Monday, July 10, 2017

Home Schooling Iya!!

Back again after a long time.

Have been trying to figure out the best way to home-school my daughter.

Yes. Home-school.

After sending Iya to school for 3 years (lower kindergarten, upper kindergarten and 1st std), I've finally decided to get her out of the factory production module and home-school her to hone her true self.

People ask me how I home-school her and how much time I spend with her daily, teaching her.

Well, I calculated the time I need to spend 'teaching her' in the following manner.

Out of 365 days of school, 2 months are vacations - which leaves 305 days. Taking out the weekends, that leaves roughly 220 days. Taking out the festival holidays and the occasional bandh and monsoon offs, there are roughly about 190 days of school.

Out of the 6 hours that she takes to go and come back from school, 2 hours were for travelling to and fro and settling down in school or packing up. Taking the breaks and Good Morning teacher formalities, taking out the books etc time away, I figured that actual learning happened for about 2-3 hours for 190 days. That is roughly 550 hours an year, which if divided per day is about 1.5 hours.

Now that was quite doable!!

The next question was how to home-school and what curriculum to follow.

I found along the way that there are 2 branches in homeschooling - one that un-schools and one that follows a curriculum.

So un-schooling is where you basically just allow your child to learn on their own as and when they feel ready to learn. You do not 'teach' them until and unless they come asking you to explain to them something.

And following a curriculum is like school but, followed at home, with assessment and some even have 'home work'!!

As of now, considering that Iya is just 6 years old, I am really not bothered about following any curriculum. I have taken a mid path - un-schooling her as well as teaching her a few things off and on. Right now, I'm just letting her explore her interests, and every once in a while, our general conversations point out to certain topics that need further explanations, and so we sit down and learn about it.

For example, just the other day, Iya was questioning on the dinner table why she had to eat dal! Iya is very fond of vegetables and fruits, so feeding that has never been an issue with her, but dal has always been a difficult one. Being vegetarians, dal is an important source of protein.

So, we sat down to learn about the different nutritional needs of the body, the foods that supply those nutrients and what each nutrient does for the body.

Learning is done in a writing, exploring, googling, researching mode, ending with a diagramatic table of the foods she can eat daily to get all the nutrition that she requires.

Why she needs to eat dal is now answered - after 5 days of learning.

Once, on a holiday, we were staying at a retreat close to a forest area. We heard a barking deer, and as she questioned about the deer and what it eats, we went on to learn about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores.

Isn't this how learning should be?

Will she ever forget this now?

I suspect not.

Conventional schooling is left brained, where the right brain is left to fend for itself - bringing on confusing imbalances in ones life. You feel this imbalance when you do not know what subjects to study, what specializations to take up, when you join jobs that don't satisfy you, that don't complete you, that you do out of habit, or because of the degrees you've earned, but not out of your fondness for that subject.

Homeschooling, with sufficient exposure to the world, and with sufficient freedom for exploration can actually bring about balanced growth of the left brain and the right brain.

For me, this was very important.

To nourish her Body, Mind and Soul, we enrolled her in various fun activity classes that work on her body strength and stamina or that stimulate her brain - both left and right, while also doing many left and right brained activities at home.

Having heard often about our ancient wisdom and how science which we know today, has been coded in our ancient texts, I was quite keen for Iya to learn our ancient wisdom. So our Soul nourishment plan includes learning the sacred chants from the Vedas. As she learns each mantra, she shares it on a YouTube video with the world, so that everyone can benefit from that knowledge.

With ample of time for all sorts of exploration, we are truly having as great time home-schooled. home-schooling for both - Iya and me.

We cook together some times, we build tents from bedsheets and read story books inside it, we play board games, we even design new board games, we do art and craft together, we look after the dog, we play with the little sister, we float paper boats and get wet in the rain, we talk, we watch TV and YouTube; we live each moment together.

Yes, at times I do feel tired of the constant attention that is required out of me (especially since I have a 1 year old daughter and a really old and critically ill dog), yet, home-schooling has been a great experience for me and I am loving every bit of what each day brings on for us.

Will I forever home-school Iya?

I don't know yet.

Just as I follow my intuition on what we need to do on a daily basis, so too, I'll let my intuition guide me on how long I need to home school her and when I'll need to school her (in a conventional or a holistic education school) or home school her with a curriculum.

No comments:

Post a Comment