Around the country, many parents have been home-schooling their kids for a while now, because the schools are closed due to the pandemic. While curriculums are being set and discussed, parents are still apprehensive since kids are spending more time sitting in front of the screen, as opposed to going out and play-learning. This, many parents feel, could be counter-productive to their child’s growth and overall learning.
Then, there is the problem of really young ones — five years and younger — sitting with heavy headphones and nodding away to their teachers on the other side of the computer screen. Early exposure to the digital world, short attention span, and lack of physical activities have been worrying parents night and day. But they are helpless because there are more pressing chores to take care of, like work deadlines.
As such, many adept minds are trying to steer them towards finding just the right resources that are tailor-made for them, and can make them understand their child’s educational needs better. One such platform is called ‘2monkeysandme’, which was started in December 2018, by a Kolkata-based blogger and mother of two, Shraddha Fogla.
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Ocean Play Sensory Play Water Pollution We are currently doing oceans theme with the boys and had to create this ocean set up especially when we have that little sand pit in the garden to give that beach effect. I get a lot of question from mothers on how to start sensory play for their kids and this is one such play I would highly recommend if you haven’t started sensory place yet. Water is a versatile play for kids of all ages and what makes it sensory is the temperature of the water so if you add cold water or warm water, your water becomes a great sensory base for a final sensory play. In today's play, we have made an ocean with some ocean animals and fishes in it. I told the boys the ocean bed is made of sand, shells and gravel and so we added the shells and the gravel and the boys added the sand. What does sand do? It affected the visibility of the water as the light reflects and refracts and gets absorbed by the presence of the sand inside. It also shows the depth of the ocean, which is why sand played a very important role in this play. My older son has also learnt that the light enters differently at different layers of the ocean. We also spoke about what is water pollution and how bottle caps, straws and other plastic items float on water and gets ingested by the sea animals and cause them harm. There were tin cans on the beach to create some beach pollution. We had seen @7daysofplay do a similar ocean and sand play and immediately knew that we wanted to do one with the boys and teach them about so many important things there is to the ocean. #oceanplay #sensoryplay #waterpollution #seabed #homeschooling #homeschoolingideas #homeschoolwith2monkeysandme #2monkeysandme #playbasedlearning #playideas #sensoryactivities #sensoryfun #preschoolathome #fridayfeaturebysaru
A digital professional parenting platform, 2monkeysandme has homeschooling modules for kids between the ages of two years and nine years, comprising various activities, experiments, worksheets, and printables for effective and easy learning.
“I have always loved reading, and would read many research papers. My friends and family often asked me questions on the correct way of teaching things to kids, etc. And that is when I realised I should start a platform from where I can help other parents out, who are not very informed. I wanted to reach out to mothers who were looking for answers related to parenting. I randomly started the blog one fine day. There was no planning as such,” Shraddha tells indianexpress.com.
As a parent who is taking care of two boys aged five and two, Shraddha says she has been taking one day at a time in lockdown, planning their schedules and spending time with them. “I give them more time than I do to my husband. Thankfully, he does not complain, yet. While online classes for my older son are going on, the younger one is being home-schooled. I have schedules that I plan out a day in advance, before I go to bed — things I need to do with the boys, and things for the blog. When my sons are in a happy mood, I take up teaching them, and when they are a bit down, I let them play and I work on the blog,” she explains.
Apart from what he’s learning at school, Shraddha says she plans many science experiments and DIY activities for her older son. “I am teaching him things which are not related to his grade. He’s being taught things from grades 3 and 4, and he is grasping things according to his own pace. I base new concepts depending upon how many challenges they can take up.”
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Can air push air? Well, apparently it does. Yet another push or pull experiment we did is to complete another one of our homeschooling unit. Some of you might remember this experiment we did when we started our blog, and we thought this was a great time to repeat it when the little one understands it better too. Which one was your favourite experiment that you’re going to do with that with your child out of our unit, Pull or Push. . . . And out of all the push and push force activity we did which one do you think my younger one like the most? Out of the first 10 who reply the correctly , one will be randomly chosen for our rocket game on today’s story . Hurry up and win! #2monkeysandme #homeschooling #homeschoolby2monkeysandme #scienceforkids #stemforkids #homeschoolbooks #homeschoolpreschool #toddler #education #educational #educationiskey #experimentation #air #learningthroughplaying #learningathome
Homeschooling versus conventional schooling
Shraddha says if she had an option, she would home-school both her kids. “In the US, there are modules for homeschooling, and kids can take up tests that can promote them from one grade to the other. But that is not the case in India. And that is why my older one is still taking up his classes online. Whereas with my younger one, I decided to teach him everything that he needs to know at his age.”
About the blog
On her blog 2monkeysandme, Shraddha keeps coming up with activities for kids. These are in line with the topics of the school, but are more practical in nature. If students were to read on different types of soils and rocks, for instance, Shraddha would plan activities such as their collection.
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Balloon Experiment – Hot Air Rises Another little experiment to show how the hot air rises up just like water vapour. ************************** We learned about the water cycle and weather in lots of fun ways. This is the easiest experiment we have done so far and yet it teaches so much. Done this a lot of times before deciding to post this one up. Science behind it – The hot air gets trapped in the balloon and makes it inflated. ************************** How many of you have done this experiment and loved it? Let us know with a 👍🏻 #scienceforkids #hotairballoon #hotairrises #balloonexperiment #homeschooling #homeschoolby2monkeysandme #homeschool #homeschoollife #homeschoolideas #homebasedlearning
Shraddha says she divides her weeks between posting modules and activities for different age groups. Any parent can access the website and get an understanding of age-appropriate activities for their children. “Initially, it was a bit tough to come up with modules, because I was not doing it professionally. I used to look up on the internet for inspiration. But, when you start doing something out of passion, you keep thinking of ways. I would say it is a mix of ideas inspired and ideas that come from my own head,” she says.
Early childhood education
Shraddha says most schools teach nursery and pre-nursery goers in a repetitive way. And these are things that can be taught at home. “Making such young kids go through separation anxiety of leaving their parents and letting them cry their lungs out it is absolutely not required. Keeping that in mind, the topics that I include in the blog are all the topics you cover in montessori. I started working on activities which I would want to teach my young ones. The modules have more than what the montessori would teach, and in a fun way. And for early childhood education, I do not have any activities which are screen-related,” she concludes.
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