This year has been the most unique year for everyone. My in-laws had come to the US in January planning to stay for 4 months. That got extended indefinitely, due to COVID19. They are with my brother in law and family. Over the summer break, my father in law asked if the kids would like to learn Sanskrit. S and I were happy although the kids were not sure. He started teaching Sanskrit to Sarath & Sanjay along with my sister-in-law’s kids. The first few months, he taught over WhatsApp call. Later they switched to Google Meet.
It is amazing how much progress the kids have made in Sanskrit. I have been picking up some Sanskrit from their lessons as well 🙂 They started off with learning all the different verb forms and now they can actually form sentences. The kids ask each other questions and answer them. They are now being taught all the Panchatantra stories in Sanskit.
The other nice thing about this was that the kids are getting really good at reading Telugu. Since the kids don’t know Devanagri script, my father in law has been sending them all the text in Telugu script. He also explains the meanings in English and Telugu, which is helping them improve their Telugu vocabulary as well.
On Ganesh Chaturthi, the kids were trying to figure out the meanings of the different slokas we say during the puja. I always believed that if we know the meaning of the slokas, we would want to say them more. If we are merely chanting something without understanding, we get bored. He also taught them the 21 names of Vishnu and told them to recite everyday after taking a bath. That helped to cultivate the habit of praying everyday. I have been trying to get them to pray everyday and somehow I was not successful. Now, they do it everyday and I am happy. I think because they know the meanings, they are more comfortable saying it.
These lessons has also given the kids a chance to bond with their grandfather even though we are miles apart and also given him something to do without getting bored. He loves teaching and puts in a lot of effort to get the materials ready. It has been a positive experience so far and I hope they continue to learn and get better.