Friday, May 28, 2010

Is Homeschooling Balanced?

Yesterday, The Times of India carried the front page headline, “Just 14 & homeschooled, he’s Delhi IIT-JEE topper”.

Imagine a boy of 14, having no exposure to regular schools, made his way to the top at such a young age.

The concept of Homeschooling is not a very familiar word in India. This concept is spreading but still not widespread in our country.

A little research showed that many parents in Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai have turned to homeschooling and stopped their children from going to regular schools.

Talking of homeschooling many thoughts crop up in the mind...the advantage and disadvantage of it. Before going into extended issues, let’s have an examination about home schooling.

In simple words Homeschooling is a choice by parents to provide Elementary to High School level education to their children at home.

Talking to the parents one can find how dissatisfied they are with the regular schooling system (both private and government schools). You can hear their complaints in simple words like; there is too much study pressure, heavy bags they have to carry everyday on the young shoulders, so much of home work, classrooms with a large number of students which denies personal attention to the child by the teacher, problem with the regular school transport, child deprived of getting admission into the desired school, influence by friends, etc. So many different issues bring the thought of Homeschooling to the mind of the parents. It is not an easy task as many decisive factors are involved in this venture.

In such circumstances, Homeschooling comes as a respite. In homeschooling the child studies at home under the guidance of the parent or teachers who come to teach them at home. Parents work out the day’s study schedule that works best for the child. There is flexibility in timings, set a learning schedule that allows the child to be comfortable with. Can be flexible with the curriculum by seeing what needs to be taught how and when. You are free to control by laying emphasis on the subjects that need more attention. And overall the child receives individual attention and the parent can see the child grow under personal supervision from day to day. As Homeschooling is flexible the child gets the scope to pick up other ideas and concepts the parent feel is right for the child. Above all this system helps the parent to know the child better at every level. There are web sites, support groups and books that can come as a help for those who are interested to know more about it.

Homeschooling brings with it the advantages but we cannot ignore the disadvantages. Homeschooling is a full-time job even if there is a tutor to teach the child. It needs lots of effort, preparation, dedication and concentration which may seem impossible at times for the parent with all the responsibility of the home. This is also very expensive affair while providing all the necessary resources for the growth and development of the child. Children tend to lack development of their social skills which is important for the growth of a child. So they should join some support groups or go to the park to play and mingle with other children. This system can leave behind the thought in the mind of the child that they are missing out something, social interaction becomes a must. For special children, this may be helpful. Homeschooling creates a lot of pressure and leave very little personal space for the parent. Before taking up Homeschooling for the child the parent must be sure that the child can be controlled at home and at the same time will be benefitted with the teaching he/she receives at home.

Homeschooling do miss out all activities that is there in a Regular school. That’s the vacuum the child is left with. But they do have a lot of freedom in other areas as compared with the school going children. If we are to consider thoughtfully, ask any parent and they would prefer their child to go to school to complete their curriculum. A school is said to be the Temple of Learning. Here the child has space to grow as an all rounder.

As of now Homeschooling is A Little Heard Word and can be a Risky Affair and I don’t think many parents will go with it. What’s in store in future for Homeschooling, only time can tell.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 Madhu

I've been tagged by Madhu and here they come -
My Honest Replies with all conviction.

1) What is your current obsession?

Finish my cooking

2) What are you wearing today?

3) What’s for dinner?
Macher Jhol (Fish curry with gravy).

4) What’s the last thing you bought?
A packet of Agarbatti.

5) What are you listening to right now?
Remembering the rains, for a respite from the heat, in my thought this tune comes to mind - Rimjhim ke tarane leke aaee barsat...

6) What do you think about the person who tagged you?
She is a very sweet and wonderful person who is there with her comments on my blogs. I love to read her thoughts she has a cookery blog to share her kitchen’s recipes.

7) If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
In some Hill Station in India.

8) What are your must-have pieces for summer?
Cotton clothes and sun glasses.

9) If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
To a cooler place and enjoy the beauty there...and not forget to take my camera.

10) Which language do you want to learn?
So many, it’s difficult to point out a single one.

11) What’s your favourite quote?
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties (quote of Sir Francis Bacon).

12) Who do you want to meet right now?
The Rains.

13) What is your favorite timepass?
Of course Writing.

14) Give us 3 styling tips that work for you.
Nothing much, a dab of the compact for the face, soft colour lipstick and hair neatly combed and gripped in a hair clip.

15) What is your dream job?
Would love to have a school of my own.

16) What’s your favorite magazine?

17) If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Don’t want to buy anything at present.

19) Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
No one in particular.

20) What kind of haircut do you prefer?
Not very long, not very short either.

21) What are you going to do after this?
Eat my lunch...really hungry.

22) What are your favorite books (Movies was the question but I couldn’t come up with an answer, so I changed it to books)?
Tin Tin Comics, Enid Blyton and many others.

23) What inspires you?
A good piece of writing.

24) What do your friends call you most commonly?
The name I have.

25) Would you prefer coffee or tea?
Surely tea.

26) What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Take a deep breath and chant the Gayatri Mantra.

27) What makes you go wild?
When my domestic help doesn’t turn up in the morning without any information.

28) Which other blogs do you love visiting?
Those in my blog list and also by searching.

29) Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
Rasgollas and Rabadri.

30) How many tabs are turned on in ur browser right now?

31) Favorite Season?
Winter .

32) If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?
Egg Omelet and a glass of cold fruit juice.

33) What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
I avoid meeting and talking to them.

34) What are you afraid of the most?

35) When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I need some rest.

36) What brings a smile on your face instantly?
When a sweet thought crosses my mind.

37) A word that you say a lot?
Eh Bhagwan.

38) A prayer always made ?
I remain sensitive and helpful.

39) What is that one thing that keeps you going.
My Dreams.

40) what is more important to you...being right or adjustment?
Sometimes being Right, sometimes has to be Adjustment...that’s the magic of pulling on with life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bolo Ram – A film with my views – A Review

The film Bolo Ram has a strong star cast; Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Rishi Bhutani and a comeback for Padmini Kolhapure.

The story shows a strong mother-son relationship. The mother (Padmini Kolhapure) and her son (Rishi Bhutani) live a happy life in their small family of the duo. In this happy world comes that day when the mother is found murdered and the son sleeping beside the dead body with the knife in his hand.

Now appears the spin of the mystery – who is the murderer. The son is arrested for being the main suspect. After his arrest Ram becomes speechless.

Here steps in Om Puri who plays the role of a cop. His role as the investigator of the crime is good enough. He does justice to his role.

Naseeruddin Shah has a very short appearance in the film, that of a Psychiatrist.

The story revolves round the mystery till the end. There are flash backs which shows Ram as a short tempered and extremely sensitive person, who acts wildly when in a fit of rage. This leaves the cops to believe he may have committed the crime. The hero has played his part well.

The film also shows involvement of young men with terrorist groups. But this angle is shown under a shadow.

The climax of the story brings forth a twist in the tale. The mystery builds up till the end keeping the audience waiting to know the main culprit.

Padmini Kolhapure, a matured actress, in all fairness has done justice to the mother’s character.

I liked the film and think it is much better than many recent Bollywood releases. Overall a good film worth the time spent on watching it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mothers, Kids, Summer Vacation

This is the time when mothers, kids and summer vacation go together. This time...means the hot summer days...children kept away from the school...enjoy the long stretch of the holidays which they, why they, we all say The Summer Vacation.

A long holiday brings a tough time for the mothers. Children stay the whole day at home, fancy their every wants to be listened to, and get bored with nothing much to do at home.

No early rise, no hurrying up to get ready for the school, no everyday home work, no tension for unit tests, no tiffin box to carry to school, no heavy bag with so many text books and note books to burden the shoulder with and no teacher to see to the strict school discipline and above all no travel to and from school. So many NO’s make up the summer stay at home.

The other side has so much to say about. Lots of time to play indoor games...for Moms will never allow children to go out in the sun and suffer, and the computer becomes the best friend. DVD’s come from the library to watch movies in the AC room. Lots of good food, mummy cooks yummy yummy dishes for her child/children at home. Some go to attend summer classes and carry out their interests in...learn drawing, learn dance, learn music, learn to make clay models, and many more interesting things.

But children hate to sleep in the afternoon...why they should...only mummy wants a nap. There is so much more to do...dig into places where the pickle jars are stored and go on a rampage...when Mom realises so much has already gone into the stomach. Ice cream and cold drinks start vanishing at a very rapid pace.

The mother relives her childhood seeing her children. She recollects her childhood days and shares her memories with them.

Some children are lucky to spend some days in their native village with their grandparents, enjoying life that’s so different from their busy and hectic urban life. In the lap of nature they enjoy every moment. They see trees, flowers, fruits, animals, green fields, rivers, ponds, fishing, walking down the dusty roads with their elders meeting the village people. They enjoy the other side of life that exists in the midst of nature.

Some children miss their working mothers who like to make up their absence by letting them go to the Malls with their friends and play the different games there and eat the food of their choice. The parents, out of guilt, take the children to hill stations to spend some days. They make up their absence on weekends...going out for a movie and then having food at a good place with their children.

Summer holidays will come and go and once the school re-opens life is on the routine again.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Akshaya Tritiya – Just a thought of this auspicious day

Yesterday there were so many SMS’s for Akshaya Tritiya. No personal SMS but buy something like gold, silver and anything new.

The best way to reach out to the vast number of people is made easy with the mobile phone network, which has spread its tentacles across the length and breadth of the country. SMS’s have become common for marketing.

In Sanskrit, the word Akshaya means ‘the never diminishing’ and this day is believed to bring good luck and success. Who doesn’t like Luck and Success to be with them?

Here in Delhi people were in a mood to buy gold or silver on this auspicious day. And the jewellers  busy with business. Even the banks opened for some hours to make available gold coins for the buyers. Though the price of gold is climbing at such a fast speed, this yellow metal seems not to be losing its love with the people. Those who could not afford the priceless metal bought even the smallest item for the household – up to their affordable reach.

Some even started off with new ventures. It was a day when so many marriages were solemnised. The market place was buzzing with people...from the rich to the poor...all in the same mood...thought of the auspicious day...mood of buying...

In the town of Puri, the land of Lord Jagannath, it is a great day for the beginning of the construction of the Chariots for the Jagannath Rath Yatra of Puri.

As for me did some shopping. After all this is also buying something new from the market!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Team India's Dismal Performance at T 20 World Cup Tournament

Last night while watching the Indian Idol show on television, it was a pleasure to see so many young talents. Many girls and boys have taken to singing...some as their first love and others for the love of music. Watching this programme, this was total paisa wasool...nah nah no time waste. It is good to see budding young days to come they can be pride of India.

And our cricketers, huh! have no place to hide their face. Dhoni and his boys lost their last match...last match which was their last hope to get a place in the semis. After the IPL now it is time to play The T20 World Cup on a foreign soil. Is it the foreign pitch and the field that brings in all the difference to their game? No excuses please.

After the loss, instead of feeling the shame, Dhoni comes out before the press with an excuse...IPL's late night parties is the main cause of their miserable performance. He wanted to save his face before the cricket fans of India. The IPL tournament which he was very much part of now stinks for him. He blames the late night parties enjoyed after each and every match...of which he was an essential part. Now he says, they are a tired lot...while playing for the country? Was IPL the sweet juicy mango...the juice coming down from the hand down to the elbows...was more money the sweetener? All the Indian cricketers showed so much enthusiasm for the IPL tournament. Now don’t be the fox who says ‘the grapes are sour’.

Instead of owning up for the defeat Dhoni’s behaviour is so childish at the moment. The World Cup is just ahead and we don’t expect childish thoughts from you. Grow up man grow up, own up your responsibilities, be it loss or win.

Time for the BCCI to have a close look to find out the cause of the dismal performance of our cricketers at the T20 Tournament.

The fans of this game have been let down by their heroes. Why play so much of the game when the body doesn’t allow.

The IPL no IS a money making machine for the huge number of cricketers...some who don’t even manage to sneak into the National Team.

It should be, ‘enough is enough’. The Indian Team should have such players who will give their best when playing for the country and not look for personal monetary gain.

Now IPL is on the back seat, the battle being fought by those very much IN IT. What did this do...BCCI you were there too with the IPL Tournament...and what you did with our boys...they say their energy level has drained out when it comes to to play for the country.

Jago Fans Jago...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kasab’s Verdict and more Bitter Pills

Yesterday the country waited anxiously for the final verdict on Kasab. At last the country got to know that Kasab has got Death Penalty. Judge Tahaliyani gave the final verdict and Special Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam was all smiles after the final judgement was made.

Now the harder question arises. Kasab is not going to the gallows very soon. It will take years if we are to go by the counts - 50 pending cases and Kasab stands 51st in that row. Now to go to the gallows one has to be in a queue. Strange isn’t it?

The bitter pill we have to swallow is the huge amount of money that’ll be spent on him on a daily basis. He will be under special care as no harm has to come to him. Kasab’s lawyer will plead for clemency and next, it’ll be waiting time. Till his last breath Kasab will be living on the tax-payers money.

Terror threats and acts of terrorism have become so common that we have come to live with it. But for how long can life continue like this. A step forward in fighting against terrorism is to execute such inhuman people at the earliest so that it can be a lesson for others who have such vicious thoughts in mind.