Our journey with Head Start

Anuradha Mahesh
Head Start parent from 2002 to 2018
Mother of Devika and Pranav Rao

As parents, Mahesh and I had to face the dilemma of which would be the best school for our daughter Devika. So we set up a simple benchmark--that we had to get her into a school that she herself would look forward to going to every day, without bribing or scolding.

On the very first visit to Head Start, we were impressed by the elegant classrooms and child friendly facilities. The kids were so engrossed, and enjoying themselves. Meeting with Samina Mahmood sealed the search. Her elegance and persona had assured us that we were on the right track.

That started our journey as parents with Head Start and it was a wonderful phase.

Our son Pranav followed the footsteps of his big sister and joined Head Start, now a big name in Bangalore.

We realised one great aspect of Montessori philosophy is that it puts emphasis on learning and not on burdening the child with facts and figures. It gives support to a child who is so young and tender. Montessori’s philosophy believes in allowing kids to learn at their own pace, through discovery and in an experiential way. A kid feels empowered and excited about learning and in no time, masters many tasks. Which child does not enjoy beads, Subtraction Strip Board or sand pit play time? A lesson for us, let the kids enjoy being themselves and let them be kids.

Granted there were days when we as parents would wonder whether this schooling was too soft; what would happen when our son faced the tough world et al? But the sense of self-esteem, confidence and poise, as well as the sense of responsibility that Head Start is able to imbibe, took away our fears. Lesson to us--each child is unique and learns in his /her own way.

With the school going up to Primary and subsequently High School, we decided to continue our son Pranav’s education at Head Start.

The school’s calendar was now dotted with exams, tests, parent–teacher meetings, annual days, music melas, football leagues, science exhibitions, food and nutrition experiments and picnics. Each of these activities were meticulously planned, with an eye to detail and camaraderie among teachers and students [Aunties and their kids]. We learned great lessons in management and execution, and this led to lots of dinner time stories filled with each child’s childhood memories; moments to us as parents which we love to recall.

Behind all this, has been the creative leadership of Mrs. Samina Mahmood and Riad Mahmood who have left no stone unturned to nurture this institution with great integrity and commitment to enrich the lives of many children.

The teachers of Head Start deserve their special place in the hearts of their learners, as they are mentors and coaches. Sharing knowledge, building skills and moulding approaches to bring out the best in each child. To our son Pranav, teachers like Priya, Padma, Nithya, and Shobha not only helped to go beyond his learning disability but also to achieve milestones. Their incredible support helped Pranav earn his self esteem.

Sutirtho and Riad helped Pranav to explore his passion for music and his talent. It was with their constant encouragement, support and guidance that Pranav continues to hone his talent.

If we turn around to see our journey with Head Start, we realise that we were looking for a great school, but it turns out we got a great education for our kids. As parents what more could we have asked for?


Posted in From Our Parents, Reflections.