Principal Shiny Vinson makes this lockdown period exciting for children at Navajeevan Special School
Navajeevan Special School in Kochi has some interesting activities for their children during this lockdown period. School principal Shiny Vinson, who is currently stranded at Australia, ensured to engage over 50 children in basic household activities, including arts and crafts during this lockdown period. It did work well. Shiny says that this lockdown period was indeed a learning curve for team Navajeevan.
The first few days of the lockdown did not go well for seven year old Kashinath who is under the autism spectrum disorder. Kashi, a student of Navajeevan Special School in Kochi, was disturbed and found it difficult to stay inside his home. That is when his school principal Shiny Vinson came up with something innovative. Kashi’s parents were asked to make him do simple and basic household work like cleaning, cutting vegetables and drying clothes. Kashi thoroughly enjoyed doing them. In fact, he now does more than 23 activities while at home.
For over 50 students at Navajeevan Special School, this lockdown period has turned out to be interesting and a time to learn new skills. Shiny speaks to NewzHook about how over a month flew by for these young kids with different types of disabilities.
Learning new things inside comfort of homes
For children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, getting upset very soon or being hyperactive is quite common. Sometimes parents find it hard to control them. During the lockdown period, they could not even go outdoors which adds to the problems. That is when parents who have their children at Navajeevan discussed about this with their principal Shiny who is currently in Australia with her daughter Gadha. Shiny had gone to the country to visit her daughter when the lockdown happened. Thanks to technology, she could connect to her colleagues and other parents back in India. Together, they decided to introduce activities for all the children.
We were all unsure about when the long lockdown was going to end. So I thought we should do something exciting for the children. Since I’am here in Australia, I could help them only through the virtual space. So I made a message which was shared on the WhatsApp group. I requested all parents to engage their children in basic household activities. These activities would keep children engaged and help parents too. It worked well- Shiny Vinson, Principal, Navajeevan Special School.
The response of parents were also over-whelming. They started sending videos to the group.
Engaging children and parents in daily household chores
This is how it works. Parents take videos of their children engaging in activities. These videos and photos are then posted on the school’s WhatsApp group. With the help of daughter Gadha, Shiny reviews every child’s activities and gives grades and marks. “This helps to boost self-confidence of the child. Now, most of the children are looking forward to doing these activities so that they will get good grades”, says Shiny. Clearly, this latest technique has worked really well.
Shiny says that many children also started microgreens projects inside their homes. “Some parents told me that they now know that their kids can be independent in the future. Until then, most of the parents were worried about how their kids will survive”, adds Shiny.
Dolly Xavier’s 15 year old daughter Ann Mary has mild autism and learning disability. “Earlier, she couldn’t do anything on her own. Now, she helps me in cleaning the house, chopping vegetables and so on. She loves taking videos of all her activities. Now, she reminds me so that I don’t forget”, says Dolly.
According to team Navajeevan, lockdown days was indeed a learning curve for not just them, but parents and children too.
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