Managing Summer Holiday H.W. using Mind Maps!

Managing Summer Holiday H.W. using Mind Maps!

by Maneesh Dutt

The Mind Map I use for helping my kids plan and complete their holiday home work..

Along with the summer heat of 40+Deg Celsius in Delhi, as parents we also have to face the heat of the kid’s summer vacation holiday home work. So if vacations are here can home work (H.W.) be far behind !!?

 Interestingly when we think of the word “HOME” the other words that come to our mind are like Family, Care, Fun, Safety etc etc.. whereas when we think of “WORK” the words that pop up in our mind are Effort, Tiredness, Routine, Boring, Money, etc. etc. Now we can imagine the contradiction that we create in our children’s mind when we put together the words and create that demon called “Home-Work”!!! And its bigger “avatar” which strikes every year “Holiday Home Work”. ..

 Holiday H.W. is a big task by itself but bigger still is the challenge to keep the kids motivated and on track to complete their “work”? I experimented to tackle this with a Mind Map during one of the earlier vacations and subsequent to that I have been regularly hooked to this technique for quite some time now.

 The first step is to get the kids involved and help them make a Mind Maps as shown in the figure to capture their complete vacation home work. First at the center help them make an image of summer time (like the sun with the goggles) and use text like “Summer Interesting Learning” or “Summer Interesting Activities” but definitely not “Home Work”. Ask the kids for suggestions on what can be the alternative to “Home Work” and you would be surprised with the answers that you get from them.

Each main branch represents the individual subjects and the sub-branches captures the H.W. in brief.  Let the kids make any images that come to their mind while making this Mind Map. Once all the H.W. has been “Mapped” paste this Mind Map where they can see it on a daily basis. I usually paste it on their library in their room so that it is seen constantly by them when they are there in the room. Now you have to give THEM the responsibility to highlight a branch whenever they complete a home work recorded on it as a result the Mind Map starts to “glow” with the highlighting.

 With the complete H.W. in front of them the kids realize that there is actually an end to the home work. Otherwise the general perception that the kids would have about the holiday H.W. is that it is a never ending “ocean”. The second advantage is that the simple technique of highlighting, which lets them know how far they have reached, gives them a sense of accomplishment every time a branch is highlighted. In fact if you have two kids (better still twins like me!!) they start to check on each other’s progress and start competing making your task even easier. And finally do not forget to have mini-celebrations whenever one complete subject branch has been completed/highlighted!!

 Try it out for yourself, iterate and discover the best way to use this Mind Map and am sure summer vacations will be a lot “cooler” with this Mind Map !!

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