21 November 2011

unschool monday :: simple lessons


A couple of weeks ago, we were sitting on our favourite hill, having fish and chips for dinner after picking Huz up from work. We were chatting and out of the blue, Big Owlet asked "what's a noun?" We were a bit surprised, because we have no idea where she's even heard of nouns, but there you go... We went on to answer and explain what nouns are and verbs, adverbs and adjectives are too, using examples we could see around us and making up sentences...

She ruminated on it for a couple of weeks, then today we were playing with words on the fridge. As we do from time to time. Big Owlet is teaching Little Owlet how to write words with the single letters and Big Owlet and I play with the words to make sentences. We usually take turns to add words to make the sentence and that's how we rolled today, when Big Owlet said "oh, that's a noun." "Yeah, cool, that's right!" I exclaimed. "Do you remember which is the verb and which is the adjective?" She proceeded to point them out effortlessly and together we pointed out other examples of verbs, nouns and adjectives on the fridge.

Later we picked up Huz, had fish and chips on our favourite hill again, and I told him of our afternoon. Told him of our play with words on the fridge. Marveled at how easily she grasped concepts that I remembered struggling with at school. I remembered reading workbooks and trying to make sense of it all (I can still see the page and me staring at it), and having it only kind of, sort of, stick after weeks of practice... But then today, she showed such a clear understanding after such a short period of time. Really she's been thinking about it every time she reads, but perhaps it stuck so well because she brought the question to us... Another simple lesson for me in trusting her ability to find the questions and our ability to answer them as she needs and that learning really just does fit in with life.

Do have a wander around last week's unschool monday linkups and see life learning happening in other people's nests. I'm still making my way around, but I can see plenty of happy wandering...


  1. Oh goodness. I too can picture my teacher pointing to words on a blackboard and it all just sounding like a load of wiffle waffle.

    Something to be said for this unschooling business Mama Owlet <3

  2. This is a beautiful post. I love it!

  3. Yep, learning really does happen when it comes from the kids. It's so lovely to be a part of, isn't it? Even though I would regard myself as a radical unschooler, I remain human and so I have my normal worries and concerns just like any mum does. But, thankfully, they disappear as quickly as they arrive when I see my child living and learning so freely and naturally and loving what he is doing. We have such lucky kids, don't you think?

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I hold on to the belief that kids can learn to read (and understand grammar) without drills and worksheets. I don't recall studying grammar, and, yet, have a very solid grasp of it. It just becomes a part of you, something you can sense. I'm so glad to see that it has worked that way for your kids, and hope it will for mine, too.


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