Manthan - Churning on Freedom

Manthan, means churning. Each Manthan allows us to churn in different way. This Manthan, it was about FREEDOM. Is freedom understood? Is freedom taken for granted? What happens when freedom is misused? How do we work to create learning environment with freedom and responsibility?

In life so in Aarohi, one gets both sides of the coin. While we get freedom, we also need to be responsible. Let’s understand the meaning of freedom, absence of that is leading to misusing freedom.  By some, freedom is taken for granted or not understood  - and for some children Aarohi is sometimes used as a time pass space. This approach is overall affecting the learning environment. Its taking huge efforts to bring some kids to learning goals and realizing their own potential, buried under layers of 'I cannot do or I do not want to do'.  Presentation on Freedom and Responsibility gave us a base to have discussion to understand how freedom works or not works.

Role of parents does not end by sending the child to Aarohi, it actually starts there.  Read role of parents and expectations - Each family needs reflection

  1. What is working?

  2. What is not working?

  3. What else they can do?

In our path of self directed learning process, some of our actions acts as BRAKES, while some actions as ACCELERATOR. As a group we reflected on these two:

  • BRAKES - Overconfidence, auto pilot, not open to take feedback, procrastination, laziness, Demotivated, distraction, anger, lack of interest, not taking feedback, not doing, not accepting, lack of resources, wrong environment and resistance.

  • Accelerators  - Open for feedback, willing to think, work with constraints, early failure, open to take challenges, Emotional balance, self motivation, interest, need, resources, technology, exposure, passion, observe others, learn from others, open minded, be in moment, involvement, rigour, peaceful, excited, focus, self thinking, self discipline, review and reflection, consciousness, achievements, success, courage, fun, planning and listening.

Whether the child is going to choose NIOS pa​t​h or Continue with Self directed learning, one has to be connected with leraning and work on basic skills (ability to write, read, basic mathematical understanding, ability to connect with world around, understand self and so on).  At the same time self discipline and willingness ​stays most important. Appeal to parent​s​ to stay active on these basic skills with your children - open learning does not mean no learning or learn only what looks easy. ​Pl making learning environment at homes ​rigorous and connected with needs and interests of the child.

Walk through of CAT map was involving and gave an opportunity for parents to be part of learning of each child at Aarohi. Looking for more involvement via comments on weekly documentation.

Learning Stall s- Various stalls at Manthan by parents created exposure for all.  Learning community, learning parents, learning children. Thank you all who prepared sessions and shared their skills. 

We asked Three questions to ourselves -

  1. What is Manthan for you? - Group Meeting involving all, building relationships, knowing Aarohi, Exchange of ideas and thoughts, updates on Aarohi, Interaction, Know each other better, Social, Understand child, Analysing self as parent and understand parent role, Time to be together, understand each other’s need and provide enjoyable environment, Redefining and reliving community living, Know more about child and learning, discover more about Aarohi and learn new things, community building, a get together where people learn from each other, knowing other parent and children, involving parents in community, expressing, sharing and Knowing.

  2. How would you like to involve yourself in  Manthan next time? - involve myself in quiz, conduct sessions, put up learning stalls, interact and teach, inviting people to share their knowledge, attend, involve, engaged, involved in cooking, take part in sports, provide or Kindle thoughts, conduct music jam, involve in presenting workshops.

  3. What else we can do in manthan? - Group Sports , learning Mela, individual cat map and parents feedback, parents sharing their childhood stories, book reading, theatre, documentaries, dance shows, parents as group share what's working and not working with child and Aarohi, parents to share what all learning tools and resources they use at home,  non veg food, children to interact with all parents at different level.

Some Clarifications - who all can attend Manthan?

  • Manthan is only for parents, siblings and grandparents who live with you.

  • Inviting Resource people - We consciously do not invite other resource people for two reasons - One is that within parents we have enough resources to share with our kids. Second is that Manthan is primarily for us to come together as community, able to express freely and share. To keep it safe for our children to express, facilitators to share and parents to understand, we need to keep it restricted to ourselves.

  • When can parents invite resource people ? - One, Any other time of the year. Connect with mentor faculty and organize live station. Two, we’re planning to organize a LEARNING MELA at Aarohi, open for all people to come. We will soon be intimating you about the same.

Suggesting Some of the learning stalls next time

  • Montessori material and their usage and understanding.

  • Any session on planning and setting goal and assessing progress.

  • Music appreciation

  • Hands on work like carpentry, construction, stitching, rangoli designs etc.

  • New recipes in cooking to add to menu

Some suggestions to create learning environment during sessions in Learning Mela

  • Keep sincerity and seriousness during sessions. Keep jokes on relationships and pulling each other’s leg outside sessions. Also keep it restricted to talks related to session topic only.

  • Make sessions conducive for all ages to the presence of loud adult talks children lose their opportunities to participate and vice versa.

Guidelines on topics

  • One can think of self strength and plan about that sessions.

  • One can also think of preparing a session on something new and share.

  • One can think in terms of multiple intelligence and think of variety of topics.

How parents become part of community?

  • Create learning environment at home. Explore learning tools, resources, methods and technologies with your child. Remember your child is not the only one who is learning through you, there are 20 more at campus and there are many more outside who can learn. So invest time at home to make learning home.

  • Attend and participate in Manthan

  • Visit and spend time at campus. Bring more learning resources.

Self learning environment of Aarohi is demanding - it demands self reflection, constant work on self, look for alternatives and evolving.  Many of us have some or other concerns its time for families  to reflect and look for alternates, try and sustain. Suggesting to list down all the concerns you have with child

  • Choose 1-2 of them you would like to work at home

  • Choose 1-2 you want Aarohi to work on

  • Choose 1-2 you want child to work by self

Document your concerns in your child’s CAT sheet.  

Role or facilitator - Facilitators pull, push and poke, at the same time they guide and bring various exposures to empower self directed learning. While one part of facilitation is to make relationship with kids while other aspect of facilitation is also to be genuine about the situation and feelings . Facilitation is not one way, it many. Read Role of Facilitator -

What is Aarohi  - Except from Carl Roger’s book “On Personal Power” where in chapter 4 he proposes a schooling model based onperson-centered approach. This could be a simple but clear model for Aarohi. Comments invited.

Concept of Holidays - Break after every five week is not a break from learning. Its a break to stay at home and connect with parents and for parents to spend concentrated time to understand learning journey. Break is not to catch up with entertainment or food, the learning continues at home. We questions this concept of ‘holidays’. Conventionally the concept came for the people who worked tirelessly for five days and taking break for two days. But for a life like Aarohi where we live all the days, there is no concept of holidays, life and learning continues wherever we are. We change places not our focus of our interest. The break is just a change of place (from Aarohi to home) - learning continues. You do not need to follow Aarohi schedule, as this is made keeping in mind the needs of the community. Each family can have their own schedule which fulfills your needs, but whatever is the schedule, keep space for dedicated learning space to continue journey.

Looking forward to next Manthan and growing and glowing together. Enjoyed working with Manthan team of Vidya, Kanchan, Leela, Pratyaksh Varsha, Anupama and Hema.  Kanchan and Pratyash took the load of deciding dates while Vidya coordinated overall program. Looking for more parents to take part in organizing.




Disclaimer - If anything is missed its just a pure coincidence, no living or dead intentions to exclude any thoughts. Please add what is missing, update on google community. Do send your blogs sharing your learning journey experience.