General Articles


If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it - Thomas Fuller And to think that........

Neha has yet to turn two. Both her parents work, and rather than leave her all day with the mind, they admitted her to a near-by nursery school.

“Roshan is going to start school as soon as he is two and a-half-year,” says his mother Mrs. Khera, “Admissions tests at all leading schools are very competitive and he needs to start preparing for these in pre-school.”

Preschool is the first introduction to the outside world This is where young children learn their first lesson in socializing. Their experiences her, are going to set the tune for all the later years of schooling

What is the right age and how do I choose my little one’s first school?

While some pre-schools admit 2-year old, others prefer a child be at least two and a-half years. Ultimately, its an individual decision-depending one your child & home circumstances. Many children are too immature at 2 to cope with school. Others the same age take to school like a duck to water!

In choosing the first school, I think the greatest importance should be on having trained teachers, who enjoy & understand children. Secondary are the activities organized, space and play materials.


Morning Star is a pre-school in Delhi run by Mrs. Praveena Mittal catering to children between 2 ½-4 years. She provides a fulfilled day for children with a variety of activities from vegetable printing, music, dance and aerobtes. While some stimulate children’s creativity, others are improving their muscular and eye hand coordination. As they dabble with paints creating a splash of colours, they are also preparing for later drawing and writing.


Maria Montessori and Italian physician experimented over years, to develop the Montessori Method. This focuses on the development of skills over 2-3 years, leading to Reading Writing and Arithmetic.

The American Nursery School which became widespread by the 1950s moved away from the emphasis on learning. This method, under the guidance of trained teachers, provides valuable experiences: which stimulate creativity and sensitivity, playing on the child’s own ideas.


In our mixed-up adult ways, we view children’s playing as an amusement. It is actually an important aspect of the emotional and intellectual development of a child. During play, imagination is fostered, anxieties dissipated, and strategies evolved to solve social and intellectual problems As children play together, they are learning important lessons-how to get along, to share and to cooperate.


Building blocks have been a favorite for generations. Earliest letter recognition begins here. A 1 year old appears to be just piling up blocks. But to him, it’s the Qutab Minar or a Railway station! At 2 and 3 years, with improved manual dexterity, small interlocking pieces are added to the building. This progress leads to models of airplanes and space shuttles.

Learning to count can be great fun if you use the game of Ludo. A child has to recognize the number on the dice and then count out corresponding squares on the board. Rather than pour over dictionaries and books, the whole family can join in the game of scrabble, and yes, your child’s Vocabulary is expanding tremendously.

House work –cooking & cleaning has invariable been the focus of imaginative play. While mother is busy preparing the meal, young children love to have a bit of atta and a rolling pin. There’s bound to be a messy floor but also a lot of creativity in the models of snakes and horses.

Ajay pins a piece of read cloth on his shoulders and is transformed into superman! “Dressing up” is another favourite for imagination & initiative play. With a little adult help, colourful, creative performances can be staged by young children. Call in the neighbours, your children will be thrilled.


Many of the popular games have their origin in religious rituals and folk-lore.

RING-A-RING-O-ROSES-dates back to the plague where the ring-roses were to counteract the stench. Finally, the victim sneezes and ‘fell down’ dead.

HOPSKOTCH –is the reminder of the early worship of a Greek god whose image is at the heart of complex passages.

SKEPPING- is associated as a radiation, before the great festivals of the church.

So also Tag-games, chain and circle dances date back to ceremonies of primitive societies.


School is big. So many parents. So many children-all waiting for something to happen. Teacher comes in smiling and talks to mummy. They seem to get along.

A bell rings. Mummy has to leave. I’m on my own-I’m alone. Sure, they said school was a lovely place-with lots of friends and lots of toys, but I can’t do as I please

I have to go out at playtime. I’m worried. I’m not sure of the way. There are so many big children: running, jostling and shouting. I stand in a corner. I feel sad and lonely.


1. It helps if the child has visited the school earlier-sees his teacher, the classroom, toilets and playgrounds.
2. Many schools allow a gentle introduction-keeping the child for a very short period initially and gradually building it to a full day.
3. Mothers have quite a hand.Teachers speak or the ‘worrying mothers’ almost as anxious as the child about the separation.
4. Get the child his school satchel and water bottle earlier getting him used to the idea of school.
5. Parent-teacher relationship ease the adjustment process.
6. A warm, understanding teacher who hugs you, is probable the most reassuring thing to an anxious child.


It’s easy to get along with the teacher if your son is her pride and joy. But when there’s trouble, the situation becomes delicate. Both parents and teachers are very human-each taking pride in the work they are doing, and often believing the child would improve if the other would handle him differently.

Often parents are scared of meeting the teacher, but they forget that the teacher is usually as afraid of meeting them. A sensible approach is one of friendly cooperation. Parents can provide a clear picture of the home. Tension or excitement at home usually translates into trouble with schoolwork or behaviour. Teachers too may fill you in on aspects of your child you were unaware of. Coming together, usually straightens out most problem areas.

-Interviewed by (THELMA ABRAHAM)