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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
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Your Fortune For Today
Thursday, April 24th, 2014

You may find yourself emotionally challenged today by a strong force demanding your attention. Your hyper awareness to every situation might be driving you a bit crazy. Perhaps you just need to tone things down and relax. Enjoy rather than question the fun-loving energy of the day. The more you simply let loose and explore, the better off you’ll be.

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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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A friend or a close family member may be pretty grim towards you today. He may not be open to communication as well. He or she could have you wondering if you’ve done something wrong, or if they’re angry with you for some reason. Use all your warmth and spirit to coerce this person to open up. You may just end a misunderstanding or realise it was nothing all along. You might even help relieve them!

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You have the opportunity to do some intense self-healing today so you communicate more directly with your core self without the distractions of other people. Do what you can to hone in on the internal issues that require your attention. It’s key that you learn how to address these issues yourself instead of relying on other people to take care of these needs for you today.

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Dreams with mixed messages might trouble your sleep tonight. One minute you’ll be having a wonderful dream, and the next could be black and gloomy. Write them down. The message is probably more positive than it appears. Worries about money might plague you throughout the day, yet things probably aren’t as bad as they seem. Make sure you learn the facts about your situation before allowing yourself to panic!

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Today, anxiety may rule your head for better part of the day. You might have a feeling that something is wrong and may be twitchy and nervous the whole day. There is a chance that you may go on a wrong track with this mindset so make sure to take deep breaths and relax, especially before making any important decisions.

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Feel free to enlist your own creativity today to solve any problem that may come your way. Don’t feel like you absolutely need to take a rational and methodical approach. This sort of frame of mind has already been tried. Now it’s time to explore a more intuitive way to complete any task that you wish to tackle now. Exercise more of your sensitive nature.

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Today you might feel especially protective toward all those you love: children, family, friends, pets, and the special person in your life. Upsetting news might have you wondering about the future, but don’t let it get you down. All should be well, so allow yourself to relax and enjoy your loved ones.

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What was your night-time buddy as a child?
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