Childhood Joy is a very fitting name when you meet Renu Saran. Renu, the founder of this pre and primary school, resonates warmth and joy, something that obviously filters through as the school culture, and rubs off on the happy children.
Renu has a Bachelors in Education and a Masters in Reiki, a Japanese healing technique. She has also attained various qualifications in cosmetology, gift wrapping, flower making, sewing and knitting. In her spare time, she writes health articles for the Sunday Times Of Zambia.
Childhood Joy Academy is in Roma, Lusaka. It provides a holistic approach to learning and believes that it is important for young children to have fun while learning and developing a love of learning.
In today’s Q&A, Renu Saran, explains the teaching methods she used on her own now grown up children, and how she applies them to nurturing the children at Childhood Joy Academy.
What inspired you to start a school?
I have always wanted to teach and to own a school! When I was in my 7th grade I started offering tuition for grades 4 and 5 to the children of our house helper. When they sat their exams and got wonderful marks that really motivated me!
In my college days, my classes in second year were in the afternoon so I decided to start tutoring at a private school in the morning. With my constant commitment, the school recognised my hard work and made me class teacher within 3 months. Of course, this made me even more enthusiastic!
When I got married and had my children, Om and Shivam, I dedicated my time to teaching them and they always topped their classes. My son was a top student in his A-Levels for Physics and Economics in Zambia. I’m sure I am biased, but I know my boys are obedient and wonderful!
All these experiences have contributed to inspiring me to teach other children because quality and loving education is a wonderful gift.
What is your approach to teaching?
When Om and Shivam were young I was watchful of how much time they spent studying, playing and watching TV. I had a chart in their room. They would get daily marks for things like how well they did their homework, how obedient they were, how they eat their food... Whoever won at the end of the month would get K100! I would give them the option whether they wanted to save the money or buy something for themselves. This in itself was a learning opportunity.
This simple practice of rewarding them got them very excited! To help keep them organised, later on I made a timetable based on how many lessons they had and the topics they were learning. My kids used to follow it sincerely.
So, my approach to teaching is to make studying exciting and fun for younger children. Whilst this approach is maintained as the children get older, they also need to learn how to be smart in their own approach to learning. All children need continuous guidance and positive feedback.
I also trained Om and Shivam a few things which will always help them in their lives:
- Always learn from wherever you can! You can learn all sorts of valuable lessons from all sorts of opportunities like books, other people and experiences.
- Read newspapers and books to keep updated on what is happening in the world around them.
- Always give more than 100% because not everyone gets a second chance.
- Learn how to manage stress. Any form of meditation is a powerful way of releasing stress.
- Do what is your passion in life.
- Sport and music are essential ingredients for learning. Both my boys have black belts in karate and Shivam is a very good soccer player. They also play the violin and keyboard.
I also instill the same principles in Childhood Joy pupils and we make a point of offering opportunities in karate, yoga and keyboard.
What are your children doing now?
Om was the Head Boy of his school and is now doing Aeronautical Engineering in New York from Rochester University. He is in his third year with superb marks. He represented Zambia in world scholars cup in Bangkok and won many medals.
Shivam was the Sports Captain of his school and is now in his second year of Hotel Management from IHM Aurangabad. The school only takes up to 120 students per year and Shivam got selected.
I am a very proud parent and blessed to have two wonderful boys.
What does the future look like for Childhood Joy Academy?
Our school is still relatively new so I want to take the class sizes up to 15 children per class. I want to teach the learners like I did Om and Shivam. I dream that wherever our pupils go, people should ask them, “Which school do you attend?” I want people to be eager to send their children to Childhood Joy Academy.
That being said, I never want to lose the heart and soul of our school. I don’t want to just fill it with kids and just do this as a business. The children are central to what we do. I take full responsibility that all Childhood Joy children should be happy, and that if they need to go for extra tuition it means we are not doing our job satisfactorily.
I see Childhood Joy Academy as a very successful school in coming years. I have already started seeing the results — two parents have already told me that choosing Childhood Joy Academy has been the best decision! We in fact have many happy and satisfied parents. Of course, this motivates me greatly!
Find out more about Childhood Joy Academy
Based on this positive story which parent wouldn’t want to find out more about this primary school?!
Read more about Childhood Joy Academy by clicking here. The team would love to meet you, show you round the school and talk to you about your child’s learning needs and potential. Contact them on +260 970 754075, +260 954 429515.