What is My Child Doing this Summer?
Commander Muralidharan, who coaches swimming at Balewadi, was at our school last Friday, talking to Std 6 and Std 7. He spoke about physical fitness, development of physique and personality, mental strength and physical strength. He spoke to the children about being a “TIGER” – lithe, graceful, powerful and b. He spoke about swimming as a sport to achieve many, if not all, the above traits.
He said something more which has stuck in my mind. “What you do during the summer vacation will be more significant than your entire academic year!” My first reaction was disbelief. “Can’t be”! Then I thought of many of the children who I know and of what they will achieve during vacations. “Maybe he is right” !!
There are children who will read more than 30 books this summer – more books than many others will read in two or three years!
I know children who will swim for 4 to 5 hours a day, swimming many kilometers every day. Can you imagine the perseverance and dedication it takes? (My grand-daughter did it last summer. We had no idea that she had any such talent, stamina or will-power! She changed in one month.).
There are children who will attend elocution and drama classes and be part of a stage show by the end of vacations.
Some children will travel across India or foreign countries and return with a broader vision and expanded horizon. (It will depend how their parents use the opportunity).
There is one child of Std 4 who will be trekking to Everest Base Camp, without his parents!
Many others will go camping and trekking and make new friends. Camping teaches one to take responsibility for oneself – no mummies to do everything!
At Vidya Valley we organize a sports camp – 15 days of hard work. You will see the difference in the children in that short time. They will be fitter, stand taller, stop being fussy and very, very brown
I see my girls playing football, basketball, volleyball or taekwondo, shirts wet with sweat, faces grimy and flushed, hair all over the place, skin tanned in the sun. Eyes shining with happiness. To me they are all “Miss India” and I know that Femina got it completely wrong when setting their criteria for that title.
Some children will learn art, learn music, learn to dance and sing or computer animation and so much else. Some will also keep in touch with their academics – learning new things in creative and fun ways. I wish I was a child again in this day and age when so many opportunities are available to learn and have fun.
I vividly recall hearing a young girl of Std 3 telling her friend, “I will go swimming every morning. I can sleep any time of the year but I can only swim in the morning during summer vacations.” Absolute pearls of wisdom from a child in the most practical manner: You have to grab opportunity when it comes knocking at the door or regret it for ever.
But only some children will do all this. For too many others it will be a wasted summer – nothing learned, nothing gained except weight. Lazing in bed, cartoons on TV and watching the IPL till late night will consume their hours. Their parents will not make the time or have the determination to ensure this vital part of their education which happens in summer vacations. These are the unlucky children.
Some thoughts were triggered by Cmdr. Muralidharan’s words and also by the fact that only one hundred and thirty children enrolled for the Summer Sports Camp at Vidya Valley. I wonder – what the rest of the thousand children will be doing? I hope they will work hard at having fun! I wish that they will be better persons, more experienced, more skilled, higher achievers, taller and fitter, thinking better and speaking better, with greater self-confidence, more grown up and mature, worthy leaders of the morrow.
I pray that all our children will have a great Summer Vacation!
I have been invited by a school in Denmark (Rungsted Gymnasium). We have an ongoing project involving our students of Std 10. I will also be visiting Zurich from where we had two visiting teachers last year. I hope to arrange for more visiting teachers and for opportunities for our teachers to visit them to learn better methods of teaching. Wishing all of you the very best summer vacation.