How Ananth and I Organize Learning with 100-Day Projects

The process of parents learning with their neurodivergent child at home and supporting their child’s development through experiences outside the home is dynamic. While parents have long-term goals in mind, they must observe, see what is doable and worth doing, and decide on next steps. 100-Day projects and daily routines are two important LIFESMART tools for creating structure and order while being flexible and adaptive.

I. Do 100-Day Projects

Short-term focused action has been the biggest challenge I have faced over the years. We are faced with too much information, many competing perspectives, and many goals and skills to work towards at any given time. It is not possible to address everything that needs to be addressed at any given time.
Stay focused on the doable.
We use the 1-10-100 rule as a way to focus on the doable.

The 1-10-100 Rule
Choose one activity and commit at least 10 minutes to it daily for 100 days.
The 1-10-100 rule enables us to focus on what is doable and worth doing at any time. An activity must be of high priority if we are willing to commit to it for 100 days!

100-Day Projects and Daily Routine
Your routine today has taken shape because of what you and your child can do. That is your starting point. Write down how your child spends time throughout the day. Then, think of possibilities for improvements.

The 100-day project is the core LIFESMART practice. It is intended as a tool for organizing short-term effort in the face of unpredictability and uncertainty. Choose one or two of the activities in your daily schedule for targeted improvement with a 100-day project. Ground yourself with a daily routine and 100-day projects. Then, use observation, information from family members, therapists and other professionals, information from other parents etc. to make progress gradually over time.

100-Day Anatomy and Body Awareness Project
Recently, we started the 100-Days of Anatomy and Body Awareness project in the LIFESMART community. While this project is being hosted in the community, each parent/ neurodivergent learner will have their own unique goals. For example, Ananth has experienced therapies such as Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI) and learned Bharatanatyam for over 10 years. Thus, our goals will be different from that of a parent working with a young child.

The goals of our 100-Day project are:
1) To practice facial expressions and hand gestures. While facial expressions and hand gestures are a part of every dance lesson, we have requested Ananth’s dance teacher Sri Ujwal Jagadeesh to do the facial expressions and hand gestures while sitting down so Ananth can focus on the meaning of the lyrics and coordinate gestures and facial expressions.
2) A key advantage is that he can create additional practice opportunities. For example, Ananth does not dance after dinner but he can practice seated activities emphasizing hand gestures and facial expressions.
3) To learn and share Anatomy and Physiology songs. For example, Ananth has learned and shared the skeleton system song.
4) To create and share movement and dance videos on Ananth’s Adventures Youtube channel.
The activities in our 100-Day project build on what is already in Ananth’s daily routine. We make targeted improvements to our daily activities throughout the 100-Day project. The intention of 100-Day project activities is to enhance the daily routine.
Consider the four LIFE elements while organizing 100-Day SMART projects:

o L: Learning Daily
Integrate movement, dance, and other activities to learn Anatomy and Physiology, and to raise body awareness.
o I: Interests
Movement and dance have been areas of interest for Ananth for over ten years. Now, there is increasing interest in storytelling integrated with dance.
o F: Family Interactions
Ananth’s Adventures Youtube channel is becoming an integral part of our family interactions. As Ananth learns dance during the 100-Day project, we work together on creating, editing, and sharing videos.
o E: Engagement with Community
Ananth’s Adventures Youtube channel is an integral part of our community engagement efforts.

II. Evolve Daily Routine

A parent role is different from a teacher’s role. Predictability, order, and structure along with flexibility and adapting to change is how parenting works and what learning at home involves. Further, the daily routine integrates activities with parents and other activities to provide a comprehensive picture of how the child spends his time daily. The point of the daily routine is not to be rigid but to provide some overall structure to guide the flow of activities while being open to what happens!
We created a folded circle divided into 12 parts to show activities that address Anatomy and Body Awareness. We track daily progress on this folded circle embedded in Canva.
Our list of daily activities below includes short 10-15 activities throughout the day that emphasize body awareness. Other activities such as reading and coding are not included in this list.

Exercises and Aduvus
Hand gestures and Facial Expressions
Hand gestures and Facial Expressions
Cooking and Chores

Hand gestures and Facial Expressions
Hand gestures and Facial Expressions
Listening to Satsang shares
Atma vichara

Tip for Parents
Do 100-Day projects to organize short-term actions and direct them towards long-term goals. Use 100-Day projects to evolve daily routine.
Join our 365-Day Exploration group on Whatsapp to learn about LIFESMART and practice techniques such as the 100-Day project. Our goal is to encourage, inform, and support parents in thinking about possibilities and implementing focused and consistent short-term action towards long-term goals

Dr. Dasaratha Rama is a professor and home educator. She was the editor of a monograph on service-learning published by the American Association of Higher Education. This monograph was a part of a series of monographs on service-learning published by AAHE. She was also an Engaged Scholar with the Campus Compact, an association in the US dedicated to higher education civic and community engagement at colleges and universities. She is currently doing a certificate in Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) from RASA (Ramana Sunritya Aalaya).

Ananth Raghunandan is a student ambassador for RASA and TAHD. Ananth Raghunandan will be starting a diploma in Bharatanatyam shortly.

Their journey from homeschooling to collaborators and co-creators continues!

Leave a Reply