...

Click here to read more.

Oh! I will continue the posts on language activities...just getting ready for some interesting workshops:)

Ms. S

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fostering Second Language Development

How do we help our children develop fluency in a second language? 
The first requirement is of course, increased vocabulary. A child needs to know that a big ball can be described as huge, gigantic, humongous, large, giant, or enormous; the synonyms keep increasing with age. He can do that only when we provide him with the opportunity to learn these words. Does that mean we do a drill? No, there are fun ways to increase your child’s vocabulary.

You, the parent, are your child’s first teacher in this as with all other skills. So, talk, play, sing and engage with your child. If English is not your first language, no matter! Do so in your native tongue. A strong foundation in the first language is necessary for the acquisition of a second language.

Read to your child. Children’s books, children’s section of the newspapers, articles of interest are all excellent materials. You can read with your children…and ask them questions that are just beyond the text. If the answers can be found in the text, that is practice/repetition. When the answer is beyond the text, it forces the child to make inferences, understand cause and effect, and feel with (or against) the character. The child has to use known vocabulary words to express himself in new ways (not given in the text). That challenges the child with developing second language skills.

Narrate stories. One of my favorite childhood memories is eating dinner on the terrace with all my cousins during summer vacations. One person was usually assigned the role of ‘teller of tall tales.’ “What does that word mean?” was the most common question as we were from different age groups.

Play descriptive language games. One game I play a lot is as follows: I say “I’m thinking of an animal” and describe three or four moderately tough traits before giving an easy hint. For example, I might say, I’m thinking of an animal…

  • It is a large cat
  • It is carnivorous (a meat eater)
  • It lives in the jungle
  • The babies are called cubs

If the child is unable to identify the animal I’d add more information.
  • It can camouflage well because the body is covered with dark brown/orange strips
  • It is the national animal of India     
This gives me the perfect opportunity to explain the meaning of words like camouflage, carnivorous in context.

More tips to follow...

Ms. S