Instilling Values and Traditions in Tandem with the Rapidly Changing World – By Ankitha From Electronic City MLZS

The culture of India is very distinctive and unique. Its uniqueness lies in its strong social system and family values. The Indian way of living, eating, dressing is inimitable. We consider our elders as the driving force and so we respect and love them. Indian food, rituals, festivals, costumes, literature, music and dance are intrinsic part of its culture and Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion of the world.

They say that ‘change is the only permanent thing’ and the changing world at a very fast pace has become a part and parcel of our lives too. Technology has made it possible for us to get first-hand information about things happening in any part of the globe and our children get influenced by these incidents very easily. They interact with their friends through a myriad of social media like Facebook, Whatsapp etc, which shape their thoughts, opinions and values.

Change is inevitable and the new generation has to keep pace with it. Though, to adapt to the latest technology is seen as a signifier of development, at the same time one should not forget our roots. It is said that ‘only when the roots run deep do the branches grow tall’. It is the duty of all parents to make their children aware about the deep rooted, rich cultural and traditional heritage of India so that the future generations are also benefited.

The change in the education system encourages free thinking and questioning and so mere lecturing will not make them understand these values. One has to be careful while inculcating the right values in a right manner among the children. The way they dress, eat and behave should not be ridiculed upon rather understood and modified in a subtle manner.

Indeed, the parents and the educators face tremendous challenge of preserving the age old custom and traditions and educate them to follow the right path. Patience and perseverance is the need of the hour and to emulate these here are some ideas on how to help them change with the time and be rooted at the same time:

1. Share some good examples of our culture with the children through stories, movies, songs and poems so that they will come to know how rich our culture is and they have to carry the baton forward.

2. Celebrate and enjoy all the festivals and explain to them the significance of each one of them. Involve them in organising the festivals.

2. Have them witness a variety of cultural programs like dance, drama, music etc. This will develop an interest in the rich heritage.

3. Encourage the children to wear ethnic dress while going to some friend’s place or any restaurant and make them eat healthy traditional food.

Indian culture is one of oldest and unique cultures of the world and many a historians and explorers have been awed by its uniqueness. At present the entire world is embracing the age old systems like ‘Yoga and Ayurveda’ to their benefit. The fact that the foreigners hold us in high esteem fills our hearts with pride. The Indian customs being respected by the world at large invokes in the children a spirit of confidence and self-respect. It is through this fine blend of the past with the present, the extracting of the goodness of the years gone by for a better future can the children benefit and the purpose of education be fulfilled.

Rema Nandakumar, Principal of Samsidh MLZS Bangalore – Founders Day Interview

As the principal of Samsidh’s MLZS Bangalore, Ms. Rema Nandakumar is the driving force behind the daily activities of all the schools. Under her able leadership, the teachers, staff and students have ingrained the vision of the school. This vision was set by the Founders of Samsidh’s MLZ Bangalore.

Here are a few excerpts from the Interview:
1. Tell us about 1st academic year of MLZS in contrast to how it stands today.
We have come a long way.... When I think of the first year, the first thing which comes to my mind is “I am in control now".  The first year was a learning experience. We were building our team, training our teachers, instilling trust in the hearts of parents who trusted us with their children, to do what is the absolute for them. For our new children, we were constantly on the lookout to find creative ways to bring out their potential and make them excel in that field. And of course, there was the academic side to all of this that had to be achieved to perfection.
Today, our schools stand tall and are a testimony to all the efforts that we as an entire team made to do the right things for the benefit of all the stake holders.
I also have the confidence to manage the entire working in all the schools. My duty is empowering, nurturing and motivating the people around me and ensuring that nobody loses sight of the vision that our Founders have for the children.

2. What is the vision of the Founders for the Schools?
The Founders’ Vision for the Schools is – “Creating the future leaders those who can analyse what is right and wrong. Those who can always think globally and act locally.
3. How is MLZS taking the lead when it comes to nurturing 21st century leaders?
Everyone who is working in MLZS knows the vision and we are all trying to nurture the young ones to internalize this vision as well. All our classes are incorporated with life skills and right attitude (values) along with knowledge. We create a lot of opportunities for our children to take the responsibility and experience the leadership.
4. What is the way forward for all MLZS schools?
We have to take up social projects to understand the capability of our students. This will help them to work with the unknown and to face the challenges. Expose them to as many life skills as possible and hope to uncover their inherent potential in doing so.

Breaking the Hindi Language Barrier Through Innovative Activity for Grade 9

Hindi as a second language has always been a pain point for many children. So, our Hindi teachers decided it was time to make this subject interesting and fun in an innovative manner. They conducted an activity for our Grade 9 students which gave some astounding results!

The children were given an opportunity to choose their own topic for public speaking . This helped them to explore new ideas and choose topics that they were comfortable speaking about. After preparing for it in advance, they presented in front of an audience which was a check on their confidence and their language skills. 

Each child was happy to read what he/she had prepared to the entire class and went back beaming with pride to his/her bench. The audience also enjoyed listening to Hindi being spoken flawlessly and also added some great General Knowledge to their own kitty.

The Topics presented by the children were:

Ankush- Car Bugati
Kainaat- Eid
Saachi- Effiel Tower
Gourav- Maruti Suzuki

Shoiab- Earth

As expected, since the topics chosen by the students were close to their hearts, they found it easy to gather information about it as well as present it to the audience in a confident manner. The key to building confidence in any language is to let children start by letting them try out something that is close to their hearts and make them comfortable in that particular area before starting the more formal and difficult aspects.
At MLZS, we believe that every child should should enjoy what they learn and make the process of learning as experimentative as we possibly can.

Hello Parents!With the monsoons upon us, I thought I would share a simple and yet nutritious soup recipe for kids. This soup is a wholesome by itself and has all properties of a full meal. So sometimes when your child fusses about eating his food, you can make this soup for him/her and I hope they like it.


Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 20 mins

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients For The Stock
2 cups chopped carrots1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped potatoes
1/2 cup chopped potatoes1/2 cup chopped potatoes
For the topping
1/4 cup onions1/4 cup spinach1/4 cup low fat milk1 tsp butter

Method (For the Stock)

  1. Combine all the ingredients, add 5 cups of water and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles
  2. When cooked, allow to cool, blend  and keep aside.
  3. Heat the butter and sauté the onions for 1 minute.
  4. Add the spinach and sauté again for a little while.
  5. Add the stock and boil for a few minutes.
  6. Warm the milk and add it to the soup
  7. Add salt and pepper.
  8. Serve hot.

How Much Technology is Too Much Technology For Kids? Viganya Giri

As happens in every average household with children, parents are all too aware of the drawbacks of continuous use of gadgets on children. My own daughter was brought up with virtually no gadgets to occupy her in her growing up years. We found ways to distract her and keep her occupied with books and stories and board games, even as some of her friends had a free run of dad’s mobiles or their own I pads.
As a mother I would continuously read up on the ill effects of children being addicted to electronic gadgets and how I could not let that affect my child.
But slowly I was also realizing that we could not completely restrict the usage technology at home. To be fair it was so much easier now to stay in touch, order groceries online, paying bills, etc given our busy schedule. My husband and I rekindled our love for reading with the Kindle.
I was realizing that technology doesn’t always have to be the bad guy! But how to implement a structured and a planned exposure to electronic gadgets was still a problem I was dealing with.
One day, we were visiting our native place and the long and unending drive put my daughter into a boring mode. As a last resort, My 9 year old was given the mobile to play with. It did not take hours but only minutes for her to understand the nuances of the instrument and she downloaded her friend’s favourite game.  It was a game where a little girl was running away from the police and she was collecting gold coins on the way which gave her more life.
I noticed that my Daughter was missing out on a lot of coins and as a mom I advised her to be careful about it. She immediately responded by saying “Mom, do you want me to save my life or collect coins?”
A question which was too big for me to answer, gave me more questions to ponder. If my 9 year old is compelled to think about crucial thoughts because a game, why not let her experience it. Critical thinking and problem solving are some of the skill we try to teach and enrich our students with in schools. And here was a perfect example of technology actually helping us out on a boring drive and also making my daughter learn some crucial life skills.
But as I said, even now I am aware of the ill effects of being addicted to technology and I still struggle with setting boundaries for my child.
Please share your thoughts and dilemmas as a parent on the question of electronic gadgets with us and how you maintain boundaries with your children.

An enlightening Nature Walk organized by Viganya Giri for a few MLZS Grade 7 students

 Most of us in Bangalore would have visited LalBagh the botanical garden in Bangalore a number of times. We have heard stories about how Tipu Sultan and his family had contributed to the garden. The Mango Festival, flower show and the long morning walks have been the highlight of any visit to Lalbagh. But have you heard about a Nature Walk that happens in LalBagh? This walk with naturalist Mr. Srinivasa or Mr, Prasad and Mr. Prasanth could leave you amazed at what this garden holds!
We tied up with “Kids For Tigers” an environmental education programme for schools across India. The programme aims to bring out the vital connection between the survival of the tiger and the ecological security of the Indian subcontinent. You can find them her
Master Bharath and Miss Ankitha of 7thgrade were selected as the representative of the school for this programme. They were invited for a nature walk of 1.5 hours. It was surprising to know that this walk could give us so much information and invoke a sense of curiosity about how the nature has evolved and adapted to the changing climate and conditions. The detailed account of this trip will also be given by Ankitha and Bharath in detail in a blogpost which will follow soon.
But now it’s time for the teachers account on the experience!
A half hour car ride took us to the botanical garden. The ride itself left me surprised, because as soon as we got into the car, both Ankitha and Bharath took their books out and started reading! Yes indeed. It ended up as a silent ride. I was not expecting the children to carry books on an excursion at all. It left me wondering when did they get so serious about learning??
Once we reached the park, all the energy that Bharath had saved by being silent, found a release. He had to run around and take a look at everything. Even the grass! And both of them were full of stories about the many time they visit the part with their family. This slow march led us to the glass house, where Ms. Usha- the coordinator was waiting for us. She took our registrations and gave each one a copy of the sanctuary cub magazine.
And their reaction upon receiving the magazine left me astounded again! Bharath was all too excited that at having got a Rs. 50 worth of book for free!!! Secretly, I guessed this was the eefect of financial education that we so painstakingly instill in our children.
The next surprise came in when we were put into 2 different groups. I decided to accompany Ankitha as I did not want to leave a female child alone. But before I could go and to talk with Ms. Usha to take care of Bharth, Ankitha stopped me and said, “Maám, why don’t you join Bharath’s team , he keeps running around” though initially confused, later I was really proud of Ankitha for being so responsible and tone did have “ I will take care maam” approach.
Thus began our Nature Walk. There were at least 1000 little words about each tree, leaf, flower, bird, butterfly that came our way. The information delivered was to the point and Mr. Prashanth did stop giving information at the just the right places which left a lot of questions in the student’s mind. Proof- on the way back, Bharath did say “maám, I have a lot of questions to ask sir. May be I can browse and find out”. We did decide on the return ride that we would contact them through mail with all our curious questions.
Bharath and Ankitha would be giving a full account of the detailed noted that they had taken, because I was busy taking photographs and watching out for Bharath and Ankitha.
But for now keep pondering on the below questions…
Where do weep willow trees grow and why?
How do the bees communicate and why?
What does Lichen Indicate?
How has nature designed leaves to protect themselves from rain
What is the difference between seeing and observing?

My Pet A poem by Shruti from 5th Grade

Children are always surprising us with their genius and attention to detail. Sometimes it is not apparent from the way a child behaves or interacts.
But when you give your child an outlet to express his/her inner thoughts, values and expressions, you will be surprised by how they maze you.
Shruti from Grade 5 amazed us by her ability to use create a poem around her pet cat and use words that rhyme simultaneously.  
My pet
I have a pet cat,
which likes to hide in my hat,
and loves sitting on the mat.
Always willing to come inside,
but never willing to go back outside.
For it's actions you must clap,
and always likes to sit on my lap.
How fast it laps the milk,
with me touching its fur as soft as silk.
Oh, my pet & I love you so!

Keeping Your Child Healthy This Monsoon

Monsoon is the time when diseases spread due to humid and damp conditions. Fungus and bacteria multiply during this weather and are easily picked up by children. Monsoon reduces immunity of one’s body and makes them susceptible to many diseases. Health irritants like allergies, infection and indigestion are very common during these days too.
It is a good time to take precautions and follow a few simple tips to become disease resistant.

  1. Moderation is the key: Eat in moderation and let your stomach relax. 
  2. Drink lots of warm beverages. They help in keeping the protective layer on the inside of your throat active and intact.
  3. Stick to freshly cooked foods. Bacteria get more time to multiply in stale food.
  4. Wash fruits and vegetable thoroughly and eat only freshly cut fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid raw vegetables in these days.
  5. Avoid eating street foods like chaats, fried items and pakoras.
  6. Avoid green leafy vegetables during this season as they have insect infestation in humid conditions.
  7. Consume vegetables like snake gourd, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, yam, beans. They help to naturally flush out disease causing bacteria.
  8. Avoid Instant and canned foods, they offer little or zero nutrition.
  9. Use Moong Dal, Garlic, pepper, ginger,Asfoedita(hing), cumin  powder, turmeric, and corianderwhich enhance digestion.
  10. Drink boiled and filtered water
  11. Foods like Neem, Bitter gourd (Karela), Tulsi, Jamun, corn and warm milk are good for health
  12. Eat balanced diet. And include lots of lemon in your diet. Vitamin C helps fight common cold and flu effectively.
If anyone you know is ill during monsoon take some more precautions for a speedy recovery
  • Water: take only boiled water.
  • Detoxification: take warm water with honey
  • Cough: consume warm water with 1 pinch of black pepper and rock salt helps to get rid of cough due to weather conditions.
  • Viral: warm milk with 1 pinch of ginger powder , black pepper and turmeric is good in viral.
  • Cold: tulsi leaves , honey and ginger powder mixed together prevents cold.
  • Immunity: consume foods rich in vitamin C like orange , sweet lime , amla ( gooseberries)
Above all, keep in mind that washing hands before every meal is as important as following the above steps. Also if you suspect that your child is coming down with a cold or flu, it is best to let him rest at home. Their small bodies are fighting the infections internally and need to conserve every bit of energy when unwell.

A head full of fear has no room for dreams...

This very though popped in my mind when my daughter came to me asking for a thought for the day. I did explain to her about fear and dreams and also added how she should approach it without fear. She looked at me confused. 
With parents and teachers constantly creating awareness about safety and security with videos and talks, it is easy to confuse a child.
I could read her googly mind through her confused look. A set of how’s and whys started circling around in my head.
As a mother, I worry a lot about her safety and security. I started questioning myself how should I instil the courage in my daughter to face the real world where only selfish and cowards rule.   I taught my daughter a password to protect herself from possible stranger danger. I also taught her that when an animal comes chasing to hurt, all we need to do is to stand still to protect ourselves. 
Now we have all possible safety measures to protect ourselves from danger caused by animals. But we do not have any fool-proof safety measures to protect us against humans!
I could tell her that when a human comes to hurt, she should scream for help. But can it help to take out the fear of such criminals? How can I ask her to dream? As a human being, as a mom, I felt helpless.
Though the new world of dreams blooms at childhood, I fear that the words child, children, childhood, child play and innocence could get deleted from the dictionary one day if we are not careful with our children and their safety.
I do believe that I have chosen a noble profession of being a teacher to children. And in that lies my pride because as a 2nd mother to the children, every teacher in her mind owns the child’s growth as if of their own. How can a teacher inspire and instil the passion to dream when she lives in fear?
The human in me fears the security of future generation. All I can do for them is hold placards, go on a rally and get the chairman of an institution arrested for his irresponsibility.  Is that all I can do? 
When I plunge into these thoughts, the world’s bravest man’s words help me - “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” While saying this, Nelson Mandela’s visionary mind would have thought about the future of his children and he might had an answer for my questions.

But for now, all we can do is to teach our children to stay safe and follow rules as taught by their parents and teachers.

Grade 1 Activity of the Week – Know Your Name

Vasudha and Betty, class teachers of Grade 1, executed this unique activity for their class to learn about their own name and that of their friends. In keeping with the vision of Mount Litera Zee Schools, they thought the best way to introduce the first concept of EVS “My Name” should be through an activity rather than an instruction method.
The Activity:
The teachers first talked to the children about how each one of us have a name and where we use our names every day. The teacher also explained how each one of us is unique like our names.
Later, the teachers got out some modeling clay and let the children choose their favourite color. The students were then asked to prepare letters of their names using the clay. They proudly displayed their names on the table. They were also let to observe their friends’ names and were encouraged to appreciate each other’s efforts.
The activity of modeling clay that was conducted enabled the students to appreciate their names and at the same time have lots of fun doing it!
This method of teaching concepts is found to be more effective than a simple instruction method. This way, the children created memories in their head, owing to the fun activity of modeling clay. Memories play a very important role when it comes to recalling any particular concept, right into adulthood.