Monday, May 15, 2006

Kids Love Practical Experiences

As parents, try to find adequate time for your kids and provide them with first hand experiences. Certain experiences can be taken for granted depending on the community where you live. For example, children with a rural background will have a fairly good knowledge of seeds being planted and fertilizers spread. Never assume that your kids will get access to all sorts of life experiences in school. Even if the school is a good one and provides vicarious experiences, your approach will certainly will still stand out unique.

Look at the following few experiences:
  1. Visit to a farm house.
  2. Visit to a nursery.
  3. Observing sparrows building nests, laying eggs and rearing their young ones.
  4. Visit to a printing press or a garage.
  5. Visit to a health clinic or a hospital.
  6. Visit to a plastic industry.
  7. Visit to an old age home or an orphanage.
  8. Visit to a recycling unit.
  9. Visit to a sericulture or a pisciculture plant.
  10. Visit to a museum or a zoo.
  11. Visit to a doll house or a studio.
  12. Visit to a building construction site.
Never play down the importance of such visits while conversing with kids. Even if you are well versed, show a lot of interest in the activities there. Unless you show interest, how can the kids get enthused? Kids will definitely shoot dozens of questions, once he gets engrossed with the subject. Once you are in a site, discuss the situation, raise doubts, answer questions, compare things, appreciate good work done there and yes, at the end of it you will have contributed a lot to kid development.

I have seen some parents who think that their kids are too young to catch up. But, that is not a fact. Kids too can understand and appreciate. They are curious enough to know new things. Even your daily visits to your friend's place or market or doctor will have new experiences in store for your kids to see and understand.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Child Education - Mahatma Gandhi's Views & Vision

For Gandhiji, a great philosopher and freedom fighter who led Indian freedom struggle, education meant, "The drawing out of the best in child and man - body, mind and spirit." For him literacy was no education. He wanted the child to be treated as a whole and imparted knowledge to. He emphasized the development of head, heart and hands. For him, education had its essence in practical work. He thought that the end of all education must be the building of character. Education should bring about the purity of heart.

He hated the kind of education wherein the child's mind is stuffed with all kinds of information without even stimulating or developing him. Thus education is that which draws out and stimulates the spiritual, intellectual and physical faculties of the children.

Gandhiji was a great teacher himself. He wanted teachers to be well trained, proficient men and women of knowledge, faith and enthusiasm. They must be people of character.

Gandhiji wanted to establish a classless, casteless society based on the principles of truth and non-violence. He advocated the introduction of craft in schools for creative self expression, practical work and learning by doing. He wanted children to develop a scientific look. He believed that every child is good by nature. Hence he insisted that the education provided needs to be psychologically sound.

Gandhiji interpreted education as the development of human personality. This outlook goes well with any modern concept of education.