Fun with Samskritam!
That's the guiding principle of our children's program.
Classes are conducted for children 6+ years of age. We have separate classes/curricula for ages 6 and 7. The classes for these age groups are 45 mins in length. Both curricula focus on building interest in learning the language. There is less emphasis on reading and writing in these 2 years. Typical class structure is prayer, learning new shloka every 2 weeks, learn conversational concepts, sing a song or hear a story, teacher reviews homework for the week and the class ends with the recitation of the peace prayer. Apart from coming to class on a regular basis, the children in this level of learning are expected to spend about 20-30 mins a week for Samskrita learning.
Once a child completes the 6 and the 7 yr curriculum, he/she is eligible to start the 3yr comprehensive curriculum mentioned below:
For kids ages 8 and above, we have devised a 3 yr comprehensive curriculum with emphasis on conversation Samskritam, reading and writing Devanagari, learning grammar concepts and some rules. In the first year of this program, there is slight emphasis on recognition of alphabets. Most emphasis is placed on learning to speak the language. In the second and third years of this curriculum, students are expected to read and write devanagari along with learning the ability to write in sentences. Classes in the 3yr curricula are 60-70 minutes long.
Typical class structure is opening prayer, collection of previous weeks homework/quick review of preview weeks concepts, learning a new conversational/grammar concept (e.g usage of the sapta ka-karAH), learning a sub topic (e.g. names of colors, animals etc), learning one new shloka a week (e.g samkshepa ramAyana shloka), listen to story/learn a song/play a short game, review of homework for the week, distribution of handouts, recitation of peace prayer. Apart from coming to class on a regular basis, the children are expected to spend about 1.5 hours a week at home for Samskrita learning.
All children attending balakakshyA are expected to participate in the Shloka spardha conducted in the Spring of every year. They are also expected to participate in other Samskrita Bharati programs year around as part of skits, songs and other cultural programs.
All childrens classes are parent participation classes. One parent is expected to stay in class with the child. At home, the participating parent acts as a buddy to the child to help learn the concepts learned in class.