June 17, 2019

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 what they have chosen to do.

And now, engrossed in free play with loads of imagination and creation. In like 30 mins, they have created at least 10 new names, 10 new sounds and more than 10 new ideas.

I am sure, if there was forced structure on daily routine, this scene would have been quite the opposite, very far from what I witnessed this morning, having power struggles to get them to brush and bathed in order to catch the school bus on time.

Young kids should spend time in play, free play, imaginary play to know their likes and dislikes and eventually make their schedules on their own.

They choose to brush, bath, have milk/juice, have breakfast solely on their own inner motivation. There is no external force or coercion to get them to do what was needed to be done at that moment. They know they want to drink something or eat something and they choose to do so at that moment.

At the beginning of our no-school journey, I have received questions from well-intentioned people, like:

1. When there is no school, how can the child follow a timetable?
2. When there is no school, how can the child be disciplined?
3. When there is no school, how can the child wake up at a set time every day?

While I hear from fellow parents, that it is getting extremely difficult to get the child ready by the time bus reaches their place, I only feel relieved that I have chosen to follow my child's lead in her learning journey.

For a child who refuses to do what was supposed to be done at that moment, reasons could be, there is no inner motivation to do it, there is external coercion/threat into doing it, there is a higher authority who tries to control what the child should do at that moment.

These reasons do not come into the picture for children who are internally motivated to follow their own schedule, which is usually true for children who are unschooled.

Today's day was spent in so much of imaginary play busy creating stuff and new vocabulary, cleaning around the home, making some lotion, jumping around, cleaning more stuff and more imaginary play.

And then, another question:

1. Now at this age, it should be fine, but how do you manage to teach all the subjects in her middle/high school grades?

Once the innate attributes of a child i.e., self-motivation, awareness, determination, perseverance, focus et al. are nurtured in their early childhood years, they will themselves carve out a way for learning the subject of their interest.

And as to the subjects - the whole world is our school. They are free to learn anywhere. 5yo DD1 chose to learn the Indian anthem by listening to it online, recording her singing, hearing it back, correcting herself, recording again until she got it right. She still hums that to date.

Children choose to learn according to their physical ability, mental awareness and understanding of the environment around. It is our job to just provide ample resources, love and support in their journey of learning.

Now, time is: 9 15 AM.
Both have just done with their bath and again started off with free play.







DD1, when 2.5yo, started trying to lay a towel flat on the floor without any fringes and another towel over it without moving the lower one and without the top one having any fringes. This is quite a task for a 2yo. She kept trying, showed her frustration when she couldn't or the towel moved, refused to take help, tried repeatedly and one fine day, achieved it. This is a project that the child has chosen to do. And there is a lot of learning involved. DD2 who is 2yo now is in a similar phase. She tries to lay a bedsheet over the mattress without any fringe while refusing help.

Today, they had their imaginary play for more than an hour over the towels laid on the floor.

Such child-chosen projects give them the inner motivation to achieve. When a 3yo or 4yo is expected to do a project of sticking some pictures on chart paper while colouring it neat to make it better presentable, the child may lose interest because 1.it was not chosen by her 2. There might be n number of other things that interest the child around 3. There is external force/rewards to finish the work. In the end, the child who manages to do may just do while not being totally aware of what they are doing, maybe just following what the adult has asked to do.

A child who is more naturally inclined towards her own thoughts and actions is at a different level of awareness than a child who is constantly coerced/threatened to fit in a schedule that the adult has created.

#RethinkParenting #RethinkEducation



June 14, 2019

Curd to Buttermilk

Churning curd to make buttermilk. Some thoughts, some questions, some observations.
Is there cream in buttermilk? Are there lumps? Are those lumps of curd? Why does the churner have upwards spokes? These spokes are sharp, hence they should be reversed, downwards to make buttermilk from curd. Using strainer.
More than learning to make the end product, it is the ability to decide to do something, executing in action, ability to think and try other versions of doing the same thing, the self-confidence that is earned upon achieving what they have aimed for and many more attributes that cannot be graded or standardised are some of the perks of unschooling/open learning/homeschooling.

What are we passing on?



Parents work so hard toiling in their career in order to feel worthy their education degree, to believe that all their education in pursuit of that degree has not gone waste.
But, do we pass on the most important of all - life education to our children. Did we have any, in the first place? Do we work on ourselves? Do we know our passions? Do we take time to improve our passions? Do we give time to our children to find their passion? To know themselves better?
To feel worthy of our education we have led ourselves to this society-created rat race and now, taking our children too in the same path, ain't it?
As a parent, it is important to work on one's own self, let the child work on their self, create their own beats and find their own passion.

Indian Anthem




How do children who don't go to school know the national anthem?
How do children who don't attend the school assembly every day learn the national anthem?
How do children who are not taught to learn?
5yo. Learning without school.
So how did she learn the national anthem?
She first heard it in a forwarded video. She used to repeat the song a lot. This happened around 6 months back. She kept singing now and then. Later she started recording her song, hearing it back, singing again after correcting herself. She listens to the song on the gaana app. She records her audio, video while singing. This one too was recorded by her. Just edited with cover photo by me.
Who taught? None. She learnt from the various resources available around her.
Who asked her to? None. She wanted to learn.
Is it possible to learn without making the children do the singing drill every day in morning assembly? Yes.
This self-motivation to learn something new, perseverance to stay with it, dedication towards it and concentration are all great attributes that should be nurtured. Every newborn child innately has all these qualities and these are killed once young children are put into forced schedules designed by adults.
Teaching is impossible. Only learning is possible. - Carl
And, I remember having mispronounced many words in the anthem in my daily morning school assembly. I didn't even know the meaning of many words in there. Now, DD1 even tries to question the words and understand the meaning.

Let them be curious

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When an adult is shown a photo album, the adult looks at just the photo and maybe recalls his memory.
When a child is shown a photo album, the child thinks of how the photo actually went into the transparent cover, try to move it with fingers, open it, take the photo out and insert it again.
When an adult shows a rattle to a child, the adult may focus on the sound that the rattle makes or how the child is amused with the sound and movement.
When a child is shown a rattle, the child actually questions how the smaller balls that create sound went into the rattle in the first place, may even try to break it open to see how the rattle works.
When an adult gifts a child with a ball that glows when it is hit to the ground, the adult may just focus on how the child would play with it in a bouncy fashion.
When a child gets a ball that glows when it is hit to the ground, the child actually, squeezes the balls, pushes, presses, tries to touch the smaller ball that contains light (that glows upon hitting), hits the ball while pressing the smaller ball and do many more things.
If in all the above and similar other scenarios, the adult has hushed the child away in order to not tamper with the photo album, rattle, toy, ball, or whatever,
Congratulations! You have just managed to get the child to do what you want him to do.
Congratulations! You have just managed to make the child follow 'your' thoughts rather than his own thoughts.
Congratulations! You have just stopped the child from thinking further 'on his own' and even achieved to make him believe that what he has just thought about and tried exploring was redundant and unnecessary.
Congratulations! You have just managed to make the child believe that thinking unique or exploring is not needed, just being with the crowd around is sufficient in life.
And finally, congratulations! You have managed to keep the child away from his own curiosity.

Fractions

Life gives us enough experiences as opportunities to learn from.
I had been thinking to prepare something similar with paper since long. Haven't done that yet, but this kit was given by her cousin. Thanks to her cousin.
5yo said she would arrange them. She got a bunch of questions and observations.
Why does this card having 10 written on it, yet smaller in size and this card with 1 written is soo big?
There are 2 cards with 1/2 written. There are 6 cards with 1/6 written.
Similar statements for 7,8,9,10...
Questioning led to more learning.
Wish every child would experience this freedom to play with the tools and further learn from their play, rather than, one-way communication from the textbooks to child's mind to written homework to writing answers on the exam paper to scoring 10/10 to seeing the parent happy as a definition of learning and success.

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June 10, 2019

Question and Investigate to Learn

2yo: what is there "inside" cotton? Why is it bumpy? (while touching and poking it)
2yo: why is our body moving downwards when we sit in a moving auto?

5yo: (mixing some murmur chat) Why do we add lemon juice?
Me: Maybe to get some of its taste and also to act as adhesive for the murmur and salt. salt is all separated from dry murmur as we can see here.
5yo: If it is just to make salt and Mirchi powder to stick to the murmur, we can as well add water, why should we add lemon juice?
Me: Sure, we could try and taste. Maybe for those who like the sour taste can add lemon juice and those who do not can sprinkle some water and mix?
5yo: But, I even want the sour taste, I prefer it with lemon juice only.

So much of thinking goes into children's brains. Is the child being provided with an environment that encourages questions? Or just an environment where the child is asked to do what is asked to be done? Let the child question and learn.

When an adult is shown a photo album, the adult looks at just the photo and maybe recalls his memory.
When a child is shown a photo album, the child thinks of how the photo actually went into the transparent cover, try to move it with fingers, open it, take the photo out and insert it again.

When an adult shows a rattle to a child, the adult may focus on the sound that the rattle makes or how the child is amused with the sound and movement.
When a child is shown a rattle, the child actually questions how the smaller balls that create sound went into the rattle in the first place, may even try to break it open to see how the rattle works.

When an adult gifts a child with a ball that glows when it is hit to the ground, the adult may just focus on how the child would play with it in a bouncy fashion.
When a child gets a ball that glows when it is hit to the ground, the child actually, squeezes the balls, pushes, presses, tries to touch the smaller ball that contains light (that glows upon hitting), hits the ball while pressing the smaller ball and do many more things.

If in all the above and similar other scenarios, the adult has hushed the child away in order to not tamper with the photo album, rattle, toy, ball, or whatever,
 Congratulations! You have just managed to get the child to do what you want him to do. Congratulations! You have just managed to make the child follow 'your' thoughts rather than his own thoughts.
Congratulations! You have just stopped the child from thinking further 'on his own' and even achieved to make him believe that what he has just thought about and tried exploring was redundant and unnecessary.
Congratulations! You have just managed to make the child believe that thinking unique or exploring is not needed to quench his curiosity, just being with the crowd around is sufficient in life.
Congratulations! You have managed to keep the child away from his own curiosity.

-Sujaya | https://www.facebook.com/embodimentoflove/ | www.www.nurturinglove.in

#RethinkParenting #RethinkEducation #children #learning #playing #playingislearning

Making Mazes

Making mazes with pillows.
Children make the best use of what is available. Adults who know little about them try to get them to do what is asked rather than what is thought of.

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Learning by living

This was the scene in our home some days back(keeps happening too). 10 mins after both kids woke up, they had an argument and me...