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Help!!

25 Feb

My son has stopped being a pillion rider. He has become a pillorying rider.

Each  section of the 5 km ride to school is analysed and commented upon.Each honk’s length is criticized . Each turn is dissected….

I am waiting for the time when I will sit behind him and get back my pound of flesh.I can’t glare or grumble at crazy drivers. THEY have his sympathy..whatever their blunders!

Teens …..age the parents .They banish the parents to’useless land’.

In my case this is just the beginning..

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An auditor comes calling at night.

4 Jan

As a parent I am restless. I keep auditing myself and my skills of parenting. And like all auditors , I keep finding glaring errors. Was I too soft in allowing him to  play computer games for  60 minutes this week ? Was I too harsh  when i refused to allow him to read the third story book this week ??   Was I barbaric when I forced down the badam milk down his gullet ? Was I  hitlersque in not allowing noodles more than once a month ?

Was I ?

Wasn’t I ? 

What would his reaction be ? What would I have done in his place ?

Whay? Why?

Could I have done this /that in a better way? WAS there a better way?

I was an auditor as a child too. I would point out how better I could have been brought up,That is in MY view ( highly prejudiced  ;)My mother would console me by telling that iItoo qwould get my chance and I could do it the right way then.Now I have  my son saying that i am not an ideal mom !

His ideas  of parenting are quite well thought out-even as a  12 year old.

I am not worried. I am more worried about his ideas of  ‘sonning’

More on that soon .

Most often my  auditing is done at night. If I am  tired sleep takes over otherwise auditing takes over the sleep.Many a times my son would have found it amusing that I would be extra careful on some mornings in handing out decisions /orders.He would have expected  the usual  military general barking orders….and he is stunned to see a liberal, ‘cool’ mom accepting his verdicts without a syllable of dissent. Mornings such as these must be  a kid’s dream beginning of a new day.

V paid obeisance to his guru

6 Aug

Guru Poornima is celebrated on Aashada poornima as a day on which people of all walks of life pay obesiance to their religious/ other gurus. This  custom is prevalent in Goa and Maharashtra .

In circles of music and dance it is the day on  which gurus are honoured. The shishyaas perform and dedicate all that they have learnt to  their  gurus.

V  played the tabla and harmonium at his  academy’s gurupoornima celebrations.

He played  a Bada Khayal in raag Bhoop set to vilambit ek taal and on the tabla he played ek taal.

It was a proud moment for C and me.

We enjoyed the concerts of many other budding artists and felt relieved that Indian music is still alive and kicking!!

Here is my effort to type in Hindi…

27 Jul

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Readiness part II

19 Jul

During this period we inculcate habits of proper usage of toilets, the correct way of brushing, maintaining sensible time limits during tiffin time and activity times, developing good inter-personal skills …This is done in a joyful way. Children are encouraged to bring tooth brushes and soaps to school so that they can learn to use it in the right way. A lot of time is given to hone skills needed for reading and writing. They have activities like threading beads in different patterns, playing with clay, sorting objects, playing with sand…
What do I mean by readiness programme at home?
I mean a friendly attitude towards school in general and teachers and classmates in particular. I have observed that very small kids first draw security zones around them and rarely go out of it. As they grow, they gradually enlarge it and actually test by leaving it for short durations. So, the idea of school should probably be introduced in a fashion of ‘visiting’ rather than ‘going’. When we say “you have to go to school and learn things …” we are indirectly telling that she needs to ‘go away’ .Instead we should treat school as a place she will visit and come back after many enjoyable experiences. We can even talk about the great experiences we have had at school. ’Teacher’ has to be alluded to in positive tones .Under no circumstances should ‘school’ or ‘teacher’ be referred to as punishments or as some vague prison where the child’s freedom is going to be curtailed…
Next, the actual act of ‘going’. Going to school begins at least three months before schools reopen! Yes, one should mentally prepare our kids by timing their morning routines by the clock. A kid need not be trained to read the time but she should certainly be made aware of time. We should see that a pattern is maintained for going to bed and waking up. Sunday ho ya Monday a regular schedule keeps the kid bright and cheerful on all days. Most times we see children coming  to school with a totally stale look. A bath in the morning not only keeps them clean, it makes them fresh and more receptive to the day’s activities. And the next important thing is giving them a good breakfast. It should have the right mix of cereals and proteins. This applies to the lunch box too. Fancy /junk food stuff is a clear no-no. Most times the kids demand junk food to attend school/the parent promises such food as a reward for good behaviour.The kid has to be familiarized with the process of opening the box and feeding herself. Using a napkin, clearing up the place, washing hands and mouth …all these need to be practised. Tying shoe laces, wearing socks, putting back things in the bag…are other things that one can ‘do’ by playing games at home. A time schedule foe eating within a reasonable period of time is useful. Otherwise most kids are able to manage just a cup of milk before coming to school and please remember the lunch break is at least three hours later.

Ofcourse toilet training is very important.This is to avoid embarrassment to the kid and shooting pains in the abdomen of the little one.

How each day is a new lesson for me

30 Jun

The need for open ended assignments at home and in school

Every child has an innate sense of being able to relate to the characters in the story being read or an anecdote being narrated. This is often observed in classes where the teacher asks the children to postulate the ending after narrating only half the story or gives ample room for the kids’ freedom of imagination by asking what do they think would have happened if this were not the ending. This is also found in houses where the grandmother narrates a story till the point where justice has to be meted out to the aggrieved and the child is asked to pronounce the judgment as if she were the judge.

Being given the choice to change the course of the story allows her to develop a sense of responsibility towards the characters. She also feels vindicated as she has mentally  taken sides with some characters. She feels that it is her story now. She gets a feeling of having created something and her confidence level will soar  high.

In the classroom this is used as a part of group discussion  especially in lower classes. Today, I narrated a story and asked: What do you think would have happened if X had gone home straight after his work? I was not only surprised by the varied answers I got but also by the totally inventive ones from the usually reticent ones. They came out with fantastic ones which an adult can’t ever think of.!

This sort of behaviour never stops making me wonder. Now I have been teaching from twenty years but I am  thrilled to see such responses.   This is a big reward and it keeps the spirit going in spite of the body acting mulish. The day was especially busy, but this last minute perk-up was a tonic. I had to stay back longer than usual due to a meeting and the surprising thing was I was relaxed and tolerant.

Some areas where I feel one can give such open –ended tasks to young kids are:

o       In stories found in the language textbooks/other storybooks

o       In kids’ serials watched on TV

o       In popular ‘family’ movies

o       In mythological  stories

o       In biographies / autobiographies

o       In anecdotes of famous scientists

                An extension of this activity could be:

o       writing out dialogues of the changed ending

o       enacting it out

o       organizing a debate on the merits of different endings

o       hypothesizing as to why the author found this ending most suitable

  

Will someone give me an idea…

26 Jun

I want to depict a timeline of Greek history in a three dimensional way.

Will someone give ideas.

I thought I would draw the time line on a mount board  and then add flags of different colours with clay buttons at the bottom (for adhesion)The flags could then have the caption too.

Any other idea??