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Newsletter, Issue 11; Yr 20-21

Hello all,

We would like to present to you a different thought this week. Have you heard of travel schooling? There are families and different organizations which make use of travel as the only learning modality.

Please find out time to read this blog by Sharmila Govande, and mother of unschooling children, where she talks about different organizations and people who are deeply involved in this alternative learning way.  

Important Notice:

  1. Diwali Holidays: 07 Nov to 22 Nov. (LC will start on 23 Nov, Monday)
  2. Parent-facilitator-child meetings part I will begin from 26 October (In-person or online) Aim: To discuss child’s journey so far
  3. Parent-facilitator-child meetings part II will begin from 03 November (In-person or online) Aim: To understand and discuss about the goals of the child for the second term.

We will talk personally about the preferences and dates and suitable timeslots with everyone in the coming week.

 4. Those who have paid the fees and secured the admission, please find attached herewith a link to admission form. Kindly take time till weekend to fillup the form and submit online:

Book club

Learners’ collective in association with Little Angels International School, Sion and BeMe, Bangalore has started a book club (especially related to learning philosophy and parenting). The first meeting of book club happened on October 1st. About 22 participants discussed about role of Play in the education, based on a book ‘Clearer view’ by Daniel Greenberg.

Anyone who wants to be the part of this group, even be a quiet listener, is welcome to join. 

Weekly Meeting

Following points were discussed in the weekly meeting.

  1. The rules in LC are formed with purpose and taking into consideration everyone’s opinion. These are also open for debate and change.

But once a rule is formed, till it is changed, it is binding on everyone to follow it. If people do not follow rules then a democratic community like LC is difficult to survive. It was discussed that even to play game, there are certain rules to follow.

What happens when the rules are breached? Since in LC, all are equal, nobody has a superior position to dictate a punishment. Hence, every person in LC was asked to think and identify one consequence for himself/herself, if that person breaks a rule. There is no-one to monitor whether someone follows a rule or whether s/he completes consequence. It works on trust. We would like to try this model and see if children understand the importance and self regulate.

Children came up with consequences like not playing on jungle gym for -- days, staying in quiet zone, reading two books, no craft for 3 days, no computer for 1 week, cleaning locker, winding up play zone for 3 days, no cuddles for a day, getting up at 5 Oçlock, not being on social media for a day...etc.

2. Non-negotiables at LC: Spitting, hitting anyone, hitting on private parts and above the neck even during battles. Bullying is also added to these non-negotiables. Apart from this, all safety rules and AV rules set so far come in purview of consequences. This point was made clear.

3. Closing person: It is observed many a times that children do not participate in end-of-the-day winding up. Since LC is OUR property, we decided to take turns in closing the space before leaving, ensuring everything goes back in place, windows are closed, lights and fans and wifi are switched off etc. We would like to observe what happens next.

4. One of the grandparents had shown keen interest in coming to teach mathematics. Children were asked if they wish to attend and learn. Around 4 learners showed interest. A deeper discussion then took place that once Aaji comes to center, these children cannot give excuse, they will have to finish their stipulated work before next session, they will have to sit through the complete session etc. After some conversation, it was decided to call her for a trial session, and then children would decide whether they are interested.

5. Since we have many new children coming, we had to redistribute and share our lockers. Children did it without any hassle or complaints. They shifted their luggage also quickly and happily accommodated new partners.

Emergency meeting

An emergency meeting was called for one of the children who got hurt while playing ball game and started to cry. When the issue was brought up to discussion, many layers were observed, like provoking behaviour, teasing, grouping and targeting, anger etc. Though it took some time to bring the actual problem to surface, one of the party confessed that whatever happened it was a mistake, and he also showed readiness to take a consequence, though it looks tough to him.

Morning circle and Newspaper time

The news of Hathras has made a deep impact on us, facilitators. Though we are quiet open to talk about reproductive system, pornography, gender bias, and issues like marriage, we felt lost on the topic of rape. But one strong thought occupies our mind (as women) is how lucky we are! This brought a thought and an exercise to think that “I am lucky, because____” 

Everyone shared a different reason, like “I am lucky because I have a sister/I have brother/ I have lots of toys/ I have computer/ there is tamarind in the world/ I have many houses/ I have a school like LC/I have many things which many others do not have/I am not borne in place like UP/ even if l lose anything, my husband would not say me anything”etc.

On Gandhi Jayanti, we saw in the news paper “Be the change you want to bring in the world” and hence circle started with sharing about whats that one change I want to bring about. Sharings were about reducing pollution, distributing money equally to all people, reversing climate change, bringing equality in all aspects, inventing time machines and travelling across time. One said_no change and other did not have any answer.

We had a discussion on the stubble burning in Punjab and New delhi for a long time. We discussed about new biochemical technique which is under research, electrocution of animals due to jumping on electrical wirings, Tornado, Torpedo, Unrest at Ladakh border, etc.

Sessions and clubs:

Children enjoyed bhindi and bean painting. Customised sessions on mathematics which included concepts of multiplication and fractions, English grammar (positive comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives) were undertaken. In book club, story of O’Henry (Twenty years later) was narrated. To begin gardening, the bricks/ fencing was required and bed-making was the first task. There is a new building under construction across LC. The volunteers repeatedly visited the site and asked for extra/discarded bricks. Initially the watchman on site was very reluctant. But eventually, looking at the perseverance of children, he finally gave us enough bricks. The kids actually lifted heavy bricks and laid nicely as a fence. Soon we will begin with the planting work. In drama club children set up small kits based on a theme ulta-seedha (contrast) with a plot that salesman tries to sale off products to unintended customers. (e.g. selling raincoats to a person in draught area, selling toothpaste to an oldie whose teeth are fallen).

Friday Food:

Sandwich was prepared for Friday food. In the list of what all things to brought by whom, there was a bit of gadbad, Also, we did not have peeler, enough knifes. But we all enjoyed gadbad sandwich. Most critical part was cleaning the vessles and mats after food. But we are sure, slowly everyone will take up responsibility in contribution of these tasks.

Something funny:

A newcomer playfully gave a stroke on the bump of a 6 yr old. Immediately a complaint was written against a new-comer. The girl was told that this act may be considered as non-negotiable, and amount to complaint writing, she became nervous. When asked to children, whether the rules are told to the new girl, immediately 6yo withdrew the complaint and told her “its ok since this is your first day, but don't touch others private parts again” :-)

 Questions to ponder

Do we expect the children to be self-dependent in daily chores?

Do we expect that children would help in housekeeping at home?

Do we communicate the expectation and understand what child thinks about it?

Are we ready to give options and opportunities to children to select a task and help us in the house/kitchen?

That’s all for this week.

Stay tuned for the updates.