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CAT – Life’s curriculum

When it comes to educating our children, “curriculum” is normally the first question that comes to people’s mind. We try to figure out between NIOS or CBSE or ICSE or IGCSE or … let the child learn from life.

Often LIFE CURRICULUM is not so clear and many fall back to conventional academic curriculum. Here is an attempt to look at learning from life’s perspective and not examination point of view.

CAT for Life – Cat as a slang means “expert” and we want to “be CATs of our own life”. To do that we would need:

  1. Competency –  the basic skills we need to live our life. Remember most of these competencies once learned or mastered do not need further work (just like you do not need to learn reading or swimming again).
  2. Abilities are the inherent intelligences or abilities that either we’re born with or we develop.
  3. Talent & Interest – is what is either in us or what they call GANAS in Spanish – kind of passion, desire or whatever direction my compass points to. Talents is what ticks inside us and Interests are things outside gives us kicks
COMPETENCY or  BASIC SKILLS is the C of the CAT’s curriculum

Competencies or Basic skills are what all of us kind of need in life. It’s not that these are non-negotiables or must haves, rather good-to-have.
Co-Create your own list with your children.

  • Self care – brush, bath, understand body systems
  • Basic reading and Researching skills – Find information, read from different resources, compile and make inferences
  • Basic writing and Documenting skills – Able to write thoughts, experiences, etc.
  • Basic computation skills – basic abilities to add, subtract, divide, multiply for day to day applications
  • Organizing & Planning – Space, Time, Schedules, Planning etc
  • Financial Skills – Budgeting, Banking, Money management
  • Health and Fitness – Flexibility, Strength, Stamina, Understanding one’s body, nutrition and medicines.
  • Emotional Skills – ​​Aware, Understand and connect with self and others emotions, able to take responsibility of one’s happiness
  • Living Skills – Cook basic meals, shop for grocery and other necessities, travel, wash clothes, sew buttons, understand basic medicines etc.
  • Get things done – Info finding, asking, propose, decision making
  • Interaction with people – Police, Govt, Strangers, Relatives, shops, hospitals etc
  • Safety and Emergencies – Handle Emergency situations like first aid, calling for help, physical, mental, emotional and sexual safety
  • Technology Gadget – Use technology to make my daily life productive
  • Understand the world around – Understand own and other cultures and ability to coexist with them
35 ABILITIES is the A of the CAT’s curriculum

These abilities are not to make it compulsory for any learner rather they are the possibilities – one can choose from and explore. Some of the abilities we have, some we can develop.
We normally share these skills lists with families at the Aarohi community and as each learner decides what they want to develop, when, how and how much is satisfactory to them.
Caution: When we read these abilities, we want all of them in our children. 😛Beware, this can be dangerous.
What is important is that the learners and we are aware of the various abilities and we can consciously choose to work on some at a particular time.
Do realise that each learner is capable of developing any of the abilities at any time of our life.
A note – These abilities are based on Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence (MI) and Higher Order Thinking skills (HOTs).

  • Listening – comprehending, understanding, express, communicate, comprehend
  • Reading – comprehension, understanding, relating, etc
  • Speaking  – express, communicate, comprehend
  • Writing – expression, correctness, clarity
  • Listening  – Active listening for music and lyrics
  • Singing – interested in singing – tries
  • Rhythm, Instruments – actively participate in drum circle, singing,
  • Scientific Thinking  – experimenting, questioning / analysing, problem solving
  • Scientific Knowledge – curious to know, able to relate and understand and apply and express
  • Being with Nature – excited about nature, wants to be with natures – animals, plants, birds, places; understands relationship with nature
  • Conceptual Understanding  – relate to the concept, constructs the concepts, apply, express the concept, teach
  • Procedural skills – doing more math sums – sp self study / uses tools, and procedures to solve math problems
  • Application – Application, exploration in games, projects and life
  • Observation – seeing in terms of lines, form, shapes, texture etc
  • Visualisation – imaginative thought / work / expression
  • Composition – thinking of visual meanings, metaphors, expression, transferring what’s on mind to actual output
  • Fine Motor skills – art skills, other hand skills like embroidery, thread work, jewellery making etc
  • Social relationship – make friends, ready to learn and to teach, help others, form win-win relationships, sharing, sensitive to others feelings, needs and thoughts, bonding, forming and maintaining relationships
  • Working in team – cooperate, adjust, cooperation, complementing each other, working towards common goal, accomplish team goals, etc
  • Socio-emotional response – how respond of unfavourable interactions / situations; conflict handling
  • Interacting with others – talks, questions, listens to strangers. Comfortable with external interactions
  • Understanding the word around – know, understand and appreciate the way the world works around us.
  • Body inside – strength, balance, posture, flexibility, stamina, relaxation (breathing)
  • Body outside – movement, tactile, speed
  • Coordination – gross motor, eye hand and eye legs coordination, Reflex, fine motor
  • Expression and Presentation – dance, dramatics, face expression, presenting in front of the group etc
  • Self Esteem / Self concept – clear about self; values own body, social status and thoughts; seeking or getting affected by others views, criticism or praise; physical, mental and social needs and wants
  • Habits of mind and Strengths – aware, understands and strategies the ones important to self (self HOMs like Integrity, responsibility, Independence, perseverance, pushing one’s limit, self confidence, adaptability, etc)
  • Emotional intelligence – aware of feelings, accepts own feelings
  • Observation  – seeks to observe things, events, people, and env in general
  • Questioning – asks all kinds of questions – specially why, what, how, etc
  • Application – problem solving, making and creating, inventions
  • Analysis – experimenting, cause-effect, explaining
  • Creativity  – imagination, putting constraints and play with perspectives, high on relating one to another
  • Evaluation/ Reflective – judge importance, decision making, weighing relative merit of events, understanding / predicting consequences
TALENTS and INTEREST is the T of the CAT’s curriculum

The world is our curriculum

You can choose any interest to develop
You can be talented in any field, any content
You can explore many interests or deep dive into one interest
You can create your own professional journey
Because everything in the world is worth exploring, learning and developing as one’s profession.