unschool monday : sing it to me

The two Smalls are on sleep strike, and my blog posting has suffered accordingly. I have been thinking about unschool monday a lot and whether I can properly contribute to it. At the moment I feel like if I survive the day and don’t go to bed at 9.30pm in a crumpled heap, I’ve done well. I think of Christmas and a person in my head starts running away screaming “Yie! Yie! YIEEEE!”

Our existence at the moment doesn’t feel like it’s hugely conducive to learning. But we have made clothes peg fairies, a few Christmas decorations and had many hilarious discussions. I mentioned ‘other planets’ to Small Z the other day and she was instantly intrigued.

“Other planets?”

“Yeah. Like our planet is Earth, and there are other planets too…”

“Is Zimbabwe another planet?”

“Um. No. The other planets are called Mercury, Neptune, Venus, Uranus…”

“Who lives on Uranus? What things are on there?”

[It was so hard for me to not go hysterical, because I have the bottom humour of an eight-year-old.]

“Oh, Earth is the only planet that we know that has people on it. The others have, um, um… dust? And rocks – but no things that are living.”



How does a not-yet-four-year-old know about Zimbabwe? For the past six months we’ve listened fairly regularly to Here Come the ABCs by They Might Be Giants. The very first track is Alphabet of Nations – which is fairly self-explanatory. Song lyrics are such a great way to learn.

I did six years of French at school. Can I even say a sentence? Of course not. None of what we were taught was useful, it was all conjugating verbs and other grammatical crud. But I do remember the song we learnt, all in French, and what the words mean. I suppose Sesame Street and Play School have been working with the song-as-education-tool idea just about forever…


Bubbly Bubble Swim…


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  1. Little owlet is totally into audio learning. Songs have equalled literacy for her… Sometimes life is just to full on for any concerted effort at formal learning. That’s where unschooling is so brilliant. It’s the learning that happens when you think they’re not learning that truly counts. And fortunately it ebbs and flows, so one day, the baby will be grown and there’s so much more time for concerted efforts. Love to you.

  2. beth

    Thank you lovely 🙂
    It’s the Clayton’s learning – the learning they’re doing when you don’t think they’re learning. You are a big inspiration 🙂

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