Sunday, June 28, 2009

Intermediate Kids Swimming Camp - Unwind Island

Bikranjit Chatterjee []

We will be starting an intermediate kids batch at Unwind Island (Outer Ring Road, close to Marathahalli). Camp details are as follows:

Dates: July 7th to July 31st (registrations open through email for 15 people only, cash payment to be made on first day)
Coaches : Richard and Bikranjit (myself)
Timing: 5.00 - 6.00 p.m.
Duration: Tuesday to Friday for 4 weeks (16 Classes)
Fees: Rs 3000 (Fees can be paid by cash to the head coach on the first day of classes at the pool)

Addtnl Info: Swimmers should be able to do one full breadth of freestyle with breathing. Swimmers who do not meet this criteria will not be admitted as this is an intermediate camp. Beginners/ Advanced children are not allowed in this batch.

Course Content : Perfecting freestyle side breathing and learning backstroke and breaststroke.We also have an adult batch between 6.15 - 7.15 pm on the same days and a weekend batch between 11-12.

For further details and a map please check:

Swimming classes @ Unwind Island By Nisha Millet Group (Outer Ring Road, close to innovative multiplex)

Bikranjit Chatterjee []
Trainer ,Nisha Millet Swimming School

Beginner batches at Unwind taken by Bikranjit and Richard details of which are as follows:
Adult Weekend Beginner batch: 11am to 12 pm Saturdays and Sundays for 16 classes starting July 4th.
Adult Weekday Beginner batch: 6.00pm to 7.00pm, Tuesday to Friday for 4 weeks starting July 7th

A couple of points to be noted at Unwind Island are:
1) We are only taking 15 beginners per batch. We would need a confirmation email from you clearly stating name, phone number and which batch you prefer. We will write back confirming the first 15 joinees in each of these batches.
2) We will not be taking intermediate swimmers in this batch due to the oval shape of the pool. Also the pool height is a uniform 5 ft on both ends so anyone shorter than 5 ft will find it difficult to stand.
3) Fees of Rs 3000 will need to be paid in full on the first day prior to the start of class. Failure to do so or failure to show up on the first day will result in forfeiting your place.For further details and a map please refer to our site at the following link:

From now on all weekend beginner batches will be held there while the intermediate weekend batches will be held in Catholic Club.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Reviews On Apple Kids Daycare ,Suncity Apartments,Sarjapur Road

I wanted to write about this review from the time i had problems with the day care.

Let me start with a small introduction of what happens when you are in a huge apartment complex.You get all facilities -milk booth ,vegetable shop,school etc but all those shop owners starts feeling a monopoly as they feel we don't have much options other than obeying their words.This is true for most of the people as most of them are software engineers who doesn't have time to interfere in these issues and other category is above average level of people who has money to spend without thinking much. There is an average group of people who shouts and yells for all these issues not because we have time but we feel that we should get value for the money we pay but noone seems to listen:)

As i am working ,my kid is put into daycare after school.As we have two daycare's (Apple Kids & Shemrock) in our Apartement complex (Suncity) ,we never bothered to go out as it's easy for us until we had an issue:)

My kid was put in Apple Kids daycare and she was happy and we were also happy.She is 5 years so nothing has to be specially done for her.In daycare they had this group of 5 kids who were friends.So none of the maids needs to take care of these kids as all were of the agegroup above 4 and they used to play among themself.

As my kid is grown up ,i never used to complain anything to daycare even if they didn't change my kids clothes or they didn't force my kid to eat.So somedays my kid would be coming out of daycare as if she was laying in mud:) .We had minor issues with daycare and whenever i had any issue ,i used to call up the Saritha (Daycare head) and we used to sort it out.

As per the rules and regulations:) - funny part is they never had this rules and never discussed with parents when they joined their kid in daycare.But whenever some problems happen ,they used to bring up this rules and regulations and fight.We never signed on any document and we only got fee receipt back.So i got to know from daycare lady that when my kid doesn't come for more than 10 days ,we can ask for money reimbursement.

As my mom was here ,we didnt send our kid to daycare for more than 13 days.Actually she was on leave from May 13th to 26th. May 13th happens to be a Wednesday and May 26th happens to be a Tuseday.I am mentioing this as these dates have a high significance in the issue:)

I happily calculated my reimbursement and paid only rest of the amount for the next month.That day when i picked up my kid from daycare ,they called me in and Saritha started talking about the imaginary so called Rules and Regulations.As per that if your kid comes to daycare on Monday and then she is on leave for the entire week(Tue,Wed,Thurs,Fri) or more than that ,it's considered as she is present for the whole week.If we want to reimburse money ,then my kid shouldn't be there for any days of the week.So though she was unavailable from may 13th to May 26th ,i can only ask reimbursement for the week of 18th to 22nd.

This rule was very weird and they didn't communicate to me earlier so i told them that i need entire reimbursement.For this ,Saritha started saying so many things and i didnt agree for anything. Finally she told that money is just nothing for her and if i am not satisfied with the services her daycare is providing ,then i can opt for other daycare's.I asked her only one question - "if a parent doesn't know about all these rules and they complain about this ,don't you feel that you should improve your daycare formalities or your daycare? instead you are asking me to leave and go to other daycare. Is this a good way?"

When i joined my kid in daycare ,i met Saritha only once and she never even bothered to tell me the rules or any other info.I filled only one form which was detailing about the kids name,school etc.When we had this issue ,she was mentioning that she is always available in Daycare for any issues :) which is not the truth.

After this incident ,i stopped sending my kid to Apple Kid's.After hearing all these if i send her again there ,it will be against my conscious.

See for me Money is important and money doesnt come just like that.If i was told about the rules earlier ,i wouldnt have got any issue .But when some problem happens ,these people shout about all these rules and regulations which is against my understanding.

They introduced pickup charges without informing parents and when i was paying fees ,daycare person-Flora asked me to pay 150 rs etc as pickup.I didn't ask any question and i paid the amount as i know pickup is very difficult for maids.But this decision was also taken without any circular or discussion with parents.

Somehow daycare people feel that even if they ask money for n number or reasons ,people will pay without questioning.Actually they are correct as some parents doesn't bother as they just want their kid's to be in daycare until they come back from office.These type of parents are creating problems for other parents like me where we see information about where the money is spend than just spending it.

Reviews On Prakriya Green Wisdom School,ICSE,Sarjapur Road

I am putting the review in my blog as so many parents are concerned about the alternate way of education which Prakriya follows.Hope this helps them to decide.I have put across some of the reviews got from other parents as well.

Prakriya follows unconventional way of teaching.They mainly teach kids once they are ready to take it..For my kid writing ABCD starts only when she is in UKG/1st Standard.Kids develop their hand coordination by that age .So they shouldnt be forced to write.Thats what school says and i do believe in that..

But at the same time ,they give drawings,painting sheets and other work sheets which helps the kid to improve the hand coordination.My kid though none taught her writing ,she writes on her own by looking at alphabets and i just correct her mistakes.So she takes her own time to learn and she is happy because noone is forcing her.

We shortlisted cambridge school and Prakriya and when we went to meet the school incharge ,we selected Prakriya as Cambridge headmistress told us openly that they want kids to get ranks and they give only preference to studies.We found Prakriya to be good for

1) Unconventional way of teaching.We wanted our kid to learn everything taking her own time than having so many pages of homework everyday.When i asked some schools ,they just wanted to get ranks for kids which is against my way.I wanted my kid to enjoy every step in her life,play and learn along.

2) School had lots of place to play with trees around and it is not like only concrete buildings.Its almost similar to our village schools.They also have a pond with fishes and a small hill all made by kids of higher standards as that was one of the projects they had to complete for their class.

3) They promote healthy eating habit - no choclates,cakes or other stuff allowed in school.For birthdays also ,only fruits/chikkis allowed.

4) Teachers are very good and they understand students very well.Also teachers undergo training every year for improving their skills.Teachers are called as aunties and kids have entire freedom to talk to their aunties.In lower KGS ,you can also see kids freely sitting on teachers lap not a familiar picture anywhere in Bangalore nowadays:)

5)I am happy with overall development of my kid.My kid was earlier put into a school where she was taught ABCD and all eventhough she was only 2.6 which was very difficult for they teach everything in the right age which is helping my kid a lot...

My kid understands whatever she learns and she knows how to apply it or explain it to others.She is not byhearting everything.They learn everything in a fun way either going for outings or through skits which teachers do for them.for ex:- they teach word reflection by showing kids their reflection in water and also telling stories.

6)Everyone say the right things and don't overcommit on something..they say right things even if it is not easy for us to digest...I like this as some schools promise so many things and they dont even give many of my friends had that problem.

7)In addition to the curriculum prakriya takes positive steps in terms of making children closer to nature, making children aware of problems faced by the urban world, through the projects, field trips, street plays etc. (From reviews by another Parent)

8)Teachers follow the Prakriya methodology at higherclasses as well. Usually most of the teachers come well prepared forthe classes with lots of examples and also when theyteach, they simplify the explanations to a greatextent so that the child understands. Also, the teachers use alternative mechanisms formaking the concepts clear if at the first shot it is not understood well. They make good use of audio-visual aids.(From reviews by another Parent)

9)The children are given lots of self-studyassignments which improves their information organizational abilities.(From reviews by another Parent)

10). The child is asked to make presentation in the class on a particular topic again which will improve general public speaking skills and presentation skills.(From reviews by another Parent)

11)Language teachers are putting in lots of effort to ensure that the child learns a particular language in both oral & written skills. They encourage children to read news papers, news items on TV, write on their own etc...which is again good. Other teachers are also good.

I do remember one incident where my kid wanted to see Chandrayan telecast in the news.It seems her aunty (they call teachers as Aunty) told her to watch it.She asked me to call her up in the early morning so that she can watch the news.Remember that she was only 4 and normally @ this age we dont talk so much about the happenings.She knew all the planets and what is milky way and she was able to explain all these in her own terms.This all she got from school as i never taught her.I was really surprised.

Will kids face any problem in joining other schools??
This was there in our minds when we opted for the school ,then we got mail from parents whose kids were in higher standards and they all mentioned one thing -their kids were good in everything not only in studies.also they were able to think independently.We are really happy to have put our kid in Prakriya and we want her to complete her studies till 10th in Prakriya.This year schools first 10th standard batch will be coming out.So you can also see the results.One of my collegue aso joined his kid in LKG and he is really happy with the improvements he is seeing in his kid.

This school is good for you if you are the person who doesnt compare your kids every now and then with other kids of same age and also if u give preference to kid's overall development than only concentarting in studies.If u compare ur kid with the kids of the same age ,then u can find slight difference as in other schools in pre nursery itself they teach ABCD forcefully but here its not the case.But i think higher standards wont be having much problem.

One parent asked me about admission procedure in Prakriya.I forgot to mention it in the post.Please find the same below.

Admission process is very simple in Prakriya.
-You have to fill up a form regarding kid's details and other information.
-Scool will call you for a meeting where they will discuss the concepts on which the school is based on.There is no interview for the parents.
-Kid has to be put into a class with other children where teacher just observes the kid.No questions asked.No interviews.
-They will put up the shortlisted list of names after a week.

One more review which i found about the school
In ParentTree

One more review which i found about the school
From Vishwa

Please note:- There are more than 100 comments for this post. Please do read the comments too as some parents has shared negative reviews on Prakriya too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Muzhachu Muzhachu (In malayalam)

Manikutty was having dance class during her summer camps and she used to sing those dance songs @ home. Once the song selected was Mauja hi Mauja from Jab We Met.

She came home and started telling me a story .Story in her own words - Amma ,oru small boy undayirunnu pinne oru small girlum .Aa boy oru pravasyam veenu.Appo thala muzhachu.Appo aa girl padanu "Muzhachu muzhachu hoho muzhachu muzhachu".She sang in the same tune as Mauja hi Mauja.We couldn't control our laugh :)

Activities to remove Guilty Pangs -Working Mom's

Some of the activities i do to make myself feel happy and overcome the guilty pangs are -

1. We make it a point to read her stories every night without fail.

2. Teach her all the games which we played.

3. Find out and take her for the weekend classes which she is interested in as we cant make it on weekdays:)

4. Just make her happy by being with her, listening to all her stories and happenings @ school and daycare.

5. Help her with the crafts

6. Treat her like how we will treat a grown up and give her permission to use scissors ,gum etc

7. Try to make her understand about Kerala (her native) and to learn malayalam.

8. Finally and very important is to treat them with same respect as we treat elders/grownups.

How to find out "me" time - For Working Mom's

1. Try to delegate your work to spouse ,kids .Also keep a maid for cleaning.Previously i used to wake up on saturday mornings thinking about cleaning house and it used to irritate me a lot as we eholidays only on saturdays and sundays and that too we have to spend for cleaning? Once i kept a maid , i have more free time.

2. Dont think that people around you are perfectionists like you.
I used to expect a lot from maids.Why cant they clean up properly ,why cant they do something without asking them to do etc etc.Finally i came to the conslusion that maids are maids.We can't change them and its better to change thoughts than bothering too much about the work they didn't do.Once i lowered my expectation ,i am finding my maid to be very good:)

3. Go for a workout @ Gym or go for a walk
Exercise is always required to make us healthy and keep us energised. Find out time for yourself. Don't feel guilty that you should have spend the hours with your child than hitting the gym. If you start spending time for yourself ,you will soon find that its easy to find happiness in all the activities you do for your kid or for your spouse.Do this and you will soon realize.
Not only this ,you need a healthy body and mind to withstand the pressures of the world around you.

4.Try to go out on weekends ,have a lunch or dinner outside or set it up @ home.Do come out of the routine mechanical life

5.Try to have a hobby - not required to be an expensive one.I am having a hobby of colecting coins of India where i discovered that we have more varities of coins available which i didn't notice yet.Sometimes my interest for collection ends up in funny scenarios where i end up asking bus driver or auto driver for the coin I need:)

Dilemma of Working Women

Being a working woman myself , i used to feel guilty every now and then. Manikutty's friend's mother's were all housewife's.This added to my guilty feeling until i came across the saying "All the women who help your child or you like teachers ,daycare ,maids etc are working women themself" .

Once i read about this ,i started feeling much better though every now and then i still get guilty pangs. But whenever guilt stucks me ,i remember this and i will be feeling much better.

Also i see the good habits which my kid got as i am a working woman.Manikutty is independent and takes care of everything by herself from the time she turned four.Mainly because we dont have any support system and myself and Dileep had to take up any thing and everything @ home. Manikutty also feels that she needs to do her part - she helps in cleaning house ,cleans her room,takes bath , puts on dress ,all by herself.

As a mother ,sometimes i feel guilty for her independent nature also :) .Thats part of motherhood.I feel why dont she call me for helping her put on her dress ,why dont she ask me to give her a bath etc etc.So when she is independent ,i want her to be dependent on me and if she is dependent ,i want her to be independent :) She gets irritated sometimes and she asks me a question " you told me to do this all alone and now why are you coming and helping me out"

I feel proud to tell other parents that even having a five year daughter ,I still have time for myself to do whatever i wish for - may be my Ikebana classes ,or my hobbies .These activities helps me tick.This helps me feel that i am ,as an individual enjoying life also enjoying life of being a mother as well as spouse.

Music coming out of heart

I was in kitchen and i heard Manikutty singing some songs in tune.As i couldnt make out the song ,i asked her.She replied saying that its the song she made.

Oh Oh..Then i had a doubt that how she made the song.For that she replied "Amma ,song is coming out of my heart.I have to sing it out completely otherwise it pains" .Haha pains??Where? She pointed her finger towards her tummy.She sang for a long time using all the words she knew and i escaped from the place as i didnt want her to feel bad as i was smiling all the way.
Later i asked her one day about the songs.It seems songs doesn't come often and when it comes she will sing it out:)