Thursday, April 8, 2010

A matter of perspective

We have a lot of work to do.....a lot to think about as parents.....What do we really want for our kids?It is a scary thought when you realise as a parent that the people you are trusting your kid with to play a part in building his values, understanding people, and explore the joys of learning, actually have a very warped understanding of children, education, values and people!

i would like to share with everyone, the comments from the teachers and Principal of the playschool my son went to, when I told them that I was worried because my son hated coming to school.....frankly I did not know whether to laugh or cry at their ignorance and problem-solving abilities! I leave it to all the readers of this blog to make sense of.....

  • "You should not give him a choice in these matters.......just be firm! Let him cry.....he will settle down..." (Well, what if I do want to give him a choice? Why should I force him to go to a place he hates going to?)
  • When I asked for flexibility - whether it was ok not to send him on the days he doesn't want to go....."Well, then you will have to take on the responsibility to fill in the gaps......he would miss out if a concept has already been introduced that week in class or if there is a field trip" (What huge concepts are they learning at this age? How long would it really take to teach that to a child? And does a child learn things only at school? What about learning from holiday trips, grandparents, neighbours, in the car....??) So the school takes no responsibility for anything.......everything is on us parents!.....and we pay huge sums of money as fees for this??! That's how well they know my son!......he would definitely be there in school on time for field trips, not on other days!)
  • "What does he do at home? Do you sit with him and work? If not, then maybe that is the problem! You should do that....make it a habit." ( So hating to go to school means we as parents have not done enough!? Does a 4 yr old need to run around and play after school, or sit and do "work"?!)
  • "Unfortunately, we don't have the environment to suit his personality style......he is a loner" (So kids can't just be themselves? They have to start play-acting like us adults from such a young age?!)
  • "Other kids don't think much of him anyway!" (So.....so what?! How do we know what other kids think of him or each other for that matter?! Do we give them a chance to express all that? And so what about what others think? Do we only do things because other people think in a particular way? What happens to the joy of learning for learning's sake?! How about understanding and respecting differences?)
  • "You should make home a boring place to be in, then he will know that it is better to go to school!" (This really took the cake!.....what logic!....what a comment from an educationist and principal!)
  • When we told them that he was coming late everyday because he didn't want to come to school......."Oh! maybe I should I call him to my office and have a chat with him for being late everyday to school......he needs to be accountable....for time" (Accountability in young children??!! Can anyone understand that??! How about looking at ourselves and how accountable we are in our work? How about finding a way of wanting him to come to school because he loves it??!)
Well, this is not to justify my decision about homeschooling / unschooling, but to share with others what I went through as a parent.....and understand that I had no other choice but to decide what I did.....I hope others know or will learn how to tackle these issues better than I did!


  1. I am so shocked at these statements. Really, how did they become educationists??

  2. i WENT TO SCHOOL WHEN i WAS 9+. i DON'T THINK i HAVE DONE BADLY IN MY LIFE. i RECALL I was one of the most mischievous children in the entire village.My grand uncle and grand mother taught me to memorize the multiplication table. My father taught me to read. My first lesson was from a book by rajaji. The first lesson was " There is no ghost or evil spirits. I learnt to read this. My fist writing was about a a couple of years earlier when in a traditional manner I wrote the first word with my index finger of my right hand the word OM in Sanskrit script.
    My formal schooling began for a month in the fourth standard. in PS High school in Mylapore. My class teacher was mr C.U.Panchpakesa iyer whom we called the CUP sir. Then the evacuation of madras was ordered on seeing a japanese plane. I joined the Municipal school in Villupram, passed out and then joined the 6th Standard in Pattamadai school, which from the year i left it after passing the third form came to be known as Ramasesha iyer school.
    I never felt lack of grounding from the LKG etc concept.


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