Learning Journey – Mother’s Diary

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For the first two weeks, I explored most of the klubs and picked the ones I was interested in. I also listed klubs for Pavan which I thought he needs while I associated them to classes. I set reminders to remind him and persuaded him to attend. At this stage, my belief about open learning was “Learning in one’s own way”!. But I was focussing more on the content rather than the journey. I also missed out that the learner has to be given the opportunity to choose what he needs to learn. After a few weeks, I perceived that I was schooling him more than facilitating his learning process. I then took a step back and decided to let him explore his needs or interests. He dropped the ones which I had chosen for him. At this stage, I was doing the job of facilitating and reminding. But when the reminders are overwhelming, I moved from being silent to explicit (though I was silent, I had expectations and became explicit about my expectations). I paused again and told him that he can skip the klubs when he is not interested to prepare for the respective klub. He countered saying he will prepare which he eventually forgets. We are into this loop still. While still in the loop of reminding, arguing, and pledging, I am here now: 1. I vacillate between a schooling and open learning parent – Sometimes let him do his own way, other times assist, advise, compel/other times challenge. 2. I asked him to take up some responsibilities at home, look after his basic needs and NCERT math and science. He does these with reminders. I still need to learn to be patient when the reminders are overwhelming. 3. We both discuss whatever we learn and exchange our thoughts.

For myself, I learnt that each one of us is at different stages of learning irrespective of age. The beauty of acceptance of the learning process of each one of us has taken my exploration to new heights and my mind clutter-free. My perseverance has also shot up – I think it’s because of the way we learn together at Aarohi. Pavan loves to play endlessly with his friends here, does Math, discusses Nature klub and History club happenings, builds games on his own in chess /numbers, while he is waiting to experience Aarohi Campus. He has his own list of interests now – Math, Nature, and History. Last week he prepared a presentation for Nature klub with little assistance from me.

It all started when Suhrud announced in Nature Klub that he wanted to present Manta Ray.Next Nature Klub’s session he remembered that he had to present. So he asked when do I have to present? ” That’s when I asked him,”Are you prepared?” He said how will I know if I am prepared? I asked him, what about Manta Rays he wanted to share. That’s when making slides came into consideration. Then one day he asked “can you show me some images of Manta, I will choose from there.” Most of the time I was an assistant operating a laptop to help him type search words (which he wanted- what do they eat, how many, how big, where, body parts) .He chose images and videos he wanted to be shown on slide, learnt to save them on device, learnt how to insert images on slides,drag-drop them, resize them, he asked me to spell out words to translate his Marathi sentences into English and typed them. First time realized that he needed to use 2 fingers at a time to type a question mark. He decided which slide he wanted to present and rest he asked me to present.. We went at his pace. Then the day he was to present we were only at slide no. 2. So I asked him “Are you prepared to present?” He said “No, we have to finish other slides, can you ask Klub for some more time.” So we took more time and completed slides. (All created by him except last 2 slides) Finally for today’s presentation, I asked him on Monday, are you prepared? He said “ Yes, my slides are ready.” I asked him, “ Are you prepared for what you will say?” He said “ hmm yes some parts, but I don’t know how to say everything in English. I asked him ,” Do you want to practice presenting your slides to me first? He liked the idea, and we did it once today morning when he realised he was to present after lunch. And this was the story behind making Manta Ray slides