January 21, 2018

Writing Numbers - Making Calendar

Homework from school usually contains blank lines where children need to write some numbers repeatedly. What about adding some fun to it?

Divide a chart paper with lines and start writing numbers as dates to make an entire calendar!!!

The child could even colour the special days like birthdays,  festivals etc..

Each day, the child could read what day and month it is from the calendar and strike off that date.


Doing math - Everyday life

Pressure-free learning does wonders. Just letting the child handle the entire scene brings contentment.

DD1 got a chance to lay her hands on some currency notes that she wanted to know how much there was in total. I offered her cloth pegs, seeds, markers, eraser and she got busy for the next half an hour!!!

She first used cloth pegs to count.

After a while she said, she would put just dots and then count ALL of them.

She even used some seeds to count in one of the attempts.

Play. Learn. Repeat. Play. Learn. Repeat.

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January 02, 2018

How to be sane when you are overwhelmed with tasks?

I dug up something in my writings. For all those people who wonder if I ever get irritated at the world around. You may find your answer here. The thing is, with every passing day, I am more mindful of the way I live. Though, I am tired and lose physical strength in handling two kids (both below 4 years of age), I manage to have a sane mind and mental courage to get back to normal state.

The below had happened when Ananya was 2 yr 2 months. I was 1 month pregnant with Anindya. So, I had the usual first trimester tiredness in that phase. I also believe: If you look for reasons, you find hundreds of them. If you look for solution, you find just the one you need.

March 9 2016

Last one month(little less than that) seemed to be experimental in my life. A started asking me to carry her every single moment, inside the home, outside, everywhere, even while I was getting tired. Obviously, she doesn't know that point and 2 year old does not have a fully developed brain to think from another person's perspective and act accordingly. You can read about empathy here.

She was simply being her own self. Though I knew all these scientific and spiritual facts right, I too, fell in the trap of getting irritated. Thankfully, it was never shown on anyone around, specially A. It was only that I started being irritable, though I did all that she wanted me to do, deep within, I was some how feeling mentally bad and physically weak at the same time. Mentally bad because I realised I was not fully dedicated to the mundane tasks. I was somehow left uninspired, empty-minded and behaviourally routine for a week or so.

Only after analysing what was going on in my mind did I realise that I was getting back what I had in mind. We attract circumstances that are similar to our mental state at any point of time. I was irritable, I attracted irritable scenarios, had ill health, lacked inspiration, attracted forgetfulness, the type of activities I do for myself had changed.

Yes, knowing some facts is different from realising them which is even more different from putting them into practice. I thought over, chalked out points on how my mind wandered in the wrong direction and how I could have avoided it.

After a detailed introspection, all I have to share is:

  • When we are joyfully carrying out our routine, we never feel the pain. When you are unhappy with something, you attract pain that causes weakness and irritation in turn.
  • How ever old we keep growing, when we are around a 2 year old, we ought to be pure hearted and behave as another 2 year old with her. Become a child when with one, only then you can experience the child's joy.
  • Whatever your physical status is, strong mind and joyful heart are the two things needed to keep up your health. 


January 01, 2018

What do you want to become when you grow up?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

We would have heard this questions at least ten times in our childhood and now worried about the same in the case of our children. Is it right?

What do you want to become?
I do not make any sense of this question. What do I want to become? I am already one!!! I am already a human with certain goals in my mind, body and soul. I do not become something just after growing up like 20 years later in time. I evolve everyday. I become a better person everyday. I aim to be more mindful of my life everyday. So, there is nothing that I suddenly want to become after 20 years of my life.

That is my honest reply(as a kid) to the question.

OK. Let's get back to our children.

So, what do you want your child to be? Do you already have role models who you wish your child must be following and become one like? Do you already worry about how your 5 year old does not show as much interest in maths as you expect her to and worry that she may be shamed in school leading to not taking up Maths in her college? And many more in the list.

What do we want our child to be?

Isn't your child already something? Isn't she already creative? Isn't she already sportive? Isn't she already talented? Aren't newborns already self-learners? Aren't babies already self-motivated? Who destroyed the natural evolution and learning process of a child? Isn't it the environment that one grows up in? Starting from mandating the child to colour the sky and water with only blue colour, leaf with only green and the fruits with only the generally seen colours, everything that causes an interruption in a child's natural learning process becomes the cause for even the decline in the child's natural interest in doing something. The sky is never blue ALL the time. It shows up in different colours, if the same child who was mandated to colour sky blue on paper was shown the real sky at various times of the day would have been a better natural learner. It satisfies both - his learning process from the nature around as well as the close moments that he shares with his guide(parent). Water is actually colourless but looks blue(again not always) when seen from a distance. The colour actually depends on the materials present on the sea/river -bed, the climate around and the observer's vision. We all know leaves are not ALWAYS green. They take up various colours depending on the season of the year. A vegetable like capsicum is not ALWAYS red in colour, we have at least 4 different colours of the same capsicum and if the child comes up with a 5th colour, let him be, who knows, if really the 5th variety would be discovered soon or by the child himself? Only when the child is let free with careful supervision will he be a better natural learner. Do not disturb the natural thought process of a child.

Next, is the role models!!! Parents are the first role models for the child to learn from and be exactly the same. Apart from it, do you wish your child follows another's path or carve out a path for himself? Do you think, you encouraging him to carve out his own path and be role model for his peers will give better satisfaction than forcing upon someone else's path on him? Rest is for your own thinking!

You may notice a 4 year old who is crazy about cars, may imitate a mechanic, same 6 year old becomes crazy about drawing and is an artist now, the same 12 year old starts learning about robots and even make some, 14 year old starts moving towards astronomy. So, interests are always evolving. A child who fairs average in his first grade may start to develop robots when he is 12 year old, but, only if he was encouraged to take up his interest. When parents are only concerned about child's marks in school exams, there does not arise the scope of providing children with time and opportunities to learn, fail and grow in their own interest. Getting marks and gaining praise in school is not the ultimate goal in life. Life is beyond what is actually seen on the physical plane.

Let's tweak the question a bit. What do you want take up as your profession in future?

Profession - A very heavy word for child of any age, or even an adult. Because, we never know what the future will bring us. The professions that exist now have not been there when I was in school. Clearly, asking what profession you would take after 20 years is a dumb question when you do not know what new professions would come up with every new year. So, by the time the present school-going children would be graduated, they would be exposed to many new professions that actually DO NOT exist now. Are the teachers and parents actually preparing the child for an unforeseen future? Are the children being provided time and opportunity to grow by themselves or always forced to run behind grades? We never know the future, may be, one of these children around us would come up with a new profession himself and start to provide employment? For this, the child should first be set free to learn what he wants, the way he wants with good guidance, not mandated to do this and do that in only a specific way.

As for a human, to what he would want to be as life progresses, I can list some :

1) Knowing the self
2) Relation
2) Communication
3) Empathy
4) Positive Lifestyle
5) Knowing, growing and being with nature
8) Meditation
9) Independent
10) Research
11) Study in one's interest
12) Faith

If you look at the above list, all of them, just ALL of them, are developed with a child's every day experience and close family members. And, all of them are more important than aiming for a profession to earn money. There are hundred ways to earn money but only one way to be the unique self.

Let the child be.

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Pouring - 2

Materials needed: glasses, bowls, scoop spoon, plate, seeds

As me DD1, DD2 were having some chidwa for snacks, I noticed DD2 pouring the chidwa from her cup to a glass, back to the cup and repeat. This is when I realised I could offer her a similar play. And, the same was done in various types by DD1 and she enjoyed doing the same all over again. She had her own versions of the play, saying she was making lava with the pouring seeds.

Check out the following links for similar pouring activities:

  1. Scoop out
  2. Scoop out - 2 
  3. Play with dal seeds
  4. Pouring Water
  5. Pouring

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