April 24, 2018

New beginnings

Some of you who follow my work would have known that we moved to a new home and that I intend to bring in some lifestyle changes. Here I would share on how a day looks like in this new place and what I intend 'to do' and 'not to do'.

We wake up to the dear sunshine and begin the day with smiles and cuddles. There are no phrases like hurry up, do this, else we get late. Because, when I observe, children keep learning at every moment. In one instance, I noticed DD1 lowering her knees and raising back up repeatedly while I was waiting for her to move from the place that she was standing at. Not saying any word, I just observed. After a while, she said 'When I do up, down, the moon moves front and back'. I felt wonderful . This relative motion is usually introduced in school and then the children asked to look around them while driving, like how the trees seem to move when we are driving. Here, this observation came from the child, not the book. I also recalled a bunch of similar observations made by DD1 a while back. She says, the trees are moving while driving and that the vehicle that overtake are running and we are moving very slow while we were driving in reasonable speed (not v slow), it was only the relative speed that mattered and a couple more that are hard to observe when children are always rushed to do things, when they are not given time, when they are handed over with gadgets just so that the parent can have some calm time.

Getting back to our day. I look at what time it is only when I wake up and rest all I do not bother. I give my children ample time to do their personal chores. Next, I would check the time when we are all seated for breakfast and that is around 9-9 30 AM.

So, usually the sequence is like - We wake up, brush teeth, go outdoor to get milk(DD1 and DD2 get one packet each), I go to kitchen to cut some veggies for breakfast and lunch, boil milk, let it cool, meanwhile water the plants, sow some seeds, clean the house premises, drink milk, go for bath, wash own clothes, dress up, go to terrace, hang the clothes on the dry line, thank the sun, moon, stars, clouds, nature and everyone around us, go down, run around for a while, listen to chants/vedas, have breakfast and get back to play. Read some books, have some fruits in an hour, play around, have lunch, get back to play. have milk or fruits or snacks in the evening while I also cook dinner, go to terrace, get the clothes back to room, fold them, put in appropriate shelves (by DD1 and DD2), go out for play. Have dinner, feel sleepy and then sleep.

In the above sequence, no where there is any rush or compulsion of doing any specific task. If DD1 says, she would brush her teeth a while later, so be it. She decides for herself and in no longer time she is back ready to have milk. The kids usually wake up around 6 - 6 30 AM or 7 - 7 30 AM if their sleep was in any way disturbed during the night(considering DD2 still wakes up during her sleep).
Outdoor play happens often in a day, depending on the weather conditions too. Even in the afternoon, they may go out to play in the sand if there is shade around.

All the toys have been given away when moving to this house. Some board games(for older age) have been kept locked as of now since DD1 still prefers to have free play not instruction-based play.
The latest toy that has been opened was a gift, a shape sorting box, that was lying on the floor and kids least bothered about it. They played just couple of times.

Children are more curious to learn from real-life experiences as already detailed in this post here.

DD2 has access to story books, stationery items, colouring items, scribbling books and all the household items(glassware, cutlery, lanterns) that she prefers to use in the various kinds of play that she is involved in during the day. She handles every item with utmost care, more than how I do, I have to accept it. She puts dal in the wet grinder, she gets me rice(to be cooked) in a glass with proper measurement, she counts very fast, she weaves stories with any objects that she glances over or even out of thin air. She draws her own imaginative figures and tells stories about them.

I do not wish to always instruct her in her play or learning. I do not wish to separate play and learning. All the while that the child is playing, she is also learning. Only that, it cannot be graded because each child is unique, each learning is unique, every creative task is unique. These cannot be graded against any standard.

As I feel very content with how my children are growing naturally, I wish to share more details on how we lead life in my future posts. Thanks for reading!

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