Please send your child to school everyday in neat and clean uniform (complete uniform). The school uniform is more than just an identity tag; it prepares the student for a new day of learning every day. It also builds a sense of belonging. The student would be able to display his/ her uniform with pride as we are going to build up the best school in this city. A well-dressed and neat/ clean student creates a positive opinion about himself/ herself and his/ her parents and family at the very first sight, which is a very good way to start the day. (Well begun is half done!). Don’t deny your child this privilege.
Please make sure that your child reaches the school before time so that he has time to settle down physically and emotionally. Punctuality has not become a way of life for us Indians; but for us at Montfort it is our way of life, and a quality which we hold as most sacred. Students arriving at school before classes begin get the time to relax and socialize with friends and enjoy themselves before they begin their studies. They get the benefit of a good start in comparison to the student who arrives just on time or late, running and rushing to the classroom, often sweating, and with the disapproving glance of school authorities and teachers, feeling guilty and ashamed. This is a poor start.
Please make sure that the child has sufficient and nourishing food (breakfast) before leaving for school, and provide him with a Tiffin for the lunch break. Learning does not take place with a hungry stomach. To benefit from all the various activities that take place in school (studies, games, other physical activities) the child requires energy which can come only from a good breakfast and a Tiffin for the lunch break. Children who are hungry and have poor diet generally develop at a low pace and do not have the energy needed for study, play or other physical activities. III-fed children are likely to have short attention span and do not do well in school in comparison to those children who are given sufficient nourishing food. Also, poor nutrition decreases the development of the brain, and his educational achievements become poor and may even cause a distaste for studies leading to poor performance in school or becoming a problem child.
Children should be provided with necessary facilities and fixed timings to read/ study undisturbed at home. There should be no compromise on the time allotted for studies; do not leave it to the child’s or your whims and fancies.
As the child grows older, keep an eye on him/ her, on his/ her friends, the things that he/ she brings home in his/ her bag, the language he/ she uses so that you can encourage formation of healthy habits, and correct wherever he/ she is going wrong.
Teach your children to develop good habits: A good action repeated over and over again over a period of time becomes a good habit, and a bad action repeated over and over again over a period of time becomes a bad habit. Saying “good morning” to the child (and to everyone in the family) and making him say “good morning” the first thing when he gets up in the morning everyday will become a good habit over a period of time. Behavior is conditioned by the principle of reward and punishment. A child will repeat an action or stop doing an action depending on the kind of response (verbal or nonverbal) the child gets from the parent/ parental figures after the child performs an action. If the child gets signs of approval, appreciation, smile, encouragement from others (which are rewards), he/she will repeat that action because he/she (everyone in the world ) is looking for other peoples’ appreciation and approval. Conversely he/she will stop doing an action if he/ she senses disapproval, frown, shouts etc. (which are punishments). Pretending to approve/ disapprove something that the child is doing is not helpful as the child can see through such pretensions.
The center of a happy family is a happy marriage. Children gain a strong feeling of security by living with two adults (father & mother) who love, respect and support each other. When they grow up they make effective partners too. The parents become their role-models for future married life. If children are witnesses to wife-beating, abuses and assaults in the family, their world is shaken and crumbles; they are confused/ puzzled, not able to interpret and form correct values/ conclusions about what is happening around them, and later they will be unable to be consistent in their thinking and decisions. Such children are likely to lose their faith in the institution of marriage, and may even avoid marriage or accept it as a ‘compromise’ (specially girls). Their married life too may be an imitation of their parents’ married life – a case of history repeating itself.
It is not enough that we keep in our hearts the love we have for our child. Love must be shown in concrete actions in a way that the child can feel/ experience it. Praying together, eating together, playing together, going on outings together, doing things together keep the family members together. The way you express your love for the child tells him/ her a great deal about himself/ herself: that he/ she is loveable, valued, worth, and this will build and enhance his/her self esteem.
As the child advances in age, help/ guide the child to become a resourceful and responsible member of the family, the society and the country. Encourage self-help in wok and study. Children should be taught to keep their room tidy, make their own bed, polish their own shoes, carry their own bag etc. Establish simple house rules for the child: things we do and things we do not do in our house. Elders must set the example in following them. Set time for various activities like getting up, going to bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, milk, snacks, reading time/ story time, going to park or playing etc
Foster a culture of learning in the family: Schooling may be limited; but education and learning is a lifelong journey. Since the child spends nearly 3/4th of the time at home with the family, he/ she learns much more from the family subconsciously through interaction with parents and relatives. It is, therefore, as important to create a culture of learning in the family as sending the child to school. Creating a culture of learning means ensuring an environment where parents themselves are active learners (not studying child’s books) by their own reading habits, having a collection of books (a small library) at home, age appropriate intelligent discussions and conversations at home over the dining table/ drawing room/ T.V .room, through leisure time/ fun time/ outing activities, watching educative and knowledge based channels on TV (like National Geographic, Discovery channel etc.). Sitting with the growing child and together reading out from picture books/ story books is very helpful in creating in the child interest for reading. Once the child develops this interest in books and academics, he is well on the way to become a studious person. Sports channels also can be of help to inspire and motivate the child to become sportspersons or to ensure physical fitness rather than just watching movies and cartoons alone. Picking up a hobby or two in which children are also actively involved can also help them to discover their hidden potentialities. In this, teaching by doing is the only way: the father who smokes/ drinks or where the parents are engaged in reckless television viewing has no moral right to advise the child not to do the same. It is futile to ask children to study their lessons while the parents are watching interesting/ entertaining programs on the TV.
Starting school-life is an important milestone in the life of everyone. Give your child a good start. By the time the child is old enough to go to school, the parents should have developed in the child an excitement (anticipation) about going to school by talking about all the various exciting things they would be doing in the school, all the facilities available at school( wearing school uniform, school bag, traveling to school by school bus or van or parents taking them, games, grounds, play equipments, children’s park, animals , zoo, new friends, new teachers …. every positive thing that are available). The parents also must be excited about their child going to school, as their excitement will pass on to the child without their knowing. We must be honest and not create an image of something the child would not find when he/she really goes there (the school). Parents must convey positive messages about the school and teachers. The first impression is the best and lasting impression. If parents show indifference to his/her going to school, he/she is likely to be indifferent to going to school.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, the child is beginning a journey……
Never compare your child with another, still less with another sibling. Such comparisons if repeated demoralize your child and develops inferiority complex. Comparing negatively one sibling with another can even create life-long enmity between them (sibling rivalry). Usually the comparisons made are on one or two dimensions only: marks (studies), sports or behaviour. Talents and gifts are different for different children. If a child is not so good in one area, he will be good at atleast in another one. Help the child to discover and develop what he/ she is good at, and support the child in his/ her efforts and not continuously nag him/ her for what he/ she is not able to achieve. We must motivate/ help our children to find their passion and nurture them for a life-long career and life-long happiness.
English is not our mother tongue. However, since the medium of instruction is English, it is very important that the student is comfortable with the English language. For this, parents/ family members must help the child with certain amount of English conversation at home. School alone can not do this. “Nurturing your child to love (English) language and become an effective communicator (in English) is one of the best gifts you could confer. Strong language skills are an asset and can be a key to success in academics, higher education and the workplace” (Education World, October 2012, page 81)
“Recent neuroscience researches demonstrate beyond reasonable doubts that the first few years of life can influence the career-paths and life chances of adults….. The advances in computer and genetic sciences in recent times show that brain development happens pre-natally and during the first year of life and is much more rapid than previously believed…. while most of the brain’s cells are formed before birth, the connections among cells are made during infancy and early childhood. While most people believe that a toddler’s brain is less active than the brain of a college student, the reverse is true. Indeed the brain of a three year old is twice as active as an adult’s brain, doubling in size in the first year and reaching 80% of its adult volume by age three. An important ramification of this information is that talking to an infant is critical for his brain development. Not talking to babies in the belief that they can’t understand is a grave mistake because early verbal interaction is vital in building the foundations for language development at a time when learning is easiest for a child. Indeed, we learn more between the ages zero to three than in any other period of our lives. WE now know that brain development is much more vulnerable to environmental influences and the impact of the environment on early brain development is long lasting. Hence, stimulated appropriately in early childhood, brain development will translate into intellectual development. Conversely, a stressful environment in the early years will impact brain development ne Generally children don’t require any special help or educational toys to develop their brainpower (though they may help). Instead they need loving care and new experiences, including talking, singing, playing and reading, all of which contribute to brain development. It all boils down to relationships. (Source: Education World, Jan 2012, page 44)
As a parent, you must make a commitment to help your child to build his/ her self esteem and self confidence by making him/ her feel good about himself/ herself. If the child knows that you have confidence in his/ her abilities to succeed he/ she will believe it too, and then there is no limit to what he/ she (and you too) can accomplish. Generally children (and people in general) live up to your expectations of them. Nothing succeeds like success. One success gives the confidence to attempt another task. Repeated success gives self confidence. It also boosts their own image of themselves, and they begin to feel good about themselves. A person with self confidence and self esteem is able to face occasional failures with courage and try again and not give up. Even the sky is not the limit for such persons.
Good health, good physique, good appearance etc increase one’s self esteem and self-confidence. Obesity is very common among children these days, and it leads to several diseases. Hence make sure that the child has sufficient physical activity/ games. The current generation is a TV-addicted (computer addicted too) generation and do not know the importance of physical activity. The uniqueness of our school is that it will be compulsory for every child (KG children included) to play in the school itself for 45 minutes to 1 hour everyday depending on their age before they leave the school. It is part of their daily activity. If any child has a medical problem which forbids such activity, it should be brought to the notice of the teachers and the school office with a medical certificate.
Avoid junk food at home; tastes are cultivated/ developed in early childhood. Therefore develop in your children taste for nutritious home-made food, and not develop the taste for processed food like chips, pickles, sauce, burger, pizza, colas, sugar-sweetened beverages, excess salt, maida products, bakery products etc. As he grows up, there will be a lot of peer pressure for consuming unhealthy, junk food. Help him/ her to grow physically healthy. Provide a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, non-fat/ low-fat (skimmed) milk, boiled or baked fish (oily fish), whole grain (atta) breads like chappattis and cereals.
“A sedentary life combined with junk food is a deadly mix for any kid.” (Reader’s Digest, Feb 2013). Expressions like cute, chubby, healthy etc are not to be used for even slightly overweight/ obese children as that would reinforce children to remain so. Obese children suffer not only physical problems; their mental health also takes a hit. When other children long to be in the limelight, obese children are busy hiding from the world to avoid embarrassing comments or peoples’ stare. Such children tend to feign stomach aches/ headaches or other ‘invisible’ sickness to escape from school, sports or other activities like going out for social activities, even shopping. Some of them prefer to remain at home and watch TV/ computer or computer games, meanwhile eating snacks or aerated drinks making matters even worse. Obese people tend to feel isolated and suffer from an acute lack of confidence, though some obese children try to cope with their situation by pretending to be an extrovert/ becoming jovial/ a joker/ funny or entertaining others.
Music, dance, P.T (yoga), art, games and dramatics are integral and compulsory part of the curriculum in our school. This will further enhance their physical as well as mental health apart from soothing and calming the mind and developing aesthetic and cultural values. Make it possible for the child to listen to common patriotic, religious and classical songs at home so that he/ she unconsciously develops a taste for music.
Parent-teacher meetings (PTM) play a vital role in your child doing well in studies (becoming a good student). Parents must ensure that they do not miss the PTM. Generally the PTM will be on second Saturdays because many offices are closed on second Saturdays. Your regularity in attending the PTM will have a positive impact on your child and on the teachers as it is a sign of your interest and involvement in the education of your child. The child also will feel that his/ her parents are interested in him/ her and that he/she is important.
We do not want children to carry big, heavy bags and heavy water bottles to school. Often we see children going to school with bags too heavy for them to carry. This is not good for their physical growth. For this reason, we have prescribed the minimum books and note books for the primary classes and no books for classes PP-1 & PP-2. For these classes, all learning materials are provided from the school in the form of worksheets each day for the students to learn/ work on. These work sheets are safely put in attractive files/ folders each day and send home for parents to see what the child has learnt (or been taught) in school. The parents can go over these worksheets with the child at home and check the child’s progress. If the parents feel that the child has not picked up what was taught in school, they can help the child with necessary revision. But if this difficulty is experienced everyday/ frequently, please inform the class teacher/ Headmistress about it. Parents can periodically (once a week) collect these worksheets and file them away at home for future reference/ revision.
Children need not bring water bottles to school. We provide clean, safe, filtered drinking water from water coolers. If at all you insist on sending water bottles, please ensure that they are small, light and not metal bottles as children play with these bottles and hurt themselves and other children.
To reduce the weight of the bags, please provide small school bags like the sample displayed in our school. The size of the school bag should not be more than 12” x 10” x 6”, since a bigger bag will not get in to the space provided for keeping it in the desk. If over-sized or heavy bags are sent with the child (class Nursery to V), it will be kept back in the school and returned only to the parents with a warning. If big bags are provided, children tend to fill them with things not needed for that day. PP-1 & PP-2 children need to bring only the Student’s Handbook, file and pencil box/ colourig materials, a handkerchief/ napkin in their school bags. Please ensure that each day children in the primary and middle classes (classes I to VIII) bring books only according to the time table for that day.
Children should be sent to school every working day unless the child is sick. Absence from school to attend social functions, visit of relations and friends, inclement weather or sheer laziness should be avoided because the child is likely to grow up without the necessary interest and passion for learning. If the child insists on not going to school frequently, he/ she must be afraid of some one: may be a teacher, another student, a house-keeping staff, the driver, some one he/ she meets on the way to school etc. He/ she may have many other fears such as inability to cope with the studies, unable to adjust to the school routine etc. In such cases, please meet the class teacher and the Headmistress.
The Student’s handbook should be brought to school everyday. The Handbook is a link between the school and the parents. The parents are requested to go through the handbook daily to see if the teachers have sent any information or remark about the school or the child. If any such remarks/ information are sent by the teachers, please acknowledge it by signing below the remark/ information. If the child’s absence is foreseen, please inform the class teacher about it in advance by making the necessary entry on page ____ of the handbook. If the absence was not foreseen, please make the necessary entries on page _____ of the Handbook when the child returns to school. If a student is absent from school for more than two weeks without any information, they will be deemed to have left the school, and his place may be given to others.
Also, teach small children how to use the washroom, how to eat from their Tiffin box, how to drink water from the taps/ water bottle without dirtying their clothes & body, not to waste water, to keep their surroundings clean, how to live in a friendly manner with other children, not to fight, steal or take other peoples’ things etc.
In Conclusion, remember three things:
Education of your child is a shared responsibility of parents and school. Our school will try its best to give the best education and to become the most sought after school in Raipur and in the whole state/ country, as our vision states. It does not mean that 100% parents will have 100% satisfaction, and 100% students will absorb 100% of what we provide, though that is our aim. The school is the same, the teachers are the same, the administration is the same, the books and lessons are the same; yet it is a fact that some students benefit a lot from their classes while some others benefit less and a few others very little due to a variety of reasons in spite of our best efforts. The most important reason could be the family atmosphere and all the reasons we have discussed earlier. The absence of English conversation at home often becomes a hurdle in the way of children understanding their lessons and expressing them in the examinations. In such cases, the parents must go that extra mile to supplement the child’s learning at home.
The school is a home away from home. Your child is going to be with us for the next several years (12 to 14 years). We will do everything within our power to provide a homely atmosphere and make them feel at home with lots of love, caring, positive strokes, taking care of their emotional growth/ feelings, developing a sense of belonging in them so that they would love to come to school. No effort will be spared to create a sense of belonging and family feeling among our students, parents, teachers and the school administration. We seek your cooperation in building up this Montfortian family where the members are you, your children, the school staff and the administration (the Brothers & nuns).
Speak positively of the teachers and the school to your children. If you criticize teachers and the school in front of the children they will lose respect for the teachers and the school which will discourage them from learning or from coming to school. Children must feel proud of their school, and should feel proud to wear their school uniform and to come to his/ her school. This positive image is created by what you and others speak to the children about the school and its teachers. Please tell your children and others your good experiences about the school. At times it may be possible that some of the things that we do may please some and not please some others. Different individuals have different opinions and so it may not be possible for us to please everyone all the time. Whatever differences you may have, it should be sorted out with the school administration/ teachers. But believe in this school because it is managed by an educational society that has the accumulated experience of running schools in India for over a hundred years – 114 years to be exact – and today this Society is running more than 150 prestigious schools across the country. What you are happy with, tell your children and others; what you are not happy with, tell us, and us alone!!! We will try our best (to make you happy) to do the best.28)
To help our children achieve their full potential, to do well in their studies and to grow up as responsible, competent and good human beings, parents and teachers have to make many sacrifices.
Montfort School, Jhanki, Abhanpur, Raipur, C.G. India Postal Pin Code: 493661