Tag Archives: Homeschooling

Child’s First and Ever Lasting School

What’s common in Embroidery, Carrot and Cheese Salad and Roughly Chopped Carrot and Cucumber Salad?

These are all home projects done by our children without any encouragement/planning/teaching from my side. Embroidery and Carrot Cucumber Salad having been done by 5 year old Yog. Carrot Cheese Salad done by 13 year old Toyna.

You may wonder what prompted them to pick up random things like Embroidery and Salad Making. The simple answer is that they saw these skills being practiced by someone at our home. Since these were being done for a period of time only by adults, our children figured it must be something interesting to do. After all, adults always do interesting things! No one asked them to try eating the salad leave alone try making it themselves.

The fact is that when children see something as part of their household they will naturally tend to try it out. Our children have tried meditation, cycling, trekking,  washing utensils/clothes, baking and even running their own business, just because these skills are part and parcel of our daily routine. On the flip side, my children think it is OK to raise their voice in anger because that is also what they have seen me doing in our household.

This is not a new concept. We are all aware that we have subconsciously adopted most of our own habits, values and rituals directly from our parents. To a large extent, our parenting styles are also pretty much similar to that of our parents. After all, what we have observed or rather experienced for the bulk of our childhood years is going to define the kind of adult we become.

For years, I have struggled to get our children to try out new things. I took them to classes, got them introduced to experts and traveled with them far and wide just to get them the “exposure”. It is only now that I realized the lesson that was always there in front of me. If I want my children to have exposure, it is “me” who first needs to get that exposure in my life. It doesn’t matter how good or bad I am at that thing. If my children see me happy trying to get it right, they are bound to try and do it out of curiosity and self motivation. Since they tried to do it by their own accord, they are more likely to continue pursuing it without needing any nudge from our side. The opposite of this is also true. If you don’t want your child to practice something, try and not do it yourself. For example – driving rashly, smoking, hitting someone or simple things like wasting food/water.

A home is the first and most intensive school that a child will ever go to. If you do not practice what you preach chances are your children will never practice it either. In fact, if you practice what you want your children to learn, you will never need to preach it.

Happy Homeschooling!

 

 

Our Death Plan

Ever since we lost Yog’s grandmother last year to Death, this D word has been omnipresent in our household. While we might want to avoid talking about Death over and over again, Yog is fascinated with it. It wasn’t long before he connected the dots and understood that Mom, Dad and Grandfather are also getting old and might die any day. It was therefore only proper that we have a solid plan for what does Yog need to do in case he loses his Mom, Dad and Grandfather all in one day. This is how our first conversation, in this regard, went.

Yog: Mama, what will happen if you, Papa and Thatha die? Who will take care of me?

Mama: By the time, all of us will die, Yog will be a big boy and he can take care of himself. Plus, you will have Akka with you.

Yog (thinking): But Mama, I will need new parents to take care of me. How will I find new parents?

Mama (laughing inside): In that case, Nani will come from Delhi and take you with her. You can stay with Nani. She will take care of you.

Yog: But how will Nani know that you have died and she needs to come to Hyderabad? Will you tell her before you die?

Mama (trying so hard not to laugh out loud): Someone will inform Nani to come to Hyderabad. Till Nani comes, you can go and stay with Sharada Aunty (our loving next door neighbor).

This conversation seemed to satisfy Yog for the time being.

A few days ago after talking about sun, stars, moon, plants and million other topics in this world, Yog came around to death once again.

Yog: Mama, when all of you die, I will go to Delhi to stay with Nani. I will take my password (he means his passport), go to the airport and take a flight to Delhi.

Mama: That’s a good idea.

Yog (all of a sudden choking on a thought that he can barely breathe): But Mama….. , But Mama…

Mama thinking that Yog has finally figured that life will be sad without his mother, father and grandfather. I should assure him that he will be fine.

Yog (continuing): But Mama, I don’t know where you have kept my password.

Mama (laughing under my breath): It’s ok Yog! I have kept it safely. I will show you where it is when we get home.

Yog, once again, is satisfied with the answer and happy to move on to the next topic for the day.

Me laughing internally at his innocence! I pray he always remains so carefree and forward looking in life. As for me, once I have shown Yog where his passport is kept, my job on this planet is done! I can then happily start planning for my next life! (LOL!!!)

Needless to say, I think both Toyna and Yog are blessed to be a part of  a large, loving and close knit family. It doesn’t worry me, even for a second, on what will happen to them if I am no longer there. Thank you dear family for so much love and support! We are all blessed!

Bees Don’t Give us Honey

Yog (eating lunch): Mama, what do bees eat?

Mama: Bees eat honey

Yog: No Mama, Bees make honey for us. They don’t eat honey

Mama: No Yog, Bees make honey for themselves. We take the honey from them

Yog (thoughtful): So bees sell honey to us. What honey is left, they eat it?

Mama (laughing internally): No Yog! Bees don’t sell honey to us! We steal honey from the bees

Yog (shocked and adamant now): No Mama! That is not right! Bees give the honey to us. We don’t steal it from them

Mama: Where did you learn that Bees give honey to us?

Yog: My school book said, “Bees give us honey”. That is correct. We don’t steal honey from the bees.

Me silently connecting the dots. Yog is right. All school books tell us that Cows give us milk, Bees give us honey or Hens give us eggs. No book bothers to state the fact that all the above animals are reared by humans just like objects so that we can then acquire their produce. This is yet another gap I see in the way we are taught. Such education makes us subconsciously believe that these animals exist just to service us. We slowly start to believe that everything on this planet was created to serve the human race.  It is no wonder that human never even stop once, to contemplate why we are misusing the resources on the planet.

Creating education syllabus is serious responsibility. When children learn such things in school, they create a subliminal network where humans are considered superior to all other forms of life. Even within humans, some forms intuitively start to consider themselves superior to other forms like men vs. women, fair skin vs dark skin, western countries vs. eastern countries.

Short sighted curriculum influence the complete thought process of multiple generations and how they behave in the society. The impact of such errors will be seen on generations to come. We cannot include sentences like “Cows give us milk” in a science book and then include “We should take care of animals” in a moral science book. It is time we educate our children to understand the larger ecosystem of our planet and not just the human ecosystem. Even if, we as parents, cannot directly influence the school curriculum, we can definitely control the conversations that we have with our child.

Homeschooling Topic – Weather

Yog: Mama, Winter is coming.When will it snow in Hyderabad ?

Mama: It only snows in regions which are far from the equator or are very high up from the ground. I am sorry but it doesn’t snow in Hyderabad.

Yog: Why?

Mama: Because Hyderabad is near to the equator and it does not have any mountains as well.

Yog thinking about the facts at hand for some time: Are the mountains growing?

Mama: Yes, the mountains are growing slowly.

Yog: Then after the mountains grow, will there be snow in Hyderabad?

Mama: No Yog! The mountains are growing but not in Hyderabad. I don’t think there will be snow in Hyderabad anytime soon.

Yog: Why winter is coming?

Mama: Because the earth is going away from the sun and it’s axis are tilting.

Yog: If earth’s axis are turning then will there be snow in Hyderabad?

Mama silent. I really don’t know when will there be snow in Hyderabad. If anyone knows, please tell me the answer.

Some of you might be wondering what is the point of recording these small conversations with Yog. Yes, these conversations are definitely adorable and I would love to record how beautifully his small mind deciphered the big world around him. But more importantly, I record these conversations to remind myself and others that Learning is not at all constrained to books and school. Yog is learning ever second he is awake and maybe sometimes in his sleep as well. His intrinsic curiosity makes him understand about Carbon Dioxide and Equator even before his mouth can pronounce these words correctly. He calls “Gravity” as “Grabity” and “Carbon Dioxide” as “Carbo Oxide”. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that he is processing what is around him.

Every mom thinks her child is a genius, but honestly I don’t think Yog is a genius. I think he just loves science. He just loves it so much that he is willing to read and talk about it night and day. But this does not necessarily mean he loves painting and dancing as much. He has his own interests and when these interests are fueled his learning goes rocket speed.

Looking at him learning, I sincerely regret not homeschooling my daughter when she was this age. I was an ignorant parent and I pushed her into the same education system that was probably never meant for her. If I had taken more time to answer her questions, fuel her interests, listen more intently to her desires, given her freedom to choose her path, we would be in a different place all together.

I share my experiences in my blog, sincerely hoping that some of the readers see the sense in not pushing their child through the standard education system. I completely understand that Homeschooling is not an option for everyone. Even if your child goes to a regular school, allow them the freedom to do what they want to do at least after school hours. Focus on their interests even if you think there is no career path in that area. Answer as many questions as you can, and find answers for those that you can’t. Search on Google or speak to other parents or connect to experts to answer your child’s curiosity. Whatever you do, please never ever ask your child to stop asking questions. The day we stop them from asking questions, the day we tell them that it is not right to learn.

So yes, I hope you now understand how desperate I am to try and find out When it will snow in Hyderabad. 😊

#HomeschoolingLife #Weather #SnowinHyderabad

I Signed The Dotted Line To Take Ownership Of My Son

I formally started homeschooling my son, about 15 days ago, at the end of the Dushera Holidays. The first 3 days were completely chaotic trying to find a rhythm and pattern. By the end of each day, my son and I were both  pulling our hair apart. I was obviously wondering if this is the right way to go for both of us. They say perseverance pays and  it did, in our case too. Soon we took off the ground and started flying smoothly. Since then, each day that goes by in the Homeschooling routine, I feel more relaxed and confident that homeschooling is the way to go for my 5 year old son.

All though, I had informed the school about my decision to homeschool my child, I was yet to complete the formalities of getting the School Leaving Certificate and TC. Something in me was hesitant in taking this final step, because once done, there was no going back. The last few days of homeschooling have been so good that I felt confident about going this last mile. Today, I informed the school I would be coming to sign the final paper work. I went in and signed on the dotted line to formally take complete ownership of my son. Honestly, even though I am 200% confident that homeschooling is the way to go for my son, signing the papers today was a very emotional moment. I  don’t know why but  I felt like crying. I am not sure if the emotion stemmed from joy or sorrow. I had finally done it, stopped something that I was sure was not right and started something that was already showing results.  But yet, the lingering doubt, the fear doesn’t let go of it’s grip so easily. After all, generations of conditioning cannot be eradicated in just a few months. As I drove my car out of the big gray school gates, I questioned myself once again, “Am I sure, I can do this? I have never done this before. I have never received training on this before. I don’t even know what all he will need to learn over the next 10 years. Will he be able to go to college? Will he ever fit in with the rest of the world? What if I go wrong? What if I am not as good as the school? What if I mess up my child’s life?”

Honestly, it’s been a tough day but I am happy that it is over. We are officially homeschoolers now and we have nothing to look back upon. From today, my son is 100% my responsibility. If we go wrong somewhere, I have no school, no nanny, no teacher to blame. I have no system to curse. I have no one but myself to correct to ensure that my child gets the best learning that he deserves.

Since I announced the decision of Homeschooling to family and friends, I have received a lot of negative comments. But somehow in this case, I just know that I am doing the right thing. I have never felt so sure about anything before. I am aware that by pulling him out of school, I am making sure that my child will always feel different from his peers. He will never totally fit in with all his school going friends. But then, why are we always so scared of being different? Why do we all have to fit in the same bucket, knowing very well that each one of us are unique, even knowing that the bucket is wrong for us? Why do we have to worry if someone points a finger to say that we are different? Of course, we are different! I am extremely proud that we have been able to take a stand to celebrate our differences and choose not to fit in with 99% of the crowd.

This has been perhaps the most difficult decision of my life, because I know I am dealing with my child’s future. But watching him go down a path which was not right, was even harder to live with every day. Starting today, I am fully responsible and accountable for the education of my child. The buck finally stops here.

If you would like to know the reasons why I chose to homeschool, read here – https://www.momspresso.com/parenting/inspired-from-child-life/article/why-we-choose-to-homeschool-our-children

This article was first published on Momspresso because I want to reach out to as many parents as possible to help them understand the journey of a Homeschooling parent.

https://www.momspresso.com/parenting/inspired-from-child-life/article/i-signed-the-dotted-line-to-take-ownership-of-my-son