Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Singing to Learn

My Mum is a music therapist, and (I think!) an auditory learner -- but, being mostly visual, myself, I sometimes forget how important learning style is. Workbooks are pretty well designed for those of us who are mostly visual learners, but I have a son who is not. He can look at something, then go draw a pretty accurate picture of it, but somehow that doesn't translate to learning facts and... completing tasks. He DESPISES worksheets, and sometimes, in an effort to help him achieve some educational goal, I sit with him for hours, slowly coaxing him on to each ... part ... of each ... question. Needless to say, it's exhausting for both of us, and I know it's not the right thing for us to be doing.

But sometimes he breaks into song! It's the loveliest thing to listen to: high-pitched traditional folk-tunes, or something reminiscent of Gregorian chanting or Christmas hymns, but with lyrics describing the work he's doing.

Case in point:
"Oh! 3 take away 7 is really 13, so that makes that 8 over there, and now we say that 13 take away 7 is la la la la la!!! 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, oh yes it's 6! 6 and 6 and 6 it is it is, it truly is... So now 8 take away 4 is 4!!! So that means ninety-three minus forty-seven is really really forty-six!"

So sometimes I actually gather my brains about me, remember this, and separate him from his sister, which gives him free reign to sing his heart out. He gets some work done, he feels accomplished, and the house is filled with -- Gregorian math chanting. :--)

(And his sister, in the office, gets some peace and quiet to do her own work...)

I expect the singing helps him keep his mind on things, and keep apace.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Is Unschooling For You?

I absolutely love this post by Radio Free School -- so much I added it to the sidebar!

If you've ever asked yourself this question, or are now wondering if you should.... go read it!!!