Bhargav and Aparna sharing “Even before Achalesh was born, we had liked the concept of Community living. We had explored Homeschooling and Unschooling for Achalesh. While we were at this exploration, we hit upon Open learning at Aarohi. We decided to explore the aspect of both Community living and learning there. Even though it started with Homeschooling, the learning at Aarohi gave Achalesh and Us a wider exposure to a variety of interests and resources. The learning just didn’t stop with us. The wholeCommunity came into the picture in contributing to our learning. Achalesh got involved in taking care of the pets, people, resources, the environment. So in a way, he was involved in various tasks. From washing sinks to toilets, to brooming to refilling, to helping guests, to organizing, to co-ordinating for sessions, to questioning peers, to learn about safety, to sharing, to developing his basic skills and many more. This was exactly what we were looking for Achalesh to get exposed to. Learning everything about Life. At this stage, when we look at Achalesh, I can see his flexibility, his cheerfulness, his confidence, his communication with people, his ease with any kind of work, and last but not least, his happiness”.
If you look closely the conventional education primarily works on creating fear – in children, in parents, and to some extent even in teachers. Fear of being less than peers, fear of getting bad marks, fear of not getting a star at the back of my palm, fear of teacher scolding, and yes fear of not getting a good job. Many children buckle under this pressure, many do not like it but still sustain, some lucky few conquer it and rise as toppers. But the moot point is do we want to gift this living-out-of-fear to our children? The role of parents is then to join, co-create, and feed communities because its when each parent starts thinking not just of ‘my child’ but *all children* then suddenly joy and growth spread like a forest fire!
Subhasini, Srikanth doing open learning for their daughter Sreya, 16yrs old. Subhasini says “My journey of unschooling started when I was young and I never wanted to go to school. But then I was compelled by my parents. My unschooling gene had transformed into my daughter and started to take its tour when she was 11years old. According to me, unschooling gives us lots of opportunities to explore our own self and travel in infinite directions of life!
Bharathi, mother of 9 and 4yrs old sharing “Pari’s education started in Montessori. And she continued till 2nd std. She unschooled 3rd onwards with some challenges. I took out Pari from school with great difficulty because my husband was not at all interested in doing unschooling. But now it is a different version. She is interested in doing gymnastics, painting, jewelry making, crochet, dance music, cooking, and keyboard also. 4yrs old Anvitha was going to pre-nursey and shewas very naughty and was very bold, and talkative always troubling her sister in the beginning and both became friendly because since they have to stay home”