Thursday, September 05, 2013

Patience and time - Kidsfreesouls and Teachers Day

The newly designed website of Kidsfreesouls is online now. However, I still have a lot of work to be done with Book Reviews, Gujarat worksheets and most important - Moms zone.

It is said, Patience and Time do more than strength and passion. And I am walking with Time and patience is always needed when one works for Kids with a passion to learn and teach.

Being Teachers' Day today, here's the link to Teacher Contributions and articles by teachers. I am sure, you will find this useful as much as I do. These articles had once appeared in print Sambhaav newspapers.

The above pic is of N R School's annual function and you can see me giving a medal to a child as the Principal Ms Rita Baker looks on in admiration. Kids are so close to my heart since years - even before I wrote the book on parenting (Guardian of Angels).

Well, the blog is yet to be set to routine and as I write more, stay connected.

- ilaxi 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Moby Dick

Some time ago, a Moby Dick Doodle appeared on Google. And it was awesome ! Remembering Literature reads is ever so much exciting. 

Many of us have studied this book as a supplementary read. The book had been somewhat an adventure but also a serious learning at times. However, what is so good about learning Supplementary reading is using the Language as a tool of thought, the usage of grammar skills and answering tactics.

Moby Dick has been one of the great novels in Literature. The story of the hunt for Moby Dick, a fierce white whale supposedly known to sailors. Captain Ahab, the captain of the whaling ship Pequod who lost a leg in an earlier battle with Moby Dick, and is determined to catch the whale. Born of 1st August, 1819,Herman Melville is the author of this brilliant novel that describes the dangerous and often violent life on a whaling ship and contains information the the whaling industry and nature of whales. Moby Dick is a deeply symbolic story. However, often ignored or misunderstood by critics and readers but later on, this American Author was finally recognized as a genius and his reputation spread throughout the world. Many of Herman Melville's works are literary creations of a high order - blending fact, fiction, adventure and subtle symbolism. Melville's wealth of personal experience in far away places was remarkable even in the footloose and exploring world of the 1800s. He brought vivid imagination, philosophy and American English touch.

Pip the Sailor had ever been my fav and so, when it comes to seas and ships or the like - ever it's adventure and no wonder, Moby Dick is a good read.

- ilaxi patel

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hello Day - 21st November

Hello...November 21, 2012 is the 39th annual World Hello Day. Say hello to at least ten people on the day. By greeting others, the message is for personal communication to preserve peace. The event began in 1973 by Brian and Michael McCormack in response to the Yom Kippur War. Since then World Hello Day has been observed by people in 180 countries.

HELLO" – When we say this five lettered word, it’s the sound that makes a big difference. The voice is the power within you, the inner reflection of your soul. Voice has a special depth of thoughts and can influence your whole life as well as others.

Psychologists say, first impressions are correct 67% of the time. Touch the heart of the listener and they'll barely notice if your voice is less than mellifluous or if your hand gestures are a little too choppy. Monotonous speaker loses touch with her essential enthusiasm. A humorless speaker temporary lose touch with her essential joy and becomes a bore whereas a theoretical speaker lose touch with her humanity and reality. One need to be in perfect sync with the audience or a listener. Flat, forgettable and monotonous voice are no more the choice of listeners. The sound of your voice should arouse emotion, feelings and gut level reactions in other people. Positive voice influence makes a big difference. Never underestimate the power of your voice. People judge you by the way you speak! The tone of your voice is often revealing. 55% of the message is revealed with facial expressions, body language and gestures and 38% of the message reduce effectiveness due to flat or distracting, annoying and boring. 7% only counts for content deliverance. This is as per the research of UCLA study conducted by Dr. Albert Mehrabian. Distracting words are often those spoken 'like' - 'ummm' - 'aaah' - 'I mean' - the slang! 'Whatever' often is taken granted as the conversation is abrupt or put to end. This catch phrase makes the speaker sound as if she is shrugging off the conversation and discontinue the talk. A rudeness, verbal slang showing lack of interest. Yet people do go for such words and in sense, this is even taken as 'style' of speaking. A pause is the best option to correct this while speaking. A pause adds power and impact to the listener.
Quick tips: 

1. Warm up and use the power of your mind to shape your voice. entice, motivate and inspire.
2. Evaluate your voice with the tempo, rhythm and proper adjustments of vocal patterns and rate of speech. and avoid pronunciation and usage mistakes. These are the most common bloopers which tend to create a bad impression.
3. Banish non words that has verbal viruses and speak more smoothly.
(More on Hello Day)

When you say ‘Hello’ the sound is like tinkling bell. If you observe people talking, you can find the characteristics of the person which can master you with ‘mind reading’. Voice can get you hired or fired or promoted too. A voice can make friends or foes. A voice bring love back into your life and a voice can make your work loads lighter when you are on heights of your job and the work stress is higher.

Remembering Lionel Richie's song 'Hello' and I am sure, you will love to listen this song this day! (Watch below)

- ilaxi patel

Send Hello Card to at least to 10 people, including me:-) (

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Facebook rolls great features for Children - I would like this photo removed because....

No more Bullying on FB ! Facebook rolls great features for Children - I would like this photo removed because....

Facebook introduced its Social Resolution — tools built into a number of Facebook products to help kids deal with bullying on their own on the site. These tools include a “report/remove” option on photos that walks kids through the motions of asking a friend to take an embarrassing picture down. 

Facebook has rolled out new features specifically for 13 and 14 year olds that help craft a message to friends when they’d like a photo taken down. You can click “report or remove tag” then “I would like this photo removed form Facebook because:” and then Facebook asks you to fill in a reason before you go on to the next screen. If you click, for instance, “I don’t like this photo,” it will ask you whether it’s a bad photo, embarrassing, shows inappropriate behavior, is offensive, or other. Then a message is written based on your answers for you to send to the “bully.”

Read on & BullyingTeen Safety

- ilaxi patel
Author of Guardian of Angels 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Resources for Kids - Great links

Plenty of Kids Resources are available Online. However, at Kidsfreesoulshere are some great Websites for Kids that I have come across. In fact, I have picked some Interesting websites and will be adding more from time to time.

Social networking sites are sometimes great concern for Kids privacy. Parental guidance becomes a choice for kids who follow the chosen sites for their online surfing. It is always not necessary to log to social networking site but together exploring kids sites is just fun and finding fruitful experience.

My recent observations with children who are active on Facebook and the parental concern who complain about their child's activity on web, call for Privacy matters that matter the most! Facebook is a great place for having fun time but at the same time, kids get into gossip with friends on chat. Though Facebook offers most extensive privacy control settings, it's suggested to focus on critical areas. Another unsafe approach of the kids is 'email accounts' and even getting deeper into playing games on certain games for kids websites. 

A parental guidance is required for younger children who even surf through the back doors of their rooms and even clubs. A helping hand and practical advice given to children make them understand and they choose Google and other search engines to find the sites for their fun and school projects. Sites that have Kids links and resources are too helpful here and should be explored. 

While you surf Kidsfreesouls Pages, find Resources for Kids and you will love to come back again for more. I have some hand-picked websites and will be adding more from time to time. 

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Living Green - Story Project for Kids

Stories and they are fun - imaginative and leading to a fantasy world. "Once upon a time"....and "Happily ever after..." are the happy lines to begin and end. When kids come to the class, they pick up the colorful books and end up reading stories, comics and jokes. Later, they make their Book Journals and jot down all the fancy stories they've read. When encouraged, they narrate the stories in the language they know with the innocent gestures and start flaunting their ignorance and jumble up their own story sometimes.

Each generation has it's own charm. The tech savvy kids of today are no more confined to books nor they love to get engrossed in reading. The concentration breaks after several minutes and they opt for talks preferably willing to connect to you tube and watch a song or talk about facebook. Their thoughts have drifted more to visuals which is more preferred choice of most of the kids today. Television viewing is now shared with time accommodated for facebook and viewing their interesting videos online.

Kids at Swagat engage into Story Project every year during summer or when November Book Month is celebrated. This year, the Story Project is with a difference as Kids will explore their favorite video songs and video stories online. I am sure, you've visited the Fairyland Pages on Kidsfreesouls with Stories by Artie Knapp. Many kids have done the Story Project with Artie's stories. Here's how it goes:

1. Read the stories at Fairyland.
2. Also can read the stories at Stories with Grammar
3. Take a full size Scrap book/Drawing book.
4. Print a story sheet of Artie stories/grammar stories
5. Collect some stickers/story characters
6. In the Drawing book, make a colorful page with title 'Story Project'
7. Inside, write down 'Story Board' mentioning all the stories read.
8. Read the Artie/grammar story and paste the print out.
9. Draw and color the cover image of Artie Knapp's story that you've selected
10. Write the review and mention why you like/dislike the story and moral of the story. eg. There's a crocodile in the Pickle Jar story.
11. Paste stickers of the story characters
12. Mention guidelines from 'How to write a story' and try to write a para or two using imagination
13. Watch a story videos online. The one story video used by Swagat is "Living Green - A turtle's quest for a cleaner Planet"
14. Conclusion - Mention why Reading is important for all.
15. Credits - Thanks for the help while making the Project.

Artie's stories are favorite reads online and great picks for the Story Project. For the visuals, watch the story videos online - "Living Green - A turtle's quest for a cleaner Planet" Artie Knapp’s children’s book Living Green: A Turtle’s Quest for a Cleaner Planet is now available as a free video for kids through A shortlist finalist for the national 2012 Green Earth Book Award, Thurman the turtle is tired of seeing the land he loves cluttered with trash and decides to take action.

 "Living Green - A turtle's quest for a cleaner Planet" :Click here to watch through a direct link. 
Story telling is a gateway to the heart. When kids read, they sometimes fail to understand but when stories are told, they eagerly love to listen and drift their tiny minds to float to imaginative world. Stories influence the child and they learn the Moral Values . Read the stories aloud to kids and also find the trouble shooting areas on their reading habits. Make them read, write reviews, know the moral and find what part they like best and why.

Fairy land Stories Stories with Grammar Comprehension stories | Fairy Quiz

Finally, if you're happy reading this blog post and visiting, please do follow the NIE Tips on How to use Kidsfreesouls in classrooms. A special Certificate for being a Reading Member of Kidsfreesouls awaits just for "You"- Most Valuable Reader -Download and print here:-)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Struggle within - Homework Hassles

Homework Hassles - The heck with tutions! School performance problems are barriers for growth and a stiff competition for many students. Homework can be the most frustrating problem for many students and parents. Stress makes way with parental interference, herd mentality and lack of school teaching techniques.

Too much of 'Involvement' of parents becomes 'Interference' - Helping kids to cope up becomes confronting and the child sooner or later becomes irresponsible if things are more managed by Parents. Most of time, we find parental influence with words like, "Have you finish..."Don't make spelling mistakes and forget to...", "When are you going to finish English (other subjects)...?" Maths and Science homework is done and there goes a round for other subjects with a nag around storming of words. On the other hand, parents go wild when the child keep saying,"Let me finish my Cartoon....Only ten minutes mom" or "I want to play now...will do my homework after dinner" - Excuses and they end up failing to complete their Homework or learn and follow up lessons !

Kids are smart but I gather Teenagers are Clever ! I've heard students saying, "I lost my book," "I forgot..." and "My stomach is paining" - Finally, comes Homework with tears or the report card comes with horrible grades. The need of the hour is, Children need to understand their responsibility and be accountable for their own work. Often, parents do their small chores like arranging their wardrobe, packing their school bag, etc.

The other day, while standing in my balcony, I spotted a mom carrying the bag of a 7th grade child and she happily hopped beside her excitedly talking and laughing. No, I didn't like the idea of a mom carrying the school bag every day while the child came home from school! The child isn't tired but she's not being made responsible for her attitude. Some time ago, I asked for a scrap book and the child answered, "My mom did not give me the book and the Worksheet file is also at home" - I wonder, why can't parents make Children more responsible for their work! Why the spoon feeding out of love which has negative effect?

In my class, I asked students about their routines after school. I found, children are almost stressed with activities and homework. Moreover, TV and FB - the craze is endless watching and hanging around at Facebook. Parents come and say, "She does not sit for homework till I sit with her" or "She hides and lie to us" and even moms saying, "So much of school work and than the extra activity class, she hardly gets time so sometimes, I help her with all answers and she finish it - "She's slow in writing, so I write for her.." All sorts of excuses and ways to pamper self and the child, I guess. Some child is going for tuition and so she has to go there too, some children go for music/drawing class, so she has to go there too...A herd mentality and follow for too many extra curricular activities end up stress - to the child and to the mom also.

We believe academic standards are upgraded but rather, it can be said that it is downgraded! Too much of work load, too much of confusion and too many assignments with no proper teaching in classroom. Children are losing their childhood and parents don't want their child to make errors! The more involvement in trying to be good parents, they are more anxious about the mistakes either they or the child might make. So, they entrust huge responsibility to prevent mistakes - socially, recreationally and academically and become more responsible parents. 

Parents need to teach the child to be 'Respectful' to themselves and other adults. To teach a child respect, parents must also expect obedience. This way, the respectful child pays attention in the class, is eager to please teachers and parents, is curious to know things, acquire information, participates, be work oriented, obeys and follow routines, rules and learning.

Parents need to stop hovering, dictating, checking, correcting, signing, protecting, threatening, pleading, promising, bribing and exasperating in the name of homework. Set up a framework of goals, help them to set up their daily routine Time-table. They don't need to orbit around the guests or waste their precious time in front of TV watching cartoons for longer time and TV serials meant for adults are just - No Way! Give the child a sense of value and worth. Teach them the important domestic skills and strengthen their self esteem. Support them, stand by them and follow the Back to School Pages with 15 rules for success to make best of school daysgoals,handwriting and now, Guidelines to Homework Hassles.

Most of the parents have to navigate social, commercial and psychic pressures when children get older and face the teenage issues. Technology also contributes to the erosion of parental authority. Video games or creating their online identities, staying connected is a major concern for parents. Teen Safety is a major issue. To keep the Culture intact is hard and tough raising the children with more Kids having the Power with rising number of parents fighting the tendency to indulge and coddle them

So, stop the struggle - with lessons, with attitudes, with anxieties. Let kids be more responsible, more organized, strive to be perfect and an Achiever. In trying to reach the moon, stars are on the way. 

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids