April 25, 2019

Passing on Trust or Fear?

More often than not, I hear parents saying:
'Don't do that. If you do that, they call you bad boy. You are not a bad boy. You are a good boy. So you shouldn't do that.'
'If you finish your meal, you are a good girl'.
'Don't behave like that, they will call you a bad boy'.
'If you go to bath right now, you can be a good girl, else a bad girl'.

But, Why?

Is it a phrase to get things done by the little ones?
Does the parent think that the child falls into place this way?

Well, I cannot think of any reason!

Shall we ponder on what thoughts are passed on to the child in various statements of ours?

You ARE a good girl no matter what. I trust that you are a person who does things out of no negative intentions. Even if you do not step into the bathroom right when I ask YOU to, you remain a good girl. Even if you do not finish your meal, you are a virtuous person. Even if you do not come to me right when I call you, YOU are an awesome person.

How does it feel when you read the above statements? We pass on to our children, the TRUST, that we trust them, their ability to listen to their heart and their sense of autonomy. This directly leads them to trust their inner voice more than the outside threat or authority.

Whereas in the cases where the threat of name-calling or punishment was used to get things done, we had succeeded in passing on our FEARS to our children.
They begin to understand that they need to succumb to outside power and authority, else, it would lead to shame. They will begin to learn that, it is important for them to listen to the outside authority rather than their inner voice.

And how long can this drama of 'threatening to' continue? Maybe, a 6-year-old would answer the adult that the threat is a hoax and it is not real. Then the child is labelled as talking-back.

Did the adult try to make a gentle conversation with the child when she was younger?
Where first, could the child learn her language from, if not for immediate family members?

Can we revisit how our relationship with our children is?
Can we start to trust them?
Can we pass on our trust to them, rather than the fear?

#ReThinkParenting

-Sujaya Chaturvedula


April 22, 2019

The Ear

5yo wants to see how the inside of her ear looks. Asks me to capture a picture as she kind of opens up her ear. Then asks me to explain what's inside, not being able to see in the pic. I revised my own knowledge from the wiki. Though we have scored good grades by writing down all that was memorized about the ear on the exam paper, we fall blank right when kids question us.

One of the reasons why learning should be self-directed. It simply states the fact that - Information is easily available around you. You can use it to solve your questions.

Whereas, in the schooling assessment, the child understands that memorizing to score more is all that needs to be focussed. (maybe, just that we did during our childhood)

#homeschooling
#homeschoolinglife
#homeschoolingindia
#letthekidsbe
#curiouskids


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The kitchen lab

She asks me if she can take some flour to make a mix. Runs to the kitchen. Mixes up some flours in the kitchen. Makes commode seat with lid that can be closed and opened. Takes pics of it. Then moved on to pretend play, making other items out of it. Had not taken pics throughout.

#homeschooling
#homeschoolingindia
#playing
#letthekidsbe
#freethekids

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Cleaning Spree

On a super active and long cleaning spree today. Cleaned glasses in the afternoon and now this. The idea was initiated by the little 2yo.

She gathered all the needed items and asked me to fill the bucket with water.

#homeschooling
#homeschoolingindia
#letthekidsbe
#playing


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April 17, 2019

Knowledge, Wisdom and Learning

I have been reading a lot about knowledge and wisdom lately. And, if you have been following my posts, What is music for kids?, Is there any learning? I had also mentioned how the devotion towards a subject is no more being carried forward from the guru to the disciple. The devotion is getting lost in making the student do EXACTLY the way it was taught, sing EXACTLY the way it was sung, dance EXACTLY the way it was shown, colour EXACTLY the way it was told, move EXACTLY where the line is drawn, sit EXACTLY where it was shown and many more, and what's more disastrous? - All this in the early years of one's life.

Where is the freedom to use one's own wisdom given?
When is the time to nurture one's own innate wisdom provided?

Watch what Prof. B.M. Hegde says in the following video:


Orginal Video here:




This led me to read more about T.S.Eliot:

Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? T. S. Eliot 


From http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/information/information.html,

With all the technological advances and change,
Is mankind happier or wiser than he was 100 years ago?

"Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"

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Aren't we really losing our innate thinking ability to the way we are directed by information?
Aren't we rushing kids to go by information instead of giving them space to nurture their own wisdom?

In ancient times, there were ardent devotees who expressed their love for god in the form of kirtanas/songs. In the present age, are we rushing our children to learn those kirtanas for the only reason to have them perform to an audience or are we giving them the time and space to invoke their own wisdom and express their love for nature/god in their own ways?

There may be children who really love learning to sing and dance. Nothing wrong with it. But, aren't the parents rushing kids as young as 3 years to these coaching classes? Can kids so young express their interests? Can kids so young express their emotions?

And then, there are claims that a child should be exposed to all possible fields in this world around.
Wonderful. Perfect. Nothing wrong.
Only that the word 'exposed' is not understood as it was supposed to be.

Giving a child exposure means letting the child soak in all his senses in the art form. Be it music, dance, reading, writing, maths, science, geography, soil, sports, games, people and in a wider aspect - LIFE!

Let the child first be shown the art form, let her enjoy by all her senses, let her create something new from what she observed, let her have a free hand in what she likes and upon having really immersed one's self in that art form, let her express the need to perfect her learnings! Learning is a journey. It is not the destination(singing to an audience) that matters. The journey could be more enjoyable than the destination.

A parent who wishes to introduce pottery to a child can invest time and energy in actually walking by a stream of water, collecting sticky mud, or digging sand to collect sticky mud, let the child have free play with the mud, let him build castles, let him learn the art of pressing, mixing, sticking different layers of mud and after the child soaks all his senses in the art, be introduced to a pottery wheel or a traditional class to learn the art form.

Or, the child could be first taken to dance and music concerts, given freedom to make her own songs and own moves, write her own poems, feel the bliss or devotion towards the art form while immersing in it and then, when the child expresses a wish to learn further, be taken for professional coaching.

Getting back to what I wrote above:
There may be children who really love learning to sing and dance. Nothing wrong with it. But, aren't the parents rushing kids as young as 3 years to these coaching classes? Can kids so young express their interests? Can kids so young express their emotions?

I am sure the parents would definitely connect to the child and develop the understanding so as to 'KNOW' what the child is ready for and when the child is ready. If not, developing this connect and trust would help the relation better.

Can adults encourage children to make their learning self-directed?
Can we give them some time to soak their senses in the numbers before we rush them to write 1-50 for 10 times?
Can we give them some time to make their own words, discover the rhyming nature of some words, make their own patterns of words before we rush them to read out the flash cards that are shown to them?

#RethinkEducation
#RethinkParenting
#Freethekids
#letthekidsbe

April 01, 2019

Pretend play - Ice cream seller

Children making an ice cream cart with cone icecreams of assorted flavor. They come up with their own new colour by mixing play dough's and their own names for the flavors.
Then taking turns as shopkeeper and buyer, playing ....

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Car of the future?

She says, their car speaks out directions, that they listen to, to reach their destination.
Me: So, it has gps?
DD1: No, it doesn't even need gps installed. It automatically knows where we are supposed to go and tells us the direction.
Could this be the REAL future??? A car that would read a human's mind and giving directions even without asking explicitly for it?

Love for puddles

Spotting a mud puddle, picking stones of various sizes, arranging them by size, throwing them in the puddle one by one, analyse how big the water splashes for stones of different sizes, experimenting the same by standing at various distances from the puddle, experiencing joy AND every idea comes from the child but not from an adult instruction..
Isn't the child set free on her learning journey self-motivated?
And we complain about children not listening to or getting diverted from what the teacher says in the classroom.

Building with blocks

5yo DD1 has been read and watching a lot of Mahabharatha and Kurukshetra battle.
One day, she built this home, tree with a bird, swimming pool, whale pool, mazes, chakravyuha  with the blocks.

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Schedules and Motivation

Time is 8 30 AM. Both kids are done with waking up, brushing teeth, had milk, played around and ate breakfast. That's wha...