Fun, Fun, Fun
The operative word is fun. We aim to make the children’s engagement every Sunday to be as much fun as possible. They recite slokas during assembly, but then listen to engaging stories with morals as well. The lesson plan is replete with interactive activity. Home cooked lunch provides a time for kids to socialize and have fun while eating traditional foods and not so traditional foods as well. Periodically we organize other events. Join prayers in the main temple on occasion and recite bajans. We screen kid-friendly movies on occasion. Sometimes we organize picnic and outdoor activities. At the end of the fall session we organize a Balavihar day where kids showcase their talents. At the end of spring session we organize a graduation day filled with fun activities and a showcase of talents.
In short our goal is to make this program, never boring! We want the kids to want to come to Balavihar. And, we assign no homework. We end this note with the pledge that each kid recites at the end of each Sunday program.
''We seem to find it necessary in our schools to teach about the lives of the kings, generals, and camarillas, which should be reserved for those who take an interest in political criminology; we teach a hundred names of plants they will never see, while they can't distinguish an apple tree from a cherry tree and don't know if lemons grow on a bush or a tree, adding only to the great body of useless information acquired in school and promptly left there at graduation. One of the most important subjects, how to get along with fellowmen, is left to chance and worse.
It isn't what you put into the student that matters so much as what you bring out of him. You may pour into his brain with a Nuremberg funnel all the seven wisdoms, up to the rim; but if you can't get out of him the spark of human kindness and the yearning to raise the standards of mankind, you may have given him a whole array of honors and medals, but you have rendered no service to the youth or to society." ~ Swami Chinmayananda
The Education Committee of HRCC has been organizing Balavihar, a fun-filled, interactive educational program for kids which introduces them to Hindu religion, culture and tradition. Our Balavihar educational program is based on Chinmaya Mission Balavihar. The program targeting kids starting at age 3 to teen age kids, covers a broad range of material drawn from our scriptures.
The goal of the program is best said by the legendary founder of Chinmaya Mission
We follow the Chinmaya Mission approach, shown below. Each class is based on well thought out lessons that underscore the common theme. The lessons are filled with evocative stories, hands on art work and interactive games, all with an eye-towards imparting scriptural knowledge to kids in understandable terms. Our teachers are dedicated volunteers who take pride in teaching values with fun. We follow the guidelines given to us by Chinmaya Mission Acharya Vivek Ji. This process involves two teachers for each class and they follow a 5-R regimen of preparation. The 5-R involved are shown below.
Hindu Religious & Cultural Center (HRCC)