Published: 01st March 2019
This Chennai-based, mother-daughter duo have written a book about being 'Sorted by 16'
Montessorians Bhavani Kumar and Sruthi Kumar talk about the recent launch of their book 'Sorted at 16'
The word 'sorted' is an over-used slang in today's day and age. For example, 'If I get myself chocolate ice-cream today, I am sorted!' or 'If I get married before I'm 27, my life will be sorted' and so on. But recently, I met two people who changed my perspective of the word 'sorted'. A mother and daughter-duo, Bhavani Kumar and Sruthi Kumar from Nungambakkam, Chennai founded Patasala Elementary School which brings back to life the teaching methodologies of Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori method of education. They wanted to revolutionise this methodology world over. How? They decided to write a book and named it Sorted at 16.
She’s sorted: Sruthi Kumar considers herself a ‘sorted’ daughter of Bhavani Kumar and attributes this quality of hers to her upbringing
As I was hurrying to meet the duo, I was contemplating on the recent book they had launched, which is basically a practical guide for today's parents. The title of the book kept ringing in my head over and over again and I had to know what it was all about. Excerpts.
What are some of the key takeaways from the book?
The book talks about sowing virtues in your children in their tender years. Children become what they observe and see on a daily basis. And if virtues are what is sown, virtues are what you will see when they are progressing into adulthood. This book deals with valued skills like responsibility, punctuality, conflict resolution, commitment, respect, empathy, generosity, patience, tolerance and much more. This book serves to be a guide to parents on how to raise independent, confident and happy children. This book also helps children understand the word independence in detail.
Get your copy: The Kindle and paperback versions of the book Sorted at 16 are available on e-commerce websites like amazon.in
How would you market 'independence' to Indian parents, who otherwise would term independence as 'arrogance'?
We are targetting parents of ages 20-40. Most parents in today's day and age are trying not to break away from mainstream parenting that was followed a few years back. Parents today prefer raising their children to be independent individuals and that is our target audience for the book.
Why have you titled the book, 'Sorted at 16'?
Based on all the Montessori training and seminar we attended, we have understood that parenting children below 16 is easier than parenting while they enter adulthood. If proper parenting is done before the age of 16, then trust us when we say 'your children are sorted'. It's not an easy task either. There is a fine line between teaching them independence and being able to discipline them, and in most cases, parents don't know where to draw the line. 'Sorted at16' is here to help parents identify that line and know how to go about dealing with their children at different stages of their life. Thus resulting in children being sorted by age 16.
School time: Patasala Elementary School reaches out to kids os ages 6-12 and teaches them what it means to be independent
Do you implement the teachings of this book in Patasala Elementary School?
Yes! We do. As you can see, our classes are a mix of all age groups and each child gets to decide what class they want to take. The hours are not divided and subjects are not slotted. Our staff merely act as facilitators connecting the students with their learning environment. Our book talks about independence in terms of decision-making and that is exactly what we follow in our school. We don't have set class hours, but each child takes up the responsibility to learn the subjects themselves. Some students also a lot of group-learning. They also have an accountability chart where they list out activities done by them on the school premises.