Recently I read some couple of emails on the Alt Ed India Yahoo group and got to interact with Ms. Vineeta. Here are some snippets (edited for blog) of the conversation, which will be very useful to others as well as to me in future years….
Yes have a look at the email exchange….
This is what I wrote –
I have read your recent emails and also your posting on alternative education india website. My child will be two this year and I am very keen on homeschooling. I am based at Mumbai
If I decide to go ahead the formal way of homeschooling (ie with curricula) then what are my exact choices out of CBSE,
ICSE, NIOS, IGCSE or any other?
Also how do we as parents go about choosing any of the above? When are we eligible to start? When my child is of what age is
he eligible for applying for any formal system?
How do we prepare? Any ideas would be helpful.
And this is the reply –
Since your child is only two now, you just don’t need to worry about anything at least for the next five years. Children generally get interested in formal learning of language and mathematics by the time they are 6/7 years or so. Just enjoy him. Let him grow and grow with him. Just keep lots of paper, paints, crayons, colours, books, wooden blocks, Lego, any kind of construction material like old cartons of toothpaste, shaving cream, straws, bottle caps and other similar things with Fevicol. Sandpit with sand tools is a very useful tool. Water play with some tools like bottles of various sizes, spoons, droppers, straws etc., paints and easel, play dough etc. etc. If you enjoy gardening, it would be great. Just live your life in a very involved way. You yourself read and read to him when he wants you to. Children get bored with mechanized toys in a few days whereas simple toys with which they can play around creatively, they enjoy those toys for years.
Just don’t put your expectations on him. Let him freely explore all the media in the way he wants to. You can lay some ground rules though. Like keeping things back, assigning areas for different activities e.g. water play only near the sink or in the bathroom, no sand inside, no stuffed toys, stationary/books in the sandpit etc. etc. and help him follow those rules. I mean initially, for the first few years, you will have to invite him for keeping things backs and do it for him. Sometimes, when he is about five, you can suggest and leave it to him. At some point of time he would start taking care of things by himself.
This recent discussion on Praise and punishment is one of the crucial things in attitude building and attitude is everything. Because does not matter what facilities you create for the child, what is important is child’s willingness to get involved and experiment. If you force the child, the result will be the same as in a school and then it is better for the child to be in a class room. If you coerce/lure the child into activities, it will work for some time but it won’t create a willing enthusiastic learner.
Regarding choosing the board, you need to think about this only by the time your child is 12/13 years. For NIOS, you can register two years in advance. For NIOS, you need to register separately for exams a few months in advance and you can find out this information from your accredited center. For IGCSE, you can register three/four months before the child needs to write the exams. However, find the information and be ready with it by the time the child is 12/13 years so that you don’t miss on anything. If the child is planning to join the mainstream, then select the institutions and find information about their requirements. It is very helpful.
Which board to choose? depends on what is available and what is your child’s learning style. NIOS is memory based and IGCSE is more application of concepts. I am not familiar with the requirements of privately appearing for CBSE or ICSE boards. I know state boards enroll private candidates but you will have to find out information if you are interested.
I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any more questions.
I appreciate the work you are dong by making information available on your blog.
That’s it….This is a great thing!! It’s feel so nice to be welcomed and appreciated. Here’s to wishing me and others a great start to their Indian homeschooling journey…Thanks Vineeta for the great tips