Learning with your Child at Home – 1

Ten Tips for Parents
This article is the first of a series of articles presenting tips, techniques, and resources for parents to create the right experiences with their child. Each article will present one or more tips and techniques in a simple way with video examples. Sources for these tips will also be presented for parents interested in more details.

In this article, we want to share ten tips for parents for learning with their child at home. The implementation of these tips can be seen in numerous videos on the Ananth’s Adventures channel. Each of these tips will be discussed in more detail in later articles. A brief explanation of the sources on which these tips are based is presented later in the post.

Ten Tips for Parents
1. Maintain a calm presence during experiences with your child.
2. Focus on creating enjoyable experiences with your child.
3. Identify the point of learning (the current level and learning needs) for your child to facilitate skills development while creating enjoyable experiences.
4. Use the five tools of theater (movement and dance, music and rhythm, storytelling, drama, and arts and crafts) to create enjoyable experiences.
5. Create opportunities for imitation.
6. Repeat lessons multiple times.
7. Improvise by introducing variations gradually.
8. Reduce the use of words.
9. Use more nonverbal communication.
10. Reduce commands and corrections.

Video Example
Watch this video lesson by Sri Ujwal Jagadeesh. Ananth enjoyed demonstrating this lesson and was highly motivated to learn this piece to explore with his 1.5-year-old nephew Ishaan! Which of the ten tips can you observe in the video? How can you apply the tips while doing this lesson or a similar lesson with your child?

Video First Presentation
As our Ananth’s Adventures Youtube channel continues to grow, we are delighted that we are increasingly able to share ideas, tips, and techniques in video format. While I have been explaining many ideas and techniques based on Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD), Waldorf, and other approaches for a few years, videos enable us to present these lessons in a concise and effective way.

The Ananth’s Adventures Project is our effort to organize and present our lessons learned, concepts, tips, and techniques in a video first format. What we mean by video first is that whatever we intend to convey is captured in videos on the Ananth’s Adventures channel.

Every video provides ideas for parents to explore while creating the right experiences with their child. These videos are a simple and quick way to get started. Parents can then read more detailed explanations and join the conversations in LIFESMART groups for a more nuanced understanding and explanation of what is seen on videos.

Sources of Tips
These tips are based on varied approaches that we have explored for decades. Each of the approaches listed below is complex and comprehensive. Videos are making it possible for us to present key lessons rooted in varied approaches in a seamless way.

Three main influences on this list of tips are given below:

I. Low Arousal Approaches
The first of these tips (calm presence) is based on low-arousal approaches. Low arousal approaches focus on reduction of stress, fear and frustration. These strategies are put in place to prevent dysregulation and avoid crisis situations. Low arousal approaches emphasize the creation of calm, consistent, positive learning environments.

While I have been familiar with many of the tips in the above list for years the first one has come increasingly into focus in recent years. Ananth has struggled considerably with stress issues over the last couple of years and I have observed that he seeks out Ujwal and others who engage in a similar calm way.

II. Theater Arts for Holistic Development

Creating enjoyable experiences is a tip from the Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) framework developed by Dr. Ambika Kameshwar. When I came across the 4Es (Exploration, Experience, Expression, Enjoyment) in TAHD, I was struck by the fact that enjoyment is often not in anyone’s vocabulary for neurodivergent learners! Other tips such as the use of imitation are also based on our TAHD experience.

Tip 3 on point of learning is also based on TAHD. According to Dr. Ambika Kameshwar, every human being at any time in their life is at a point of learning. Being attuned to this point of learning enables parents to create the right experiences for their child. Watch the video below for Dr. Ambika Kameshwar’s explanation of how TAHD application is guided by the point of learning:

Point of learning is a simple yet powerful idea. If we can recognize the point of learning for the individual which lies at the intersection of where the learner is at this point and what he or she needs to learn, we can create enjoyable experiences that move the learner forward towards the desired outcomes. While we may have a rough idea of the point of learning, discovering the point of learning is an ongoing process.

III. Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

We started RDI in 2003. RDI had a lasting effect on me. One of the most important effects of RDI was shifting my attention towards my role as a guide and the way in which I interacted. Slowing down, using more nonverbal communication, and reducing performance demands are some of the lessons I learned from RDI which are captured in our ten tips.

Recently, we have also started exploring Perception-Action coupling and Constraints-Led Learning. The value of the video resources holds even as we learn and integrate new techniques and approaches!

We are grateful to Sri Ujwal Jagadeesh, Senior Artist and Faculty at the Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning (RMCL) for many of the lessons in the videos on Ananth’s Adventures. Ujwal has also been the guiding force behind the videos created by Ananth independently.

We are grateful for the curriculum and resources developed by the RMCL team. The content of the videos on Ananth’s Adventures is based on the RMCL dance curriculum.

We appreciate the ongoing encouragement and support provided by Dr. Sarada Natarajan, President of RMCL and Dr. Ambika Kameshwar, Founder and Director of Ramana Sunritya Aalaya (RASA) and developer of TAHD. This work would not be possible without their continued guidance and support.

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 has served as the Chair of the Teaching and Curriculum Section of the American Accounting Education. She is a certified leader in systems thinking, mapping, and leadership under a program offered by Cabrera Research Lab. 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!

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