Little Lessons of Life Go a Long Way

  By Sagarika Ranjan Jul 05 2018

Walking down the green lanes of Coimbatore, I reached Yellow Train School. It is a school cozily placed amidst the farms. I was there to witness the fruit-cutting lesson of the kindergarten children. All around the school building were trees loaded with fruits and vegetables. These were the school's own gardens. Every seed of all the plants of the garden were sown by the children of the school. Gardening was a part of their curriculum.


After the morning prayers, the students were sent to the gardens and asked to pluck fruits they liked. Excited cries filled the corridors as the students were entering the hallway with their favourite fruits. They were directed to a hall, children with same fruits were asked to sit in circles. Soon, all the children were divided into 5 circles. One with watermelon, another with mangoes, orange, apples and musk melons. Each circle was to be supervised by two teachers. The teachers guided the students. They showed a demo as to how to wash, peel and cut the fruits.


In about the next one hour, the children were busy washing, peeling and cutting fruits under the guidance of the teachers. There was excitement all over. Children were learning, helping each other and also asking if they will get to eat the fruits. Many children, who succeeded in completing their tasks, ran to their teachers to show their plates full of cut fruits.


Child Psychologists say that a child learn with all the senses. Education for them is always holistic for them. By this, he means that when you tell a child that an apple is round, the child imagines the apple. The child takes into account the fruit's colour, size, shape, and may be a tree loaded with apples. The imagination of a child is limitless.


Following the fruit-cutting exercise, the children were served with the fruits that they had cut themselves. You should have looked at their happy faces! A little one stood up on the seating bench of the canteen. He was holding a piece of mango in his hand. He extended his hand upward to show it to everyone and said: "This is my mango!" The look of satisfaction on his face was amazing. No amount of the official-patterned workshops or Educational conferences can help an individual achieve this level of satisfaction.


Santhya Vikram, Founder of Yellow Train School has made sure that the children have a first hand experience of everything that is possible. Books give only one perspective of any entity. An apple is only a red-fruit in a book. When children pluck an apple though they can feel the skin. They know its weight, smell, texture - smooth or rough. How difficult it is to pluck it, and so much more.


You cannot imagine what these children can think and learn in the hands on-way. It was after this fruit-cutting lesson that one child walked up to a teacher and asked: "Ma'am, how was the first tree grown? The seeds are inside the fruit and the fruits grow on the trees?" The teacher was left without an answer and promised to get back.


Practical and collaborative lessons make your child think, makes the teacher think. They help develop logical thinking. They learn the most when not told but just guided.

On Jul 05 2018 0 4

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