August 08, 2011
We then moved to learning conversations. The approach we followed was we assigned characters to ourselves, started conversations in Hindi, it was very easy for kids to identify the replies to statements to like “Good morning” or “How are you?” when asked in Hindi. Slowly we transitioned to English versions of these. Let’s see if we can have a small story next time. **Interactivity** catalyzes learning. It is difficult for kids (7-8 years) to sit consistently and listen; as soon as we moved into a model where learning was just another game, the process became fun and fast. For instance - in the word game, we raced in two criteria: a) the number of times you’d refer the alphabets list to identify a letter, b) how fast you’d identify the letter and the word. Then for a set of correct answers, we all would celebrate with hi5s or short breaks ;) **Positive reinforcement** is pivotal. We do try to repeat the act we get accolades for. [Whale done](http://www.amazon.com/Whale-Done-Power-Positive-Relationships/dp/074323538X "Whale Done!") is a great book relevant to this. The most interesting part was where we **reversed roles** - my kids became Teachers. And they taught me Telegu. It was fun, I was badly struggling to identify letters, trying to use my Meta Indic language skills to guess the letters. Kids would laugh and correct me :) My father and I used to do this when I was a kid. He would teach me maths, give a few problems. After I solve them, I would give him problems which I thought were difficult, say adding/multiplying 10-12 digit numbers :P I would watch him solve and learn the tricks. And after that the same problem won’t fall into \_difficult\_ problem category :) I enjoyed every bit playing the games. Thank you kids.
<p>Last Saturday, Prem (class III) also joined us. We continued to play word games. Both Arbaaz and Prem are able to identify letters. Good stuff.</p>