Sailing sessions

Sailing sessions

Young children are active learners; but they learn best when motivated and enthusiastic. They understand through investigating, experimenting, observing and exploring. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which is America’s largest and most influential organisation of early childhood educators dedicated to improving the quality of programs for children from birth through third grade, believes that young children learn best through direct sensory encounters and not through a formal academic process. Learning should be the outcome of hands-on experience, especially play. Studies have shown that children under the age of eight years acquire knowledge in ways that are significantly different from the ways older children learn. Therefore, young children should be taught differently. One way of doing so is by providing them with experiences that offer opportunities to learn naturally. Like outings in the local community which help kids develop a better grasp of the immediate and wider environment.

In this respect, children from Thane city are quite fortunate – after all how many cities have such a wonderful mix of traditional culture, modern amenities and natural habitat? Take for instance the Junior KG toddlers from Garden School, who experienced what it is like to be out and about in Thane.

Early morning on Tuesday and Wednesday, and escorted by two teachers, 70 little children went boating at the Masunda Lake. The pleasant weather was rather helpful and made the job of the teachers easier. According to Bernadette Pimenta, principal of Garden School, outings like these are meant to be a practical class. "We want to teach children to appreciate nature, learn about the environment and also develop a love for it," she reveals.

Once inside the boat, their exciting lessons began. The tots learnt about the different kinds of boats – motor, pedal and rowing variety. They were shown the blue sky and its reflection in water. Then the children discovered the significance of prominent places around the lake such as the St. John’s church and the Gadkari Rangayatan Auditorium. Children learn much more in an hour they spend observing nature than they would learn from reading books or blackboards in days. Situated as it is in the centre of the pulsating city, the Masunda Lake gave teachers an opportunity to impart many mini-lessons lessons ranging from value of cleanliness and sanitation to the purpose of street lights and their arrangements to why they should be proud of their city.
 
What is surprising is that the kids neither cried nor made any fuss whatsoever during the entire excursion. Instead the children were thrilled with their sailing encounter. So thrilled that they wanted to go back to navigate more. Maybe there’s truth in the TATA Indica’s ad campaign which goes, "It’s only human to want more!"

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