Schooling has developed as a structured way of imparting knowledge in an organized, well paced and hopefully effective manner. Unfortunately traditional schooling has limited creativity, given undue importance to structure and form and made teachers, parents and students beholden to examinations, marks and competitive one upmanship. The good part is that logical thinking has been well entrenched in students, the system attempts to give opportunities to excel for those who are academically inclined while providing ample scope for the less academically gifted to pass and progress.
However there were those who viewed traditional schooling from a different perspective. Those who found traditional schooling restrictive, too standardized and possibly too limiting for children with extra ordinary intellect, propounded the concept of home schooling. Home schooling has emerged as an alternative but requires extraordinary vision of the parents as well as their whole hearted commitment. The concept of home schooling though has been a revolutionary departure from the traditional concept of schooling since it allows freedom to an extraordinary degree, reinforces the concept of self discipline in students and re defines the very style of teaching and learning. Above all it gives students the alternative to explore a wide range of subjects in the most practical way and to the full extent of their interest and capability.
Despite these apparent benefits of home schooling the concept is still very much in a nascent stage and that begs the question How does one explore different perspectives fruitfully? The answer lies in our ability to
Be open to change – Unless we have an open mind we would only accept what is available and if that does not suit us we would crib/ complaint/ criticize but never explore alternatives. Once we keep an open mind and seek solutions or alternatives various options would immediately come to the fore.
Appreciate the alternatives – Once we identify alternatives it is essential that we probe/ explore/ study and analyze these alternatives with the clear belief that one or more of these alternatives holds the key to what you are seeking. Of course there would be shades of grey in the alternatives, there could be doubts raised by well meaning people and some difficult to accept situations which we would have to overcome as inevitable. E.g. for most people suffering from asthma, where allopathic medicines continues to be ineffective an alternative that is often propounded is the live fish swallowing therapy that is available in Hyderabad. While the thought itself is repulsive for even non vegetarians, it could be terrifying for those who are vegetarians. Yet thousands flock to avail of the therapy simply because they are left with no alternative but to try it.
Let go the tried and tested – This is the bane of the vast majority. To prove the point let me suggest that you quickly try to draw /sketch your own portrait. Chances are that you would first attempt to draw you face, starting with a round outline followed by the eyes and mouth and nose etc. Notice how seasoned artistes approach the same drawing and you will appreciate that there are various alternatives.
Adopt and adapt the new possibilities – While we ideally try to find readymade solutions for our problems/ challenges the reality is that each solution could vary and may need to be adopted with changes or adapted to ensure the expected outcome. Almost all progress made in any field is largely an outcome of experimentation, trial and error as well as infusion of creative inputs.
See benefits however small – Anyone who tries to find a different perspective would find himself/ herself in a hopeless minority and would have a tough time fending off critics and experts who are unable to comprehend your logic/ thinking/ risk taking. The possibility of disillusionment and frustration then is best eliminated by focusing attention on any small outcome that gives a glimmer of hope. Perseverance and determination are traits that are essential for anyone who dares to walk the path less traveled by for it would be a lonely, strange, uncharted territory but holding the promise of immense possibilities.
- Write down your 3 most serious worries. For each of it jot down 3 alternatives solutions that you can explore to eliminate/ solve/ minimize your worry.
- Out of the following alternatives try to attempt at least any two which you have never done before
- Write a poem / limerick
- Solve a cross word puzzle
- Learn and perform a new card trick / magic
- Learn to tie three different types of knots ( as the scouts do)
- Write a movie / book review
- Organize a theme party on your next birthday
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