January 02, 2020

Unschooling and Projects

We spend money on buying that perfect costume for fancy dress competition.
We spend money on buying glittery stuff to make our child's project attractive.
We spend money on outsourcing our project work to someone who does it better.

WHY?

Because the system gives more marks for neatness.
Because the system gives more marks for an attractive piece.
Because the system gives more marks to the perfect-looking one.

A child who is not aware of this system, who is not aware of him being ranked, who is not aware of him being judged puts in 100% of his creativity rather than glittery stuff. S/He doesn't mind using recyclable stuff, cardboards, using no glitter in his/her project work because he is more focused on conveying his idea rather than decorating for marks.

And people still worry, but won't the child miss all the competitive spirit if not in the system???

How will the child feel motivated to do without this competition?

And, I wonder:
How good is this competition that makes the little one compete for showing off or getting more points? Isn't the word competition misconstrued?

Doesn't the child miss out the learning in the making when the project is made by another adult and not even allowed to be touched by him?

Doesn't the child miss out on the joy of learning?

Doesn't the child miss out on the joy of creating things?

What is the system trying to convey to the child?

Oh my!!!

The child might create shabby looking stuff, might fail at the first attempt of punching his fist into the material with which he is making something, the child might not take adult's help in decorating his project.

Yet, the child was motivated from within to take up a project and finish it.

The child has learnt to fail, retry, fail and retry until he succeeds. There is no fear of marks or judgement here.

All the self-confidence and self-esteem that the personality development workshops promise you to provide to your children are indeed already present in your child and further nurtured when s/he is involved in such project created as a form of free play.

It is play that leads to learning.

“Play is the highest form of research.” — Albert Einstein

#unschoolingkids #homeschoolingindia #children #unschoolinglife #unschoolingindia #homeschooling #learningwithoutschool #homeschoolinglife #homeschoolingkids #letthembe

Can we standardize success?

For some staying in high rise apartments in a posh locality of a city is a success, while for some staying in a mud house in a village is a success.

For some working for high pay job in an air-conditioned room is a success, while for some working with hands under the sun is a success.

For some doing yoga is a success, while for some running on the treadmill is a success.

For some buying things is a success, while for some reducing the usage of things is a success.

For some spending weekend in malls is a success, while for some spending weekend in meditation is a success.

Then, why is it that society has defined for the first 25 years of a child's life:
Being able to roll by 3 months is a success? (He didn't roll yet!)
Being able to crawl by 7 months is a success?
Being able to walk by 12 months is a success?
Being able to talk by 20 months is a success?
Being able to recite A-Z and 1,2,3 by the age of 2 years is a success?
Being able to read and write even before his early childhood completes is a success?
Being able to recite the Multiplication tables is a success?
Being able to score the highest grade is a success?
Being able to score the highest in a platter of subjects chosen by the adult is a success?
Being able to score the highest in the 10th grade is a success?
Being able to score the highest in the 12th is a success?
Being able to breeze through the top entrance exams is a success?
Being able to graduate from the top university is a success?
Being able to fetch a top-paying job is a success?
Being able to possess the greatest material wealth is a success?

How can the definition of success for ALL 30 students in a class be THE SAME?

How can the definition of success for approximately lakhs of students who graduate be THE SAME?

In fact, it is NOT THE SAME. Yet, they have been made to believe that success in society has a standard definition. Any goal other than the standard that the adult has defined is seen as a failure.

You know how much of an effort it takes for the graduate to actually realise himself, his goals, his interests and his definition of success? It takes a toll on his mind, body and soul to actually come out of the standards of success that the society/adults have set in him for the past 20 years of his life.

Why can't the child define success and choose his own path towards success since the time he is young?

Do we not trust the child?

An adult can always facilitate/help the child but need not direct the child all the way from childhood to teenage that usually leaves him clueless by the time he reaches his adulthood.

#RethinkEducation
#RethinkParenting

Big Small Preschool Activities

Oh, the countless activities that preschools do to make children understand big-small, tall-short, open-close...but the point is children already know....you ask a 1or 1.5 yo to get a big glass, he would get it or you ask him to open/close the door/lid he would do it....yet adults put so much time and resources to think they are 'teaching' these concepts to children!

And there are some parents who choose not to go behind any activities and there are children who engage their time on their own learning.

3yo says 'biig wiggly worm' as she draws big lines on the paper.

#unschoolingkids #homeschoolingindia #children #unschoolinglife #unschoolingindia #homeschooling #learningwithoutschool #homeschoolinglife #homeschoolingkids #letthembe #playingislearning #playing




Nature Book

Another instance to actually understand that children can take forward their journey.

5.5 yo prepares her own nature book, ticks off one by one. No one instructed her to do so.

So, she draws dry leaves, trees, plant pots, bricks, construction materials, sheets, dragon fly, birds, butterfly, pig, monkey, construction digger and many more and ticks them off.

Then, she goes on to number the oages in her book and wrote numbers all yhe way upto 147.

Play is the highest form of research - Albert Einstein

Let them be. Let them play. There are million ways to learn and all the world's is a learning place, not just the classroom!

#unschoolingkids #homeschoolingindia #children #unschoolinglife #unschoolingindia #homeschooling #learningwithoutschool #homeschoolinglife #homeschoolingkids #letthembe #playingislearning #playing

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Good - Bad Touch

I see many preschools and schools trying to make children aware of what good touch and bad touch are. Some define touching the face, cheeks, a handshake is good, the areas covered by a swimsuit are the private parts and that touch is bad touch.

Sorry, but, for a child any touch is a bad touch. Shall we empower the child to decide who she wants to interact with and what she calls the touch that she had encountered as?

Shall we not push the child to answer questions from strangers and push the child to give a handshake to that neighbour uncle. The child very well intuitively knows who she should trust and not. But, it's usually the adults who from infancy stage make the child believe in what adult feel is correct, that need not be necessarily correct by using phrases like 'He is just your uncle, don't cry, you should go to him', 'give a handshake, else you are a bad girl', 'oh, the relative just wants to carry you, why do you cry, s/he is our relative/neighbour' and many more. In this process, we are going in negation to what the child's intuition tells them and gradually the child forgets to listen to her intuition and do as per her gut, rather, goes according to what the society has set the definition for socialising or good/bad behaviour.

Coming back to touch, yes, any touch is bad touch. Even touching cheeks could be bad touch. The neighbour uncle pulls a child's cheeks in the park, the child does not feel comfortable but resists thinking it is not 'bad touch' as per definition of the mother or the teacher. Imagine what other things the child could be made to believe or could happen to the child. Even a handshake could be uncomfortable, there are some uncles who squeeze the child's hands during the handshake and the child's mind and mouth are shut because handshake was defined as good touch by the parent/teacher.

What if the child who is made to believe this will allow the neighbour uncle who pinches the cheeks every day saying 'hello baby' ... the child intuitively wants to get rid of it.. but just because another adult defined it as good touch the child may allow it to happen. As a child, even a handshake from the roadside uncle is seen as a bad touch, the child would not be willing to do it.. But, it is the adult who says 'give a handshake, you are a good girl na, give handshake' that may lead to touching the cheeks next, that has been termed as good touch and next and next...

For once, empower the child to decide what's good touch and bad touch... a child does not like even the cheeks to be touched. Let her believe in her judgement rather than these definitions of touching the cheek is good and butt is bad.

Empowering the child does not mean the parent does not talk at all or just ignores the child. Yes, interaction with children is most required but the interaction would consist of more inputs from the child than the adult. It is not adults who can define what's good for children but we can help children express their thoughts, feelings out and help them make their own decisions and definitions about what's good and what's bad.

- Sujaya | www.nurturinglove.in

Writing - Opportunities

5yo recited a letter for me to write to the internet service provider.

While a child's questions like 'why should I write' are often ignored, you find plenty of natural reasons for writing by just living.

#unschoolingkids #homeschoolingindia #children #unschoolinglife #unschoolingindia #homeschooling #learningwithoutschool #homeschoolinglife #homeschoolingkids #letthembe

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Praise and Shame?

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What does "NO" from an adult mean?

Your 'No' to the child meant:

Don't even try.
I don't want you to make a mess.
It's not a good idea to make an attempt.
It's better if you just follow what the adult says/does.
Children are not good at doing things.
Adults are always better than children.

And
Some other feelings that I could not record here.

#unschoolingkids #homeschoolingindia #children #unschoolinglife #unschoolingindia #homeschooling #learningwithoutschool #homeschoolinglife #homeschoolingkids #letthembe #childled #selfdirectedlearning #selflearning #respectthechild #respectfulparenting

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Awareness of a child

Me waiting at the car just outside the gate of a supermarket.
3yo taking stairs that go round-about(longer way) to the exit gate.
5yo waiting at the stairs that go directly to the exit gate.
Me: We should be a little quicker because we do not want the ice cream to melt before we reach home.
5yo: Anindya, walk slowly, walk slowly.
3yo: slowing down.
Me: looking at them
5yo: Anindya, climb down the stairs slowly, there is water over there, the security guard has just poured water there.
Me: looking at the water and the 3yo coming down the stairs.

The journey of Parenting

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What little people do...

Neither has anybody asked her to "pretend play" serving water nor has anyone asked her to "real" serve water.
She chose to do. Both, Then and Now.
Children just learn by playing and exploring. They are eager to learn. They are eager to do various things.

Creating ideas

My children have enjoyed reading various books. Have even enjoyed watching the movies based on the books that have been read.
There was much analyzing and questions asked around how the book version is different from the movie version, what could be the reason, how is the character created at all, how is a movie made. Wondered why some of her favourite books have not been made to a movie, searched for them on the internet, asked if we could create such characters or at least make a video while she is reading out the book.
Oh! How much freedom to learn this life gives them.
Some books/movies that I can recall right now are:
The Lion King, Mahabharatha, Little Ganesha, Bala Ramayanam, 101 Dalmatians, Noddy's Stories, The Gruffalo and some more. Some short stories like lion and mouse, crocodile and monkey, rabbit and tortoise, Peppa pig, ben and holly.
They enjoy stories that they get involved in those characters. Even when the younger sister was barely 1.5 yr old, I remember DD1 asking her if she liked to enact, giving her the dialogues, creating a skit, then both of then exchange their characters and enact the story all over again.
Some instances, DD1 and her friends enact a story saying they are doing a movie for the little ones(DD2 and her friend).
Latest one was enacting the story 'the gruffalo'. My kids absolutely love reading the book over and over and then enacting.


Ruling or Living?

3yo who says 'I'm tired, amma, I'm sleepy and sleeps on her own'.
5yo who gets her mat, mattress, bedsheet, blanket, pillow, makes a bed on her own and sleeps.
3yo who says 'I'll help you amma, I'll also put away the pillows and blankets on the bed'.
5yo who says 'This is the time I bath' and carries on with her work.
Not just once, but, encountered often.
We do not do rules with them.
We just do life with them.

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Unschooling and Projects

We spend money on buying that perfect costume for fancy dress competition. We spend money on buying glittery stuff to make our child's...