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Teaching Through Lateral Inputs

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Teaching, Parenthood, School, Knowledge

I am a staunch follower of dynamic parenthood, and a liberal, maybe, somewhat unstructured and experimental approach to learning. And I feel the facility with the language and the capability to give life to words comes with experimenting, expanding, and exploring the world of words.

Contextual Learning

To begin with, a parent should be open to create an environment of contextual learning.

For example, every five year old child knows the meaning of the word Fire. When I saw my son using the word fire for the first time—I took the opportunity and asked him to say four words that rhyme with fire. And the words that came forth are – tire, liar, wire et all. However what he did not say was the word ‘pyre’ which not only rhymed with fire but also symbolically meant fire and there I prevailed on him to include ‘pyre’ in his vocabulary. Now when he is 12, I found it so much easier to introduce to him the phrase ‘pyrrhic victory’—and he actually used the phrase in his class room discussion.

This new phrase made it so easy for him to understand the destructive nature of the wars and fights that happened in the past and hence could be called pyrrhic victories. And then he said one day that Mahabharata was actually a pyrrhic victory!

Don’t Compartmentalize

I always emphasize on contextual learning and therefore never compartmentalize it in the context of history, geography, science, or language categories. For me knowing something has a universal appeal and utility and will expose the person to different contexts. Just now, our journey to Mahabharata through the word fire says it all.

While exploring the word pyre further, my son discovered about the bird phoenix which is a unique bird of classical mythology of the Arabian desert that burned itself on a funeral pyre every five or six centuries and rose from the ashes with renewed youth.

And one day when he lost a very important match in school he inadvertently quipped –“well,maa, I, like a phoenix,  know how to rise from my own ashes.”

It was quite a pleasant surprise for me.

Joy of Learning

This process breeds in children what you may call the Joy of Learning, through which one feels the real empowerment that knowledge provides –and more a child knows , more self confident she becomes. Also, there is only so much that school and other structured processes of learning can achieve due to the constraints of time, or of a set curriculum or due to fear of resistance to change but if we as parents can sow the seed of ‘Lets Expand –Not for Exams but for Entertainment’..I assure you that the synergic effect will be for all to see.

The beauty of this process of learning and teaching is that it is never overbearing or boring yet so enriching and encompassing certain unknown phrases and words which are not taught in the usual course of learning. The process is so exhilarating that you can easily call it Yoga through words—it will be as energizing as the practice of regular yoga.

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About Ritu Garg

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Kids Know it All

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.

As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was..

The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."

The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl: replied, "They will in a minute." continue reading...


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Thought for the day!

“This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.”


-Spray-painted on the Berlin Wall before it’s fall

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Although you’ve been feeling especially strong physically over the past few days, today you might feel a little under the weather. You could even experience some giddiness. This is nothing to worry about, but you should try to take it easy. Don’t exercise if you don’t feel up to it. Get some rest. Even if you have to postpone some chores, you’ll be better off in the long run.

Sex and romance should be at the top of your priority list today. You should be feeling especially warm, loving, and passionate. Romantic novels and movies could be especially appealing, as could an intimate evening with a lover! Career and money matters look fairly strong and stable at this time, although it might take a little effort to keep them that way. Go for the gold!

Today you may find yourself evaluating earlier made vacation plans. It will be best to get all information and think logically rather than emotionally, especially if a lot of money is involved. Make sure to include your vacationing partners as well in any decision change.

Make time for romance and a spirit of fun today. If you are single, this is a lucky day to schedule a first date. If you have a sweetheart, think of something you can do that brings you closer together. This does not mean you need to spend a lot of money.

You may find yourself taking the high road today. It could be that you’re like a bird soaring above the landscape. As you fly, your partner is on the ground trying his or her best to keep up. If you keep flying straight, you’ll get lost and confused and may not find your way back. Consider keeping your feet on the ground with your friend.

You may feel like a skipping record. You’ve been scratched and mistreated, and now you continue to repeat the same thing over and over until you’ve driven your point home. This isn’t your doing, so don’t be concerned if you hear protests that you’re sending others over the edge. This may be the very thing necessary for all of you to advance to the next step.

This is likely to be a busy time. Do as much as possible early in the day. Your gentle charm makes you a great favorite with family and friends. Stick with difficult or precise tasks. To feel your best, be sure your diet limits sugar and includes greens.

You seem to want to become old and wise before your time. Today’s aspects will take you by the hand and lead you back into the heat of the action, experiencing life in all its intensity. Yes, we know you’re really afraid of all this. But if you don’t get back into action, you’ll stay alone in your little corner. The world needs you. Don’t stay at home!

Your financial situation looks particularly good right now. An increase in income could be coming your way. The downside could be that contracts might be involved, and you’ll have to spend time perusing boring legal documents that need to be executed. A lot of visitors could come to your home tonight, probably to exchange ideas and information. Send them home before too late. You’ll want to get some sleep!

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