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School Admissions (Part 1): Types of school boards in India

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Author: Gauri Kshirsagar

School boards logo

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”- Nelson Mandela

Education plays an important role in the progress of an individual’s mind and country. Education being one of the most important factors responsible to shape the personality of an individual.

Quality is the most cherished goal in human endeavour and especially in the field of education, hence choosing the right board and school for your child becomes a very important factor. 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. There are lot of factors which determine school admissions, so in this post I have discussed  basic points about the types of school boards in India.

India Schools offer both Indian and International Syllabi namely:

  1. CBSE: Central Board of Secondary Education
  2. ICSC/CISCE: Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE)
  3. IB: International Baccalaureate
  4. IGCSE: International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) Cambridge University
  5. State Board: State Government Recognised Board

I have made a chart comparing these above boards for clearer understanding of what they constitute. You can download the pdf version by clicking on the link below:

School Boards in India

The first step in starting with school admissions is to establish the type of board perfect for your child. In the upcoming posts I have discussed the other components of  the admission process. Hope the above chart was helpful to you.


*Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Please do ‘★ LIKE’ the post if you found it to be useful.Your comments, suggestions, criticism and all opinions are very much appreciated. Please do write your queries in the Reply/comments section and I will try to get back to you asap.


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School Admissions: Introduction

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Author: Gauri Kshirsagar

School admission

If you are reading this article, that means you have come to the stage where your child is ready to go to school, and you are gearing up for school admissions. I know, it’s quite a competition out there, but relax if you have your sorted out your priorities regarding school selection, then it gets quite easy from there.

The process of School admissions for an academic year usually starts in the month of October of the previous year and closes approximately by March. For example for the academic year 2018-19 forms will be available in different schools from October 2017 till the end of March 2018. Some of the forms available are online and some of them will be available at the school office, for which no doubt you will have to stand in a queue. The most important thing here is keeping a track of the date of availability of forms, last date of submission of forms, keeping in order important documents like birth certificates, parent’s degree certificates, proof of residence etc. Some of the school have made Aadhar card mandatory for admission, so you will have it make sure you child has it beforehand to avoid last minute hassle.

Regarding the school board, my main focus was on selection between CBSE and ICSE. The other two i.e. IB and Cambridge, though better, I found (at least in Pune) to be very costly, deficient in staff and situated on the outskirts of the city. But there may be changes every year, hence I suggest you do check them out.

There are many other factors for a school selection like age of the child, the distance from school, transport, ratings of the school, teaching staff, safety, fees, donations etc. All these will play a role in the school selection of your child and I have discussed these one by one.

I have divided the topic into a series of articles, broadly divided into:

  1. Types of school boards in India.
  2. Comprehensive comparison between CBSE and ICSE, including the pros and cons.
  3. List of Top schools in Pune.
  4. Points to be noted and how to make a selection chart.
  5. List of documents needed in filling forms.
  6. Real time personal experience with school admissions in Pune
  7. How to prepare for school interviews.

*Please note I will be writing all the articles in the perspective of school admissions in Pune, which can or cannot be applied to other places, so reader’s discretion is advised.


*Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Please do ‘★ LIKE’ the post if you found it to be useful.Your comments, suggestions, criticism and all opinions are very much appreciated. Please do write your queries in the Reply/comments section and I will try to get back to you asap.


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DIY activity 15: How to make an easy kid’s playhouse out of an ordinary cardboard box.

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Author: Gauri Kshirsagar

Slide1

Childhood….. it’s that time in life where a simple cardboard box can make you incredibly excited and entertained for hours on end. And if you throw in a couple of sheets and pillows, well, that’s icing on the cake. In this article, I will give you some tips and ideas on how to convert an ordinary cardboard box into a fun play house.

The British name for a playhouse is a “Wendy House,” named after a tent-like structure that the lost boys built for Wendy Darling in J.M. Barrie’s famous story, Peter Pan. The prop made for the stage play of Peter Pan in 1904 birthed the expression “Wendy House” for children’s playhouses thereafter.

Corrugated cardboard is the ideal material for a playhouse. It’s easy to cut, fold, stick, draw on and decorate. Cardboard is also free (or very cheap) and readily available. Using cardboard to make a playhouse is a great way to recycle.

This DIY cardboard box playhouse will help ignite your kids’ imaginations — and it’s totally easy to make. The best part? The playhouse collapses down flat when the kids are done playing with it, so it’s super easy to store and won’t clutter up the house. Wherever your children’s interests lie, they will love to make and decorate a cardboard house that will allow their imaginations to run wild.

In this playhouse I have used a single large cardboard box which had a lid on top. You can use huge boxes which came with your appliances, You know the ones: the box that your refrigerator came in, or speakers or the TV. You’ve probably been saving them in case you need to return the item for a refund or sell it on olx. Well, you don’t really need those empty boxes. Have fun with them instead. The box from a flat screen TV could be an awesome roof! You don’t have a box at home you can check out the supermarket, usually they do have extras. Slide9

Coming back to the playhouse I have cut open the base and have used the lid of the box as a roof. I have cut two sections of the house, one for the door and the other for the window. For the decorations I have covered all the walls with white paper and the roof with black paper. All the decorations were done using craft paper and colours with lots of help from my twins.

 

Slide2

On all the sides I have either painted or stuck craft paper to make murals of natures which includes flowers, grass, fruit tree, butterflies, birds etc to give the house a feel of a garden around it.

Slide3

The overhead model depicts a rainbow with a smiling sun some clouds and rain drops all around the house. This model was separately made using thermocol and cardboard and stuck over the roof.

Slide4

The size of the window cut out is huge for more light, and is also decorated with creepers of grapes and fence.

Slide5

Here is a zoomed in photo of the painting with raindrops (which are hand painted by my daughters)

Slide6

For the interiors I have used a nice rug with pictures of strawberries on it with two small pillow. Since the base is open, the rug can be removed and the area can be cleaned easily after a day’s play. The roof of the house is black with glow in the dark stars.

Slide7

For more detailed explanation do check out the video below:

 


*Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Please do ‘★ LIKE’ the post if you found it to be useful.Your comments, suggestions, criticism and all opinions are very much appreciated. Please do write your queries in the Reply/comments section and I will try to get back to you asap.


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DIY Activity 14: WALL-E and EVE amigurumi plush toys

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Author: Gauri Kshirsagar

Slide3In the movie WALL-E, in 2805, Earth is abandoned and largely contaminated with garbage, with its people evacuated on giant star liners. Humans have left behind WALL-E robot trash compactors to clean up, however, all have since stopped functioning, except one unit who has gained sentience and is able to stay active using parts from other units. He is a small mobile compactor box with all-terrain treads, three-fingered shovel hands, binocular eyes, and retractable solar cells for power. Although working diligently to fulfill his directive to clean up the garbage he is distracted by his curiosity, collecting trinkets of interest.  EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), is a sleek robot probe whose directive is to locate vegetation on Earth and verify habitability. She has a glossy white egg-shaped body and blue LED eyes. “WALL·E” is everything we’ve come to expect from Pixar and more- colorful, vibrant, imaginative, exciting, involving, beautiful, and most importantly a film with interesting, involving characters. Most importantly, however, it is perfect entertainment.

Wall E and Eve (in Wall E’s words Evaaa…..) are of  my twin’s favourite cartoon pairs, among their many pretend play toys. WALL-E movie toys are hardly available, especially in India and so tried my hands with amigurumi. The pattern came out quite good for both WALL- E and EVE.

The following is the easy to make amigurumi pattern for WALL-E and EVE plush toys which I have made. Do try it out.

You will need:

  1. Yellow worsted yarn
  2. Grey worsted yarn
  3. White worsted yarn
  4. Black worsted yarn
  5. 5mm crochet needle
  6. Blue embroidery thread
  7. Black satin piece
  8. Black button for eyes

Pattern:

WALL-E

Slide6

Body:

  1. Using the yellow yarn make six plates
  2. Row 1: ch 15, sc 14 (14)
  3. Row 2-15: sc in each sc (14)
  4. Finish off and leave a long tail for sewing.
  5. Sew all the pieces together, except the top.
  6. Add a filler and sew the remaining side, making a cube

Slide1

Detailing for the body:

  1. Grey edge on the top and back of the body:
    1. Row 1: Make 38 sc using Moogly’s method, which does not need a foundation chain (38), or as the length needed. You can choose the edges you want the grey edge.
    2. Finish off.
  2. Grey corners in “y” shape from the bottom (make 2):
    1. Make sc 5 using Moogly’s method, which does not need a foundation chain (5)
    2. Attach the yarn on the 3rd stitch and make 2 sc.
    3. Cut the yarn and leave a long tail for sewing.
  3. Grey Plate in the front:
    1. Row 1: ch 15, sc 14 (14)
    2. Row 2-6: sc in each sc (14)
    3. Sew detailing with black, red and blue yarn or embroiders thread.
    4. Finish off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Stitch all the detailing on the edges and corners, with the name “WALL-E” with a black, red and white yarn on the front plate.

Slide8

Arms: (Make two)

  1. With grey yarn make a magic ring
  2. 1st row: 6 sc (6)
  3. 2rd row: 2 sc in each stitch (12)
  4. 3th -5th row: Change yarn to yellow. Sc in every stitch (12)
  5. 6th & 7th row: Change yarn to black. Sc in every stitch (12)
  6. 8th & 9th row: Change yarn to white. Sc in every stitch (12)
  7. 10th & 11th row: Change yarn to black. Sc in every stitch (12)
  8. 12th & 13th row: Change yarn to white. Sc in every stitch (12)
  9. 14th– 15th row: Change yarn to yellow. Sc  in every stitch (12)
  10. Add filler
  11. 16th row: Decrease, join 2 stitches together (6)
  12. Finish off and leave a long tail for sewing.
  13. Sew the arms on each side of the yellow cube
  14. If you want, you can add the three fingers on each arm. I left it as it is, since it looked better that way.

Slide7

Wheels & belt (Make two sets)

For the wheels, make 3 small balls with grey yarn

  1. Magic ring
  2. 1st row : 6 sc (6)
  3. 2rd row: 2 sc in each stitch (12)
  4. 3th row: ch 1-2-1 sticth (24)
  5. 4th row: decrease with ch1-2-1 (12)
  6. 5th row:  decrease with joining 2 stitches together (6)
  7. Finish off and leave a long tail for sewing.
  8. Stitch the three balls close together on the lower part of each side of the cube.

For the belt:

  1. Make a long plate with black yarn
  2. Row 1: Chain 6, sc 5
  3. Row 2- until required length: sc in each stitch
  4. Stitch the plate around the balls

Neck:

  1. With grey yarn make a magic ring
  2. 1st row : 6 sc (6)
  3. 2rd row: 2 sc in each stitch (12)
  4. 3th -5th row: Change yarn to yellow. Sc in every stitch (12)
  5. 5th -8th row: Change yarn to yellow. Sc in every stitch (12)
  6. Add filler, finish off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Eyes: (Make 2)

Slide2

Eyes consist of two parts:

  1. Outer Grey pouch with grey yarn
    1. Magic ring
    2. 1st row: 6 sc (6)
    3. 2rd row: 2 sc in each stitch (12)
    4. 3th row: Ch 1-2-1 stitch (24)
    5. 4th row: Ch1-1-2-1-1 stitch (36)
    6. 5th -8th row: Sc in each stitch around (36)
    7. Stitch up and finish off
    8. Make a simple fold on the side which has rough stitches.
  2. Inner eyeball with white yarn
    1. Magic ring
    2. 1st row: 6 sc
    3. 2rd row: 2 sc in each stitch (12)
    4. 3th row: ch 1-2-1 sticth (24)
    5. 4th row: Sc in each stitch around
    6. 5th row: decrease with ch1- join 2 stitches-1 around (12)
    7. 6th row: Add filler and decrease with joining 2 stitches together (6)
    8. Add filler, finish off and leave a long tail for sewing.
    9. Add a black button at the centre to complete the eyes

Stitch both the pieces together with the white ball in the grey pouch as shown in the picture.

EVA

Slide5

Head and the body:

  1. With white yarn make a magic ring
  2. 1st row: work 6 sc into magic ring (6)
  3. 2rd row: 2 sc in each stitch (12)
  4. 3rd row: ch 1-2-1 stitch (24)
  5. 4th row: ch1-1-2-1-1 stitches in each stitch (36)
  6. 5th-6th row: single stitch  in each stitch around
  7. 7th row: decrease with ch1-1-join 2-1-1 (24)
  8. 8th row: decrease with ch1-join2-1 (12)
  9. Stuff the head
  10. 9th row: decrease with joining 2 stitches together(6)
  11. 10th row: single stitch in each stitch around (6)
  12. 11th row: 2 sc in each stitch (12)
  13. 12th row: ch 1-2-1 stitch (24)
  14. 13th row: ch1-1-2-1-1 stitches in each stitch (36)
  15. 14th-16th row: single stitch  in each stitch around, keeping the count of 36
  16. 17th row: decrease with ch1-1-join 2-1-1 (24)
  17. 18th-20th: single stitch  in each stitch around, keeping the count of 24
  18. 21st : decrease with ch1-join2-1 (12)
  19. 22nd: Single stitch in each stitch around
  20. Add filler and close to give a rounded (not pointy) end

Hands (Make 2)

  1. Magic ring.
  2. 1st row: Work 3 sc into the magic ring(3 st)
  3. 2nd row: 2 sc in first st, sc in next, 2 sc in last st (5 st)
  4. 3rd row: sc in first, “ 2 sc in next, sc in next “ repeat from “to” twice (7 st)
  5. 4th row: 2 sc in first, sc in next 5, 2 sc in last (9 st)
  6. 5th-8th row: sc in each (9 st)
  7. 9th row: sc dec in first stitch, sc in next 2, sc dec in next, sc in last 3 (7 st)
  8. Fasten off and leave a long tail. Stuff lightly to form an arm shape.

Assembly:

Using picture as a guide cut out a faceplate in the black satin piece. Embroider eyes using blue embroidery thread. Using black thread, sew on faceplate to head. If you find her arms stick out from her body too much put a couple of stitches a bit lower from her shoulder into her body.


*Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Please do ‘★ LIKE’ the post if you found it to be useful.Your comments, suggestions, criticism and all opinions are very much appreciated. Please do write your queries in the Reply/comments section and I will try to get back to you asap.


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Review: Krazzy Kidz -Kids’ salon at Deccan Gymkhana

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Author: Gauri Kshirsagar

slide1

Overall Rating:  ★★★★  (4 out of 5)

Timings: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Location: 903, Yashashri Apartment, Bhandarkar Road Lane No 3, Deccan Gymkhana, Pune – 411004, Amarai Camp, Near New Gupte Maternity Home.

Phone: 02025670125 / 9922929922

Both of my twin daughters were quite petrified of haircuts. Neither they could stand the sound of snippy scissors nor the buzzing sound of a hair trimmer. Every haircut was a nightmare!!! So when I goggled about ‘kids’ hair salons in Pune’ I came across “Krazzy Kidz” salon at Deccan Gymkahana and I must say I had a very favourable experience here.

‘Krazzy Kids’ is a Ladies cum kids salon managed and owned by Mrs Manjiri Joglekar. The salon is quite spacious with a large chunk specially designed for kids. It has cool wall motifs with various pictures of animals and cartoons which enthrals the kids.

The hair cutting chairs are in the form of toy cars -complete with a steering wheel and car seat- in which my kids were very eager to sit and drive! Not to mention a TV which airs kids’ programmes throughout and keeps the kids engrossed when the hair cut is going on.slide4 Also there is a large collection of toys which the kids can play with while waiting for their turn. Since it is kids’ salon even the dads can join in.

Mrs. Joglekar is very flawless with her art of keeping the child involved in her interesting talk while simultaneously  giving a terrific haircut. She is very friendly, sweet, understanding, caring and a comfort to be with. My kids were very comfortable in her presence and the whole haircut was over within minutes without any difficultly. Oh and yes she also gives candies and chocolates to the little ones!

The only flaw I found in this kids salon is the staff. They, I must say are a bit unfriendly, impertinent and inhospitable. Since it is a kid’s salon I expected a lot more friendlier staff, hence the 4 stars. Always prefer the haircut to be done from the owner Mrs. Joglekar only. Other than this factor, the salon is great.

The charges are also very reasonable with basic cost starting from Rs. 250/- for each haircut

Overall a very good place for kids, and I really recommend it to parents to try it out. Do not forget to take prior appointments since it is a very busy salon.


*Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Please do ‘★ LIKE’ the post if you found it to be useful.Your comments, suggestions, criticism and all opinions are very much appreciated. Please do write your queries in the Reply/comments section and I will try to get back to you asap.


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Detailed cost of vaccination/ Immunization in India (Birth to 10 years of age) – with 2017 updated pdf file download

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Author: Gauri Kshirsagar

cost-of-vaccine

 

In India, there are number of vaccines given to a child since birth right upto the age of five years and each vaccine has a different schedule and dosage. To complicate further every vaccine has multiple brand names which determines its market cost. There isn’t a proper site which lists out the cost according to the Immunization schedule.

Hence to ease out this nerve wracking job of calculating the cost of vaccination each time you visit a doctor, I have compiled a list of various vaccines with their brand names, cost given at each week. So do download the file and relax!!!

FOR A COLOUR CODED AND SIMPLIFIED VERSION  DOWNLOAD THE 2017 updated PDF FILE HERE:  Detailed cost of vaccination in India 2017

PLEASE NOTE:

  1. Prices are as that of on February 2017, Variations may occur in the upcoming months
  2. Prices differ from one company to another, unlike in the West.
  3. Prices are only indicative, and subject to variation.
  4. The charges at a peadiatrian’s clinic may also include OPD/consultation charges, hence total cost may vary
  5. The cost also varies depending on the amount vaccine in a vial bought. Single vaccine vial will cost more, hence cost of some of the vaccines hasbeen mentioned as single dose or multiple dose.
  6. The choice of DPT combination vaccine may change the immunization schedule. To know how, first read my post: Painful versus painless vaccines – Article on different DPT combination vaccines
  7. Please also download the Recent immunization schedule by IAP -2014, which I have simplified and colour coded from this linkIMPORTANT: Indian Immunization schedule recommended by Indian Academy of Pediatrics (with 2014 modifications)
  8. The Immunization schedule of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and Government recommended Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) are two different schedules.
  9. Do consult your doctor thoroughly before every vaccination.
  10. Cost of booster may cost less (200 -500 Rupees) than the main vaccine

*Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Please do ‘★ LIKE’ the post if you found it to be useful.Your comments, suggestions, criticism and all opinions are very much appreciated. Please do write your queries in the Reply/comments section and I will try to get back to you asap.


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Review: ‘Eduneeds Toy Store’, Sahakar Nagar

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Author: Gauri Kshirsagar

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‘Eduneeds’ is an innovative educational toy store located at Sahakar nagar, Pune with a branch in Baner. It consists of a large collection of books, puzzles, stationary, science experiment kits, telescopes, school supplies, toy cars, furniture and so on. Its one of a kind store with a mix of fun and eduction, and I really recommend it to school going kids.

Ratings: ★★★★ ½ (4.5 out of 5)

Location: Shiv Darshan Rd, Walvekar Nagar, Parvati Paytha, Pune, Maharashtra 411009

Timings: 9:00 AM -9:00 PM

Parking: Street Parking

About Eduneeds: It’s a innovative educational toy store at Sahakar Nagar. It includes a small outdoor play area at the front of the store which includes slides, swings, rock climbing and rope climbing.slide2

The store is huge, well maintained and has a vast variety of toys to choose from.  They have a separate book section where children can read and scan through. slide3The science project section is quite good with lots of fun kits available. There ia also seperate section for puzzles, kid’s furniture, stationary, art supplies, kiddy cars and bicycles. slide4slide5slide6slide7 The timings of the store are also excellent, as it opens up early in the morning. There just one thing that I found not upto the mark, even though the selection of toys is quite good, I suggest you check the brand of the product before buying, since many times poor quality toys are also sold as branded toys and do not give the value for money.

Staff: The staff is quite helpful and well mannered

Ambience: The store is very well organized, huge, neat and well maintained.

Other Attractions: Eduneeds also organizes camps, hobby classes, competitions, storytelling workshops for school going kids.

Overall a must visit for students!


*Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Please do ‘★ LIKE’ the post if you found it to be useful.Your comments, suggestions, criticism and all opinions are very much appreciated.  Please do write your queries in the Reply/comments section and I will try to get back to you asap.


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