Last night my daughter told me that I should tell her when my lipstick runs out. "We will make it at home".
"See, first you take some oil. Then you add beetroot juice. And then some wax."
Ah. And where did she learn this cool formula? Backyard Science on Disney TV. This is one of the shows she watches religiously, even the repeats. It airs every weekday at 4.30 pm, right after she gets home from school.
The show features a lot of simple experiments which kids can do at home to understand basic principles of science. Apart from making lipstick!
I share this story in connection with Ambuj commenting that:
If your kid drops out of school now, she runs the risk on not knowing the importance of Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Indian History, our Fundamental Rights, the monsoon phenomenon, and even her own body!
School syllabus does give you all of the above but so do many other sources. Including television.
However most parents including me have mixed feelings about TV. When I was working full time the only thing I was paranoid about was:"Is my child watching too much TV?"
I do have the option of not having cable TV at all but I think anything you deny becomes more attractive to kids. And they will simply go to the neighnour's house and indulge.
Neither do I think we can force kids to watch only Discovery channel and History Channel because they are 'educational'.
Of late I have watched some of her favourite shows with her (Shararat, Suite Life of Zack & Cody) and I think they are very imaginative. And in their own way teach kids how to deal with a variety of social and emotional situations.
The one show I don't know what to make of is Shin Chan. But then it is a phase I guess she will grow out of (I hope :)
The point is that we label certain things as 'educational' (school) and others as recreational (TV, video games). Whereas all these things really make up the dots Steve Jobs refers to (and which not one but two of you brought up in comments to my last post).
Most of what I remember of history and almost all of my Indian mythology is courtesy Amar Chitra Katha. Not what I was taught in school!
The issue is, when school takes so much of our children's time and energy, is there enough time to paint more dots on the canvas of their minds? And is school itself really adding enough dots or just a dry paintbrush which leaves no mark?
Well, the debate can go on an on. One thing I do know is we as parents can do our bit. The question is, after a hard day @ work, do we really have any bright and happy paint in our own palettes?