Mary and Ratnesh
As children we hated homework. So we decided not to give the children any homework and allowed each child to decide for himself/herself what fun-work he or she could do at home. So, here it is – inspired by the children – an attempt to contaminate your thoughts, plans and homework that you would give to your children in your school.
Scene 1: Inside classroom 5th – E
Teacher: Children, today we’ve done the lesson “Solar system”, isn’t it?
Children: Yes, ma’am.
Teacher: O.k. Now for homework, write all the Q&A five times each and all the new words five times and draw the solar diagrams five times and if you come without doing the homework, then you will have to run around the ground five times. Did you all understand what I said?
One child (in a whisper): Ma’am can you repeat please – five times.
Harish: Salim, what happened, why are you so sad?
Salim: (groans) There goes my football match. Mom will not let me go – homework is more important than God, she says.
Harish: Ye, I have a good idea.
Salim: What is it?
Harish: (Runs his fingers in running action on Salim’s back tickling him) Just come without the homework, you get to run five times, you get five times fitter for football.
Scene 2: Inside the school bus
Divya: Hey, Salim – You forgot your smile in the school only.
Salim: Not funny, Divu. I am going to miss the match.
Divya: Good na, you can play with us.
Salim: No, you don’t understand, I have a five course meal for homework today. I hate it.
Divya: But I am feeling happy, I am feeling happy! You know what I have for homework? My teacher has asked us to take some things like a biscuit/bun/waste paper/dry leaves – actually, anything that I can cut – cut them into any number of equal parts and share how many with friends.
Shiny: That’s all.
Divya: Yeah, if I want I can keep a record of to whom I gave how many. I can draw in my notebook.
Salim: Wow! That’s not homework – that’s fun work.
Shiny: Hey, can I also join you, I will get my snacks.
Divya: Ok, you can join.
Salim: But what do I do with my stupid five.
Manas: Suppose the driver drove the bus in reverse gear – all the way to my home – how will that be?
Salim: Stop being crazy, Manas, and solve my problem.
Divya: I like what Manas is saying – can we not make your homework ulta pulta?
Shiny: Make it into fun work.
Manas: Funnnnn work (Hmmmmmm).
Salim: But how?
Divya: I have an idea. You can draw all the planets in the solar system on the wall – then try and kick them one by one.
Manas: What fun – kicking the planets.
Divya: (Sounding proud) This way you will remember the names of the planets, in the order. And you would have practiced drawing them.
Manas: Or, in your football match, all the players can stand as planets and then start playing – this will be their position.
Shiny: They can call themselves by the names of different planets.
Divya: You can even talk to each other as people from those planets.
Salim: Wait guys – you are still trying to teach me – can’t I just play football freely – without any form of homework? Or maybe the homework happens by itself?
Shiny: He, he, he, I wish homework just happens in my sleep!
Manas: Hey, this is possible. My mom does this, she lies down to sleep and revises her work plan with her eyes closed. She lets the pictures of her work drift by slowly, very slowly.
Divya: That’s meditation!
Shiny: And I have heard, you can even write in the air, and see the blackboard in your mind and do all kind of hokey pokey stuff in your mind.
Manas: My mother says you can even do your learning by listening to your favourite music and let your chapter dance for you.
Divya: Hey, how about drawing sums in water when we bathe, or brush the terms into our teeth or chew our spellings into our stomachs.
Salim: If I get them wrong, I will have a stomach upset.
Shiny: (ROFL) Imagine to understand butterflies – if we were to try to make butter in our refrigerator ‘fly’.
Divya: And to learn adjectives – we were to collect all the awful and lovely adjectives and call friends on phone and tell them how all they are horrible and how all they are lovely?
Manas: I-would-make rap-songs-of, all-the-formuale, that-I-can – never-remem-burrrrr.
Salim: And we all can make a little drama, a little skit where people sit on multiplication tables, and eat fractions of pie charts.
Shiny: (still rolling on the floor in laughter) If we all continue like this, our Sanjay uncle will start driving the bus in reverse gear.
Divya: And we will reach our homes in history.
Manas: And then we will be called backward people.
Salim: And homework will not be called funwork, but called fun-no-work.
Divya: And school will be called unschool.
All together: In Unschool, we are so cool that we do fun-no-work, yeah no-work.