Our Community

Home Education and Learning Project

Given the homeschooling history of LIFESMART, parents and children learning together is an area of focus for us. While many of the families feaatured in the Community section have autistic children, LIFESMART can be used by any family. Given the COVID 19 situation, many children are spendimg more time at home with families. The purpose of our Home Education and Learning Project is to support parents and children in learning together. The role of parents is seen in terms of the four LIFE elements:

  • L: Create conditions for daily Learning
  • I: Discover and nurture child’s Interests
  • F: Enrich Family interactions
  • E: Foster Engagement with community

Build and Talk is one key area of interest for HELP. Build and Talk is based on the idea that we learn by building ideas and not by absorbing them. A variety of innovative paper-based and computer-based tools can be used by parent and child to build ideas and talk about them together. Build and Talk is an activity that builds capacities for learning and can be an enjoyable activity for families.

Dr. Bhairavi Sudarshan

Hello, I am Dr. Bhairavi, mother of two children. My daughter Pragnya is 8 years old and my son Pradyun is aged two and a half years. I am an Anaesthesiologist by profession. I have a passion towards art Towards that end, I took up going through art tutorials online and came across Keshart’s drawing camp and 100 days of sketching. The latter is a very interesting annual program wherein 100 words are given (one for a day) as a theme for creating a sketch. It has been quite a challenge to keep sketching everyday but the thrill of completion supersedes it


Pragnya is an eight-year-old (third grade) child. She loves to read, play with her brother, watch TV, and enjoys learning Karate. She is an avid reader of the Thea Stilton and Geronimo Stilton book series. She finds it very fascinating to learn new facts. Given the importance and impact of the alternate modes of learning and schooling, it was thought that it would be interesting to explore such modes to expand the existing knowledge base. Given her fascination for facts, the focus of the project is on teaching her tools and techniues for organizing ideas and building knowledge.

A Journey to Build and Talk

In 2020, Dr. Rama introduced DSRP (Distinctions, Systems, Relationship, Perspectives) method developed by Cabrera Research Lab to Pragnya. Pragnya has a DSRP notebook where she combines sketching and DSRP diagramming. She also uses the tactil DSRP tool, Thinkblocks. One of her projects was to build a sphere about her interests and activities in Thortspace. Check out her journey here.

Building with Mom

These build and talk experiences have shaped the 100-Day project with her mother. Pragnya first reads selected content with her mother, and notes are created on paper. After a break, they attempt to recollect all that was written, onto traditional media (index cards and/or Lifesmart kit) or digital media (Thortspace, Plectica etc.). The medium used for recapturing the learning is based on the child’s daily interest.

Dr. Bhairavi enjoys drawing and has been using her IPAD for the 100 Days of Sketching project. Initially, Dr. Rama had inititaed build and talk with Pragnya. She had explored Thortspace, Plectica, and index cards. Once Dr. Bhairavi started the 100-Day Build and Talk project with Pragnya, they started exploring Notability together. The trajectory of this project demonstrates a key feature of 100-Day LIFESMART projects. As a busy mother of two children, a project is more sustainable for Dr. Bhairavi if she uses tools that are more familiar to her. Starting from where you are and developing the 100-Day practice incrementally is more likely to result in successful implementation.

Build and Talk is a key project under Home Enrichment and Learning Project. Many members of our community are exploring Build and Talk in different ways