Own pace


We started homeschooling our daughter when she was 10 yrs old. We began with ‘homeschooling’ means we continued with teaching at home – Ofcourse we justified ourselves by adding fun and various activities to make it interesting. She showed interest in dance and art, we put her with vigorous classes of art and dance with experts.

Something was missing, she was still not INTO her own learning. We stopped doing anything for sometime, took a deep breath and began with HER. By that time we had started Aarohi, and few more kids joined. They also showed the same “not into their own learning”. We continued to observe their responses and recorded, reflected on each response. We realized “me” was missing, still kids were waiting for us to take their learning forward. We began with them them setting up goal for their own learning. They would set goal ‘write a story’ and end up not writing, because they did not know how to write. But this whole process made them aware about their own limitations and interests both. Sometimes some lived with their limitations, sometimes they pushed themselves, sometimes we pushed.,,,,One child who was diagnosed slow learner, started reading and not only reading but developed keen interest for literacy and different languages. One child who was introduced to us as ‘shy’ child conducted a debate last week at Aarohi, one child who failed in 6th grade showed all interest in making and doing and exploring science in many different ways, was rated low in maths, started…..each child has a unique story to share.

When I did my yoga course and developed my faith in Yoga, first thing I did was started teaching yoga to kids. Many did not respond, I took a break….when we introduced body intelligence and explored ‘body inside and outside’ few kids started showing interest in stamina, flexibility, fitness….and joined me in yoga 🙂

Similar stories for painting, music, religion, science, nature, grammar, maths, dance…….many stories of many skills kids taking it forward. As a parent, as a facilitator my job did not stop, I continued to work on exposure, opportunities and experience. I continued with my work, the only difference was that now it was no more teaching or rather no expectations….but left to the child to choose from millions of experiences and opportunities he/she were exposed to. In the journey sometimes some kid missed some skills here and there, but the regular self assessment and reflection helped us and kids to understand the areas one needed to work. The journey has been beautiful with each child blossoming in their own way, not necessarily in same way, at the same time.

There is a saying “If you give the man a fish, you give him a meal, But if you teach him to fish, you give him a living.”

In the initial years of homeschooling we were trying to fish for her and give her a meal, but now we have realized that teaching how to fish’ is better deal to for her to enjoy her learning journey at her own pace. Initially it was not easy to accept the pace, the results…it took sometimes to break all our beliefs and our worries. As she grew with Aarohi, we also grew.

Last week I got these two blogs from my daughter who is now 16yrs and in last 6 years have been learning whatever comes in her way and still says “I still need to explore more, I do not know what is my area of interest”. In last 6yrs she has learnt many new things from percentages to cooking and the most importantly she has learnt “how to fish” for herself.