About me – as of August 2017
It’s been five years since I updated the ‘about me’ section (see the old one below this). I’m not sure why I tend to avoid this part of the writing! I guess it’s because I wouldn’t write it in a superficial “hi, this is me” kinda way. And, to write about the real, more than skin-deep me, I need that quiet, introspective time – which I always keep aside in favour of the next exciting article. But then, it could also be that focusing on myself doesn’t come easy to me! Oh well…lemme not get into that realm. It could become a whole different article by itself. wink, wink!
So, I live in Goa with my husband, Avie, and two girls – Parinita (11.5) and Sufiana (3.5). We don’t send them to school. They’re unschooled. That is, they learn without following any curriculum, without doing any subject study with the help of text books etc. In short, we don’t do any school-y stuff – no fixed hours dedicated to academics. You might wonder, what and how do they learn then?
Well, inspite of nothing remotely schoolish, they’re learning all the time. They learn by pursuing their own interests. They learn when we as parents are involved in our own interests and projects (soapmaking is the current passionate project at home). They learn through constant conversations, discussions, arguments. They learn by traveling, by meeting various people.
I aspire to create an environment for them (at home and where-ever they are) that will enrich their imagination and creativity, nurture their health and well-being and reinforce their spiritual selves. And through all this, my fundamental goal is to let them flourish into the unique people that they’re meant to be.
Parinita (Pari) has keen interests in various areas – art, writing, reading, film making, cooking, baking, photography. She’s relentlessly engaging in one or many of these things any given day. She also documents her life and learning in the form of her own blog named Tinker Earth. She’s been writing here for more than five years now! Yes, that long and that early.
Sufiana is the soul who brought us to Goa, really! It was for her birth that we chose to come to Goa – for a non-hospital, natural birth at home. We went back to Delhi after her birth but couldn’t bear to think how this little child will grow up in an apartment in the 8th floor of a building, and in a city like Delhi. So, without a plan, we winded up in Delhi and moved to Goa. Avie was into 3rd year of quitting his job already, and Pari was never into school, so it was so much easier to just pack your bags and leave.
About me (from the year 2012)
Welcome to Mommy Labs and thank you for stopping by this page to know who’s breathing and living behind this blog :-)
My name is Rashmie and the little girl you see on every page of this blog is my 6.5 years old daughter Pari, meaning fairy. Actually her full name is Parinita, which means ‘the learned one’. Well, it’s interesting that THAT should be her name for, my greatest passion in life is to make ‘learning’ fun, passionate, playful and creative for her – and – for me. For ‘me’, I say, because if the mother or the teacher stops learning, she will never be able to nurture learning in its true spirit.
I homeschool my daughter without following any curriculum, text books or instruction. I believe that given a creative, lively, loving environment, learning will flourish in the most natural way. And in the company of adults who nurture the children’s natural sense of wonder, take part in their conversations, support their interests and strengths, creativity and free thinking will bloom.
Above all, in a home where the mother or the parent is doing interesting things out of her own curiosity and interest – her enthusiasm will rub off on the kids. They WILL participate without being asked to. I’ve seen this first hand. You can read more about our homeschooling journey over here.
So, what you will read and see (pictures) on this blog are ideas, activities and thoughts that stem from this passion of mine – to make learning what it should be – inspired by life, by nature, by art, by one’s own curiosity and by living in respect and freedom.
Whether it is art, reading, writing or even Math, we don’t do any of this by instruction. It’s open-ended in nature, which means Pari explores as she’s working on it. The process is what matters rather than the result.
If you’re new here, you can begin by exploring some of these articles, in which I share an activity/idea and the thought behind it:
- Writing: How Genuine Conversations Make Writers Out of Children
- Nature and Children: How to Enjoy nature with Kids and Nurture their Sense of Wonder
- Open-ended Art: A Heart Book With Poetry and the Power of Kids’ Ideas
- Playful Learning: Indoor Obstacle Course – Value of Big Body Play for Kids
- Integrating Art and Writing: A Self Portrait Collage with Magazine Cuttings and Mixed Media
- Spirituality and Kids: Nature Table – A Place for Prayer, Peace and Creative Inspiration
- Inspiring Interviews: Learning for Fun : Interview with Sandra Dodd – Unschooling Mom for 22 Years
I recommend that you subscribe to Mommy Labs to get articles as I publish.
You can also connecting with me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Linked in. I share articles from around the web on these places.
Finally, I’d like to tell you that this place, as much as it is about our creative learning journey, it’s equally about YOU. YOU are our most important friend and community on this path. Without you, this blogging journey would be lonely and dull. Your comments, feedback, facebook ‘likes’ and ‘shares’, tweets – keep us going; helps spread the word and the spirit for creative, child-led learning.
In fact, I have a monthly series where I invite all my readers to share (link) something that you have made – art, DIY, gardening, photography, food, photo essay – anything that gave you joy and satisfaction. So, check it out and link up your creation.
Also, I invite you to write to me personally to form a connection, ask a question or just say Hi. :-)
It’s my utmost joy to have you on-board. Welcome to this creative community.
Much love and hugs!
Founder and writer – Mommy Labs
rashmiejaaju [at ] gmail dot com
If you’re interested in knowing more about me, here are some photos and some background – about my education, passion, dreams etc. :-)
As a child, I was always engaged in art, DIY, music and gardening (which rubbed off on me through my mom). My younger brother and I were perpetually occupied with creating, painting, quizzing, reading and writing. It’s actually funny (or rather sad) that I went on to graduate with Economics Honours instead of English Literature…! hmm…
But then, after graduation, I pursed my love for writing by taking up Advertising and Journalism. I studied to become a copy writer. Along the way, I also discovered my love for visualizing and photography. I worked for nearly 10 years as a communications professional with multi national companies working in the capacity of corporate communications and brand manager. This is when I also met my hubby – Avie.
When motherhood happened, I decided to quit job and be a full-time mom. When Pari was 3, I started writing – for my blog as well as free lance.
I’m very passionate about art, books, nature, music, photography, poetry and travel. (you can explore the ‘me time’ section).
I dream of owning a piece of land where we can grow our own food. At least vegetables. I wish to live near the mountains – in the middle of nature and be surrounded by bees and birds. We also want to travel around the world and explore different cultures, meet people, and make friends…
That’s happening bit by bit.
And, through this blog, I’m so happy and fortunate that I’m meeting all you wonderful people from all over the world! Amen!
Here’s an article I wrote on Tiny Buddha sharing my life journey and perspective.
I need help sustaining this blog…
Dear blog readers – It’s been exactly eight years now that I’ve been writing on this blog! Yes, eight long years and hundreds of articles. From art, creativity and learning; to food, health, gardening, travel, sustainable and mindful living, natural birth. In our un-schooling life, as we go on introspecting, questioning and evolving, I’ve strived to share our stories and experiences with as much honesty, care and sincerity as possible.
I spend hours writing an article – and often write and rewrite many times before it rings true to me and sounds worthy of your time to read.
The most important thing for me is to keep this blogging endeavour authentic and true to my values. This blog has been my sacred space to express, share, feel empowered and contribute. Hence, I do not like to support businesses that don’t align with my values. So far, I’ve rarely taken sponsorship from brands and companies. I haven’t placed any ads on my blog, though there have been multiple offers.
Infact, I’d like to keep this blog ad free unless something truly meaningful comes across.
Yet, there’s a cost to running this blog. The basic cost of keeping the domain alive, and hosting all this content on. I spend roughly INR 10,000 (USD 173) just to keep this blog up and running. So, I need to cover this cost. Plus, it’d be nice to bring in some income for our family of four. And, this is where I request your support.
If you find my articles and stories useful or inspiring at some level, please help me sustain. Starting from 1 dollar or 100 rupees to whatever you can, do consider donating for the content I share; for my intention and the time and effort I put. Your support will go a long way in keeping this blog (of 8+ years) sparkling with stories for many more years to come. Thank you, dear ones. I’ll value what you’ll gift with love and kindness. :-)
International readers: Donate using PayPal
Readers in India: Donate here