In Adi's playschool, Roots to Wings, a lot of emphasis is given to helpings kids learn from real life situations. The teachers bring out a monthly theme that is taught in their lessons and they share a monthly planner with the parents. The planner details the lessons, stories and rhymes that teachers will cover each week, the concept behind the lesson and what the expected outcome is. It also covers the menu and activities for each week.
Once a month, the kids have a competition where teachers from another school will attend and evaluate and give a prize. Sometimes, the competition will be judged in-house.
For highly disorganized, working moms like me, this planner is a life saver. It tells me all that I need to support my kid with. What I do is if the main concept is flowers, I get three or four coloring books, dot-to-dot books and so on based on flowers. In spare time, Adi and I sit down to do the coloring and he goes through the names and concepts again while coloring. He likes it and doesn't feel he is learning something or doing homework. By the end of the month, he is very thorough with the concept without having felt that I was busy teaching him.
This month, the concept was about people who help us in the neighborhood like teachers, postman, potter, doctor, policeman and so on. The competition required kids to dress up as one of these people and talk about what he/she does in that role. I asked Adi what he wanted to be. He insisted on postman. I tried getting the postman's uniform but couldn't get in a day's time. Well, now you know, how disorganized I am despite the planner in hand!
So, I cajoled Adi into becoming a doctor by saying it gives him the power to demonstrate injections on people and that really clinched his interest and I had won!
Then, I managed to find out a place where they got the doctor's coat ready for him. It took me nearly half a day because most shops didn't have it ready. Then I got Adi a doctor's kit for Rs 100 which I think is a really cheap deal. The kit had a stethescope, a thermometer, injection instrument without the needles (adi was heartbroken!) and bandaid.
Then Adi was ready for school. Once he had got back from school, I called and he was so thrilled. He said that he did really well. He demonstrated how doctors use the stethescope and check pulse and put bandaid. Then, Ma'am asked the whole class to clap for him and gave him a special lollipop and pencil with a sharpener. He was so proud and happy that I wanted to just cry over the phone.
The fun part comes next. He says that during the class, he took injections (without the needles of course) for two friends, Aditi and Naman, both of whom cried and shouted for Ma'am. So I said, Adi, why did you hurt them? Adi said, "Amma, I gave injection so they become better and their fever is gone." I said, "Okay, but what did Ma'am say when they cried." Smart Adi says, "When Ma'am came, I said I am so sorry Aditi and Naman." With a naughty twinke in his eyes, he says, "So Ma'am didn't scold me, see?"
Yes, I see! I just had tears popping out of my eyes, then coz I was laughing, saying, "What do I do with this little brat of mine!"