Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year - Farewell 2008, Welcome 2009

Wishing all readers 'A very Happy and prosperous new year' - Farewell 2008...Welcome 2009!

Will 2009 be different? You Decide. We saw a lot of changes in 2008. What do you want to Change in 2009? You have the Power! Change begins with us. Join and spread the message of Love, faith, peace and unity among human beings.

Make Resolutions and make them firm. Build the Arks for Future....

Watch the video and the message is clear...We all need a Change in 2009! Stay tuned, stay connected - spread Peace.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Friday, December 26, 2008

Midnight mass pics - Educate kids and stop child labor

The midnight mass night of 24th December 2008 at St. Xavier's Parish and other Churches in my city had the holy crib making, tree decorations, hymns and bible chapter reads with sermons as to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The sermons were in two languages - English and Gujarati. As the father spoke of Love, peace and happiness, I saw a ray of hope for the children surrounding the Church areas in town who are poor and need to survive. He said, "We see a lot of child labour and it is our duty to help these children to get education. Can we not make this a Project for 2009? Try eliminate povery in our areas and help the needy children." The concerns were spoken in Gujarati with story examples and the same was in English on the big screen where the parishers who were sitting outside the church could see the mass proceedings on the screen. This year, the presence was larger but missed was the Christmas song sung 190 years ago in Austria - Silent Night, Holy Night....Or maybe I missed if it was sung after confessions/prior to start of holy readings. Anyways, you can find the holy night song here with lyrics and music to sing along with links to info on Silent Night song website. Enjoy.

The two pics here for view as I attended the St.Xavier's Parish and clicked on my blackberry. I notice, the black berryberry pics aren't so clear like my iphone. Whereas, the music in blackberry plays much better than the iphone.

Well, Celebrate Christmas with the best dance steps for you as per your sun signs. click to find Why Dance, Etiquettes, DJ tips and what steps are right for you on kidsfreesouls Dance pages. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

The main Alter at St. Xavier's Parish, Ahmedabad
St. Francis Xavier at the entrance

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas - I Believe!

Merry Christmas! As Santa brings bags of goodies, I hope he brings in peace and joy, eradicate poverty, banish hate and spread love, faith, peace and unity among humans - The need of the hour! And sure, we hope Santa brings in economy and environmental changes. Ah, but if only Santa could!

Faith is a light that dispels ignorance and darkness around. Faith is the hope that keeps you surfing on the waves on a sea of storms. Faith is love. Faith is grabbing the magical moments in life. Faith is deciding, daring, challenging and striving to reach the goals. Faith in whom we believe is intimacy & commitment to fulfill service towards mankind. Faith is trusting in tomorrow and dreaming God’s dream of a beautiful world with love, peace and joy to humanity. Like every Christmas, Kids Free souls offers a small prayer for all Kids FS Readers on this Christmas page and Here's I Believe:

I Believe!
I believe for every drop of rain that falls, A flower grows...
I believeI believe A candle glows....
I believeI believe For anyone who goes astray,
Someone will come to show the way.I Believe, I believe.
I believe That above the storm, The smallest prayer will still be heard,
I believeI believe That someone in the great somewhere, Hears every word...
I believeEvery time I hear a new born baby cry, or touch a leaf or see the sky,Then I know why.....I believe.

As I attend my midnight mass every year at the St. Xavier's Parish, I look forward for the same and hope you too have a great mass who believe the faith. You can even view online 'Live from Bethlehem' here. Click for Kidsfreesouls Christmas site here. Keep the Faith.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Spiritual Wisdom in Kids and How to Tithe

How do you teach your child to live their Faith? It normally happens that most of the parents do not consider any sort of specific teaching guidelines when it comes to spirituality or keeping faith. Most of the children learn initially by asking simple questions like, "How did the sun come mom?"; "Where do babies come from?" or "Who made the sun, stars, oceans, mountains.." - Parents respond to this curiosity to explain of god's existence and the importance of relationship with god. Children accompany their parents to the church and even join for Sunday reading. They learn by example - when you pray, read your bible or listen to hymns or through illustrative posters and calendars. Helping children to be aware of God, kids just happen to follow the faith - the faith they come to realize! They start getting spiritual to understand God and the existence of the wonder power spirit whom we know as 'God'. This power can nourish and provide them with strength and courage to live a meaningful life and joyful, constructive, productive journey to being a free soul.

Well, How do we teach the child Spiritual Wisdom? And here's guidelines to build the Faith. However, it is also important to teach your child to Give (or call it Tithe, which means giving tenth part of income to church). Like the song we teach our kids, "If you give love, you will receive love - same way, it is important to teach a child to give away their share of things they like to buy like toys, clothes, cassettes. Sometimes, children do not like to share their belongings. However, charity begins at home! So, how do you teach your child to 'Give' (or Tithe)? Here's some simple steps:

1. Begin when children are small: Let them have their piggy banks with different colors. When they are given money, they can opt to place in with a purpose. eg. one for saving, one for spending and the third for charity or tithing to help others.

2. Involve the child : Discuss what you would like to do with the money for tithe and involve the child to decide. If she wants to give to church or temple, or to poor or spend for donating for animals.

3. Teach to organize: It is important to teach a child to be organized. Give them the pocket money or money for birthdays, Christmas, etc. and make it a point to regularly let the child add to the piggy banks. This way, the child will form a habit and remind to save with a feeling that the gift is towards a good cause and it makes him raise his spiritual quotient.

4. Communicate: Talk to children about Causes. Talk with examples, illustrations, whatever. Let the child know how good a cause they are doing by helping others. Teach, "By Giving love, you receive love. God's kindness to other people would be shown through you and your sharing in God's great world will make you a better person."

5. Direct Inner self: Encourage children to be Positive. Recommend good books, inspire with good music. Encourage them to possess Spiritual Atitude that makes a difference. Tell them, God Loves one and all. In good times or bad.

The teachings of most of all the Faiths support the belief that Children are never too small to absorb Spirituality (Moses, oneness). Here's some examples:

Judaism say, "My son, gather instruction from thy youth up, so shalt thou find wisdom till thine old age"

Hinduism say, "Knowledge is riches, what one learns in youth is engraven on stone"

Islam say, "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave"

Buddhism say, "He who, even as a young student, applies himself to the doctrine of truth brightens up this world like the moon set free from the clouds"

Well, Here's Online Bible Radio and you can listen one year MP3 Bible. L ike the preachings of Gita and the shlokes recites makes the surroundings holier, I feel the Bible readings are holier and daily messages to digest with chapter readings. This one year Bible reading Blog makes you read Bible in a year. I feel the Faith Gems by Robert Schuller are the best I ever come across and Daily Bread that's so much easier too. Here's Christmas Pages on Kidsfreesouls. I've added Bible stories a day especially for those who love to read the Bible stories to children. Here's an earlier Christmas newsletter too. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Read More in Parenting In : Guardian of Angels Book

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Imagine Peace! Lessons on Anti Terrorism and Peace

Happy Holidays! Christmas time and it brings a holy of faith, peace and happiness. Imagine, how peaceful minds can inspire the young who can bring peace in our lives in the coming future?
Peace is at every door step - It only takes a fraction of a second to spread peace. You may wonder, How can we do this? As teachers and parents, we often miss on the little details of real life. So, here's a Lesson Plan on Peace. Say cheese, begin with a smile and Imagine, I hope you will join Kidsfreesouls Mission and someday, we can share the world and be as One.

Terrorism like 9/11 and 26/11 with more round the world has made children quite anxious and inquisitive to the Who, what, when, where, why - such things are happening. We may not be able to provide many of these answers but we have our moral duty to make the children understand Terrorism like any other calamities namely, Earthquake or Environmental changes. So many times, parents or even teachers do not respond to the small yet big questions of children. They half heartedly listen as they are occupied with other things. You see but you don't look or pay heed, you listen but don't hear, you may answer but brush off! Children are our future and peace need to be their existence in time of situations like war, terror, threat to nations or any natural or man made calamities.

Here is a Peace Lesson on Kidsfreesouls with Anti Terrorism Lesson Plans and Articles that you may find interesting, useful read. John Lennon was killed on 8th December 1980 and you can find his wonderful message on Peace here with video and song lyrics too.

Here is Action call:

Action Call:

>Promote peace
>Protect children rights
>Keep Kids safe & away from Guns (Even Toy Guns)
>Restrict Television viewing
>Avoid Movies on war and violence
>Talk and Read stories of courage, hope and strength
>Communicate & Spread awareness

We need to communicate, Discuss, maintain a routine, Develop Self control and build confidence, Educate (Read in detail here)

The recent terror attacks in Mumbai had been telecasted on all TV channels repeatedly with kids watching the gruesome inhuman acts live. It is during this situation, we need to switch off the television in front of these children and even educate the child and provide guidance. It's time to stop crime and stop kids from negative influence.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Educator Links

St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) Death (feast) Day: 6th December
It's been a delightful visit for me to Vallabh Vidhyanagar recently. It was an Industrial visit to Elecon Engineering, Milcent and other units with the GCCI delegate as a Business women's committee member. We even had a round table discussion on 'Recession' with the VV Industries Association members. The experience for me is unforgettable but more on this later, as I have some special links to mention here.

The first is, the Network Student Video explaining the use of Google notebook, doc, Scholar and Google reader in a classroom. Next is, Social Media in Plain English - a Commoncraft videos in You Tube Fav Kidsfreesouls Log. You can even read the sub titles of the Social media here which is a story that illustrates forces shaping the social media.

I agree, Social Media maybe the next buzz thing. Though, Social media is getting too favorites with students here, the buzz goes around chit-chatting and socializing only. Students at the foreign classroom discuss the classroom assignments on the wall on how they cope up writing the essays. There is a need to use the tools and grab opportunities to interact with people who care. Children can be a lot creative, use the tools like the blogger, twitter, you tube, picasa, etc. and convey, interact, invent or share - book reads, reviews, ideas, music, news, whatever. What we need is to Educate. Cyber Safety is a prime concern but if children are taught to be more Focused and educated to use the Social media, networking becomes a learning process and more enjoyable too.

Well, here is Google Educators Group with Larry Ferlazzo's Best List and I am sure, this will be helpful to many teachers and parents as well. What makes it so interesting is the Lesson Plan Link to Mumbai Terrorism Lesson Plan to educate children on such man made disaster events - the W's of Who, what, when, where, and why such things happen and check their EQ's (Emotional Quotient) as to what their reaction could be, how they felt or what would be their action plan if they are fixed in such situation.

Btw, December is a holy month and as we all love Santa Claus, here's St. Nicholas Day on 6th December - Find more in Kidsfreesouls Christmas pages. You can also find great resource links on Larry's site on Christmas, Hanullah and Kwanzaa.

All religions and the curriculum in the classrooms focus on cultural learning but more is a reason to Keep the Faith and believe in a super power whom we call 'God'. And to follow the message of Humanity, Kidsfreesouls spreads the message of love, faith, peace and unity among Human beings - Join my site and "Show you care, spread PEACE." Just click to Join the site. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Computer Literacy and Kids Projects 'Can Kids Teach Themselves'

Kidsfreesouls Projects every year have December 2 as the World Computer Literacy Day and children/parents are made aware of the use of Computers. Kidsfreesouls readers can peek-a-boo here for the December Project and sure, it's all about technology we need to be aware of and make the kids use computers in a right manner. Explore the sections and you may create your own ideas on how to use kidsfreesouls/any other websites in classrooms. I think, teachers need to model effective use of technology in the classroom - get aware and 'Teach with the Times' and know 'Is Computing Safe for Kids?' (my two articles in Guardian of Angels). Parents and teachers want their kids to use computers, even feel the pride that their children are using it but they really don't get to know much of it. Children can now be teachers as well when it comes to teaching computers when parents/teachers fail to know much. Here's a wonderful 10 things we need to unlearn. Very true, these technologies will make harder for old voice of Education to survive.

Btw, here's a site with interesting note on classroom implications. Can kids learn computing themselves? And do teachers look for opportunities to leverage unstructured success into more structured academic success? One do need to rethink technology standards. Here's Sugata Mitra on 'Can Kids Teach Themselves' - a very interesting research that part of primary education can happen on it's own as Children can self organize and learn sometimes with minimum interference of the teacher. Here's a video /also here, that says all.

What I believe is, the Mari Montessori method need to be re-examined as children learn from errors, experiments and by sharing their experiences with other classmates. Children are more tech smart as they share their computer skills even with their parents and teachers while they learn how to compute better and teach them in turn too.

You can also find a video here by Jackie Halaw on 3 steps for 21st Century Learning. Tips for a Transformable changes in Technology Education.

As technology makes a shift, one wonders "Is computing safe for kids" - Adults need not pry but be cautious to what kids are surfing on the web. Their safety is a prime concern and as Experts offer new Advice to safety (In Kidsfreesouls Google News here), teach kids on cyber safety with the chat etiquettes, email etiquettes and above all, how to go about social networking or game sites online as they will be exploring these areas as even their friends are doing so. Here is a Byte Crime Booklet "Mind what you do Online". You can even download the Tip Sheets. What every child on net needs to know is "You are Watched".

Kidsfreesouls Computing section is tech related Computing and kids here which you may find useful. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Never too Late! World Aids Day

World Aids Day was on December 1 to Make a Difference, Shine a Light on HIV/Aids. Stop the Virus. It's Never Late! Kidsfreesouls lighted the 14185th Light to Fight two year ago. Earlier, it was 246669th light of out of the candles lighted on this website which is Bristol-Myers Squibb Initiative in co-operation with the National Aids Fund. Last Year, the Kidsfreesouls Light is 6837th light to support the initiative. This year, Kidsfreesouls lighted 7483rd light to support Stop Aids campaign. It's never too late! You can also Light & Support to Add your Light to the Fight. You can read or share your stories on HIV here, tell a friend or sign up for a newsletter too.

There's a light at the end of a dark tunnel and that's Aids Epidemic. Bring Aids out of the darkness and spread awareness - Stop to Think, Stop Aids, spread awareness - Beware, Be aware and break the darkness cyle of poverty and disease. Share your light. Create your own and Send your message to a friends here.

Every ten minutes, one American is infected with Aids and approximately 300,000 people infected with HIV do not know it. Women account 1 of 4 diagnosis in the US. You can find more details on the CDC website and WHO Website.

World leaders, from both industrialized and developing countries, have repeatedly made commitments to step up their efforts to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS. Here are some basic facts on HIV and Aids.
In 2007
420,000 children were newly infected with HIV
290,000 children died of AIDS
Children under 15 accounted for 2.1 million of the estimated 33.2 million people living with HIV

Millions of children, adolescents and young people in the path of the pandemic are at risk and in need of protection. AIDS is redefining the very meaning of childhood for millions, depriving children of many of their human rights – of the care, love and affection of their parents; of their teachers and other role models; of education and options for the future; of protection against exploitation and abuse.

The world must act now, urgently and decisively, to ensure that the next generation of children is AIDS-free. And if we are not concerned to the fact, we may end up our children to be the victims of such diseases. Here is a pdf file on Talking to children on Aids(html file generated by google) which may help. As parents and teachers, it is our moral duty to guide children to the right path so that they may not bump on curvy roads to hell.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids