Dear All Thanks to all the children, parents and visitors Sunbird Carnival was a blast with exciting games, face painting, arts and crafts stall and of course funny Jockel the Clown. All were in for a healthy treat with Mrs. Sunila’s yummy bakes from undercover bakers. Hope to see more of you soon in our fun place, where learning and happy times don’t stop.
TEACHING THE JOY OF COMMUNICATION and RELATIONSHIPS
I once knew a middle-aged man, an accountant, who had a ledger-book-size Christmas-card list. In this thick book all the pages were filled; there were hundreds and hundreds of names. “Business contacts?” I asked. He glanced over, paused for a moment as though considering whether he should tell me something important, then said, “No, they’re relationships.” He anticipated my next question and went on in his accounting terminology, “Every relationship you form, no matter how small, if it is genuine, can be an asset of eternal duration. No other entry can cancel it out. Some of us spend all our time on temporary assets: Money, positions, achievements. We ought to spend more on the eternal assets like relationships. Whenever I earn one, I make an entry on my Christmas card list.”
I watched the accountant closer from then on and found that he practiced what he preached. When he met someone–on a plane, in his business, at a PTA meeting–his attitude seemed to be, “What can I learn from you? What is interesting and unique about you?” For him, life was a fascinating kaleidoscope of relationships, of endless people, each endlessly interesting and each offering more potential joy than a new car or a new position.
1. Develop a tradition of listening. Really listen.
2. Have a sense of humour. Laugh at your own mistakes and laugh with children at every opportunity.
3. Always encourage children to hug and make up after a disagreement.
4. Show romantic love between parents: Holding hands, kissing as you leave, opening the car door, sitting close together, avoiding harsh words, emphasising loving words.
5. Teach and explain the Golden Rule.
6. Role reversal: Let the children play parents and you play child, so they see and appreciate your problems.
1. Speak candidly, graphically, logically to children.
2. Help children write letters–you write what they express. Praise them for phrasing things well.
3. Give lavish praise whenever children explain or say anything particularly well.
4. At dinner, encourage a child to talk about something that he knows a lot about–perhaps something he has just learned and is proud to know.
5. Talk on the phone with children whenever possible.
6. Encourage children to take advantage of any speaking opportunities. Help them really communicate to an audience.
1. Make their relationship with you a truly beautiful one.
2. Talk out disagreements. Sit them down face to face to work out problems or disagreements they have with each other.
3. Don’t always step in on children’s relationships or try to steer them too much–let them work things out. (My children were having a terrific fight in the back seat of our station wagon once when I had laryngitis. I found that they worked it out better on their own than they would have with my direction.)
4. Do something special for your children to stress the importance of your friendship with them. Take them for a drive, or bring them a surprise.
5. Play the game “Which is the better way?” in which children act out a good and bad way of deciding who should have the first turn, getting the dishes done after Sunday dinner etc.
Dear Parents, Patrons, Friends and Well Wishers
Dear Parents and Friends
Thank you for your continued patronage over the last 5 years.
Sunbird brings you a learning Centre like quite none other: Believing in the outdoors, we can offer you a place where your child can now go to school in a safe and spacious playground area! Enjoying over 4000 sqft of outdoor space with 500 sqft of sand play area alone, children are reluctantly going indoors for some ‘other type’ learning. The amount of activities outside are unlimited, ranging from races on the 1000 sqft lawn to the ever loved trampolin, and balancing cycles. Introducing shortly with be an organic garden planting, to keep the curious little minds interested. Not to forget that the daily Gymnastic times are now also kept outdoors, there is really not much missing to an amazing playground. Planned still is a traffic area and the swings.
For more pictures, please view the ‘faculty’ section in ‘Gallery’
PRESERVING THE JOY OF REALNESS, HONESTY AND CANDOR
Last time I tried to give three-year-old Josh a bath, the big new shampoo bottle was empty. “Did you dump it out, Josh?” His brow furrowed as he anticipated the worst. “Yes, Dad.” We have a family law against “dumping,” and Josh knows the law, so he needed a little punishment. But I praised him so much for telling the truth that it outbalanced the punishment.
As I dried Josh, I had candor and honesty on my mind and happened to hear Saren, now six, in whom we had tried so hard to preserve that quality. She was in her bedroom with a new friend from school. They were discussing their dolls.
Saren: “This doll has a problem. Her skirt has lost its elastic, so it slips right off.”
Friend: Let’s tie a string around it.”
(Silence for several minutes.)
Saren: It scares me when Miss Christie calls on me to read in school. Does it scare you?
Friend: A little.
Saren: I’m getting over it, though.
Friend: The more you do it, the easier it gets.
Saren: I guess so. There, we got the skirt almost ready.
Friend: Saren, do you like me?
Saren: Of course, silly. I like everything about you.
Saren: Except I didn’t like it when you played with Patty at recess–but Mommy says I was just jealous.
Friend: What’s jealous?
Saren: Not wanting someone to have more fun than you.
Friend: I like you, too, Saren.
To be honest, to be open, to talk freely about the real feelings–what a joy!
Example. Be as real and open as your children are. Verbalise your real feelings, fears and insecurities as well as your joys and loves. Show control, but show honesty! Tell them how you feel–“I’m upset about what happened this afternoon, so I got angrier with you than I should have.” Never let them hear you lie about anything to anyone.
Reinforcement and praise. Whatever they get attention for, they’ll probably do again; whatever they get praise for, they’ll very likely do again; whatever they get joy and praise out of, they’ll almost certainly do again. Encourage them to always tell how they feel–to tell not only you, but also other family members, teachers and friends.
Honesty discussion. Ask the children, “Do you know what it means to tell the truth?” Add to the children’s answers, if necessary, to bring out that telling the truth means to tell things as they are: What really happened, what you really think and how you really feel.
Questions & Answers. Example of a question: If you accidentally bumped into your mother’s plant and knocked some leaves off it and then told Mother that the baby pulled them off, would that be telling the truth? (No) What would that be? (A lie.)
Before going on to the next situation, ask, “How do you think you would feel if you told a lie?” (Sad, bad, worried, ashamed, awful.)
Another question example: What if you forgot to wash your hands for lunch and your mother said, “Did you wash your hands?” If you said, “No, I forgot,” would that be telling the truth? (Yes.)
Bedtime is a good time for a little honest, important dialogue between parent and child. Years ago we started a tradition of asking each child as he was tucked in, “What was your `happy’ and your `sad’ today?” Children like to think back through the day to recognise and talk about emotions. “My happy was when my friend came over to play,” or “when I got two snacks,” or “when I jumped in the leaf pile,” or “when Daddy came home.” “My sad was when Lisa wouldn’t play with me after school,” or “when I couldn’t hop very well in hopscotch,” or “when I cut my finger,” or “I didn’t have any sads today.”
The answers open up quick, golden chances to talk about real feelings. “How did it feel to play with Susan?” “Why do you suppose Lisa wouldn’t play? Did something sad happen to her?”
Dear parents and friends In case you have been wondering, where Sunbird had flown off to, we have good news: The new premises are just about ready!! Here are the projected last stages: Week 3 May 2015: Interiors finished, Exteriors finished Week 4 May 2015: Ready to accept new students, final adjustments Save the date: 30 / 31 May 2015: CARNIVAL AT SUNBIRD. By next week we shall keep you posted with the exact program for the Carnival.
TEACHING THE JOY OF FAMILY SECURITY, IDENTITY and PRIDE
When I was growing up, I knew a group of brothers and sisters, schoolmates of mine. I was always impressed because they seemed so unconcerned about being with the “in group” or the “right people.” They didn’t even care much about wearing the newest thing, the latest style. They were all friendly, though, and all well liked. They seemed so secure, unafraid of failure.
Each of the six had his own personality, but all possessed one similar quality, a quality that I grew to greatly admire. It was a peace, a calm, a security, a naturalness, a confidence. None of these adjectives quite describe it, but it was there. You could feel it; you knew they had it. I was always interested in where it came from. It wasn’t from individual brilliance, exceptional athletic ability, or particular handsomeness or beauty; they were pretty average in each of these categories. The clue seemed to be in their love and acceptance of each other.
One day an unexpected opportunity came to discover the true source of their confidence. The family moved into a house just across the block from my house. Now, instead of seeing them just in school, I saw them at home, and the secret was revealed! The confidence, the assurance, the security, the unity came from the unconditional love in their home. From the outside their home was ordinary; on the inside it was extraordinary.
I remember the youngest child, who was just turning two. The first words he ever said were, “Ah, mush,” a phrase often used in the family to poke fun at the frequent hugs and pats and physical affection that were shown in the house.
I know now that the secret was in the warmth and acceptance and security of that home–a joy irreplaceable, and unavailable from any other source.
Genealogy. Children love knowing “where they came from” in the genealogical sense. Some ways to convey this are:
1. Frame old family pictures and group them together on a special wall.
2. Draw a simple family tree, with each child as a branch and the parents as the trunk, and the grandparents as individual roots. Put pictures of the parents and grandparents on the trunk and roots and of brothers and sisters on the limbs. Frame it and hang it on the same wall as the ancestor pictures.
Consistency. Children need to be able to depend on certain constants in their lives. There are four areas in which consistency is particularly important:
1. In discipline. If a family law is broken, the punishment or consequence should be automatic, expected & consistent.
2. In example. Make yourself predictable to your children–trying to always do right in their presence, but admitting mistakes.
3. In regular schedules for certain important things such as the evening meal or a weekly family meeting.
4. In always keeping promises.
Constant awareness of promises.
1. Support each other’s activities
2. Show love for your spouse openly. As the saying goes, “The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
Family song or chant: “Because We Are a Family.”
Mom always loves me, don’t you see,
Because we are a family.
When I’m scared, Dad holds me on his knee,
Because we are a family.
Who helps each other? You see, it’s we,
Because we are a family.
We hug a lot and kiss…well, gee,
Because we are a family.
We work at becoming the best we can be,
Because we are a family.
We keep our house as neat as can be,
Because we are a family.
We work things out when we disagree,
Because we are a family.
My mom and dad are proud of me,
Because we are a family.
I cheer for my brother and he cheers for me,
Because we are a family.
When someone needs us, we try to see,
Because we are a family!
Display open gratitude for children. How simple–and how incredibly important–it is to let a child know how much he is wanted and needed, how precious and important he is to the family.
Tell the child a simple story about the day (or night) he was born and about how much you wanted him and how happy he made you.
Sunbird is offering an amazing range of exciting themes for kids aged 2 – 8 years.
Date: 6th to 30th April 2015
Time: 10 am to 12:30 pm
Venue: Sunbird Early Learning Centre, 145, 29/10 Kasavanahalli, Off Sarjapur Road
Week 1: Art as Tools
Week 2: Under the Sea
Week 3: Weaving/Block Printing
Week 4: History of Writing
Date: 4th to 29th May 2015
Time: 10 am to 12:30 pm
Venue: Sunbird Early Learning Centre, No 46, Shubha Enclave, Haralur Main Road Opp. ‘Fishermen’s Wharf’ Restaurant
Week 1: Seven Wonders of the World
Week 2: You are the light
Week 3: Basics of Engineering sculpture for Kids
Week 4: Flying Object
Call us to register now! See you there!
Hello Sunbird parents and interested parents
Updates from our Haralur Road project:
The work is in full swing in our new premises. At the moment the outside is getting leveled. Extra care is taken to make sure, the safety standards are upheld. Next week, our interiors are starting. In the last week of April the final touches should transform the school to a welcoming and fun loving place, where children love to be!
We are planning a celebration at the end of the month. Please stay tuned for the updates!!!
Your Sunbird Team
Congratulations to all Sunbird students! They made tremendous progress this past year! It showed up, when they performed in various ways for the graduation party. Whether they swung across the monkey bars, completed perfect somersaults, acted out animal movements and sounds, sang ‘do a deer, a female deer’, acted out a drama or danced to catchy tunes, they knew what they were doing and they enjoyed it. There was not one dull moment and the many parents and visitors were proud of their kids!
Thank you dear teachers, you deserve a big round of applause for your tired less work around the clock to incorporate such a show besides the teaching and other responsibilities that you have!
Thank you parents for your support throughout the year which is an integral part of Sunbird’s success! The grand finale of handing out various certificates for exemplary achievements and ‘grade promotions’ was certainly enhanced by the amazing various snacks, pani puri and sweets made with pounded jaggery! Mmhh…
A Happy Holiday to all, both children and parents! For those who are moving on, all the best, and for the ones who stay with us, we will have a big surprise coming up!
TEACHING THE JOY OF INDIVIDUAL CONFIDENCE and UNIQUENESS
I had a favourite professor in graduate school, a man whose every move transmitted a certain, “I’m okay, you’re okay” joy to all who were around him. He had remarkable patience. When a student could not seem to grasp a point, he would not chide or criticise; instead he would compliment the student on some other point where he was strong.
He couldn’t sing or speak well. In fact, he seemed to have few particular abilities, yet he always seemed totally self-confident–not cocky or overbearing, just quietly of the belief that he could discuss anything, do anything.
I did well in his class, in part because I found him so interesting, and by the end of the year I knew him well enough that we had lunch together once in awhile. I asked the source of his confidence. He said there were two elements, the first of which was his faith. He expressed to me, with no hesitation or inhibition, his belief in a higher power to whom he could pray and who he felt would guide and nudge and help him through life.
“What is the second thing?” I asked. “Well,” he said, “I’m a little like the great craftsman who made the finest violins in the World. Stradivari used to say, `God can’t make a Stradivarius without Antonio Stradivari.’ I have certain gifts, and I think I have discovered what most of them are. I am sufficiently confident in two or three basic areas that I feel equal to anyone.”
I’ve thought a great deal about what he said. His joy was confidence. His confidence was a combination of faith and gifts he had discovered. I realised that everyone can have both, that no one is precluded from faith, & no one is without particular, unique gifts.
Children can feel the joy of individual confidence and uniqueness. This fact is often illustrated by children themselves at our experimental Joy School. Early in our first year, while we were dealing with the physical joys, I had an experience that taught me something about the joy of individual confidence. A group of children were dancing, and the teacher was showing them how to skip. I was sitting at the side, observing. There were about ten children, four of whom just could not grasp the technique or coordination of skipping. It intrigued me that three of the four looked dejected, embarrassed and upset because they couldn’t do it. Each of the three, in his own way, stopped trying: One cried, one walked out and one started acting silly and boisterous to distract attention from his failure. The fourth little boy showed absolutely no embarrassment or concern or self-consciousness for not being able to skip. He kept watching, kept trying, kept failing, kept watching, kept trying. When the exercise was over, I asked him some questions:
“Do you like to skip?”
“Yes, but I can’t do it very good.”
“Well, did you wish they’d stop skipping and do something you were better at?”
“No, because I want to learn how.”
“Do you feel bad because you can’t skip?”
“Because I’m better at other things.”
“Mommy says I’m good at painting pictures.”
“And I’m ‘specially good at keeping my baby brother happy.”
“I see, Jimmy. Thanks for answering my questions.”
“That’s all right. Don’t worry; some day I’m going to be good at skipping, too.”
An amazing interchange for a four-year-old! But the principle behind it is not particularly amazing–it’s quite natural. A person who is secure in the knowledge that he is good at certain things can much more easily accept the things he is not good at.
Obvious, open, unconditional love. A child who feels an inalterable parental love has a built-in foundation for confidence. He knows no failure, no mistake, will rob him of that love and family acceptance. Tell him of your consistent love.
Know each child well as an individual. You can’t help a child build confidence around his inherent gifts and talents unless you come to know what those gifts and talents are. Two ways to learn: (1) In private chats with the child, time spent together watching and appreciating; and (2) in organised time, spent as husband and wife, discussing each child, sharing perceptions, taking notes, discovering together more about the personality and individual character of each child.
Genuinely respect each child and his own gifts. Our children are human beings, deserving not only our love but our respect. With this thought in mind, sometimes it becomes a bit easier to (1) show an added measure of faith in them after any kind of failure; (2) discuss our own failures with them and tell them what we learned from each; (3) praise their accomplishments lavishly and honestly, particularly accomplishments in areas where we perceive special aptitude; and (4) never criticise or tear the children down personally. We should criticise instead the bad things they have done, making sure they still know our total love for them. Never criticise in public–“praise in public, correct in private.”
Independence, self-reliance, responsibility at an early age. Confidence and its joy tie directly into being able to do useful things. Each child should have a job in the family, for the family–particularly daily or weekly jobs–for which he is praised & made to feel very able and very important, very much a part of the family.
Help the children to see what their own unique gifts are–and that these gifts are as good as anyone else’s.
1. The “one thing I like about you” game: Sit five or six children in a circle, with one in the middle. Let each child say something he likes about the one in the middle, such as “One thing I like about Tommy is that he can tie his own shoes.”
2. Individual profile charts: Trace a profile from each child’s shadow on a poster. Then, under each profile, write in the eye colour, hair colour, sex, age, position in the family, and what the child is good at. Put the posters up on the wall and let each child take pride in his uniqueness.
Special nicknames for each child. A similar feeling of specialness comes with an affectionate nickname, especially when it is used exclusively by one parent. To Daddy, Saren is “Princess,” Shawni is “Pixie,” Josh is “Herkimer,” Saydi is “Sugar Plum” or “Tater Tot,” Jonah is “Boomer Bumpkin,” Talmadge is “Mudgie” and Noah is “Nobie.”
Mommy & Daddy dates. Set aside a special time each week when there is a one-to-one relationship between mother or father (or both) and one child. These occasions may sometimes take planning, and other times they may consist simply of maximising the moment.
“Empty Books.” A dear friend mentioned at the time our first two children were still tiny that she got a great deal of satisfaction from buying an “empty book” (well-bound with empty pages) for each child when he was a baby and recording special events and character changes in the child’s life as he grew. The ultimate plan was to present it to him on his wedding day.
We have followed her example and have found many benefits that we hadn’t planned. The children know we are keeping the books and they feel a great sense of uniqueness and pride in knowing that even though, for the most part, the contents are secret until their wedding day, they themselves are individuals in their parents’ eyes. They see us writing about those special events and are secretly thrilled that we take time for just them. Also, in reading back over events from these first few years, we realise how easily we forget those momentous moments (birth, toddler’s mischief, starting school) in a child’s life unless they are recorded. They’ll make great “vicarious journals” and will be lots of fun for our children’s children to read some day. Reading back through them is also, for us, a chance to evaluate the progress and needs of each child.
The crowning and final excursion for 2014 -2015 was BAKING!!! Thanks to Sunila, our parent and advocate of healthy loaves, the children started to really love getting ‘into the dough’. At first they all baked a yummy banana bread, that was made with pounded jaggery, brown sugar and whole wheat flour!! The result was perfect as you can see in the picture.
Next, Mrs. Durga Menon, owner of Iluvia Bakery on Sarjapur Road and equally a health food enthusiast, invited the children for a hands on learning how to make a pizza. They kneaded the dough, topped it with tomato paste and cheese and got to eat it in the end. What Fun learning. Thank you mam, the kids loved it and so did the adults!!
You may wonder, what little children would know about such big words? At Sunbird, they will learn interesting facts about as many topics as possible. The term ‘weaving’ was introduced and practised by them for the theme by the same name. They learned the skill with paper to understand what happens in a loom with ‘warp’ and ‘weft’. The finale surprise was a visit to NIFT institute. They were welcomed by Professor Mogha, who enthusiastically led them through the different departments of young aspiring artists. They learned about the loom, spinning ‘Jenny’, knitting, designing, and stitching, as well as different types of cloth material. The students cheerfully taught them different ‘techniques’. Thank you , Prof. Shivalingaiah, Prof. Mogha and wonderful young people!!
Sunbird is moving to…………….Haralur Road!!!! Awaiting all Sunbird Students an amazing place with 4000sqft of outdoor space… stay tuned to the updates!!!