On a wonderfully pleasant Saturday morning of February 16th 2013, the Auro Mirra Internation School parents arrived in school early at 9 am all geared up to attend the second PEP session ie Parent Enrichment Programme.  All the parent participants, teachers and staff squatted on the mats spread in the open area surrounded by trees and nature’s music playing the background music with the melodious mix of twitters, chirping and chirruping of birds, rustling of leaves and the soft whistles of the soothing breeze all setting the mood for what was coming ahead.  The agenda of the workshop was developing the power of concentration in children.

Ms. Harvinder Kaur Director, ICIE (India Council for Integral Education) Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry and  began the session by first addressing the parents at length and emphasized on the importance of the power of concentration.  She said that one who develops the power of concentration can apply it in all walks and activities.  Especially in today’s fast changing world it is imperative that the child develops the skill early and in order to achieve the aim the school endeavours to reach out to every parent since home is the first place the child learns.  Harvinder Didi encouraged the parents to awaken the child in them and remember the little playful games they enjoyed in their childhood and how inadvertently that were aimed at increasing the concentration.  Parents gleefully shared the various games they played as children and recounted with pleasure that those indeed lead to the improvement of various skills viz memory, concentration, observation etc.  Parents were explained that how even if a simple passage is given for reading to the child, it should be an inspiring article as the child is subliminally absorbing without being conscious and yet enjoys the reading.  As a warm up session parents were made to undergo couple of activities which included both physical and mental exercise.  It was hilarious watching the excited parents walking, jogging and dancing around as a part of the requirement of the games they were playing.  It was evident that the parents went back to school and relived their childhood exploits and ecstasies.

Parents were then taken through a battery of activities led by the teachers that would enable them to reinforce the activities easily at home especially in the kitchen. The activities were simple yet effective and more importantly the ones could be replicated without the least ado.  Activities like identifying the spices through touch and sound aimed at increasing deep listening skills and touch perception.  The sorting of a cupful of assorted pulses and segregating them separately within a given time span aimed at enhancing concentration along with deep observation and mental agility.  Thus there were a whole lot of games played wherein the parents were made to realize the sheer ease of trying them out back home in the company of the children.

In today’s almost virtual world that we live in, attractions and distractions are aplenty and it is difficult for even adults to keep their focus and concentration for a substantial span of time.  Therefore it is not unusual that children find it all the more difficult to maintain their concentration spans in their class making them restless, inattentive and at times destructive too. However once the attention is channelized then the child learns to build on the power of concentration leading to an accomplishment of fruitful and constructive results.  Parents were told about the importance of silence and how if it is practiced regularly will make one look within the inner layers of consciousness leading to a development of inner growth.  Even a few moments of silence if observed at home as it is done in the school here will gradually enable the child to look deeper within and become more conscious, more aware and will help developing the skills of concentration, memory and reasoning.

The session that began at 9am concluded by around 11am and parents were amazed and excited with the enriching experience they underwent.  There was a brief interactive meeting post the session so that the experience could be shared and questions if any could be addressed.  Parents thanked the school for the efforts taken and requested for more such meets.

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