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 […]

Homeschooling at Chennai

10 Feb

Sangeetha Sriram and Hema Jain, two homeschooling parents from Chennai, shared their thoughts and stories on a radio programme on Radio One Chennai. The programme was a mix of English and Tamil and it was superb! Do tune in and share your thoughts with all of us. The audio has also been posted on Swashikshan […]

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 […]

Indian Homeschoolers Conference 2014

23 Dec

The much awaited second Indian Homeschoolers Conference (IHC ’14) is here – a gathering of like minded souls at Khandala to share their experiences, learn from each other and rejoice the company of the amazing homeschooling community. If you have not been to the conference before and want to know more about the experience please […]

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. […]

I am Ruchir and I never went to school

30 Jul

Sejal: Hello, Ruchir! Can you briefly introduce yourself? Ruchir: My name is Ruchir and I live in a small village half way to Gandhinagar from Ahmedabad. I am 24. I have never been to school. I learn from things and people around me in that order! I love to travel and talk to people. My […]

Life learning

19 Jul

Even before we had a child, back in summer of 2008 I met a child who was like most of her peers, but yet different. Confident, expressive, loud and free are the adjectives that come to my mind. It was fascinating for me to watch her and somehow she made me feel very happy. When […]