Small Talk and TV shows!

Another old post I fished out from indiahomeschoolers.ning.com

Last evening Ishaan was watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon in which Jerry disguises himself as a Red Indian and says “haooo” to fool Tom.

 
So today in the car Ishaan asks me “mama Jerry was dressed up like those guys in Peter Pan and saying “Haoo”.
I said yes, he was dressed up like a Red Indian.
 
So Gourika asks me who are Red Indians. So we had a nice little chat on Columbus, native Americans and also learnt the meaning of the word explorer and so they both said in a chorus “like Dora the Explorer”. I said yes.
 
Since we saw the new Narnia film today, the kids visualised how Columbus must have sailed in his old ship.
 
Gourika asked me the meaning of the word ‘Native”.
 
While watching the film Narnia, we discussed what Aslan the Lion actually represented in Lucy’s real world in England. We both figured out it must be courage and nobility!
 
The new film is really super so unlike the first two. It is deep. It was a great day of learning.
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Learning numbers with Empire State Building!

This is an old post I had written on a homeschooling ning site..indiahomeschoolers.ning.com. Ishaan was at the time I wrote this post close to six years old and he has never been to school!

Ishaan is learning math on his own..he surprises me often. the other day he drew a sketch of the Empire State Building…in parallel to that he drew a number line keeping 100 as the center and wrote backwards ten numbers and forward ten numbers then he told me “mom empire state has 102 floors so if it had only 93 floors then 9 floors still left to build…”

He has been showing a great deal of interest in money…he takes money from me and collects in his little purse. To start with I was a wee bit fearful and judgmental thinking oh no he is crazy for money….but I let go of that old fear of mine with some difficulty and also arrayed many oppositions from others…as our old money beliefs are hard to let go of. The other day we were at a shop to get Gourika’s paintings framed and he saw a picture of large ship and asked the shopkeeper the price.The man said Rs 2200. Ishaan told me “mom for 2200 I need two 1000 notes and two 100 notes..”.
That day he asked me how high is each floor in our apartment..I said perhaps 10 feet….two day later he tells me “our apartment has 8 floors..so the height of our apartment is 80 feet perhaps….” I told him well perhaps close..since we have. Basement too and some concrete in between the floors..but you are close..

I never asked him how he figures all this…that I trust is his internal processing…and he simply knows…

DOLA a surprised mom all the time…and sometimes also scared of the choices I have make with regard to my children…but I keep trusting a little more each time…

Taylor Swift, Frida and discomfort in parents!

(Check the two videos embedded in the post on Taylor Swift and Frida)

There is a lovely discussion going on in one of the unschooling forums that I am part of on facebook. One parent is seeking advice as to what she can do when her kids listen to music that has sexual content or words and feelings of angst in them. She feels uncomfortable with the music and is concerned about what impressions such music will make one her children. 

I feel when it comes to music, art, cinema, or any kind of media and life in general, we really need to question the word ‘impressionable’. I want to know why this word has so much fear and negativity attributed to it. Of course the human mind is impressionable and we are each planting seeds of impression in each other. We are each reflecting and mirroring and leaving signs and symbols for the growth and development of the other. I have made it a point to get deeper into stuff that create maximum discomfort in me. As I have seen after many experiences that internal discomfort is the start of breaking a wall within which is often life altering and liberating.

When our children listen to music, the lyrics of which cause some discomfort in us, I have seen it helps to pay attention the fear and images such words evoke in us. And examine deeply the root of such fear and the nature of the images. And that process helps me as a parent to examine if I am projecting my own past fears, judgments or future fears on the present moments of my children.

Censuring often prevents a parent to connect deeply with the children and also with oneself. Every crossroad of discomfort is a point where one can be free from paranoia. 

Recently I saw the paintings by Frida Kahlo that she painted lying on her bed most of her life…thanks to my dear friend and unschooling mum, Hema Bhardawaj..who is an artist. They are pretty graphic and some had very dark sexual content and dark emotions and feelings according to me..so are we going to censure our children from that kind of art too?.

I would watch with my kids if they are keen and take on any questions that came up..and also be aware of any discomfort those images evoke in me…Of course many parents are ‘religious’ and have different set of moralities as to what needs to be filtered..I do feel that does not work deeply though if one wants to make ‘unschooling’ work. My father was very moralistic when I was a child. And I am an Indian. My mother tried to break past her childhood conditioning to raise us and tried to see things more broadly without fear, even though she did not manage it all the time..But those windows of freedom shaped me and my sister in amazing ways and helped us to be more and more inclusive in our world perspectives…:)

Parenting is partnering!

An unschooling parent wanted to know how she could help her son to stop eating food that he is allergic to. She shared how he went for food that was actually harmful for him. She also shared how he got exhausted beyond limit while being involved in activities and she was worried about his health. She was feeling concerned if unschooling meant that she let her child be killed from excesses. This was my response to her:

 It could help to have a gentle conversation with your child about the food he prefers and ask him if he is aware of the allergic reaction that the food causes in him. See if you can talk to him about his body and its cravings..be specific. And ask him to see if he feels good about his body when the allergic reactions come to him. Also ask him if he feels any discomfort in the body with some foods he likes to eat. That way he himself will feel responsible for his body and its discomfort wrt foods he goes for. Denying him the food arbitrarily will not help as with every human being (and child is a human being)..what really works is to see for oneself what works for one and what doesn’t. This way he will feel empowered to make healthy choices for his own body…:) This way you will actively partner with your child in making healthy choices with him. Regarding exhaustion also do the same..have conversations with him about which time of the day he feels high in energy and which time of the day he feels low in energy..involve him in the process of listening to his own body..Then work with him to see what activities suit which time of the day depending on his energy levels..That way you will empower him to make healthy choices and help him to understand when he needs rest and when he can be active…Every step of the way partner with him to help him understand his body…

Monsoon Trek with Goldy and Ishaan

Ishaan, Goldy and I did a monsoon trek today to a lake and waterfall with other dogs and dog owners. Got wet in rains. Bathed under the waterfall and strolled through mist as it feathered on my head and face. I re-discovered the real Goldy and her amazing being. Today I saw her in her elements and got to see her love and care for me and my family…She was with us all the way without a leash and did not actually care too much for other dogs..male or female, except for the initial ‘butt sniffing and nose kissing”. 🙂 She let them go past her as she waited when either Ishaan or I lagged behind. She stuck to Ishaan as he took a dip into the lake filled to the brim with monsoon water. She walked slowly as I fell back and kept pacing towards Ishaan as he raced ahead..She always kept up and down with us…Loved the way she took dips into the spontaneous streams that had formed. I found a true companion in her all over again. Ishaan was chatting with the other walkers and kids and didn’t need me much except when he got tired on the way back…I was enjoying overhearing his conversations with total strangers. Feeling tired and fulfilled. Slept soundly this afternoon after a long time!