About Unni Krishnan

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a 'Sword of Honor' from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army. Learnhive (http://www.learnhive.net) is an online learning community of students (K through 12), parents, tutors and educational content creators. Our goal is to enrich the curriculum based learning experience of the students and to make learning more fun and effective.

How to prepare well for your exams?

By Captain Unni Krishnan,

When exams are around the corner, most students slip into studies and start cramming before the day of the exam. Some find it uneasy to follow a time table, some cannot concentrate, some have difficulties in remembering and others feel less confident. To help you cope with all your anxieties. Here are few useful tips that will help you to prepare well for your exams and be confident.

  • Make a revision timetable - Prepare a revision timetable. Try not to be too accurate and plan every minute of the day. This can be stifling and become boring quickly. Instead, make a list of subjects to be revised for that day, and how much time they need.

    Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1109777

  • Do lots of past exam papers - You need to be familiar with what the structure of exam will be, and what sort of questions will be asked. Time your solving of papers.
  • Take breaks – But not too many. One fifteen minute break for every hour of revision is fine, though if you’re younger and using this guide for other exams you’ll probably want shorter breaks more often – ten minute breaks for every half hour.
  • Drink enough water – But put it away from your notes in case you spill it! Refill it at breaks, and don’t drink too much or you’ll need the loo too often.
  • Eat well (Healthy food) – There are foods that boost brainpower – like peanuts, strawberries, banana, milk, dry fruits and fish. Avoid fast food – like pizzas and burgers and pastries that contain trans fats – a big ‘no’ to the brain and memory function.
  • Make time for exercise – It could be swimming or playing basketball or even yoga – coupled with mediation- has been proved to improve concentration.
  • Prioritize your subjects and their various topics to know which ones need the most work.
  • Get proper sleep, because then everything you revised will stay in your mind. Try not to stay up too long.
  • Have a daily routine -   For the basics of every day (this is easier if you have school, but during your leave follow this example-  ’Get up at 7:30, breakfast 7:45, lunch at 1:00, dinner at 6:00, bed at 9:00.’ It will get your body into a good routine for revising and stop you getting tired.
  • Study in a well organized, brightly lit room. Try changing your place of study – like the terrace, balcony, and the like instead of getting locked up only in your room.
  • Own schedule and not group schedule - It’s OK to do collective/group work to help each other, but do not do what they do, if you have English as a priority, and they have Math, do your English.
  • Get help from elders or your seniors who have done the same board exams before.
  • Be positive and confident about your exams.
  • Always be cheerful and learn to enjoy your study time. You don’t have a choice – you have to write your exams – might as well learn to enjoy study time.
  • Don’t be over confident, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Create your own flash cards/ reference notes and refer them everyday. Five minutes with flashcards every day over a long period will be better than six hours cramming of science without breaks or rewards. You could also sum up what you have studied on post it stickers and glue them on your notice boards. When you revise again you just go through only that.
  • Set achievable and small targets- helps motivate you. Never target huge portions – when you don’t finish it, it will make you feel miserable.
  • Record things on to a phone or MP3 and listen to it overnight. That way, you will remember better. Record things you aren’t sure about.
  • Remember to be modest - if you brag about doing a lot of work and end up failing, it will be quite embarrassing.
  • Study everyday!

After Exam tips – Very crucial

  • Don’t create a panic. The work is done now wait for the result.
  • Don’t compare answers with those of other students – this can create negative feelings
  • Don’t rush to your textbooks to check your answers – there is no point at this stage
  • Focus on the next exam and how you might improve your exam technique
  • Have a quick look at your revision plan. See if you need to adjust it?
  • Think positive!

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our vision to become the #1 trusted learning source for you. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is available in computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Click here to signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises) for your children. As a parent you will receive regular progress reports, useful information related learning and educational boards.

How to choose the right school for your child?

By Captain Unni Krishnan,

Today choosing a school is like choosing a car or a house, very subjective. There is no right or wrong choice. Before you decide how to choose a pre school it is important to understand this segment of education.

Pre-school system

Formal education starts at the age of 6. The segment of the school system that

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1066433

addresses students less than 6 years of age is called the pre-school.  The formal process of physically going to school starts at an age around 2 years 9 months upwards.

Kindergarten years are an important time in a child’s total development. Early childhood educators, families and members of the community should work together to provide challenging and engaging learning experiences that will build a child’s confidence, encourage them to continue to see learning as both enjoyable and useful, and provide a strong foundation for their future intellectual, physical, and social development.

Teachers in Kindergarten program must plan whole-class instruction, small-group learning, independent learning, and activities in their environment.

There should also be a balance between teacher-initiated and child-initiated activities – times when the teacher guides the children’s learning and times when children are given opportunities to choose activities to demonstrate their knowledge.

In addition to focusing on developing IQ and EQ, learning activities must develop Social quotient in children. The Pre School education has 2 well-known systems of delivery the Kindergarten and the Montessori.  Kindergarten is a drop down from the conventional system, has a larger leaning towards reading and writing and hence is followed in most regular schools. Montessori is learning by doing method and followed in specialist pre schools.

As there is a re orientation in the education system, some regular schools run both KG and Montessori streams. 

Important guidelines

  • In the KG program while the child must learn to read and write but if the focus is only that, we will miss out a great opportunity to develop young minds.
  • Choose the school, which will suit the development of the child emotionally.
  • Do not worry about how many poems the child has learnt in KG but see how many friends the child has.
  • Gross motor skills; fine motor skills, language skills and number recognitions; all schools do this and all children will learn.
  • Look for a school where your child will enjoy and will like to go.
  • See if the child is learning to share what it has? Is the child learning to appreciate its friend’s achievements?

Let Air condition bus, hot food etc. not be the criteria to select a school.

  • Open play spaces, clean toilets, pleasant staff, are important.
  • It is not the qualification and the accent of the teacher that matters but the concern and care that the teacher has that will make the difference.
  • More than the latest topics, values and morals are important.
  • Above all, it is not enough to choose to a good school but is necessary to partner the school.
  • This does not mean you have to spend time in school monitoring the teachers, have trust in the teacher’s ability as a professional.
  • The child must not get the impression that the school and parents are on opposite sides. They will play one against the other.
  • You can get the best for your child if both are on the same side. Otherwise it will be a blame game.

Quality time spent by parents with a young child must not be limited to intellectual development but at very young ages,

  • A larger amount of time must be spent on social, moral and emotional development-
  • Parents must discuss socially relevant matters, appreciation of peers, other children, sharing etc. these will show affect on the young ones.
  • Today around the world and especially in our country, social awareness is very limited.
  • With nuclear families, children are growing up without concern for others.
  • Language used at home with house help, support staff etc. makes a large impact on children.
  • To expect children not to be exposed to foul language is impractical because it is all around but make them realize that it is unacceptable and must be avoided is essential.

Choosing a school is a very subjective decision and each individual can have different priorities. The best way is to create a list of expectations and prioritize each of them and then give scores each school you visit. Total up all of them before you make your choice.

Questions to ask while selecting a school

  1. Does it follow KG / Montessori or mix?
  2. Is it a part of a chain of schools or a stand alone?
  3. How far is the school from my house (Travel and time involved)?
  4. Do I need school and day Care at one place or can they at different places?
  5. Would I want my child to continue in same school from KG to Grade-12 or do I want a specialist KG school?
  6. How much of emphasis on personal care?
  7. What is the peer group like at school?
  8. How approachable is the management?
  9. How affordable is it?

Rate these on a scale of 1 to 5 or 10 and then make your decision. Anyways this is not a irreversible reaction you can always change the school if things are going out of hand but remember a school is a community and you will never achieve 100% satisfaction anything between 60 to 70 % is great.

Questions or Comments? Write to us!

Do you have any questions or comments related to choosing a school? What has worked for you? Please submit your comments below.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

 

Everything that you wanted to know about CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE, and other international syllabi

By Captain Unni Krishnan,

PS: Welcome to the most definitive guide related to educational boards in India. We thank you for submitting your questions and making this blog one of the most popular blogs. Due to the high volume of questions that are being submitted, we would require you to Register (Click Here) for free at Learnhive before submitting a question. After you sign up, please feel free to submit questions using the form at the end of this blog; Captain will answer them in a timely manner. 

Education in India is very highly dependent on the syllabus offered and most parents choose schools based on the syllabus it offers rather than on the kind of education imparted by the school.

Schools in India offer both Indian and International syllabi some of which are:

  1. NationalCBSE - Central Board of Secondary Education.
  2. ICSE- Indian Certificate of Secondary Education
  3. State Board- Approximately 30 State Boards.
  4. InternationalCambridge University Programs.
  5. IBO Programs and a few others such as – Ontario from Canada, EDEXCEL- From UK.

Why and how CBSE ?

  • Started by the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) with the aim to operate a chain of central schools (Kendriya Vidyalaya) that could cater to government employees who are in transferable jobs that involve mid year movements.
  • A number of private schools have started to offer CBSE since a number of private sector employees are also moving place to place
  • The CBSE Syllabus is very structured, highly predictable and, highly controlled
  • All national entrance examinations are conducted as per this syllabus.
  • A number of changes have been incorporated lately, the prominent decision being to make board examination at the end of Grade -10 optional
  • Board exams conducted:
    •  Grade-10 (Optional )
    •  Grade-12 (Mandatory)

CBSE Question Papers

ICSE – Indian School Certificate Examinations

  • An offshoot of the Cambridge IGCSE that existed during the British regime was taken over by the Anglo Indian Board and is now governed by the  ‘Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations’.
  • Has taken in a lot of structures from the NCERT
  • At Grade-10 as of now is the toughest board examination
  • Almost similar to CBSE in terms of controls, difference being this is quasi Government.
  • Board Exams conducted:
    • ICSE – Grade-10
    • ISC- Grade-12

State Boards

  • Each state has its own variance from the NCERT syllabus and adds up its local flavor. State government predominantly dictates languages taught and medium of instruction.
  • Relatively easy syllabus for board exams.
  • Age is another factor that varies from state to state.
  • As per the new government directive, many state boards have adopted the NCERT syllabus for Math and Science in Grades 11 and 12. This move is aimed at a common entrance examination for Engineering and Medical colleges which is expected soon.
  • Board Exams Conducted:
    • Grade-10.
    • Grade-12 (Also called P U- Pre University).
    • Some states also conduct a Board Exam in Grade-8.

Alternate education

National Open School- Highly suited for students who have Learning difficulties or who are involved in other activities such as Sports at National / International level. Accepted as equal to other streams.

International Education-

  • IBO- Three levels PYP (Primary Years Program -Up to Grade-5), MYP (Middle Years Program – Grade 6 to 10), IB Diploma (Grade 11 and 12). IBO conducts an External Exam only for Diploma; School assesses other programs. Currently there is a plan for introduction of External exam at Grade-10 level (Completion of MYP).
  • Cambridge Program- Currently focused on IGCSE at 9 &10 and A Level at 12 Grade (Also commencing Cambridge Diploma Program at Grade-12).
  •  Biggest advantage of International curriculum is freedom offered in delivery of curriculum.
  • This provides opportunity to school to try innovative approach to help children understand concepts than just follow textbook teaching.
  • Assessments can be differentiated and thus learning can be made fun.

While International syllabi are compatible with higher education in India, the biggest limitation of International Education in India is that, as of today it is offered only in the high-end expensive schools. 

Boards of Secondary & Senior Secondary Education in India

State Board Year of Establishment Administrative Set-up
Andhra Pradesh (i) Andhra Pradesh Board of Secondary  Education, Hyderabad – 500 001 1953 Part of the State Department of Education
(ii) Andhra Pradesh Board of Intermediate Hyderabad – 500 001
http://www.interboardap.nic.in/
1971 Statutory
Assam (i) Assam Board of Secondary Education, Guwahati – 781 021 1962 Statutory
(ii) Assam Higher Secondary Education Council, Guwahati – 781 021 1984 Statutory
Bihar (i) Bihar School Examination Board
Patna 800 017
1952 Statutory
(ii) Bihar Intermediate Education Council,
Patna 800 001.
1980 Statutory
Goa Goa Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education
Goa- 403 521
1975 Statutory
Gujarat Gujarat Secondary Education Board,
Sector 10-B, Gandhi Nagar – 382 043
1960 Statutory
Haryana Haryana Board of Education,
Hansi Road, Bhiwani – 125021
Tel.  91-1664-44171
Fax: 91-1664-41611
1969 Statutory
Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education, Dharamsala-176216. Distt. Kangra. 1969 Statutory
Jammu & Kashmir J&K State Board of School Education, Rehari Colony, Jammu- 180 005 (Nov.– April)
Lalmandi, Srinagar 190 005 (May–Oct.)
1965 Statutory
Karnataka (i) Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Bangalore 560 003 1966 Part of the State Deptt. of Education
(ii) Karnataka Board of the Pre-University Education
Bangalore-560 001
1970 Part of the State Deptt. of Pre-University Education
Kerala Kerala Board of Public Examinations, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 012 1949 Part of the State Deptt. of Education
Maharashtra Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Shivajinagar, Pune 411 010.
Home Page : http://www.mah.nic.in/msec
1966 Statutory
Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education, Bhopal -462 011 1959 Statutory
Manipur (i) Manipur Board of Secondary Education,
Imphal – 795 001
1972 Statutory
(ii) Manipur Council of Higher Secondary Education, Imphal – 795 001 1992 Statutory
Meghalaya Meghalaya Board of School Education, Meghalaya-794 102 1973 Statutory
Mizoram Mizoram Board of School Education
Aizawl-796 012
1976 Statutory
Nagaland Nagaland Board of School Education, Post Box, 98, Kohima -767 001 1974 Statutory
Orissa (i) Orissa Board of Secondary Education, Bajrakabati Road, Cuttack -753 001 1965 Statutory
(ii) Orissa Council of Higher Secondary Education, Bhubaneswar – 75 1955 Statutory
Punjab Punjab School Education Board,
Mohali -160 059
1969 Statutory
Rajasthan Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education,
Ajmer- 305 001
1957 Statutory
Tamil Nadu (i) Tamil Nadu Board of Secondary Education, Department of Govt. Examinations
Chennai- 600 006
1908 Part of the State Deptt. of Education
(ii) Tamil Nadu Board of Higher Secondary Education, College Road,
Chennai-600 006.
1982 Part of the State Deptt. of Education
Tripura Tripura Board of Secondary Education
Agartala, Tripura West -799 006.
1973 Statutory
U.P. U.P. Board of High School & Intermediate Education, Allahabad – 211 001 1922 Autonomous Body under the Deptt. of Education
West Bengal (i) West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, 77/2, Park Street,  Calcutta -700 016 1951 (Reconstituted in 1964) Statutory
(ii) West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education
Calcutta- 700 091
1929 (Reconstituted in 1962 Statutory
All-India Boards (i) Central Board of Secondary Education 2, Community Centre, Shiksha Kendra, Preet Vihar, Delhi- 110 092
Tel.# 91-11-2249602, 2249628
Fax:  91-11-2215826
Home page:  http://www.cbse.nic.in
Autonomous body under the Government of India
(ii) Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, Pragati House, 47/48, Nehru Place,
New Delhi – 110 019.
Home Page : http://www.cisce.org
1958 Registered Society
(iii) National Open School
A-38, Kailash Colony, New Delhi-110 048
Tel.#91-11-6481455,57-59
Fax:#91-11-6211453
Home Page : www.nos.org
1989 Autonomous body under the Government of India

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our vision to become the #1 trusted learning source for you. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is available in computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Click here to signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises) for your children. As a parent you will receive regular progress reports, useful information related learning and educational boards.

PS:  I hope that you found the most definitive guide related to educational boards in India very useful. We thank you for submitting your questions and making this blog one of the most popular blogs. Due to the high volume of questions that are being submitted, we would require you to Register (Click Here) for free at Learnhive before submitting a question. After you sign up, please feel free to submit questions using the form at the end of this blog; Captain will answer them in a timely manner. 

CBSE Question Papers

How to get the awesome results from parent teacher meetings?

By Captain Unni Krishnan,

The days of “Acharya  devo bhava” ( teachers are god) probably no more exist , reasons for this may be many.  The dynamics of  student teacher and in turn parent teacher relationship in this era in our country has a new dimension. To make a positive influence on the child’s development, it is essential that interactions between teacher and parent are productive and positive. We all understand that both parents and teachers aim at the student doing well in life but for the parent the child and probably the siblings or a few children in the neighborhood are the only benchmark and many a time the reaction is more emotional. The teacher has a larger spectrum of children in the class, is more clinical in observation and hence is able to assess more dispassionately.

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/180602

In an exchange of notes, if both are mature and the aim is to not blame the child but help overcome the shortcomings, the result will be very positive. Often it happens that the teacher is critical about the child and immediately, the parent becomes defensive, as a result the communication is more of a confrontation and a fault-finding session commences which does not benefit any one.

Parents and teachers in their discussions must consider themselves to be on the same side that will help them look at the child from the same angle. While it is essential to be positive and motivate children but we must also understand that children have to realize the fact that excellence comes from hard work. If parents negotiate top grades and positions then children will become lazy and shun hard work.

Another important aspect where parents tend to shield children is punishments (of course now schools do not award any physical punishment but limit it to restrictions or notes in student diary), Mistakes are a part of growing up, and every one makes mistakes and gets punished as a correction process.  If children are playing they are bound to have arguments, fall, get hurt, these are natural. So also, children fight and make up but it becomes an issue when it comes up for discussion in parent teacher meetings (many a times it is the children who fight regularly who turn out to be the best of friends).

How to conduct a fruitful Parent Teacher meeting? It would be ideal if both the parent and the teacher prepare on a positive note. Approach the meeting with the intent to listen to the other party rather to put across concerns on their list. Teachers must make notes of the concerns expressed by parents. Teachers along with their concerns must suggest possible remedies. Parents and teachers must consider each other to be on equal footing rather than on a talk down approach.

Most importantly Parents must understand the limitation of the school which functions for a community of students and is not a one on one solution and hence cannot cater to individual needs of each child.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

 About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

5 frequently asked questions about reading answered

By Captain Unni Krishnan,

Reading is a dying habit among the current generation of youth and is a matter of concern. I thought I would highlight the benefits of reading in a Q&A approach with the aim to not only influence a few more people to read but also motivate them to get their children to start reading.

Photo credit: Preethi Vijayaraj

1. How does reading influence a person?

Reading influences a persons speaking and writing abilities and more importantly has a great bearing on the personality as a whole because – Reading improves awareness on varied topics and in any gathering helps interact on a larger spectrum of issues.

2. What is the ideal age to start reading?

Reading is a habit and the earlier you start the better it is. The best way is for a mother to regularly start reading aloud to a little baby and then slowly grow this to sessions where both read together. As a family if you can have reading time that would be ideal. It is never too early nor too late to start reading. Of course it is easier to start reading when you are young and as you grow older you need more push.

3. How does reading benefit?

Some of the long term benefits are if you are person who reads, you will never be bored, as a book is a friend that can always be with you, it builds your self esteem because you are considered a resource person within your group. Reading is an active mental process and it is said that if you are mentally active you can stay away from Alzheimer; well then it is a great incentive.

4. Why should a child take up reading?

Among children reading can be of great help, it helps improve their vocabulary as they are exposed to so many new words and its different usage, it improves their concentration and focus, it improves their memory and above all improves their visualization – when you read a book you visualize a scene your way and when you see a movie you see it depicted as visualized by someone else.

5. Is there an age by when it is too late to start reading?

It is never late to start or improve your reading habit but an important aspect in this regard is to be serious about. Have a schedule or an allotted time every day that must be religiously followed for reading if you can have a common time as a family when everyone is reading then it is the best.

One interesting method suggested is what is called DEAR – which stands for Drop Everything And Read. You can follow this at home or office or anywhere else: set an alarm and whenever the alarm goes off stop whatever you are doing pick up a book and read. You can read for 15 minutes, 30 minutes or even an hour depending on the time you have.  You can even have more than one such slot every day or 2 slots on holidays and Sundays during vacations and so on..  You can add incentives and penalties to it. The options are plenty DEAR can be as creative as you want it to be the aim is to promote reading.

If you have been reading keep doing if not start now. Wishing all of you Happy reading.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

3 ways to help your children learn better and 5 tips to make home work effective

By Captain Unni Krishnan, Founder, Learnhive

Reinforcing learning in our child is something all of us are very keen about.  By virtue of my few years as an educationist and as a parent of a growing boy, I experienced and noted a few interesting ways to help the process of learning including completing school homework which I found quite successful and thought would share.

Tips to help your child learn

1. Teach reading of maps

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/193524

Reading a map is a skill that is of great help and can be made very interesting. Along with your child, try and create a small map of the house and your immediate locality and mark the places the child visits every day. Create interesting signs to depict information and then make a legend of the same. You can mark as much information as possible on the map so that it is used during discussions at home. Now when you get a real map the child will find following the map much easy.

2. Discuss recent purchases

In the next step, take up discussions based on things that are bought and then relate them to their place of origin. For example if you buy a new mobile phone, discuss about the country where it was made, the capital of that country, the language spoken in that country, cities that you know of in that country and so on. These discussions are a wealth of information for the child and will remain with them.

3. Ask requests in writing

Writing is again something which all of us find the new generation to be reluctant about – to improve this, try to get them to write a request for what they want.  Instead of shouting/ punishing them, ask them to write an explanation about why they made the mistake. An apology letter is also a constructive punishment

Tips on making home work effective

  1. Have a regular schedule i.e. Fixed time and place for doing homework.
  2. No TV or radio during home work time.
  3. Try and be with your child during home work time and preferably read/ catch up with your work – it is a great motivation for the child.
  4. Try and get your child to teach you what was done as home work – ‘you learn better when you teach’.
  5. Prioritize difficult homework over easy ones, as the child wouldn’t be stressed while doing easy homework if it gets late.

Appreciation, Attention, Affection and Acceptance are key factors in developing a learning culture among children and parents play a key role in this.

Different children respond differently and even same child responds differently at different times, I am sure parents would have successfully tried a number of methods to help their children, please feel free to share your tips as it will help others as well.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

Is preparing for IIT entrance exams stressing you?

By Captain Unni Krishnan

preparing for exams

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1102366

The most debated topic these days is the entrance methodology to IIT. While this requires a lot of deliberation but there is a section of the society that is thinking about making the selection process stress free for students. If I have understood the situation in our country right, it is almost impossible to find an easy way to get into the IIT. We all know that India as a country has the largest population of youth and thus the number of children graduating from schools is increasing every year. Consequently, the number of aspirants who wish to join the prestigious IITs is dramatically increasing every year. When the competition is fierce how can selection become easier?

The current discussion is only to find ways and means to get the right quality of students from within the system into these prestigious institutions. The selection system being devised is trying to align the existing school assessment criteria to be a part of the screening process and revamp the selection process to ensure the best students get the opportunity to benefit from this cluster of high quality institution. The selection to an IIT will remain highly competitive, will need long hours of preparation and is going to be extremely stressful.

Probably one way ahead is to have more institutions that can match up to the standards of quality of education offered at IIT thus providing a larger spectrum of alternatives for the students.  Till then if you wish to get into an IIT you must work really hard and must be ready to handle the pressure/ stress. Remember there is no short cut to success!

How did you remain stress free when preparing for exams? Please feel free to share it here.

About the Author:
Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

 

Should we abolish final examinations?

By Captain Unni Krishnan, Founder and Director, LearnHive

What does examination do? It rates the examinees based on their proficiency and the result helps allow them make choices regarding the next steps.

preparing for exams

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1275249

Let us take a look at some things in life: friends, job, marriage partner, promotion. Don’t all these things depend on our choice? When there is a choice, you select and when you select one out of many it means competition?

If as an individual we can create competition, it is bound that in this world competition will be manifold and the only way to survive is to prepare for competition .

By abolishing exams, we are treating the symptom rather than find and treat the cause. Let us understand that with an increasing population, competition is not just bound to exist but will only increase.

Well then what can we do? The best way to handle competition is to prepare for it. This means we cannot wish away examinations.

Let us re-look at the world around us. Education in addition to creating awareness must also prepare students for their profession. The biggest opportunity is that just as the number of students has increased the avenues of careers/ profession has also increased.

Unfortunately the education system in India has not changed accordingly especially at the school level. We can think and will realize that school education need not be so broad based. The subject skills required by an engineer are not the same as what is required by a journalist, media analyst, economist, fashion designer, dancer or a movie editor. Also as per the theory of multiple intelligences, children are adept at different skillsets and hence perform better in certain subjects.

Aim of restructuring education should be to prepare students for the current scenario. One of the possible ways of doing this is to rework the number of subjects that a student is being examined in. If a student is going to be examined in the subject he/ she likes and wants to specialize in, it is quite possible that the student will not be stressed. We all know that we have to prepare more in subjects that we are weak in. While a student studies a broad base of subjects, when it comes to the important Board/ Qualifying examinations, the choice of subjects that they wish to pursue may only be examined. This will see a larger motivation among students in their preparation for exams and also bring down stress levels.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

 About Learnhive:

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

Are Children Learning or Studying?

By Captain Unni Krishnan, Founder and Director, LearnHive

Children are most precious to parents and their future the top most priority for them. It is with the purpose of helping their child achieve great heights that parents seek the best possible education for them.

Having been educated in the post independence but pre economic autonomy era, I have experienced a system of education that is skewed towards marks rather than towards knowledge. Every opportunity of employment was governed by “What degree do you have?  What marks did you get?”. The questions “What is it that you know”? or “What is it that you can do”? had no relevance. This led to a single point of focus in education which clearly conveyed that “marks are not everything but they are the only thing”.

Admission to a good college ensures a good placement and in turn admission to a good college is based on the marks that you achieve in the Board Examination or the Entrance Examination.

In this age, when success is measured by remuneration, getting qualifying marks becomes all important. What this has done to the education system is that it has taken away the aspects of learning like  application, analysis, creativity and innovation and got students oriented to just studying for examination with the sole aim of getting marks. This has resulted in a rat race where education related discussions revolve only on cut-off marks. The effect of the percentage phenomenon has been such that it has engulfed even the education boards resulting in a cut–off at 100% this year. What next?

Let us ask ourselves, does a 100% mean the student has mastered that complete subject and is a pundit at it?

Childhood comes once in a life time and sadly the pressure of contesting at every step has taken away the social aspect of growing up with friends and appreciating others. All that matters is ‘I’ ‘me’ and ‘myself’. All assessments create a student represented just by numbers.

Sadly, in this whole journey, what we have left behind is the need for real education. Education was meant to help a child learn and then apply that learning to life in different situations that they would come across. Today, education has got limited to studying for marks and learning is of no consequence.

As per our philosophy parents and teachers are potters and are trying to give shape to their children. There is a Chinese saying “Give a potter a seed and you will get a Bonsai”. If you give a seed to a Gardner, you can have a tree that will give you flowers, fruits and even shade.

The same philosophy applies to business as well where it is essential to emphasize on creating a work ecosystem that provides every individual an opportunity to optimise their potential, work on their strengths and avoid areas of weakness; profits are bound to come in.

To prepare our children for the new era, let us try to get their focus on learning to experiment rather than just study for marks because this will help them be creative, innovative and in turn successful in life.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

 About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).