Making learning no fun for children

Aditi Mathur and Ratnesh Mathur

A young boy appeared for an interview for the job of a shepherd. The farm owner asked, “Why do you wish to do this job?” The boy answered, “It’s gotta be fun being with the sheep.” The farmer remarked, “But what if some sheep are difficult to be with?” The boy answered, “It’s gotta be learning with the sheep.” The farmer questioned, “Which one do you want, fun or learning?” The boy had his answer ready, “Sometimes fun, sometimes learning.”

To me the boy’s answer shakes a common misconception – that learning is fun, or should be made fun. Learning is far from fun – it is tough, challenging, frustrating, overwhelming, and even painful.

My friend Umesh wanted to learn golf. His coach gave him a 100 balls and said,“swing”. An hour later, Umesh came back with blisters on his hand, a sore shoulder and more than 50 balls lost! “Golf isn’t fun,” was his first remark with a big sigh.

The authors are part of an alternate school – Aarohi ( and conduct parent and teacher training as well as help people start preschools/learning centers

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