When we started out with our unschooling journey, we felt a little like knights in shining armor freeing ourselves from our own self-imposed shackles. Hence the name of the blog.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In the News here in Pune

UPDATE: These links should work for a while to come.  Front Page and Page 3

A few of us from our Pune Homeschoolers group were interviewed recently. The journalist Karuna did a good spread about Homeschooling and Unschooling. She interviewed me for over 2 hours and has written candidly and clearly. I was nervous about being misrepresented and quoted out of context... as has happened in the past (a few months ago). But Urmila assured me that this journalist came across differently. And after reading the article i can see that she was right.

Its for a Marathi supplement paper that is part of the Times of India Group. I will get a translation from a friend within a few days and post that link back here.

Front page was this: http://lite.epaper.timesofindia.com/getpage.aspx?pageid=35&pagesize=&edid=&edlabel=TOIPU&mydateHid=18-06-2010&pubname=&edname=&publabel=TOI
(There are links to Sandra's and Joyce's sites listed here in the bluish column in English)

Then you click "next" at the end of the article twice to get to the 3rd page.... where our individual interviews are.

TRANSLATION JUST IN, thanks to Pradnya, local homeschooler. This may get edited once i get back to Pune... as its her first draft. She is also going to translate the rest of the article this week:
Schools fail to create an environment where children would feel like going to school willingly, and learn there 3-4 hrs happily. So, to foster learning, an enthusiastic environment should be created...says Hema. Hema has been unschooling her children Raghu and Zoya. She has not used books to teach her children ABCD. Her house is first meant for the children.

A proper environment has been created at home to learn, and there are lots of opportunities to explore. One can feel it as soon as one enters the house.

Raghu is interested in engineering skills and science, so a card sheet lab has been created in the drawing room. There was a medical reason behind unschooling Raghu. Hema adds, while we were in USA Raghu was allergic to certain pollens. His illness had led him to seek emergence medical treatment. "Dr. Kevin Holder has changed our lives." We use to give lots of healthy food to Raghu, to prevent his allergies. Whether he liked it or not was not very important then. However, Dr. Holder gave us lots of good suggestions, like listening to your children, trusting them etc. So Raghu started getting the food he liked to eat. He got cured completely within few months, but because of his illness, he was under mental stress... so going to school was not advisable for him. At that time Dr. Holder suggested us the option of home schooling. In the mean time, we gathered lots of information regarding home schooling and unschooling. "Listen to your children trust them". This advise led us to take our decision. We were little skeptical about "learning" with 30 or more children in the classroom. In the mean time Raghu had started learning things at home. His grasping power was also good. He was interested in learning many things. His natural way of learning wouldn't have got justice at school, so we decided to unschool Raghu. Raghu is curious to know many things. At the age of 7 he knows positive and negative effects of magnets. We should give options for learning and let the child choose whatever he likes says Hema.
Each parent feels that our children should learn and earn more than them. But while doing that, importance is not given to the mental satisfaction and happiness of the child. In unschooling, this need is fulfilled, so there is scope for all round development.

Compulsion to sit quietly in one place, no freedom, one class, all same age group children..... in such an environment how can children learn? this question bothers Hema a lot. So she is very firm on decision to unschool Raghu forever.

5 comments:

Nikhil said...

i am impressed that alternative schooling has started to receive attention in India!

Shilpa said...

As a new entrant to homeschooling for a 3 year old (most kids his age have joined schools), I am keen to meet other parents who have taken this route..how and where can I get in touch with them , pls ?

Maria said...

This is WONDERFUL!!
Way to go!

~Maria (from RUN forum)

Hema A Bharadwaj said...

thanks Nikhil and Maria! Indeed, to be in the news for reasons i love is a splendid thing :-)

Hema A Bharadwaj said...

Shilpa, do you live in pune? please email me at hbonda at gmail