Bala Vihar is a weekly gathering of children (Preschool to Grade 12/Ages 0 to Ages 18) under the supervision of trained teachers. The aim of Bala Vihar is to help children bloom, grow, and inculcate values through fun-filled activities. Bala Vihar enhances the overall development of the personality of a child at all levels – physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.
2023-24 Bala Vihar Session Information
At Chinmaya Somnath, we offer 3 in-person sessions and one on-line session across CMWRC via Zoom.
Friday in-person session: starts September 8th at 6:45 PM
Sunday morning in-person session: starts September 10th at 9:15 AM
Sunday afternoon in-person session: starts September 10th at 12:15 PM
Children are a major focus at Chinmaya Somnath. The goal of Bala Vihar is to “wake up the sleeping giant” in our children and inspire them to reach their maximum potential by imparting a value-based education through a specially designed age-appropriate curriculum.
The Bala Vihar program offers weekly spiritual classes for children in their formative school years (Pre K to 12).
A complimentary Shishu Vihar program for children ages 0 to 3 years and Amruta Vihar program for differently abled children ages Pre-K to 12th grade are offered.
The classes are organized by age groups, start and end with Sanskrit prayers, and include chanting, bhajans, stories of devotion and morals, interactive discussions, and creative games.
The idea is to provide an environment where the personality of the child blossoms in a spontaneous way. Good conduct, emotional refinement, intellectual finesse, social responsibility, and a spiritual awareness are developed by the teachers through story-telling from the Puranas and other scriptures, singing of bhajans, chanting of stotrams, games, arts and crafts, plays, and other fun-filled activities. The children are encouraged to be responsible, alert, and sensitive members of society.
Swami Chinmayananda believed that just as the strength of a wall depended on the quality of each brick, so too, the health of a society depended on the individuals. If the individuals are healthy, society is healthy. His strategy for building a new society was to “catch ’em young,” and that is what we are trying to accomplish at Chinmaya Somnath.
The senior Bala vihar classes provide a forum for youth where they are provided an opportunity to discuss, debate, and understand the logic of our religion and its tenets and to become aware of their potential. After having gained this awareness, their potential is directed into creative channels. The high school students are encouraged to volunteer in the community and participate in social service activities. Additionally, different career choices are discussed along with what it takes to be a professional in those disciplines. The aim of these classes is to prepare today’s youth to be responsible and successful adults of tomorrow.
All Bala Vihar children participate in various activities, from the youngest Shishu Vihar class to the Chinmayam class for high school youngsters. The grade in which the child is enrolled in his/her school is the basis for placement in the appropriate Bala Vihar class.
For 2023-24, Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center is standardizing its curriculum across all regional chapters. A customized curriculum is planned that will be unique for only this year. It will encompass abridged coursework a student may have covered in a previous class and a more comprehensive inclusion of the academic book for their current year. You will notice two or more core books for each class, and it may appear that your child is repeating material they have already done. The topic listed in bold will be the major focus of the curriculum and will be supplemented by the other topic(s) listed.
We want our children to transition seamlessly and ensure this course realignment encompasses all the needed foundational concepts for their class grade.
Friday PM Session – 6:45 pm – 8:20 pm
|6:45 pm – 7:15 pm||Assembly in Auditorium (Parents & Children participate) -30 min assembly||In-person|
|7:20 pm||Adult and BV classes start||In-person|
|8:20 pm||Adult and BV classes end and dispersal.||In-person|
|6:50 pm – 7:30 pm||Shishu Vihar Class||In-person|
Sunday AM Session – 9:15 am – 10:50 am
|9:15 am – 9:45 am||Assembly in Auditorium (Parents & Children participate) -30 min assembly||In-person|
|9:50 am||Adult and BV classes start||In-Person|
|10:50 am||Adult and BV classes end and dispersal.||In-person|
|9.30 am – 10:00 am||Amruta Vihar||In-person|
|9:50 am – 10:30 am||Shishu Vihar Class||In-person|
|11:00 am||Shloka, Yoga, and other enrichment classes start (except Language)||In-person|
|12:00 pm||Shloka, Yoga, and other enrichment classes end, and dispersal||In-person|
Sunday PM In Session – 12:15 pm – 1:50 pm
|12:15 pm – 12:45 pm||Assembly in Auditorium (Parents & Children participate) -30 min assembly||In-person|
|12:50 pm – 1:50 pm||Bala vihar Class||In-person|
|Sunday||11:00 am – 12:00 pm||Shloka Class||In-person|
|Sunday||3:10 pm – 4:10 pm||Shloka Class||Online|
|Sunday||11:00 am – 11:50 pm||Art Class||In-person|
|Sunday||11:00 am – 11:50 pm||Performing Arts(Bharatanatyam) Class||In-person|
|Sunday||11:00 am – 12:00 pm||Yoga(For all ages)||In-person|
|Sunday||11:00 am – 12:30 pm||Youth Leadership Program(YLP) (90 min class)||In-Person Meet (2nd and 4th Sundays)|
|Sunday||12 pm – 1 pm||Hindi Language Class||Online|
|Saturday||12 pm – 1 pm||Telugu Language Class||Online|
|Sunday||12 pm – 1 pm||Tamil Language Class||Online|
|Tuesday||7 pm – 7:45 pm |
7:50 pm – 8:35 pm
|Gujarati Beginner Language Class||Online|
|Wednesday||8:30 pm – 9:15 pm||Gujarati Intermediate Language Class||Online|
Important Notes For Parents!
2023-2024 Bala Vihar Book List
|Bala Vihar Class||Curriculum|
|Shishu Vihar (Below 3 yrs)||TBA|
|Amruta Vihar (Special Education)||TBA|
|Madhuram (Kindergarten)||Alphabet Safari|
|Satyam (Grades 1, 2)||Bala Ramayana and Hanuman|
|Shivam (Grades 3, 4)||Bala Bhagavatam, Krsna, Krsna Everywhere, My Twenty-Four Teachers|
|Sundaram (Grades 5,6)||Symbolism in Hinduism, Sacred land of India|
|Shivanandam ( Grades 7,8)||P.O.Box Mr.God, Vibhishana Geeta (Key to Success), Hindu Culture|
|Tapovanam (Grades 9,10)||Bhagavad Geeta (Chapters 1-9), Yato Dharma Tato Jayah (Mahabharatha)|
|Chinmayam (Grades 11,12)||Bhagavad Geeta (Chapters 10-18)|
Suggested Book List for Additional Learning
|Bala Vihar Class||Optional Book List||Price|
|Ati-Madhuram/Madhuram/Satyam||Krishna Loves you|
Krishna (Butter bash, Invisible friend, Rocks, Photocopies)
Go Hanuman Go
Hanuman Big Gig
Shiva Shiva Namah Shivaya – $8
Shiva’s Fish Swish
Ganesha Goes to Party
Boogie woogie Ganesha
|Shivam/ Sundaram||Tarangini Series|
Tell me a Story Color Series
Bala Vihar Guru Devs tales
Amar Chitra Katha of Swamiji
|Shivanandam||Conflicts and Confusion|
Not too Loose, .. Tight, Just Right
|Tapovanam||Storm to Perform|
Hindu culture an Introduction
Transforming Indians to transform India
Journey of a Master
Hinduism Frequently asked questions
|Chinmayam||Srimad Bhagavad Gita|
Gita for Children