SDL / Aarohi at Home

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Who is this child? Who is this learner? Do we understand him or her? Do we know what lies inside and in the future of each? Who will show them, teach em, lead em.
Each child is CAPABLE

To Dream, To Think, To Decide, To Do, To Fail, To Achieve, To Assess, To Learn, To Enjoy, To Live. Even if for a moment you think the child is not capable, would you not like the child to be capable? And if we want them to become capable, then we need to invite them to start using their capabilities, polish them, develop them so that soon our belief in their capabilities turns out to be a reality.

We notice, with loads of delight that they have every strength in them which is needed to live a life. They may not be using all of them all the time (but then neither do we adults). Can we not recognize, acknowledge and reinforce these strengths. In any case, this capacity and the capability-building journey lasts a full lifetime.

Some parents asked us to help in replicating the same schedule at home as Aarohi. It’s not possible to just replicate the schedule of one space to another space, as each space has different flavors. And that difference flavour brings an opportunity to understand the concept of schedule and planning rather than duplicating.

Few parents are already doing at home and they have been able to bring harmony in their home learning environment. So this note is for all who are still seeking some guidance.

First, asa family, you can make your own schedule which includes essential ingredients of what you value and would like to be part of your daily/ weekly life.

One common statement we hear from children is that ‘I am bored’ This is not because children need to be entertained, but because they’re designed to be a DOER and when we do not do, well they get bored. If you observe a one or two-year-old child you will see that they are doing something ALL the (awake) time. Such is the intensity of their engine. Even more interesting is that doing for children need not have a purpose (unlike adults), for them doing itself is the purpose, source of learning, and results by itself into joy.
Children are designed, DOERs. They know, practice, and embrace failure as much as success. They love challenges and like to push themselves – no wonder they like to become better at any game or skill. They know how to enjoy life. Their life is effervescently bubbling with their needs, desires, emotions, behaviors, imperfections, trials and achievements.

Some kids expressed that they have not much to do at home. It will be difficult for a child to implement any schedule when the childalreadyhas already made up his/ her mind that there is nothing to do. So as a family youdecide what kind of learning environment you want to create and what all resources you need. Again, there is no need to duplicate the resources, rather look around the strength of each member of the family and create your own resources.

When kids are lacking enough stimulating environment, resources, and choices …they end up. watching TV, playing video games, or just talking. While there is nothing wrong with spending time with TV or video games, but if the child is using it for escape or time-killing then you can think of that is not what you want or ok as a family.

Kids need the availability of resources as well as a mentor. If you are busy (other siblings, family, or office), you can plan the time of availability. Resources can be planned together and maintained together. The maintenance, procuring, deciding itself can be a starting of a learning journey

As a family you need to rethink your images about the children – they are neither small, not big – they are they and that’s all…capable and equal partners. Once you change your images, you may change your actions (doing and thinking for them).

Self – DirectedLearning in your homes

  1. Every day bring one planned exposure for your child – something you do together. It can vary from cooking to maths.

  2. Preferably have fixed time and place for that – both of you commit to being disciplined (this helps, else it gets diluted in few days when other pressing issues of maids and conference calls pops up),

  3. The rest of the day can be self-driven – both of you are free of each other and do what and how you want to do.

  4. If possible share your planning at the beginning of the day – so you both are aware of each other’s needs. Clarify commitment to know “will be able to drive to a swimming pool or not”. It may help in a peaceful day.

  5. At the end of the day – share and reflect. You can reflect in many different ways.

  6. As you go along add music, dance, peers, different activities, clubs, courses, etc in your agenda.

    ENVIRONMENT – Make an environment rich with resources – you do not need expensive resources, but you need resources. A bag full of different ropes and threads can be a rich resource to explore many concepts, you will be surprised your child spending 3days with it (one of the children at Aarohi did that),


    Create resources together, arrange them, organize together – this helps in working independently, else throughout the day child will keep coming back to you “where is that? and you would not want to leave your conference call in-between”.

    Creating together also helps in managing together – you are not the only one trying to fix a broken speaker.

    And if possible REFLECT at the end of the day – what worked, what not, what next….and many more aspects.

    Planning is a very personal process

    Some like to plan hourly

    Some like to plan with a target

    Some like to work on one topic

    Some like to work on multiple topics

    Some like to plan in general (I have an idea what all I want to do)

    Also, it evolves – keep moving from one style to another.

    It will be very limiting to say one way is better or another way is not better.

    Since it is about the child – the best is to be reflected with the child “What works for you?”

    Do kids plan their bday parties? And given a chance they start planning their parties by the age of 4yrs, some even earlier – whom will they call, where will they have the party, what shape of the cake, what candies to distribute, what snacks to have, which dress to wear and so on. If they can plan this why not their learning?

    INVOLVE your child
    OBSERVE your child – how is he creating his own learning using the available resources/from the environment.

    Well, first step
    Look around your environment – Create together what all is possible

    Think from different windows of Multiple intelligence and create exposure for the child.

    And OBSERVE MORE – what all is interested, add value, create more exposure and the cycle continues

    Visit places, Visit people, Create a peer to peer opportunities (any age), Travel, You work on any project, Invite people to work on different projects

    While you do all that keep on looking for solutions for the various problems you face (you think).

    what you decide to do, do you really do? watching TV the whole day, not focus on one work, need inputs in maths/language, not showing interest in science, only work with crafts, talk to much, stealing and lying, depending on you (not learning independently and this worries you because it goes against the theory each child is independent and curious learner), not into hard work, does not value time, does not keep commitments, work only in one way, respect for each other, porno sites, not reading classics, not having passion, eating too much or less, etc

    For each issue, try many different solutions – In the process of exploring,
    You may start looking at the issue differentlyor Your child may find some fun in doing it differently or Your thinking may changeor Your child’s needs/interest may change

Popular media would make you believe that we need to rejoice when our children achieve something. But we know the real rejoice is when we marvel at their capabilities, their energies, their intense involvement in what they like doing, et al.

We rejoice in the fact that they have all the strengths anybody would need to enjoy and drive one’s life.
We rejoice when we see, in awe, their desire to learn new things, overcome hurdles and challenges, and resilient over their failures.
We rejoice when we see a child leading himself and herself in so many walks of his/her life (just as they led themselves in learning how to walk). We rejoice when their leadership of themselves stumbles, fumbles, goes astray, even comes to a grinding halt. We rejoice, because this way they are developing into better leaders of themselves.
We rejoice in how their life is effervescently bubbling with their needs, desires, emotions, behaviors, imperfections, failures, and achievements.
We rejoice not in what they could be, but who they are.

Many times we as parents /adults take on the driver’s seat of our child’s learning/education. We assume that it is our responsibility. Often some of us do not even consult them on the destination or the route that they want to take. Our ideas of what kids should do or how they should do it take away the responsibility and ownership from them and they could end up being detached and aloof from the whole process and we end up being perplexed with their behavior. :weary:
How would it be if we as partners, helped them EXPLORE, DECIDE and CHOOSE to create their journey of learning? Imagine what this sense of ownership of their learning might give them?

Planning is a process, a tool to bring democracy to the environment – I DECIDE is the freedom to choose while I PLAN is the responsibility associated with that freedom. Each family gives a different shape.

Planning is not only for the child – it’s a process, it’s a way of life for the family.

It’s a culture that can be developed to bring this thinking process to the child by just sharing your own planning, inviting them to coordinate, and so on. When this culture is created for the child – the child gets the opportunity to think, share and coordinate. This helps to understand others – their planning, their constraints, and struggles, etc.

For example, a child might plan to make a mask with cloth and need your help in stitching. At the time when the child is starting to stitch, you had planned to work on the painting. Now there is conflict and either you sacrifice or the child pushes you to “do it now for me” or you get through “not now” or …

Imagine this process is done proactively –
Child – I am stitching at 11, I want you to stitch with me
Parent – That is my cooking time
Child – then when?
Parent – maybe 12
Child – no at 11, at 12 I am playing with my friends
Parent – Can you stitch in the kitchen, so I can cook and also guide you
Child – that looks fine

Interestingly this planning is even done by the kids who don’t know the time or yet not started reading the clock

They even will write 12 in the night
I will play for 5 hours
I will make the cake in 10 minutes

It will take millions of hours

And so on…

Also, some kids don’t like planning
But they like coordinating (they have the need)

The process of planning/ meeting and sharing about the day helps in creating the environment of THINKING.

Also, planning does not mean only time-wise
One plan
Reading, eat breakfast, play with toys, eat lunch, sleep, eat snacks, play on the slide, eat dinner, sing songs, drink milk, and sleep

Often we as parents think that we need to take the responsibility of arranging activities for our kids. Maybe missing something here – let me try presenting some thoughts before I answer “is this the right approach or how to keep them engaged meaningfully?”

There are many myths and one of the myths is “child”.
The key problem with calling a child a ‘child’ is that it loads our minds with a multitude of assumptions and beliefs about the child, which can be very limiting to the child and constraining the way we work with them. The more they depend on us to learn, the less is the rate of learning, quality of learning, and even the desire to learn.

The worst belief is that they are dependent on us to learn! Because we think they depend on us to learn, we teach. And because we teach, they shy away from learning on their own. However, deep down they want to learn on their own. They actually only once in a while need some support. Watch how an infant is all too keen to learn how to walk, to talk, to explore. He is not looking for a teacher. But as children grow, gradually we make them believe that they need to depend on us to learn.