Pujya Gurudev

Pujya Gurudev

Arpil 10 -12, 2015

Next classes: April 19, 2015 @ 12.45pm

Venue: Chinmaya Vrindavan Ashram
95 Cranbury Neck Rd., Cranbury, NJ

Please arrive no more than 10/15 minutes before the time slot your child is registered for. There will be classes in session before us. Thank you!

Friday@ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m.
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m.
Sunday @3:15 p.m.


On A Quest
Venue: AMC Hamilton
325 Sloan Ave, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619




Shlokas

Geeta Chanting: Chapter 15, Shlokas 1 to 12
Here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out. Also, please note that tutoring classes are being held at the ashram. We highly recommend that you sign your child up for this wonderful opportunity!


Concentration/Shell Game
Two and a half minutes of sitting silently, while focusing on the number of shells that are being dropped into a bowl.... with eyes closed, of course. :-)

Yoga Stretches/Exercise
5 to 10 minutes of stretching

Circle Time/Activity Time
S is for smile.  We all like to smile.  When we smile
 
  • we make friends
  • people want to talk to us
  • we make others happy
  • our parents are happy
  • our teachers are happy
  • we look prettier
  • we stay healthy
  • we make the world a little happier
You use more number of muscles to frown than to smile.  Smiling is lot easier and smile is contagious.  

Story Time: The Million Dollar Smile
Likhita Japa
Some children performed their likhita japa with tracing papers, while others wrote "Raama" on the background of their coloring page of Gurudev.
 


 
Ending Prayers
Aarti and prayers were conducted with all the other classes/study groups in the Mandir/Temple.

March 27 - 29, 2015

Next classes: April 10-12, 2015

Venue: Chinmaya Vrindavan Ashram
95 Cranbury Neck Rd., Cranbury, NJ

Please arrive no more than 10/15 minutes before the time slot your child is registered for. There will be classes in session before us. Thank you!

Friday@ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m.
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m.
Sunday @3:15 p.m.

On A Quest
Venue: AMC Hamilton
325 Sloan Ave, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619



Shlokas

Geeta Chanting: Chapter 15, Shlokas 1, 2,3,4, and 5. 6, and 7 and 8, and 9
Here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out. Also, please note that tutoring classes are being held at the ashram. We highly recommend that you sign your child up for this wonderful opportunity!


Concentration/Shell Game
Two and a half minutes of sitting silently, while focusing on the number of shells that are being dropped into a bowl.... with eyes closed, of course. :-)

Yoga Stretches/Exercise
5 to 10 minutes of stretching

Circle Time/Activity Time
This week's lesson was "R for Right"
In the last class we learned about the letter "O" which stands for obedience.  In the Vedanta alphabet, "R" comes after "O" because we first need to learn all the values of the alphabet except "P" and "Q". After we learn all these values, we become fit to do prayers, and learn about the letter "P" which stands for prayer. When we offer prayers to the Lord, we become quiet, and learn about the letter "Q". 
 
Therefore, after "Z", are letters "P" for prayer and "Q" for quiet. Since we had to take letters "P" and "Q" out of the normal order, letter "R" comes after "O".

Story Time: The Rock on the Road
 
Likhita Japa
Some children performed their likhita japa with tracing papers, while others wrote "Raama" on the background of their coloring page of Gurudev.
 


 
Ending Prayers
Aarti and prayers were conducted with all the other classes/study groups in the Mandir/Temple.

March 20-22, 2015

Next classes: March  27 -29, 2015

Venue: Chinmaya Vrindavan Ashram
95 Cranbury Neck Rd., Cranbury, NJ

Please arrive no more than 10/15 minutes before the time slot your child is registered for. There will be classes in session before us. Thank you!

Friday@ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m.
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m.
Sunday @3:15 p.m.

Shlokas

Geeta Chanting: Chapter 15, Shlokas 1, 2,3,4, and 5. 6, and 7 and 8, and 9
Here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out. Also, please note that tutoring classes are being held at the ashram. We highly recommend that you sign your child up for this wonderful opportunity!


Concentration/Shell Game
Two and a half minutes of sitting silently, while focusing on the number of shells that are being dropped into a bowl.... with eyes closed, of course. :-)

Yoga Stretches/Exercise
5 to 10 minutes of stretching

Circle Time/Activity Time
This week's lesson was "O for Obedience"

Story Time: "The Obedient Child "

Vikram was on a holiday with his father.  It was the most exciting holiday a child could dream about.  Vikram's father was a sailor.  On this holiday Vikram was sailing from port to port.  
One day the ship caught fire.  soon the deck was full of people.  They were are screaming and yelling and running about.  Vikram's father ran to help others.  Before he left he called Vikram and told " Stand here till I come back.  Do not move, whatever happens"  One by one everyone started to get out of the ship  to the lifeboats.  They all called on Vikram , " come quickly otherwise the ship will sink and you will get hurt".  But Vikram waved to them and said " my father has asked me not to move from here.  He knows what is best for me."  So he didn't move a little bit.   After few minutes they left without him.
The Sea was too rough, waves were very big and the boats couldn't sail smoothly.  So Vikram's father called for helicopter.  He came up to the deck looking for Vikram and found him on the smoke filled deck.  Small brave boy was standing in the same place where his father had asked him to.  The tired sailor's heart was filled with love for his courageous son.  Soon the helicopter saved both of them.  

Moral:  Be obedient and save yourself from trouble.  When you are obedient you save others too.

 Game:
 We played a fun round of "Teacher Says" which is played like "Simon Says". 

Likhita Japa
Some children performed their likhita japa with tracing papers, while others wrote "Raama" on the background of their coloring page of Gurudev.
 


 


Ending Prayers
Aarti and prayers were conducted with all the other classes/study groups in the Mandir/Temple.

A Special Guest of Honor

Children, you will DEFINITELY want to watch this video!!! The first minute or so is only talking, but trust us, you'll be delighted you watched the entire film — a very special guest visited Guruji and Swamini ji :-)

Enjoy!!!


March 13 -15, 2015

Next classes: March  20-22, 2015

Venue: Chinmaya Vrindavan Ashram
95 Cranbury Neck Rd., Cranbury, NJ

Please arrive no more than 10/15 minutes before the time slot your child is registered for. There will be classes in session before us. Thank you!

Friday@ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m.
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m.
Sunday @3:15 p.m.

Shlokas

Geeta Chanting: Chapter 15, Shlokas 1, 2,3,4, and 5. 6, and 7 and 8, and 9
Here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out. Also, please note that tutoring classes are being held at the ashram. We highly recommend that you sign your child up for this wonderful opportunity!


Concentration/Shell Game
Two and a half minutes of sitting silently, while focusing on the number of shells that are being dropped into a bowl.... with eyes closed, of course. :-)

Yoga Stretches/Exercise
5 to 10 minutes of stretching

Circle Time/Activity Time
This week's lesson was "N is for Nobility"

Story Time: "The Other Shoe"

As Mahatama Gandhi stepped aboard a train one day, one of his shoes slipped off and landed on the tracks below.  He was unable to retrieve it as the train began to move.  to the amazement of his companions, Gandhiji calmly took off his other shoe and threw it back along the tracks to land close to the first one that had slipped off.  When a fellow passenger asked why he did so, Gandhiji smiled and said, "The poor man who finds the shoe lying on the tracks, will now have a pair he can use."

Many noble acts like this brought the title Mahatma meaning "a great soul" to Gandhiji.

We also discussed with the children that Nobility is upholding high moral standards and strong character.  According to our Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, the noblest character is one who has divine compassion for all living beings.

 

Likhita Japa
Some children performed their likhita japa with tracing papers, while others wrote "Raama" on the background of their coloring page of Gurudev.


Ending Prayers
Aarti and prayers were conducted with all the other classes/study groups in the Mandir/Temple.

Feb. 27 – March 1, 2015 Class

Next classes: March 13 – 15, 2015

Venue: Chinmaya Vrindavan Ashram
95 Cranbury Neck Rd., Cranbury, NJ

Please arrive no more than 10/15 minutes before the time slot your child is registered for. There will be classes in session before us. Thank you!

Friday@ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m.
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m.
Sunday @3:15 p.m.

Shlokas

Here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out. Also, please note that tutoring classes are being held at the ashram. We highly recommend that you sign your child up for this wonderful opportunity!


Concentration/Shell Game
Two and a half minutes of sitting silently, while focusing on the number of shells that are being dropped into a bowl.... with eyes closed, of course. :-)

Yoga Stretches/Exercise
5 to 10 minutes of stretching

Circle Time/Activity Time
This week's lesson was "M is for Mother." 

Story Time: "A Mother's Love"

There was once a panda named Chinku who refused to go to school. He always wanted to stay home with his mother and play with his toys. But one day his mother lovingly said to him, "Sometimes we all have to do things we do not want to." She told him that at school he would make new friends, play with new toys and read new books. And even though she was going to stay home, he will feel her presence all day long. She took Chinku's hand and gave him a kiss in the center of his palm, and told him that when he started to feel lonely and needed his mother's hug, all he had to do was press his hand to his cheek... immediately he will feel her love. This is just how powerful a mother's love is.

We also discussed with the children that Mother is not only the one who gives birth to us, but also the one who sustains and nourishes us. There are other mothers in the world who have made our existence possible and we worship them, too. These include:

• Mother Goddess
• Mother Nature
• Mother India
• Mother Shruti
• Mother Earth
• Mother Cow
• Mother Theresa

Craft
Greeting card.

Likhita Japa
Some children performed their likhita japa with tracing papers, while others wrote "Raama" on the background of their coloring page of Gurudev.



Ending Prayers
Aarti and prayers were conducted with all the other classes/study groups in the Mandir/Temple.

February 20 – 22, 2015 Class

Here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out:


Concentration/Shell Game
Two and a half minutes of sitting silently, while focusing on the number of shells that are being dropped into a bowl.... with eyes closed, of course. :-)

Yoga Stretches/Exercise
5 to 10 minutes of stretching

Circle Time/Activity Time
This week's lesson was "L is for Love." 

Story Time: "The Best Gift"

There was a teacher who lover all her students very much and desired nothing more than the best for them. When her birthday came around all the children planned to give her a gift. One student gave chocolates, another a neck lad and the third a book. There was one child, Johnny, who was unable to buy her a gift, because his family was very poor.  After the teacher opened all the gifts, she thanked the children and told them how much she valued them. However, Johnny gave her the best gift imaginable. He studied hard, was a good listener, and very helpful to everyone...  and had a very caring and generous heart. There is no greater gift a student can give their teacher!

Craft
Heart Bookmark

Likhita Japa
Some children performed their likhita japa with tracing papers, while others wrote "Raama" on the background of their coloring page of Gurudev.

Ending Prayers
Aarti and prayers were conducted with all the other classes/study groups in the Mandir/Temple.

Happy Mahashivaratri!



(Many thanks to Swami Ishwarananda ji for sharing this video _/\_ )

February 6 – 8, 2015

Next classes: February 20 – 22, 2014

Venue: Chinmaya Vrindavan Ashram
95 Cranbury Neck Rd., Cranbury, NJ

Please arrive no more than 10/15 minutes before the time slot your child is registered for. There will be classes in session before us. Thank you!

Friday@ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m.
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m.
Sunday @3:15 p.m.




Hari Om!

Wow... what an amazing feeling to be having class in our very own new ashram!!! This weekend inaugurates our new transition... and we are finally home.

Even though our classes are now held on different days and different times, our curriculum will still be consistently taught by all the KG sevikas. So please don't worry that your child will be missing out  on any activity ... they won't. The aunties have been completely in sync from the beginning... and we will definitely continue to stay in sync. :-)

Also, please note that next weekend there will not be any classes. Our next Balavihar weekend will be Friday, February 20 through Sunday, February 22.

In the meantime, we hope everyone has a wonderful week... and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

*****************

Shlokas

Here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out:



Concentration/Shell Game
Two and a half minutes of sitting silently, while focusing on the number of shells that are being dropped into a bowl.... with eyes closed, of course. :-)

Yoga Stretches/Exercise
5 to 10 minutes of stretching

Circle Time/Activity Time
This week's lesson is "K is for Kindness." The discussion is focused on what actions/thoughts constitute kindness... and what a powerful impact it can have on us, and the world around us.

Story Time
"Androcles and The Lion"

Craft
Coloring page of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda.
(While the kids were coloring, we talked about how kind Gurudev was to others... and how his continuous selfless acts of kindness and sharing knowledge changed people's lives.)





Likhita Japa
Some children performed their likhita japa with tracing papers, while others wrote "Raama" on the background of their coloring page of Gurudev.

Ending Prayers
Aarti and prayers were conducted with all the other classes/study groups in the Mandir/Temple.


A pleasant surprise...

Hey Kids!! Look who came out of the woods today... there must have been at least 10 of them!! We were truly blessed today while taking a walk at Mercer County Park. :-)

Look forward to seeing everyone this weekend... stay warm!


Storytelling with Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda

Next Class: February 6 – 8, 2015

Venue: Chinmaya Vrindavan Ashram
95 Cranbury Neck Rd., Cranbury, NJ

Please arrive no more than 10/15 minutes before the time slot your child is registered for. There will be classes in session before us. Thank you!

Friday@ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m.
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m.
Sunday @3:15 p.m.


Today's class is with our beloved Pujya Gurudev, Himself! Not only do you get to hear Him tell a story... but you also get to sing the bhajan you learned last week. :-)

Sending you all lots of love and hugs... see you next weekend at the Ashram!

"Give Love" by MC Yogi

Here's a beautiful music video to warm you on this cold day... Enjoy! :-)

January 25, 2015 Class



Music: "Krishna is Love" by MC Yogi. (Elephant Power)



Next Class: February 6 – 8, 2015

Venue: Chinmaya Vrindavan Ashram
95 Cranbury Neck Rd., Cranbury, NJ

Please arrive no more than 10/15 minutes before the time slot your child is registered for. There will be classes in session before us. Thank you!

Friday@ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m.
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m.
Sunday @3:15 p.m.


Hari Om!

Well, the time has finally arrived... we are now formally residing in the ashram and will no longer be conducting classes at Crossroads. Please note the time slots listed above and double check to make sure that your child is registered in the one that you will be attending. We know that things have been a little confusing these past few months, so we have combined classes to try and make things a little easier during our stay at Crossroads. However, we now have to stick to our proper schedules and procedures. Otherwise, chaos with a Capital "C" will reign... and we certainly don't want that to happen.

We sure are going to miss seeing everyone's smiling faces every Sunday morning. However, we did reassure our young friends that even though we're not all going to be in the same class anymore... we'll DEFINITELY be seeing each other at the Ashram. So please reiterate to our young friends that the aunties will be expecting to hear those friendly "Hari Oms" and seeing those big shining smiles!!! And of course, we'd also be grateful for a little hug every now and then, too.

Anyway, sorry that we're posting a few days late this week. Aside from the Nor'Easter hoopla, this aunty had some unexpected tasks that popped up and took precedence... and now we're back on track.

Our class topic this week was "J is for Japa"— a real favorite of ours. In fact, we'd be very happy to do this lesson every. single. week. No doubt you've seen your child's Japa Mala by now. We hope that s/he has been practicing with it every day, because as we learned in class. — daily japa brings us much closer to God. And for that reason alone, Japa is an activity we want to incorporate into our life.

So, on that happy subject, we'd like to direct your attention to the video posted above. This was compiled a few years ago from a previous class during our likhita japa segment. Your children have been doing so beautifully with their likhita japa, that we think it's time for us to start focusing the rest of our year on integrating our love and creativity for God through likhita japa. So be prepared, kids... we're gonna have a blast!!

Hope everyone enjoyed our brief "Nor'Easter"and got to romp around in the snow a little. If any of you remembered to make your Lord Ganesha sculpture, please send us a photograph so we can share it with everyone. Remember: Nothing is more beautiful than seeing Lord Ganesha snow sculptures everywhere!!!

:-)

Look forward to seeing everyone soon... and stay warm!

*****************

Shlokas

Saha Naavavatu
Ekadantam Mahaakaaya
Sarasvati Namastubhyam
Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu

Geeta Chanting: Chapter 15, Shlokas 1, 2,3,4, and 5

We were very happy to "hear" that a lot of our young friends have been practicing at home. Great work, everyone!! During our next class we will introduce Shloka 6. And from this point onwards we're going to learn 2 new shlokas per month, instead of one. This way we'll be as ready as we can be for the Spring.

Here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out:



Concentration/Shell Game

As we've mentioned before, these kids sure do make the aunties work hard. And yes, they did it again... they won! Their attention span is becoming much stronger and they can now sit silently for 2 and a half minutes... and also get the right number of shells dropped in the bowl.


Yoga Stretches/Exercise

We really needed to warm up on this cold morning and we did by doing Sun Salutations! Kids enjoyed stretching and warming up.


Circle Time/Activity Time

To help emphasize the meaning of Japa, Aunty taught us a new bhajan: Khaate Bhi Raama Kaho. Not only does this bhajan have a catchy tune to it... but it was fun to reenact, too!

After singing the bhajan, we played a game where all the children sat in a circle... and then one child would say "Raama" while gently touching the child next to him/her. Then that child says "Raama" and touches the next child in the circle, etc. Our objective was to go faster and faster without breaking the link and our focus.


Craft

A small japa mala made out of beads.


Likhita Japa

At this time of the year we like to introduce the children to creative likhita japa. Up until now they have been using the tracing sheet to learn the writing strokes for Raama (in Sanskrit). However, we have been noticing that the children are feeling pretty confident with their writing, so we are now ready to express our love and gratitude for God creatively, using colors and shapes. Please note that from this point onwards, your child will most likely not be able to finish their likhita japa art during class time. Therefore, they will be bringing home their paper to work on during the week. We encourage your child to bring their finished work with them to the next class. We will be having a "show and tell" segment where the children can share their artwork... and feelings, if they want to.

January 11, 2015 Class


Next Class: January 25, 2015

10:00 a.m.

Crossroads Middle School

 Class room assignments for your child:
Friday@ 7:00 p.m. — C-108

Saturday @ 2:00 p.m. — C-108

Sunday @ 8:45 a.m. — Room C-106

Sunday @ 12.45 p.m. — Room C-107

Sunday @3:15 p.m. — Room C-108

 Hari Om!


‘’Intellect is the light, the heart is the direction.”

 

Today’s lesson was ’I – for Intelligence’.  The intellect is the accumulation of knowledge, memory, and thinking. The intellect is able to analyze what the mind perceives and make inquiries. When we think in words, we are witnessing the activities of the intellect. When we compare and contrast things we are using the intellect. When we do self-inquiry, it is really the intellect doing self-inquiry.

In class we spoke about how the mind is where emotions arise and are experienced. When you feel happy or sad you are witnessing the activities of the mind.  We discussed how the Mind collects and categories impressions from the five sense. Intellect observes and discriminates useful from useless and makes decisions.  We gave different examples……on where we use our intellect.  It is a bit profound…..but they got
it! 

Engage you children in a conversation about right and wrong and ask them about how we know something is wrong for us?  What helps us know that?  Hope this will lead your child into continued learning about mind and intellect.

*****************

Shokas





 


Because our children are responsible for learning the first 12 shlokas, we will need to increase our learning curve a little with each class. During the fall, we only added one shloka per month. However, in order to meet our responsibilities, we will need to increase our shlokas by 2 a month. We have introduced Shloka 5 this week.  Please spend a little time with your child each day practicing.  Just 15 mins a day makes all the difference in the world. If you have any questions about tutoring, please feel free to talk with one of the sevikas. We are extremely lucky to have one of the Sanskrit teachers on our Kindergarten Team... and she will be very happy to answer any questions you might have.

Also, here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out. Here is the url:


 

Concentration/Shell Game

Even though we've had a few weeks off... everyone jumped right into position and played our concentration game beautifully. Nearly everyone kept their eyes closed throughout this activity... exhibiting very little restlessness. This is a great indication that the children are ready to try sitting silently longer... and spend more time in focused counting. We don't usually "up" our time until early/mid Spring... so believe us when we say that these children are doing impressively well!!!

 

Yoga Stretches/Exercise

We really needed to warm up on this cold morning and we did by doing Sun Salutations!  Kids enjoyed stretching and warming up.

Story Time
We did the classic story “The Thirsty Crow”. 

Likhita Japa

At this time of the year we like to introduce the children to creative likhita japa. Up until now they have been using the tracing sheet to learn the writing strokes for Raama (in Sanskrit). However, we have been noticing that the children are feeling pretty confident with their writing, so we are now ready to express our love and gratitude for God creatively, using colors and shapes. Please note that from this point onwards, your child will most likely not be able to finish their likhita japa art during class time. Therefore, they will be bringing home their paper to work on during the week. We encourage your child to bring their finished work with them to the next class. We will be having a "show and tell" segment where the children can share their artwork... and feelings, if they want to.

January 4, 2015 Class





Next Class: January 11, 2015
10:00 a.m.
Crossroads Middle School

Class room assignments for your child:

Friday@ 7:00 p.m. — C-108
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m. — C-108
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m. — Room C-106
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m. — Room C-107
Sunday @3:15 p.m. — Room C-108

Hari Om!

Well, if you've watched the music video above, then you've probably figured out what this week's lesson was. Yep... you guessed correctly — "H is for Happiness."

Today we learned that happiness is not found in toys, favorite foods or "things." Instead, happiness is found within us. We can be happy any time... anywhere... and for any thing. We also learned that smiling and laughing uses less muscles in our body than frowning does, AND it helps us maintain good health. Oh, and we even discovered how contagious happiness and smiling is — absolutely no one can escape a good smile or a hearty laugh! We did try...

So on that happy note... we'd like to extend our warmest wishes to you and your family for a very Happy, Peaceful, and Healthy 2015! We are really looking forward to a New Year of a lot more fun learning with your children. We're only on Letter I, so we still have quite a few more alphabet letters to learn... soon... in our new ashram!!! Our moving date is rapidly approaching. :-)

Sending you all lots of Love and Peace for a wonderful week — and we'll see you next Sunday!

*****************
Shokas

Because our children are responsible for learning the first 12 shlokas, we will need to increase our learning curve a little with each class. During the fall, we only added one shloka per month. However, in order to meet our responsibilities, we will need to increase our shlokas by 2 a month. Next week we will introduce Shloka 5. Please spend a little time with your child each day practicing.  Just 15 mins a day makes all the difference in the world. If you have any questions about tutoring, please feel free to talk with one of the sevikas. We are extremely lucky to have one of the Sanskrit teachers on our Kindergarten Team... and she will be very happy to answer any questions you might have.

Also, here is an audio blog that has archived all the Bhagavad Geeta chapters. It is a wonderful learning tool... and we highly recommend that you check it out. Here is the url:


Concentration/Shell Game
Even though we've had a few weeks off... everyone jumped right into position and played our concentration game beautifully. Nearly everyone kept their eyes closed throughout this activity... exhibiting very little restlessness. This is a great indication that the children are ready to try sitting silently longer... and spend more time in focused counting. We don't usually "up" our time until early/mid Spring... so believe us when we say that these children are doing impressively well!!!

Yoga Stretches/Exercise
10 mins. of jumping around, stretching... and laughing, of course.

Activity
The children drew a happy and sad face on two pieces of paper. When the teacher called out an activity/thing (i.e., "mango ice cream!") the children would hold up the face that best expressed how they felt about it. This allowed us to see that not everyone found enjoyment is the same things. We also explored and discussed how one scoop of ice cream might give us joy, but 20 scoops of cream  would make us sick! So that's living proof that ice cream does not equal happiness. :-)




Story Time
"Yash Lost His Smile," by Nishita Chaitanya, Chinmaya Publications

Likhita Japa
At this time of the year we like to introduce the children to creative likhita japa. Up until now they have been using the tracing sheet to learn the writing strokes for Raama (in Sanskrit). However, we have been noticing that the children are feeling pretty confident with their writing, so we are now ready to express our love and gratitude for God creatively, using colors and shapes. Please note that from this point onwards, your child will most likely not be able to finish their likhita japa art during class time. Therefore, they will be bringing home their paper to work on during the week. We encourage your child to bring their finished work with them to the next class. We will be having a "show and tell" segment where the children can share their artwork... and feelings, if they want to.






A Blessed Greeting for the Holiday Season


December 21, 2014 Class


Next Class: January 4, 2015
10:00 a.m.
Crossroads Middle School

Class room assignments for your child:

Friday@ 7:00 p.m. — C-105
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m. — C-108
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m. — Room C-106
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m. — Room C-107
Sunday @3:15 p.m. — Room C-108

Hari Om!

Today's lesson  was "G is for God." And the God that we learned about was none other than the beautiful Lord Ganesha, Himself. But what really made today's lesson so much fun was that we got to learn how to perform a puja. Aunty patiently and lovingly explained to us all the ingredients we should have when doing a puja, and exactly what their significance was. So even though we aren't allowed to light diyas or bring food items into our classrooms, we were still taken through all the steps in asking and welcoming Lord Ganesha into our homes and hearts. Honestly, we couldn't have had a more perfect lesson to end the year 2014 with...

And yes, it's hard to believe that Winter has officially arrived — today is the first day of the season. As much as most of us are not excited about snow... the aunties have to admit that we've got our fingers crossed for some white fluffy snow over break. "Why?" you ask? Well... because we agreed that this year we will build Lord Ganesha's in our front yards instead of snowmen. So if we're lucky and do get some snow... please make sure to take a photograph of your Lord Ganesha. We'd love to see Him. :-)

On that happy note...we want wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season/Break. We look forward to seeing everyone next year!!!

Oh yeah... and be sure to stay warm! Also, don't forget to drink lots of hot chocolate... especially after spending an afternoon building a Snow Lord Ganesha! xox

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Shokas


Concentration/Shell Game
Today we topped all of our previous games... and we're not kidding! The children sat absolutely still and focused for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. So please make sure to give your child a big hug and "high five," because this really is tremendous progress so early in the school year.


Yoga Stretches/Exercise
As you are probably well aware by now, we never pass up the opportunity to jump around and burn off energy... so today was no different. We ran from that pesky imaginary mouse again... and then decided to bunny bounce back to our starting point so we could sit down and enjoy some quiet butterfly cocoon hibernation.

Likhita Japa
At this time of the year we like to introduce the children to creative likhita japa. Up until now they have been using the tracing sheet to learn the writing strokes for Raama (in Sanskrit). However, we have been noticing that the children are feeling pretty confident with their writing, so we are now ready to express our love and gratitude for God creatively, using colors and shapes. Please note that from this point onwards, your child will most likely not be able to finish their likhita japa art during class time. Therefore, they will be bringing home their paper to work on during the week. We encourage your child to bring their finished work with them to the next class. We will be having a "show and tell" segment where the children can share their artwork... and feelings, if they want to.




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If your child is interested in continuing their Likhita Japa over break, we are sharing the pages we use in class. Please feel free to download and print them for your personal use.


December 14, 2014 Class

Next Class: December 21, 2014
10:00 a.m.
Crossroads Middle School

Class room assignments for your child:

Friday@ 7:00 p.m. — C-105
Saturday @ 2:00 p.m. — C-108
Sunday @ 8:45 a.m. — Room C-106
Sunday @ 12.45 p.m. — Room C-107
Sunday @3:15 p.m. — Room C-108




Hari Om!

Hope everyone is outside enjoying this wonderful weather we've been blessed with! The weatherman said that we can these kind of warm days all week, so we better take advantage of them — these will probably be the last until Springtime. :-)

Today's lesson was "F is for Friendship"— something we all cherish and love, but something we often take for granted and don't really think about. During our circle time discussions, all the children were quite eager to share who their best friends were, and what they loved doing with their friends. We even talked about how animals can be dear friends, too. We then asked the children if they could draw a nice picture of their friends. And as you can imagine... everyone immediately sat down and got right to work. However, once we finished our drawing, we then asked everyone to crumple up their paper and lay it down nicely on the floor while Aunty tells us a story. At first, it felt a little weird to crumple up the drawings... especially because we love our friends. But Aunty told us that there was a very important reason for doing this, so everyone took a deep breath and went ahead and did it. Then we settled in for one of our favorite stories... "Lord Krishna and Sudaama."

After the story, we asked our young friends to open up the crumpled ball of paper and try to smooth it back into its original state... getting all the creases out.  Well, that definitely was an impossible task!!! The children were quite disappointed to learn that the creases in paper don't easily come out. We then explained to them that these creases represent mean words and actions... every time we tease or make fun of our friends we put a crease in our friendship. And like we just discovered, many of those creases can't be removed. Therefore, we have to be very kind and careful with our friendships... and help them whenever we can, even if we're not asked to — just like Lord Krishna did for Sudaama.

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Shokas


Concentration/Shell Game
We're definitely seeing some tremendous progress and growth in the children... 2 full minutes of absolutely quietness, excellent shell counting... all with our eyes closed and lips zipped. Four thumbs up for our young friends!!!

Yoga Stretches/Exercise
Jumping around is something we definitely LOVE doing... so we make sure to spend a few minutes  burning off energy before settling into our Circle Time activities. :-)

Likhita Japa
The children practiced writing "Raama" in Sanskrit 21 times. Many children are now able to write "Raama" in Sanskrit without using the tracing sheet... so we have started introducing them to writing inside Mandala drawings, using different colored pens/markers. (Creative Likhita Japa)


























Craft Activity
We made a Friendship bracelet.

Ending Prayer
Om Poornamidah