Pushpa is an unschooling mom of two in India. I have been reading her wonderful unschooling insights for a number of years and I love the glimpses into their unschooling lives that she shares. She’s also an experienced speech pathologist, working part-time from home.
Quote of the Week
“I can eloquently talk about it but I do not necessarily know how to do it all the time. I am still learning how to be a facilitator rather than a director.” ~ Pushpa Ramachandran
Ten Questions for Pushpa
1. Can you share with us a bit about you and your family and how you discovered unschooling?
2. I’d love to hear a bit about what your children are up to. What are they interested in right now and how are they pursuing it?
3. Earlier this year, you wrote a wonderful article for Families Learning Together Magazine, titled: “Natural learning: 9 things l have learned about (naturally)!” where you dig into the idea of natural learning and what it looks like. I will share the link in the show notes so people can read about all nine, but I thought we’d dive into one of them today. It’s number four, that “One thing leads to another and everything is connected.” That realization was a big piece of the unschooling puzzle for me and helped me release the pull of curriculum. How did it come about for you?
4. Can you give us an idea of what unschooling is like in India? Is homeschooling in general culturally accepted? Do homeschooling regulations vary widely by state? How easy is it to connect with other unschooling families?
5. You wrote an article titled, “Being with my child” in response to a family member saying that you shouldn’t tailor-make your life around your child. Can you share some of your thoughts around the concept of “being” and what it means to you as a parent?
6. Can you share a bit about your experience around the challenges of unschooling within the Indian culture? Because, in the bigger picture, the culture in which we live definitely has an impact on our unschooling lives.
7. Can you share a bit about what your family’s journey to unschooling has looked like for your husband?
8. You also work part-time speech pathologist, and work online with clients around the world. Can you share some suggestions for an unschooling parent who might have some concerns about their child’s communication skills?
9. As unschooling parents we’re often exploring ways we might weave work and unschooling together. Can you share what that looks like for your family?
10. Looking back, what has been the most valuable outcome so far from choosing unschooling?
Links to Things Mentioned in the Show
Searching online, Pushpa stumbled across Urmila Samson and Hema Bharadwaj’s blog, The Bharadwaj Knights.
Pushpa’s articles: Natural learning: 9 things l have learned about (naturally)! and Being with my child
A favourite animated movie, Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Swashikshan: Indian Association of Homeschoolers, also have an annual meetup, an official Facebook page, a Facebook group, and a google group
There’s another Facebook group: India Group for Homeschoolers & Alternative Education
Interesting YouTube channel: CookieSwirlC
Sandra Dodd’s list of unschooling-friendly therapists
Pushpa’s website: Online Speech Therapy Help
Pushpa mentioned The Hanen Centre: Helping you help children communicate
If you’d like to get in touch with Pushpa, you can email her, pushpa2812 at gmail dot com.
Sandra Dodd says
That was fun to hear! I know the moms Pushpa named in person, so I had faces and houses to go with the stories. I laughed to hear that Hema’s dog, Snowy, had played a part in helping Veda enjoy the unschooling meet-ups, because I know Snowy, too!
Hema’s family stayed with us in 2009, in Albuquerque. I visited them in Pune, in India, in 2010 when Snowy was a puppy; we shared a room in Bangalore during Diwali, and the constant fireworks spooked Snowy just a little more than they did me.
I met Pushpa there in 2010. She hosted an attachment parenting gathering at her home, and I spoke, with David and Schuyler Waynforth on Skype and projected live on the wall (thanks to Anand’s computer skills, mentioned in the Q&A above). I’ve collected Pushpa’s writings on my site, and my daughter, Holly, stayed with them in 2014. I’m very glad to know her family, and enjoyed the podcast.
I’ll put my Pushpa page in the website link below, and will add a link to your exchange with her there.
Pam Laricchia says
Such great connections, Sandra! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
And I’ll bring the link to Pushpa’s page on your site out here: