Sevikas: Mamtha Rao and Jacqueline Gaines
• Click here to print out a coloring page. Discuss with your child who this picture is of, and why he is so significant to us.
• Click here to print out "Color by Number" page in Sanskrit. (Please note that this is a bit more complicated than the previous coloring pages —if your child has not yet done those, please do them first.)
• Click here for a mandala outline for creative likhita japa. Have your child practice writing राम (Raama.) Be sure and let them use as many colors (and write in any direction) that they wish!
• OM Saha naavavatu (click here for text)
• Vakratunda Mahaakaaya (click here for text)
• Saraswati Namastubhyam (click here for text)
• Shree Krishna (click here for text)
Quiet Time: 1 minute and 30 seconds of quiet time. Today we really witnessed a big leap in the children's maturity during this segment. Great job, guys!! We will move on to 2 minutes of silence when our classes resume in January. (click here for game instructions)
Geeta Chanting: Chapter 11, Shlokas 1, 2, 3 and 4 (click here for text and audio)
Letter of the Week: "H is for Happiness"
Activitiy: Read "Little Yash is Happy Right Now" (click here to to see cover of the book)
Likhita Japa: Wrote राम (Raama) 21 times (Click here for tracing sheet)
Ending Prayers: Om Poornamidah (click here for text)
Comments: We were delighted so see all of our friends again today after another mini-break. Once everyone found their name tags and sat down, we spent a few minutes catching up on all the things that have happened over the past few weeks.
We reviewed all the letters we have learned thus far. "A is for Aspiration," "B is for Brotherhood," and so on. Everyone shouted out the meanings with clear definitions :-) Then we approached our letter for this week — "H." The kids offered some great possibilities about what this could be for ... "H is for Hanumaan," "H is for Healthy," and "H is for Hungry. A couple of the kids then spoke up and said "H is for Happy." Bingo!!! That was our magic word for the day. We then asked the kids to describe this word. For example, if we met up with an alien from another planet and he asked us what this word meant, how exactly would we explain this to him? We all agreed that this was definitely a hard word to describe ... so we pulled out our book "Yash is Happy Right Now" to help us understand what this word means. And by the time we finished the book we were all pretty clear that "happiness" is an attitude and not something to be found in a toy or favorite food! We even talked about how we may feel termporarily sad sometimes, but that does not mean we don't have a happy attitude deep down inside.
The children are doing exceptionally well with their likhita japa!! Some of our young friends have begun to write without a tracing card ... and are choosing to do likhita japa mandalas during our segment. They sit quietly, saying each letter as they write. Today we spent a few minutes and talked about how we felt when we write राम (Raama). Some of the descriptive words we heard were "cozy," "peaceful," "warm," and "safe."
Our Geeta Chanting is definitely coming along. We have now completed the first 4 shlokas — so we're halfway there :-) We noticed that many of the kids are pretty familiar with shlokas 1, 2 and 3 ... so that's a great sign that they're practicing at home! Shloka 4 is a little rusty ... but that's to be expected seeing that we've had lots of mini breaks lately. In January we will spend the first few classes reviewing Shloka 4, but will also plan to introduce Shloka 5. Please continue to work with your child over Winter Break. We don't want the kids to forget everything they've worked so hard on.
And so, in the spirit of our "letter of the week," we want to wish all of you and your loved ones a very Happy and Healthy New Year!
Ashwin, don't forget to bring back some fun pics of your trip to Mexico ... and make sure to eat a quesadilla (with a fresh limeade) for this aunty :-)
Lots of warm hugs to all of our young friends — see you all next year!!