Author of ‘Tender Ponder Wonder’, Rutuja Joshi shares her inspiring Life Journey.
Q1. How did you get the idea to record your kids’ schooling? How was your experience teaching them at the age of 18 months?
There was no planned idea of recording my children’s home schooling and other activity videos, nor do I have any background in video making. But in general, like many other people I love clicking pictures and making videos and that’s how I started capturing these precious little moments of my children since their birth.
Initially it was challenging teaching them, they were very small to pay attention and concentrate or even sit for longer time. But slowly and gradually I started understanding their interests and started planning activities around their interest that helped us to ease out the learning process. They started exploring, getting involved and enjoying the activities and that’s how the learning began.
Q2. What is your book ‘Tender Ponder Wonder’ all about?
Tender Ponder Wonder is all about educational fun activities that I did with my children in their formative age. A sensitive period or formative age of a child is from birth till 6 years of age, where the 80% of the brain is developed and other skills should be worked on. These activities have helped my children a lot in achieving different milestones and developing on their motor skills, math and cognitive skills, art and craft skills, sensory skills, personal hygiene and discipline.
It’s said that the benefits of these activities can be seen in academics and overall performance of a child in later ages too.
Who doesn’t love creative plays! But to be honest parents never have a lot of free time. So in this book I have come up with the activities using materials that are easily available at home which makes it incredibly easy to set up the activity and is super fun and engaging for the kids too. Children will definitely learn something along the way but what’s more important is not how much they excel with the concepts, but about developing the curiosity in the little minds, as it is the best way to learn and have fun together. Our emphasis is strongly on family bonding and spending quality time together and explore the joy of learning in a fun way.
Q3. Everyone has an aspiration after growing up. Growing up, what did you think you wanted to do for a living?
I have been average most of my life and I have literally gone with the flow. I was always very social and creative as a child. I have done my masters in HR. From working as an analyst in an MNC, then switching to a public sector bank, taking a career break, starting my YouTube channel, Authoring and co-authoring, Freelancing and also a global technical recruiter. I have lived many roles. And every time all I aspired to be was MYSELF.
Q4. Many new mothers are confused regarding many things. What is the best piece of advice you could give a new mother?
Read different books, enlighten yourself on parenting. But, also remember, every parenting experience is unique and exclusive. Defining parenting is next to impossible as there are no preset rules. What has worked for some mothers may not work well for you and your child and that’s okay. All a child needs is a happy mother, so do whatever makes you happy and your parenting journey a happy one.
Q5. Can you tell us some of the activities that you have listed in the book? How much do your kids enjoy doing it?
Yes, we definitely have our favorites and we keep doing these on repeat. List of activities that we love the most are:
Obstacle races, Laundry board, I- Spy, Scavenger hunt, Senses challenge and we love doing science experiments.
My children really love every bit of this. This play based learning also helps us all bond and make memories. To be honest I sometimes fail to match up with their excitement and willingness to do the activities.
Q6. What was your banking career like? Do you want to join the banking sector again sometime?
I was in a public sector bank and was well placed when I resigned. The reason behind resigning was that, it was a pan India transferable job and it wasn’t possible for me to take up transfers as we are a nuclear family. So, it came to a point that I was not able to balance between my professional and personal life and so I decided to take a career break and prioritize my personal life. Now I have started working again as a Global Technical Recruiter and balancing my personal and professional life well.
Q7. Please give a little message for our curious readers out there.
There are million activities that can be done and are available online. But there is often a confusion on what all skills should we work on as parents? What and how these activities are to be planned? What are the benefits of doing that activity? And this book answers all. What skills, how to do and the benefits.
Also, all these activities are not prescriptions but suggestions. Change the activities as per your convenience and child’s likings. Listen to your child’s need and interests and do activities around them to keep them involved and curious. Go where their curiosity leads because the aim is to grow a generation of happy, creative, curious little beings because the world needs them and we can do that together.