May 20, 2019

Why numbers?

Image may contain: 1 person

2.5yo: Amma, why are there 1,2,3 and so on? 

5yo: How long can the numbers go on? Why is there no limit to numbers? (She herself comes up with an answer)

Children who don't learn from textbooks learn by questioning out of their own curiosity. 

I see school textbooks that define rules of addition subtraction and maths, in general.

But, what if, there were no rules and the child comes up with her own way to solve a problem? Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Can the child be given time?

Is so much amount of drill necessary? Singing songs on numbers, writing numbers repeatedly, flashcards on numbers, defining numbers and the textbooks that directly give the child all the needed info to solve a problem? All in the race to answer faster, solve faster, score better than the others.

Every child is curious by nature and remains curious until an external force sets in where the child becomes busy in comprehending all the info that's provided that she even forgets to question things around her.

Let the child's true nature be nurtured instead of bogging them down with tight schedules, daily routines, rules and instructions about doing things.

#noschoollearning #unschooling #homeschoolinglife#homeschooling #homeschoolingkids#homeschoolingindia #unschoolingindia#kidslearning #childten #chilled #childledlearning#childrenofhyderabad #kidsofhyderabad #hyderabad#parentsofhyderabad #noschoollearning #noschool#noschoolhyderabad


May 15, 2019

School readiness for children

I have recently come across this page:

Parents, teachers, schools, adults almost everyone around a young child is mostly focussing on whether the infant is able to recognise animals, point at vehicles when asked upon. Once, speech begins, then the stress in upon if the child is able to recite A to Z or number 1 to 10 or 20. Then there are these parent conferences that happen at play areas regarding whose child can count more, walk faster, sing better.

Then comes the preschool age where children are taken through umpteen 'prewriting activities' so that the child will be able to grasp the pen and write well! Oh! Some schools, I heard, are teaching cursive writing to 4-year-olds!! What happened to calligraphy? Why can't children write in their own patterns? Then the homework that is given to be done at home. Parents, by this time, notice that the child was so brilliantly learning and questioning when he was younger like 2 or 2.5, now, I don't know what happened, he refuses to write or do what is asked for.
Welcome to the 'Phase'. Then some people say, this is just a phase, it will pass on.
Yeah, a phase where the child has begun to accept to move far from his intuition, a phase where the child fears the external authority more than he trusts his own intuition, a phase where we 'teach' the kids to do what is asked for and not question.

What are we focussing upon?
What are we showing the kids as 'Important' in life?
How are we defining 'learning' for kids?

All that the young children need is play, play and play. Free play and not instructed play. Along with the love and trust of an adult.
Just by playing they observe and start learning numbers and alphabets on their own if numbers and alphabets are your concern. Otherwise, by free play, they can learn a lot of things that cannot be put in words and graded like, assessing the environment, choosing the objective, trying for it(to achieve their own set goal) on their own, fail, try again achieve. The self-motivation and self-confidence all that is required is already present in young children and it goes away when adult force or coercion sets in. It moves to external motivation, achieve the goal so that you get a sticky star, eat fast you get to play more, count faster and the fastest will get sticky Smileys. Doing things for external motivation removes the joy of doing and learning ultimately.
More sad is that children are beginning to understand that this is THE NORM. But no, this should not and need not be the norm. The child can be left on his own to trust his own intuition.
By the end of 6 or 7 years, there are very few kids who are even realising to question the whys and whats.
That means congrats to the adults and the system, we have tampered the child's intuition already. And the children who question, receive very less encouragement. They are labelled as back-talking kids. Realize this parent, let the children be.
This is by a 5-year-old:
The first day she told me her teachers had asked the children to drink less water. She asked me the reason for it.
Another day, she says:
Amma, why should we be quiet? Why do they yell to be quiet?
Why should we not move from our benches?
And you know, what? Teachers tell lies!!!
They said to the children who kept moving from their benches that they won't be taken to their homes but they dropped them at their home in the end!!!
Why do they do that?
The first step to understand the self is questioning the existence and children do that often. Why do you yell, why do you want me to eat fast or sleep fast and many more.
Questioning the existence means the child is still intact to his intuition and the adult can try to change himself but not control the child.
If even questioning is suppressed then a lot of such thoughts become the foundation of grief for adulthood.


May 09, 2019

Why is it so in 'School'?

I have been looking for a gurukul or an open learning kind of summer camp(like aarohi) for my 5-year-old.

Having failed to find any in near vicinity to the place I stay, I thought she can try going to a regular summer camp. She was enrolled in a summer camp for a month(only after she decided to).

The first day she told me her teachers had asked the children to drink less water. She asked me the reason for it.

Another day, she says:
Amma, why should we be quiet? Why do they yell to be quiet?
Why should we not move from our benches?
And you know, what? Teachers tell lies!!!
They said to the children who kept moving from their benches that they won't be taken to their homes but they dropped them at their home in the end!!!
Why do they do that?

I got questions about socialisation when I shared my decision to not send my kids to school. Then, it got subsided upon seeing how well she interacts with people of all ages. She sure takes her time, but, responds just as required. And this is very much important - to know when to speak and when not to speak. Why don't we leave kids to learn by themselves if they can trust a person rather than just finding fault that she does not talk to anyone?

Then, I heard arguments that she should know the bad world outside and she can know this only when she goes to school.

To know the bad world outside, a trip to the office where a bribe was taken is sufficient or a trip to a temple where the priest gives receipt of 5Rs but accepts 10 Rs for seva would suffice or be aware while riding public transport where the auto man wanted to take 4 times the original charge using tactics on a mother who could not focus much because of her luggage and kids is sufficient.

Overall, living life as it comes is sufficient to understand the bad world out there and to empathise with those who have suffered due to the bad world.

To do this, to develop empathy, to be sensitive, the child should have more real-life experiences every day. And spending 8 hours every day with the same group of people, cracking the same jokes, at the same place would not do that.

Becoming conscious of one's self and being aware of the world around needs one to be closer to one's intuition that comes naturally to young children and stays with them until an adult forces an agenda on the child!



May 07, 2019

Weighing Scale

One of the things we did today while walking on the road.
Kids had a try on the weighing scale. No theory, no lecture, just learning by doing and observing what happens.
The more the child initiates her learning, the more she understands the power of choosing, of observing the world around, and the fact that she can try out what she sees around (of course, after assessing any danger) without necessarily being scared of who judges her and how.
Quite contrary to the busy parents who pull their curious kids away from such things(if at all, the child has noticed any on the road) by threatening that someone would come if she touches the thing there, natural self-led learning teaches so many things so quietly and inherently apart from what they learn by just trying out the thing(weighing scale, here)


May 03, 2019

Children want to do things all by themselves

My 2-year-old.
She wants to do everything by herself.
If we have kind of done it for her, she goes back to square zero and does it by herself.
I remember my now-5-year-old also being the same around 2.

Recently, we had gone out of town. The trips consisted of visiting temples, travelling in autos and so on. If I had, in a habit of mind, carried her while getting into the auto or climbing up the steps in a temple or crossing over the main doorstep in a temple, she would get off me, go back to where I started and do all that by herself.

In one instance, we had to hurry from the reception party of a cousin to the railway station to board our train. And, my mind was filled with how we could drag our luggage with kids into the station to board the train, I had been requesting the auto driver to drive faster too. Though he would, in his cool, reply, 'don't worry madam, you can catch the train'. As soon as the auto stopped at the railway station, I carried my 2-year-old on my hip and held my 5-year old's hand and got down the auto quickly.
Right at that moment, my 2-year-old resisted my hold, got down, climbed back into the auto and got down the auto on her own.

I smiled.

Such things happen quite often or rather on a daily basis, I should say.

Just 2 days back, I took the metro with my 2 and 5-year-olds. Carrying one and holding the other's hand. As soon as we entered the metro station, my 2-year-old got off me, asked for the metro card. We went through the bag checking, in-person checking, reached the point where we had to swipe the card. Since 2-year-olds are not given a metro card, she had mine and since she could not reach the swipe point, I carried her while she swipes and both of us move past the checkpoint. We reach the escalator. She insists I put her down and she steps on to the escalator. Mind you, I should not hold her even when she is standing on the moving escalator. She held on to the railing pane to her left.

We got off the escalator.
Boarded the train.
Got off the train at the destination station.
2yo got off me again, asked for the metro card and kept walking by me.
Reached the checkpoint where the card needs to be swiped.
I held her at shoulders, lifted her up to the height where the card has to be swiped.
She swiped the card.
I continued walking forward, holding her in the same position, at her shoulders.
Once out of the checkpoint, she realised she was being carried and insisted we go back into the station, she swipes the card herself and walks past the checkpoint herself.
I explain to her that once we exit the checkpoint, we can enter only if we have to board another train.
She says, 'next time, you should not carry me, I will only walk on my own'.
I said, 'Okay'.

We walk out of the metro station and go to our destination place.

Next, it is our return journey.

Reached the metro station.
Kids ask for the metro cards.
We reach the checkpoint where we swipe the card.
2yo swipes the card and walks past the checkpoint and I immediately rush behind her so as to get past the checkpoint before it gets closed. and it closes right when my hand crosses the checkpoint.
The guard lady asked me to carry the 2yo, next time. I understood her concern since one swipe would allow just one person to cross the checkpoint.

We climbed up the escalator, 2yo refused to take my help. Boarded the train. Reached destination station. Reached the point where the card needs to be swiped at the exit. I explained my 2yo that the two of us should cross the checkpoint at the same time. She said yes, though, I could sense her inability to understand the point behind why she should be carried along.
We crossed the checkpoint while she swiped the card and I carried her along.
Just then, she again melted down while insisting that she wants to walk past the checkpoint. I carried her and again tried to explain that, we two have just one card and hence we should cross the checkpoint at the same time. She continued to sob.

Then, I told both my kids to look outside for their father who came there to pick us up. I was speaking to them while carrying 2yo as there was too much crowd in the metro station at that moment, reached stairs and I started to climb down the stairs. After coming down almost 25% of the stairs, my 2yo who was already crying realised that we were getting down the stairs, got off my hip, climbed up the stairs again and walked down the stairs.

Then the three of us reached the point where we were looking for our car and got into the car.

Do I dread metro rides with my kids, all alone? NO!
Do I dread going out with my kids, all alone? NO!
Do I want to take another metro ride with my kids? Would love to.
Also, this metro ride was voluntarily initiated by me!

Do I want to change any situation that had happened throughout the entire day? Heck, no!
If any, I would pray the universe to grant me a better mindset to understand my child's intention and be with her in all situations.

Throughout such incidents, the child was neither adamant nor rude nor immature nor overconfident. She just wanted to do things on her own just like how an adult does. And this quality is most sought after during adulthood. Some of us have already cut their wings during childhood and expect them to fly in their adulthood. Is it fair?

An adult who just stands by the child's side and protects from any danger would be sufficient.

Despite umpteen tantrums thrown by my children, I enjoy travelling with them. I take them on public transport quite often. I believe, the tantrums wouldn't last long, but the experiences would.