Seasons Changing

Hi Friends,

How is it already mid-June? We hope you’re all enjoying this transition time from spring to summer. Though we homeschool, the end of the traditional school year is very busy for us as well, with numerous activities coming to an end for the season. By our count, we had seven musical performances in under three weeks, which were lovely, but now we’re embracing the “break”. Now what does a “break” for us look like you might be asking? Let’s give you a glimpse.

As you know, in our family, learning never stops, though the mediums may vary by season. Thus far this summer, our primary foci have been tennis and Pokémon cards. Tennis used to be a passion for Siva growing up but after college, after various injuries, it more or less stopped. The Pokémon game was a big part of Siva’s life growing up as well, which faded after his school years. Now both are back in full swing as Vivaan, Sarang, and Aarti have all taken up an interest in both.

With tennis, we’re all in different places. Vivaan began lessons a few months ago, after turning five. He’s really focusing on getting his groundstroke form super solid, is able to get his forehands over the net pretty consistently, and is working hard on his backhands. Regular practice and fun with the family thus far this “summer” has been huge for him, drawing on not only his readiness from having learned the basics, inspiration in watching his brother and parents, awareness to recognize his strengths and challenges, perseverance to rise above what will inevitably far more “failures” than “successes” as he begins his tennis journey, resilience, and confidence. Just yesterday he had his first twenty shot rally with his Dad and he was so proud. Alternating shots with his brother, with Dad on the other side, they got fifty!

For Sarang, he’s in that amazing place of learning where the fundamentals are strong and the strategy, planning, tactics, imagination, and more come into play, goals are set, hard work is needed to keep improving, and as he begins to see that improvement in himself, his confidence grows. For Aarti, a strong badminton player growing up, a major challenge is unlearning and adapting certain physical cues from that sport to this one. For Siva, he “peaked” in the conventional sense relative to peers when he was about ten, competing at the top level and even traveling both nationally and internationally for the sport. As an adolescent he learned the importance of recognizing that everyone is running their own race and though he was improving and learning to further love the game, his relative performance may not be the same. Reengaging with the game two decades later, the awareness to embrace a new normal, the joy of being more of a teacher and facilitator for his family, and the goal of growing a deeper family connection through this sport rise to the forefront.

With the Pokémon trading card game, sitting at the table to enjoy playing games with the family is beautiful and sadly something that often gets lost as time and technology march on. It’s a lot more than that though. For Vivaan, it’s reading and arithmetic practice, creating a comprehensive database in his mind of all these creatures he finds fascinating, and learning how to design and build a playable deck that can compete with his family. He’s also the “Pokédex” for the family, embracing the role of knowing the most Pokémon in the fam. For Sarang, it’s a new game he’s yet to master and a fun way to engage with his little brother, with an endless supply of plausible inputs, and elements of luck that make each game unique despite clear improvements in his deck and his play. The challenge of continually trying to improve and find ways to play better than he did the last game is what’s most alluring to him, a true embracing of the growth mindset we try to promote. As for Aarti and Siva, it’s a world the boys objectively know more about now so we get to learn from them and ask questions to challenge them and stimulate them further and a lovely way for us to spend time together.

Enough about us for now. We hope you have a wonderful summer and get to enjoy experiences old and new with your families, having fun, learning and growing together. We have some traveling, some chess, and some music, as always, and probably lots of Pokémon and tennis as well. As for the book, the work goes on! We’re still hopeful to have it available for purchase sometime in Q3 2023, likely the tail end, perhaps September. Editing work is nearly complete and we need to finish up some conclusions, a table of contents, and perhaps a short glossary. Once all those are ready to go, we’ll try to get preorder links up on both Barnes & Noble and Amazon, likely also sometime in Q3. Thanks for reading!


The Sankrithi Family

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