Vaatsalya Vatika (वात्सल्य वाटिका)
Vaatsalya Vatika (वात्सल्य वाटिका) is a Pre-School and Learning Home initiative situated at Shop no.1, Audumbar Building, Opp IIT Main gate, Saigal Wadi, Powai, Mumbai - 400076. It is essentially a homeschooling option with a difference.
What is Vaatsalya Vatika ?
● It is a pre-primary school meant to aid in the natural development of physical, mental and intellectual capacities of children between the ages 3 to 6.
● It was started on the auspicious tithi of Vyas Purnima on July 22nd 2016 at Bhandup.
● The curriculum of Vaatsalya Vatika is largely based on the guidance given in the book Shishuvatika Tattva evam Vyavahar by Sushri Indumati Katdare, who, 35 years ago was an active teacher and saw that across India, the field of education was largely being influenced by the West. So she designed a pre-primary curriculum largely equipped to help children live their childhood joyfully and at the same time become prepared with the required skills to enter formal education from Grade 1. It is also important to know that the curriculum is deeply rooted in the Indian culture and strongly advocates using the regional language as the primary medium of instruction.
What is different at Vaatsalya Vatika ?
● Vaatsalya Vatika meticulously adheres to the natural sequence of Language Development i.e. Hearing, Speaking, Reading and lastly Writing. Reading and Writing only begins after the child is almost 5 years old.
● They help the child read whole words and then introduce alphabets and not vice versa.
● There is no formal writing.
● Stories come from the life of great personalities both from the past and the present and from our great literatures and certainly not “fairy tales”
● Songs are composed in Hindi / Marathi/ English and the conventional nursery rhymes are only fillers.
● Desh-bhakti is a strong element they try to bring to the children in various ways.
● Celebrating Bharatiya festivals is another strong element.
No formal fee structure
● Parents of the children contribute every month voluntarily according to their capacity and desire.
Why this fee structure ?
● According to the Bharatiya parampara, food, water and any form of “Vidya” were never sold for a price.
● When an educational setup takes money from parents of the children studying there, the teachers are obliged to cater to the demands of the parent.
● Formal fee structure is seen to ruin the family structure in the society. More nuclear families, one-child families are becoming rampant mainly because education has become a costly affair.
Teachers at Vaatsalya Vatika
● The person who gives his/her time as a teacher at Vaatsalya Vatika is a certified and trained individual in the matter of Shishuvatika Tattva evam Vyavahar.
● A 12 day rigorous residential training program organized by Vidya Bharati, Konkan Praanth is mandatory for all those desirous to devote time towards teaching at Vaatsalya Vatika.
What comes after Vaatsalya Vatika ?
● Option 1 : A child finishing three years at Vaatsalya Vatika can take admission in any school for class 1 according to RTE.
● Option 2 : Those parents who feel there is strength in homeschooling a child but don't have the confidence to choose that option, Vaatsalya Vatika offers the “Learning Home” model, which is an alternative form of home-schooling. Here, these parents come together and educate their children collectively.
What is Learning Home initiative ?
Learning Home presents a wonderful alternative where one homeschools a child along with other children homeschooled by their parents in a neutral place outside home.
Features of Vaatsalya Vatika (Learning Home)
- It's a homeschool outside home
- Child gets educated along with other children therefore there is good interaction and exchange among children.
- Each parent either mother, father or both take responsibility of one subject thus collectively distributing the curriculum requirement between the parents.
- Topics like history, geography are taken up by visiting actual place of concern making it enjoyable and adventurous. To this effect there are weekly, monthly, and yearly visits to different places.
- Learning is the focus, not teaching
- Parents learn along with children and the process continues.
- Each topic is covered by means of projects.
- Special activities like yoga, music, dance, instruments, etc. are also part of the school time engagements.
- Through NIOS examinations the children are at par (in fact better than) with any other school going child academically.
- This model is inspired by a group of parents of Nandanvan Learning Home which has been active since past 8 years and their children are now in grade 6 and doing very well.
Parents who believe in home schooling and who have children entering class 1 from June 2019 are welcome to join Vaatsalya Vatika (Learning Home) where together children can be educated.
A batch of class 1 will begin in June 2019 at Powai near IIT. For enquiries call 9619847729.
Contact Information for Vaatsalya Vatika
● Garima : 9326731107
● Aarti Ganesh : 9619847729
Website : www.vaatsalyavatika.org