I Homeschool My 6-YO With Our Travels Throughout India

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For Pransh, aged six, a daily day begins with him selecting what he’d wish to be taught that day. Will it’s about cities and states and cultures? Will it’s languages? Will it’s an fascinating science truth? Or will it’s music and dance? 

“There’s all the time a lot to be taught,” says his mom Aneekah Ssonawane. “The 2 of us discover totally different topics via actions.”

Pransh, you see, isn’t any common schoolboy. As an alternative of limiting himself to the 4 partitions of a classroom, he learns via real-world experiences that majorly contain travelling — one thing his mom launched him to a few years in the past. 

It began when the COVID pandemic hit, and the household started working from dwelling. 

Pransh with locals in Ladakh where he and his mother Aneekah spent a month
Pransh with locals in Ladakh, Image credit: Aneekah Ssonawane

Selecting the street much less travelled

The pandemic pressured everybody to decelerate, pause and mirror. It made Aneekah realise that life had gotten so hectic and busy that taking day out for oneself was nearly unparalleled. 

Wishing to alter this for herself, Aneekah determined to give up her job as an IT supervisor in 2020 and take a solo journey to Banaras.

“It was a time of pure bliss,” she recounts, including she then undertook a winter trek to Uttarakhand within the subsequent few months. On her return, Pransh took such a liking to his mom’s footage of the surroundings and landscapes that he begged her to take him alongside on her subsequent voyage. 

Aneekah was sceptical about how he’d react to lengthy hours on the street and unpredictable schedules, however she agreed. She explains that Pransh was simply one of many many youngsters who have been experiencing loneliness amid COVID. 

“Regardless of everybody working from dwelling through the lockdown and being collectively, youngsters have been usually not being given the eye they wanted. In our case too, my husband and I have been busy with our personal work and all this whereas, Pransh’s childhood was simply passing by,” she says.  

“Furthermore, faculties have been holding courses on-line on the time. I felt youngsters of his age shouldn’t be studying via a display, however reasonably experiencing what they be taught,” she says. 

In January 2021, she took Pransh out of faculty with the thought that he would resume the next 12 months. However the experiences and recollections the duo constructed alongside the way in which made Aneekah see that life was nearly as good a classroom as any for her son. 

Pransh Ssonawane does not attend school, instead he is taught through travels
Pransh Ssonawane, Image credit: Aneekah Ssonawane

The beginning of a memorable journey

The mother-son duo took their first ever journey collectively in April 2021 from Pune to Spiti Valley. The plan was to remain at Thanedar village close to Narkanda for an evening after which proceed the trek. 

Nonetheless, the climate wasn’t type and Aneekah didn’t wish to threat persevering with via the storm. “We determined to spend the following 4 days on the village itself, and take off as soon as the climate acquired higher. However, life had different plans.” 

The second lockdown hit and Himachal shut down, thus forcing the duo to remain put within the village till they might discover their manner out. It was a complete month earlier than they lastly left. However Aneekah says she is glad this variation of plans occurred, because it gave her perception into her son’s view of the world

“Pransh stunned me,” she says. “He totally loved basking in nature, taking part in with the children within the homestay, and operating across the space.”

This confirmed her perception that travelling together with her younger son was a sensible choice, and that these travels would form him in methods no classroom might. 

As soon as the lockdown eased, the 2 stayed in Manali for an additional month, following which they left for Ladakh. 

“In the course of the three months we had been away from dwelling, I noticed a change in Pransh,” says Aneekah. “He would discuss to strangers, be curious in regards to the tradition on this new land, quiz the locals in regards to the looming mountains he noticed, and was all the time prepared with one other query. I realised he was actually blissful and didn’t miss dwelling.”

She even says he picked up some Tibetan phrases. “While on our travels, I’d generally crave the consolation of chapati and do-it-yourself meals. However although Pransh is so younger, he would wish to style all of the native meals. He’d ask locals why they grew barley and never wheat, or why sure meals tasted a sure manner,” she says. 

This was when Aneekah determined she wished to discover homeschooling whereas taking her son on journeys throughout India so he might witness the fantastic thing about the world as an alternative of studying about it in a textbook. 

Aneekah Ssonawane with her son Pransh while they did a trip through India
Aneekah Ssonawane together with her son Pransh, Image credit: Aneekah Ssonawane

English via tales, maths via bills

It is extremely usually that she will get questions on Pransh’s future — Will he ever return to highschool? Will he give his board exams? — however Aneekah says, “I’m not nervous. Why is everybody else?” 

“Our society has made us imagine that board exams are the final word purpose and this strain is placed on youngsters proper from the time they’re younger. Within the course of, their childhood is ruined.”

She provides that nothing is about in stone relating to whether or not Pransh will return to highschool or proceed being homeschooled. “We’re taking in the future at a time. He can all the time return to conventional education if that’s what makes him blissful,” she says, including that education has at this time turn into rather more versatile, with the variety of open universities, project-based admissions, and many others. 

As for the way she covers totally different topics with Pransh, Aneekah says every day life provides many alternatives to be taught. “We be taught maths via counting and managing small bills. English grammar is taught via novels and quick tales.”

She provides that Pransh practises his writing via a every day journal in addition to a journey journal the place he writes about his experiences

“Generally, Pransh has a science query and I attempt to discover a YouTube video that can reply it accurately. I’m studying together with him,” says Aneekah. 

Pransh with the locals in North India
Pransh with the locals in North India, Image credit: Aneekah Ssonawane

As for whether or not he misses interacting with different youngsters his age, Aneekah says this isn’t an issue, as she ensures that after they keep at homestays, there are children round and even NGOs the place Pransh can play and be taught. 

For example, after they visited Dhankar village in Spiti, he immediately bonded with a lady his age who was dwelling within the homestay. 

“She and Pransh instantly started taking part in, regardless of not realizing one another’s language. They performed for an hour and we have been taken unexpectedly. Adults often take a very long time to work together however with youngsters, it’s seamless.”

Suggestions for fogeys to journey with youngsters

As for the place they want to journey, Aneekah says she desires to deal with India and let Pransh uncover the fantastic thing about the homeland earlier than venturing overseas. 

“I don’t need the travels to show into touristy experiences whereby we test into motels and have luxurious journeys. I would like Pransh to see the world for what it’s and expertise the fantastic thing about sluggish journey.” 

The duo has explored Maharashtra, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, and North India, and is now seeking to enterprise in direction of the South. 

Aneekah says that whereas she has taken the choice to homeschool her son, dad and mom shouldn’t suppose it’s an “both/or”. “I feel journey is a superb manner of letting youngsters uncover the world and themselves,” she says. 

She goes on to share some ideas that may assist for those who want to take a solo journey together with your youngster

Don’t begin massive

“Go to a spot that’s close by,” she suggests, including that it’s crucial to determine a consolation stage together with your youngster earlier than travelling. She additionally recommends chatting with your youngster and planning the journey with them in order that they don’t really feel overwhelmed later. 

Homestays over motels

Travelling with a toddler isn’t any straightforward job. You will want assist comparable to having acquainted faces round, somebody to look at the kid while you’re occupied, and many others. This makes selecting homestays an ideal concept, she says. Plus, it additionally signifies that your youngster will be taught a lot. 

Pack nicely

Gentle packing just isn’t doable, says Aneekah. “As an alternative, resort to conscious packing. Generally we expect our youngsters want a complete host of issues to maintain them busy, however when they’re on the street, they really discover their very own methods of having fun with themselves.” 

It’s not college

“Every thing doesn’t have to be made right into a studying expertise. Issues will come naturally to the kid. Don’t pressure a visit to be a lesson.” 

She provides, “Generally, it is possible for you to to cowl just one level or attraction a day. It’s okay. Children get hungry, youngsters get cranky, and you could hold their schedules too in thoughts.”

Aneekah additionally emphasises on the price range

“We save rather a lot on tuition charges and college charges since Pransh just isn’t at school and use it for the journeys we take. We go for homestays and native journey, thus making certain that our journeys are nicely inside the price range.” 

Edited by Divya Sethu



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