Reading is good for you, start now!!!

Reading is one of the best hobbies you can have, but it's sad to know that the majority of us do not know the fabulous world of books. If you are one of the non-readers here are some reasons to start the habit....before you are left behind!

1. Reading is an active mental process: Unlike sitting in front of the idiot box (TV),
reading makes you use your brain. While reading you would be forced to reason out many things which are unfamiliar to you. In this process you would use the grey cells of your brain to think and become smarter.

2. Reading improves your vocabulary: While reading books, especially challenging ones, you will find yourself exposed to many new words you wouldn't have been otherwise.

3. Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places of the world: How would you know about the life of people living in Mexico if you don't read about it? (unless you are very privileged to visit different countries regularly). Reading gives you insight into the diversity of ethnicity of people, their customs and their lifestyles. You become more aware of different places and their code of conduct.

4. Improves concentration and focus: It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. unlike magazines or e-mails that might contain small chunks of information, books tell the whole story.

5. Builds self-esteem: The more you read, the knowledgeable you become. With more knowledge comes more confidence. More confidence builds self-esteem. So it's a chain reaction.

6. Improves memory: Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.

7. Improves you discipline: Making time to read is something we all know we should do, but who schedules book reading time every day? Very few... That's why adding book reading to your daily schedule and sticking to it, improves discipline.

8. Improves creativity: Reading about diversity of life and exposing yourself to new ideas and more information helps to develop the creative side of the brain as it instills innovation into your thinking process.

If you want to break the monotony of a lazy, uncreative and boring life, go and grab an interesting book. Turn the pages to explore a new world filled with information and creativity.

Making an effective timetable

A Daily timetable will help you plan every part of your day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you crawl into bed at night. You'll be able to take control of how you spend your time from one hour to the next.

Here's how to make one. You might want to make a separate timetable for each day of the week, or one for weekdays and one for weekends.

1. Take a sheet of paper and a ruler. Draw a chart of all your working hours, using
one square for each half hour. If you're awake for 16 hours each day, you'll
need 32 squares: 8 across, 4 down. Using graph paper can help.
2. Label each square with the starting time for that half-hour block of time.For example, if you wake up at 6:00 in the morning, label the first half-hour square 6:00 a.m, and the next one 6:30 a.m, and so on.....
3. Sit down and examine your day. Make a list of all the things you need to do, from taking a shower to doing homework and after school activities.
4. When you begin to write things into your timetable, start with the things that
have specific start times. For instance, if you know you have to be at the bus
stop 7:00 a.m, fill in that square with Bus Stop.
5. Give yourself a break or several! If doing all your homework in one chunk is too
much for you, then schedule a little bit of free time between subjects.
6. Consider using a different colored pen or marker to colour in different types of
responsibilities. You could use yellow for family chores, red for school events,
and blue for school activities, and so on. This way you'll get a good sense of how
your day is planned just by looking at your timetable. This will also help you
identify if you are overloaded with something eg: sports.
7. Remember that you cant predict what's going to happen every day, and time
management involves being flexible.

Back to school

It's that time of the year again! You've been on holiday enjoying your days off, playing and sleeping late but now you need to prepare for the year ahead.

To get a head start when school opens, make sure all your books are neatly covered and your uniform is washed and ready for when the day arrives. This is the time to use your excitement and extra energy to your advantage.

There are three very important things you can do to make the year a success.

Firstly, set goals for what you want to achieve in the next 12 months, so that you don't lose sight of what you need to do to achieve this. Make sure your goals are important to you and realistic, and that you are ready to work hard to reach them. For this to happen, you must write them down and re-look at them constantly during the year.

Secondly, make sure you know what is happening in your school and that you have your timetable ready for the year. Now you know what opportunities you can embrace to reach your goals.

Thirdly, inform your parents about your goals and get them involved in what you are doing at school. Make sure that you have their support in all you do.

The new year is here and you have to make it count.

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