To transfer values to the next generation we need to imbibe them ourselves. The best preaching is in your own perfect action.
- Swami Chinmayananda
The Curriculum for Chinmaya Bala Vihar® has been refined over the last 50 years. It is structured and based on our scriptures, with a focus on how scriptures apply to our daily lives.
GRADE PRE-KINDERGARTEN - Prayers, Rhymes & Fun
This precious age is one where children are innocent and full of life.While they start out anxious of the new surroundings, they quickly latch on to our caring teachers who instill in them the love of God. Even at this tender age, the teachers help to inculcate reverence for our culture through coloring, simple prayers, and fun songs and dances.Through creative means, the children readily identify our Gods and the qualities they represent. At the end of the year, both teachers and students have tears borne out of the bond that was created between them.
GRADE KINDERGARTEN - Alphabet Safari
We all know that ‘A is for Apple’ and ‘B is for Boy,’ but in Balavihar, the children learn that “A is for Aspiration, B is for Brotherhood, C is for Cleanliness,” and so on. Simple, but fundamental values are taught and emphasized through stories and coloring. Children are introduced to the wonder of Vedanta in an age- appropriate manner through hands-on activities and demonstrations. They learn that just because something is not seen does not mean that it is not there. Therefore, our minds need to be focused to see the beauty within all of us.
GRADE 1 - Bala Ramayana
Through the Ramayana, the world’s oldest epic, Lord Rama teaches us the values of the perfect person. The children track the path of Lord Rama from childhood to marriage to exile to the war with Ravana, culminating in his crowning as King. Embedded in the story is so much symbolism. How are the 3 pairs of brothers in the Ramayana different? What attracts Vibhishana, to Lord Rama? Why is HanumanJi the greatest devotee, and how can we be like him? The children will amaze you with their deep appreciation of the glories of Lord Rama.
GRADE 2 AND 3 - Hanuman the Superman
"Have a backbone like a ruler; and rule the world"
This metaphor describes the foundation of this class as students learn from the Lord's great devotee - HanumanJi. The values of courage, strength, fearlessness, alertness and eloquence are highlighted as those that make our backbone strong. Through these qualities, children are shown how they can develop a majestic personality, and how through discipline, they can earn merits in this world. Students study Hanuman Chalisa and its beautiful meaning, and they in turn, will teach their parents.
GRADE 4 AND 5 - Krishna Krishna Everywhere & 24 Teachers
Where can we find out Guru ? Lord Krishna is the source of so much inspiration and teaching. Canto 10 & 11 of Srimad Bhagavatham are covered in this class. Canto 10 focuses on Shri Krishna's lilas and stories through which children learn about sharing, self-discipline and introspection. As they embark upon "My 24 Teachers", the students learn that Mother Earth teaches us patience, Water teaches us detachment and the importance of freedom, etc. In this wonderful class, students begin to realize that Gurus are always present, if only we are readh to see them.
GRADE 6 AND 7 - India, the Sacred Land
Why is Bharat (India) sacred ? India provides us with a rich history and culture with so much to be proud of. The heritage of Bharat with its saints and sages are a treasure from which we can learn the glory of this ancient culture. India has offered so much to this world, and in this class, as children begin to get exposed to the history of the United States in their schools, they can also begin to appreciate the rich history of Bharat. What more can we ask for than for our children to develop a pride in what Bharat has offered and continues to offer the world.
GRADE 8 - Sampoorna Mahabharatha
Mahabharata is an epic narrative of the Kurukshetra war and the fates of 2 sets of cousins, who enter into the battlefield. This is a Dharma-Yudha or the war for Dharma. It is full of various characters from warriors, to devotees, from ruthless kings and princes, to brave women. It offers so many valuable life lessons, as Lord Krishna, a key character in the epic, goes about guiding everyone on the path of Dharma. The Gita class being the next year, the children will get a good understanding of the entire story and its characters and the deeper symbolism.
GRADE 9 AND ABOVE - Srimad Bhagavatha Mahapurana
What distinguishes Vyasa's Srimad Bhagavatham from his other monumental works and gives it the supreme sanctity it possesses, is not only its exhaustive account of the life of the Lord's manifestations on earth, but His fullest teachings to His disciple Uddhava. This Mahapuran is, in effect, planned to resolve all spiritual doubts of the ardent, dedicated seekers of all ages, as represented by a great, pious king - Parikshit. Lord Brahma, having weighed all the scriptures against the Bhagavatham, is said to have found the latter to outweigh them all, because it's the embodiment of the Lord in this age of Kali. This text is filled with devotion, knowledge and the essence of all Upanishads.
Mark Twain once said, "India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition." Few countries can boast of the diversity in array of languages, and through our many sevaks/volunteers, we offer instruction in several of them. Our language options for this year include: Sanskrit, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Marathi.
We offer SAT preparation, aimed primarily towards students in Grades 6-9. Through this instruction, we begin to introduce concepts covered in the SAT to students beginning at an early age so that they can become familiar with the test and concepts covered.