Manthan at Aarohi means community coming together – living together with parents, grandparents to bring joy for all. This Manthan was no different – a big family coming together – play, laugh, churn, and participate in making of a community.
The path of open learning is new for many – and new path, new idea needs understanding and so the concept of open learning community at Aarohi. The community came together to understand various aspects of open learning – what is success? How does one fit in various spaces and beliefs? What is the purpose of education? The concept of community is new for all, we all understand interdependence – the idea of learning community at Aarohi is to experience it in our day to day life. One of our endeavour at Aarohi is create a space which supports a child beyond just one family – how about a village coming together to raise child. A space where child connect with many parents, a space where child is supported by many parents and a space where parents are connected with many kids.
- Two kids were interested in Football, instead of thinking about one child, one growth, we created a team of footballers. When one child goes for football coaching, one learns and grows, but when there is a team growing, many grows together.
- When one wanted to learn Drum, one parent conducted course of drumming at Aarohi, we not only created drummers, we also sparked the guitarist and pianist and singers….and the dream of a “band” started sprouting.
- And when one got interested in business, selling products, the concept of “Aarohi ki DUkaan” came alive – now not only one but many make products and learn in a group and growing together with their individual identity.
- One child wrote a drama script. He wanted feedback. I encouraged him to share with few parents. He was initially reluctant. Finally he sent and came back with a comment “I can’t believe, someone will respond so fast, I have already got feedback”. He repeated thus several times with joy.
We grow by learning from others – sharing circle of various documentaries, books, articles brought togetherness. Open learning is a path which some of us have chosen consciously for various reasons – some of us chosen because we are questioning the purpose of education some of us have chosen because we did not find our kids blossoming in current education system. And the path which is not so easy for many us – its new, it’s unknown, it’s different. And all this brings its own anxiety, doubts and questions. As parent and guides of our kids we have our own anxiety – how much to push, where to interfere, what to questions….our kids have their own anxiety – self doubt, lack of skills, confusions and so on. A debate on the same brought different perspective. Children became adults and adults became children for the sake of debate and the process brought various untouched aspects. When we began with the dream of creating a learning community – the concept was completely alien for many. We also did not know what was in books for us! Well we just began. It took time to understand relationships, it took its own process to give a shape what does a community means, it took its own time to understand what does learning, and open means to different people.
Today, Aarohi stands strong with parents, grandparents and children of all ages coming together to create a space for all of us – a space where Grandparents approve, a space where parents are learning and a space where kids are enjoying.