Teaching Children, Conversation , Dallas , 1972-09-12
Child: ‘A’ that’s a long ‘a’.
Prabhupāda: ‘O’ ‘a’
Child: ‘O’ ‘a’
Prabhupāda: Got it?
Child: Yea I was learning it before with the Sanskrit teacher.
Prabhupāda: Now you do not know?
Child: I know some of them now, ‘a’ ‘a’
Prabhupāda: Then write.
Child: Here? It doesn’t...
Prabhupāda: You’re [indistinct]. Just write here. ‘ta’. By moving his hand, when it is perfect the next. So you should practice for two or three hours daily and similarly each and every student should be [indistinct]. And the class will go on for three hours. Unless he’s perfect in writing the next letter should not be taught.
This is the process. So you will have to fill up this and see it to the teacher, show it to the teacher whether it is perfect or not. This is the way, similarly ABCD, 1 2 3, everything should be written and you must know this is 1, this is 2, and at the end of the class they should chant. Just like two multiplied by two equal to four, chant it.
Everybody: Two multiplied by two is equal to four.
Prabhupāda: Two multiplied by three equal to six.
Everybody: Two multiplied by three equal to six.
Prabhupāda: Two multiplied by four equal to eight.
Everybody: Two multiplied by four equal to eight.
Prabhupāda: Like that, up to 10. Two into two, two into three, two into four, they should learn, immediately they will say. So that when they multiply by practice immediately two and two is four. At the end of the class this should be, chant for half an hour. Chanting, multiplications. Practice it, similarly daily two, three pages every each student should write and the teacher should see whether it is right and sign, yes it is all right.
The next lesson, the next lesson, they should learn ABCD, and the Sanskrit, this a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, ṛ, ṝ, ḷ, e, ai, o, au, ka, kha, ga, gha, it is all there written. What is the difficulty? Is that all right? So use the Sanskrit, who is teaching you? Who is teaching English eh? Who is teaching English the same way. If somebody will teach mathematics, who will teach maths. Eh? That’s all right.
So one teaches English one teaches Sanskrit and one teaches mathematics. Each student should be taught and practised. So as I have called him and I can call another and another and another and another and 10 students I can take a lesson. Any another, one finishes he goes, he [indistinct] some exercise, engage in exercise for two hours three hours, so in this way. Is that all right?
Devotee: Yes. He has a question to ask.
Devotee: He has a question to ask.
Devotee (2): The others when they are.
Prabhupāda: Come here, not from backside. [Sound of karatālas falling on the ground]
Devotee (2): The other children, while, while one child is teaching the other children will, how will they be engaged?
Devotee (2): But how?
Devotee (2): How? All the other children.
Devotee (2): In other words you will be teaching one child at a time.
Devotee (2): And then the others they are also practising during this time.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like he has been given lesson, he’ll go on practising, the next student comes, practising, other practising others.
Mātājī: He is asking me while the first one is being taught.
Mātājī: The others should practice what they have already learned?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is good.
Devotee (2): And [indistinct] children will they be in the same class as the older children?
Prabhupāda: No, suppose he has learned a, ā, so he is elder so he can be given i, ī, u, ū, further instruction. The others should be given the beginning instruction.
Devotee: So for instance, everybody takes Sanskrit.
Prabhupāda: Ah, everyone should.
Devotee: Everyone take Sanskrit.
Prabhupāda: Everyone should be taught Sanskrit, everyone should be taught English. Give him lessons and let him practice. Let another come, give him lesson and then practically...
Devotee: The younger children they are just learning the ABC and the others are learning further.
Devotee: The older ones.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So everyone will be engaged.
Prabhupāda: Simply one teachers is taking care of 10, that’s all.
Devotee (2): In the English class you would like it if the older students studied your books and learned all the vocabulary and all the... How to. At the same time understand your books. Is that how you would have the English class?
Prabhupāda: No. They must have first, first reading books some passive reading. Just like A N D and, that’s effective[?], all of a sudden if you give big words, they must know select A N D and, A N D and, A C T act, like that. A B act, [?] A C act, A D and A T at, like that, [?] that involves A and another alphabet, A B act, [?] A C act in this way let them practice to compound syllable that A C T act, A double D add, A P apt, in this way. What is that?
Mātājī: Previously we had the children writing purports to the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam lectures in the morning, the older children. They know how to write but their vocabulary has to be increased, so we’ve been taking vocabulary..., I’ve been giving vocabulary words, 20, 25 vocabulary and they have been using it in their purports. We are encouraging them in reading and writing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: That’s all right but they must know how to make syllables. The first book of reading they should be given, just like ABCD.
Devotee: Yeah primary.
Prabhupāda: Primary. Formed words from, like ABCD. That’s all, I don’t think that immediately our books, will not be suitable.
Prabhupāda: They can hear or after hearing they can write in their own words. But unless they know how to setup letters, how they’ll write? So this first lesson should be given all in Sanskrit. English.
Mātājī: Each student’s progress is individual.
Devotee (4): No matter what age.
Prabhupāda: No. That doesn’t matter, whatever he learns he must learn it positively. Not that because he has advanced in age therefore he should be advanced. No. He should be given chance, it doesn’t matter what is the age. But everyone should be engaged, children they should be given exercise. The teachers should, so that they are not idly sitting or talking. If they are therefore playing no, in the classroom no play. They must be engaged in reading or writing.
Devotee: Stick, each one carries a...
Prabhupāda: Yes and you must have stick.
Devotee (2): What is that?
Devotee: A big stick
Prabhupāda: Yes, two sticks can be used. One for head and one for hands.
Children: [loud laughter]
Prabhupāda: Those who are too naughty on the head. I tell you, anyone who is very naughty, on the head. And one who is less naughty on the hand. So do good.
Prabhupāda: And the stick is for the teacher. If the teacher cannot teach nicely then I shall.
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Devotee: How much time shall we give the boys to run and jump in the park?
Devotee: Should they have time to run and jump in the park every day? And how much?
Prabhupāda: Say one hour.
Devotee: One hour.
Devotee (4): That’s our own park too.
Devotee (4): Our park.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They can play, jump, chant Hare Krishna, dance.
Prabhupāda: Play like cowherds boy for one hour.
Prabhupāda: So they should be engaged three hours in the morning. When class begins?
Prabhupāda: 9.15 to a half past 12, in the morning and in the evening from 3 to 6. They must have, they must have enough engagement in class.
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, I would like to... saṅkīrtana activities, for the children?
Prabhupāda: No. They may perform for saṅkīrtana here, it is temple, they can dance. They should not go outside. That is their waste of time.
Devotee (3): Yea.
Prabhupāda: So they should not.
Devotee: See too many.
Devotee: See too many others.
Prabhupāda: No no. They should not go outside. They should have their saṅkīrtana in the... According to our ārati and especially one hour jumping and playing in the park.
Devotee (2): Should they attend all the adult classes, all the adult scripture classes, as well?
Prabhupāda: They will not like to.
Devotee (2): When the teachers.
Prabhupāda: But they can join the chanting and dancing, at all the chanting and dancing. They can sit down, they may hear and join the chanting and dancing. Not... They can join adult class but they may not create disturbance.
Mātājī: Some of the girls are getting attracted to dressing their Deities and attending to their Deities, bathing.
Mātājī: Most of the girls are attracted to...
Prabhupāda: That is extra, not in the school, not in the school.
Mātājī: But they can do that.
Prabhupāda: They can do, extra. They can paint pictures or do that, extra. But they must give their... Everyday they must be prepared to do their lessons nicely. It is not that they’re not like to look [indistinct] you give them task, you write 10 pages like this. They must present 10 pages, not that they wasted the time dressing the Deities and did not like that. No. That 10 pages must be presented otherwise they will be broken. [indistinct]. Restricting, I tell you break their heads, there is no need of keeping such heads.
Child 2: Huh.
Prabhupāda: Strictly they must present 10 pages, daily, otherwise break their heads, I tell you. So? You all remember if you don’t do your tasks daily nicely your heads will be broken.
Devotee: So listen boys, Śrīla Prabhupāda is talking.
Prabhupāda: And they should be must be strictly disciplined. They cannot make any howling bowling within the class. They must be engaged, three hours in the morning.
Devotee: They must sit properly and...
Prabhupāda: Sit properly or not that doesn’t matter... There, sit there... But they must work properly.
Devotee (2): The little children they become very restless sometimes when they sit for a long time.
Devotee (2): The little children they become very restless.
Prabhupāda: That will take time, you will have to teach them, to sit nicely. Three hours they can sit. They cannot be restless, they must work three hours. Otherwise how they will be trained up?
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, how do we engage the children when we are chanting japa in the morning?
Devotee (2): They are playing when we chant japa they play, how can we engage them? Early morning when we chant japa.
Prabhupāda: You can, can ask them, if not let them play. After attending our maṅgala-ārati, they should be given to eat something, prasādam, little little. Always they play there is no harm, you chant but they must attend their class regularly. Is that alright? Follow this, so I’ll come again tomorrow and see how [indistinct]
Devotees: Jaya. [end]