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Handy hints

Back to school with a bang!

It's back to school time again. Which means it's time you started focusing on having your kids remain healthy and happy to ensure a successful year. So here are some strategies for starting school on the right foot and making it memorable, positive and fun:

1. Review the previous year's learning. Review last year's curriculum just before returning to school.

2. Buy the necessary ammunitions. When you're planning for a new school year, it's pretty safe to invest in the following:

Pen drive (USB drive) Internet access Ream of computer paper Backpack Notebook/copies Brown paper for covering copies (if required by school) Pencils/pens (regular plus color ones) Eraser/White ink pen Pencil sharpener Ruler (scale) Glue stick Graph paper Highlighters Markers Pocket dictionary Thesaurus Organizer/planner 3-ring binder Pocket folders Poster paper Scissors Stapler Paper clips New uniforms including socks and shoes (if needed) for class, games, etc.

3. Prepare the evening before for morning routines surrounding starting school each year. Iron out uniforms and have them laid out, including shoes and socks. Hair accessories, backpacks zipped and ready, lunches made or at least decisions about what will be in the lunch helps to minimise morning madness.

4. Use a large calendar to keep track of schedules and events to help with adjustments necessary for starting school and throughout the year. Some families utilise a different color for each family member. Others require children to write in their own activities. No matter what method you use, keeping a master calendar definitely helps in being more organized.

5. Designate a homework corner and place for backpacks. Then, stick with it. Having a set place for backpacks minimises lost homework or missing items in the hurried morning routine. Make the designated homework spot more attractive by stocking it with colorful pencils, paper, and coordinated desk sets.

6. Limit your kids to no more than two structured activities when starting school for the year. Kids who are involved in lessons, music, dance, and sports may seem like they're getting a diversified and well-rounded educational experience, but the truth is that they're over-extended and could face burn-out and stress.

7. Pre-school and school-age children should receive 10-11 hours of sleep each night. Consider it brain time for both you and your kids. Establish those bedtime requirements, and then stick to it. It really is in everyone's best interest, and well-rested kids make for happier families. So start a new routine of having your child adjust his/her school bedtime and wake-up routine before the first day of school.

8. Make a family commitment to eat dinner together (without the TV) at least four times each week. If four times simply won't work in your schedule during the start of the school year, then consider three. The key is to make it a priority to hear about your child's day at school and take time to enjoy each other in a stress-free setting.

9. Meet your child's teacher and school principal. You can get valuable insight into your child's progress by talking to school staff.

10. Finally, be positive! Take note of how your child reacts to separation and changes in routine and acknowledge and talk to your kids about the mixed emotions they may be feeling as the school year approaches. Remind them of the friends they'll meet, the new things they will learn, and the fun they will have!

So here's wishing all parents and kids a great back-to-school year. Bon voyage!

By Simin Saifuddin


Badol diner prothom kodom phool…

Yes, white flowers are the queen of monsoon. Starting from the tall and elegant tube-roses or rajanigandha, which adorns your crystal vase, to the breathtaking fragrant jasmine that you can use to decorate your hair, all have spread out their captivating beauty and aroma to mesmerize you this monsoon. While rajanigandha sticks and jasmine garlands are easily available at road-side stalls and quite often at your car window at very cheap rates, other perfumed beauties like hasna hena, gondhoraj, dolon chapa, kamini and even the night queen are not so widely available to the general public. The only places you would find them would be on shrubs in private gardens. However, seedlings of these flowers are available at most nurseries around the city. Asad Gate has a large road-side nursery, where these seedlings can be found. Other places include Road 7 in Dhanmondi, and the roadside beside the Shilpakala Academy. Prices are quite negotiable. So don't waste any time in creating your own attractive, sweet-scented balcony-garden, this monsoon.



A Bengali of whichever type and whatever strength (!), our fascination towards spicy and sour food stuffs never fails to determine who we are. “Sour-toothed” through generations, our craving for hot and sour aachars and chutneys of various sorts seem almost like a genetic trait! Well, gone are the days when our grandmas and moms used to hand pick those mangoes and tamarinds, treat them delicately and spice them with their own hands and cook those wonderful finger-licking pickles for us. In this hectic life, it is not always possible to ask for such services. Not quite a worry for us though. Packaged pickles with that have the same taste and aroma as the home-made ones have long been introduced in the market at prices of around 50 taka to 100 taka. Recently the same companies have launched mini packets of aachars and chutneys of various mouth-watering flavours to compete with the anonymous plastic packet filled chutneys available in the alley-way stalls of New Market at the low prices of 2 taka to 4 taka. While the question of hygiene arises with these products, the sealed and packaged ones carrying the brand name of a renowned company offer better guarantee. They are available in most grocery shops like Agora and Nandan and also at small food vending stores at prices between 4 taka and 8 taka.


Waterproofing your belongings

While jute and cloth bags are not only trendy but also environment friendly, they might not turn out quite friendly towards you, especially if you are caught in the rain. Water may seep right through and dampen your possessions. So, this monsoon, turn your attention towards leather and polyester bags instead of fabrics. Leather purses and vanity bags are more common than fabric ones, but nowadays college bags and other casual bags are available in various shapes and designs in leather and such materials. These are available at a few shops in Gulshan Market as well as shops in Banani. These places keep expensive and export quality products and the prices of bags maybe around 5000 taka and may reach higher. However, the haven for any buyer would be none other than our own New Market. College bags, shoulder bags, satchels and all other sorts of bags in both leather and polyester varieties are available here at reasonable prices. You can even get hold of Nike at only 400 taka! (Well, we are not guaranteeing you the authenticity of these products!)

By Nusrat Khandker

On the cover

Friendship Day falls on August 6 this year. Catch the shared laughter and joys on our page 3.
Models: Anushua, Naziba, Proma, Deya, Anuruddho, and Eric
Photo: Zahidul I Khan


While preparing for Friendship Day this year, we came across this gem of a piece on friendship, in a forwarded e-mail. We at Lifestyle feel that this echoes our sentiments about the true nature of friendships today, so we'd like to share it with our readers. Wishing you a happy Friendship Day!

Are you tired of all those namby, pamby, girly, sissy, completely Wet "friendship" poems, that never come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that really speaks to true friendship:

1. When you are sad - I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry mongrel who made you that way.
2. When you are blue - I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
3. When you smile - I will know you've finally had a root.
4. When you are scared - I will tease the crap out of you about it every chance I get.
5. When you are worried - I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to stop your bloody whining.
6. When you are confused - I will use little words.
7. When you are sick - Stay the hell away from me until you are well again, I don't want whatever you have.
8. When you fall - I will point and laugh at your clumsy self. This is my oath... I pledge it till the end.



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