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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

Ritu Garg is a contributing member of Indusladies. To see Ritu Garg's community profile, go here.

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Indusladies Daily Joke Section

The Perfect Son

A: I have the perfect son.

B: Does he smoke?

A: No, he doesn't.

B: Does he drink whiskey?

A: No, he doesn't.

B: Does he ever come home late?

A: No, he doesn't.

B: I guess you really do have the perfect son. How old is he?

A: He will be six months old next Wednesday! continue reading...


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Thursday, April 24th, 2014
What's in store for you today?
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Your Fortune For Today
Thursday, April 24th, 2014

You have become quite a wanderer today! Even while working, your mind will roam from one thing to another. It’s best to focus your energy on important issues and try to work harder since it could improve your life. Stimulate your mind and feel free to join a class if your instinct is pointing in that direction. Keep a positive attitude and an unbiased mind if you really want to move forward.

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There is a great deal of unexpected communication coming your way today, but be careful about the people you trust. There’s an element of fantasy factored into the picture. This might cause some disruption if you automatically accept everything at face value. Make sure you check your sources at least twice before proceeding.

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Today you might be rewarded with a promotion for your hard work. Now is the time for you to pull up your socks and work towards enhancing your career prospects. Keep your long-term interests in mind and don’t worry even if you are not monetary benefited for now. Your new position would give you ample opportunities to gain unlimited success in your field of activity.

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If you like being on the move, you will make amazing progress today. However, you might face problems due to some communication gaps, especially if one person is emotional and the other is rational. So make sure to talk!

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Today demands caution. There are chances of some major incidences which may have life altering effects. So tread carefully today since the waters are rough and your ship may take a bad hit.

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