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Open year is a (year long) break from conventional structured schooling (or college). Open year is when for that year the child leads (or directs) his or her own learning. He or she decides what to do, when to do, how much to do and how well to do.
The idea is to give child space to explore the world around him or her and to discover self. Since there is NO outcome or result(s) defined or expected, child is able to dabble either into many things (like a butterfly) or drill deep into any one interest (like a bee).
Do see videos (click on thumbnails on the right column of this page) of Aarohi children sharing their expereince of taking up opne learning.
Why would a child take up OPEN YEAR?
What OPEN YEAR would NOT include:
- No defined curriculum (child may define own agenda or goals)
- Nobody directly teaching (child may seek teacher or teaching
- No one method (child may choose many or one method)
- No expectations, no performance criteria (child may self assess or do self reflection)
- No drawn-up schedule (child may however draw up a routine)
- No pre-selected peers (child may work with people / children or (m)any age
What OPEN YEAR would INCLUDE:
What could be some benefits of child experiencing an OPEN YEAR:
This is little tricky to enumerate - for such may soon become expectations. So take this with a bag of salt:
What are common concerns or cons or disadvantages - see the following with our notes. Do add your concerns to the list via comments or email:
- What effects will losing a year have on the child’s career?
(First of all we don't think your child is losing a year. The child will be living this year ;-) Yes the child might be a year behind some of his or her peers, and this might be important for you - in which case we presume open year is possibly not for you. However, if you think taking a year’s gap adds more value than continuing relentless schooling - then this concern is in itself not valid).
- What if a child wastes time doing / achieving nothing?
(Doing nothing itself can be rejuvenating. Also, in our experience, most children by nature are doers and sooner or later they start with some action - though this may not match with the kind of goals, achievements and aspiration we may have as parents).
- How will the child get back to conventional schooling / college?
(This is our experience is not that complicated. There are many schools / colleges ready to take children who have skipped a year. They may even be ready to take the child in the next standard (after a test), though some may insist the child to not count this open year.)
- What about peer pressure? What about everybody looking down on the child?
(When one does something different, chances are that other people may take it differently. It's an important opportunity for the child to understand what happens when others have different opinion.
- What if the child regrets this later - especially if it parent’s idea.
(What if the child regrets schooling later? What if the child regrets any other decision parents make. See, any decision anybody in family takes can be regretted later - the point is to involve the child totally and be aware of why the family is taking the decision weighing all pros and cons).