Archive | Learning, education & growing without school

Learning and Farming – An Indian View

11 Dec

Learning and Farming plays a very critical role in life of individual as well as society says Claude Alvares. He claims that though they seem separate, but, in reality, they are deeply interconnected. He laments the fact that the way multinational corporations, for their vested interest, are destroying native agricultural practices. He also grieves over […]

Homeschooling Children with Special Needs – A Talking Point

22 Aug

In the last year, we have had numerous queries from parents of children with special needs about homeschooling. Many are fed up and frustrated with the existing set up of a mainstream school, where they have to constantly fight to fit in and be included. Some are also unhappy with special schools as they feel […]

The Day My Baby Taught Me How To Parent Him

4 Apr

When my eldest son was born, I was unskilled at mothering. I had been until then, under the misconception that once I give birth, I would instinctively know how to care for my baby. It could not be any other way, the rest of the animal kingdom do not have the luxury of parenting books, […]

Save Open Schooling

3 Apr

We need to urge the Ministry of Human Resource Development to recognize the role of the NIOS and all of its programs including the Open Basic Education program in fulfilling the mission of the Right to Education and to support the multiple paths of learning that children in India are following.

Zero is Beautiful: Teaching Mathematics as if People Mattered

19 Feb

When our daughter saw that the numeral 10 comprised a 1 and a 0 she flung herself upon a chair and cried. We were taken aback, unprepared for the blow this dealt to her understanding of number and how she would struggle to make sense of it.

Knowledge is wilder than we think

11 Feb

I heard someone a while back insist that ‘unschooling is a bad idea’, and that those children unfortunate enough to have parents who didn’t ‘educate’ them wouldn’t know subjects like ‘geology, math, and sociology’. Of course, what escaped his critique were his own assumptions about knowledge and its merits. We’ve been tempted into believing that […]

The power of open schooling

25 Dec

Here is the transcript of my speech given at the National Institute of Open Schooling’s 25th Anniversary celebrations at Chennai, where I was recognised as the all-India topper for the Senior Secondary April 2013 exams. Each time I open an NIOS textbook, I am greeted with the words – “Congratulations! You have accepted the challenge […]

Say NO to fireworks but not to fire experiments!

16 Dec

My son Megh, eight and a half, and I were lying on the floor and talking of fireworks, during the festival season of Diwali. I told him about my childhood and how crazy I was for fireworks. I told him I would run for more fireworks as soon as the earlier lot was used up. […]

Healing Relationships, Healing Mother Earth

23 Sep

Twenty one years ago, a princess of the flowers was born to me.  My friend gazed down upon the little baby and declared her princess of the stars.  We laughingly agreed that she was a star-flower princess.   Sahya knew nothing about our secret, yet, three years later, she returned from a walk in my ancestral […]

How do I explain Unschooling to skeptics?

24 Aug

When I decided to present a paper for The Homeschool Conference (http://www.homeschoolconference.com), I was not sure what would be the theme of the paper. Each day for a month I sat down at my lap top and opened a blank word document and stared at the screen, with nothing coming forth for me to write. […]