Unplanned Learning (aka Education by Grandpa)

Like most homeschool moms, I spend a lot of time planning what I want the children to learn and how to go about teaching it.  I have planned (and tweaked) reading lessons for each child, printed maps for geography and created math drills.  But in all my planning, I didn’t consider what Grandpa might teach the kids.

Grandpa doesn’t officially sit down and “do lessons” with the kids.  In fact, he is too busy to sit down much, but he will often sing a ditty, crack a joke or recite a poem while he works.   And Grandpa’s conversation is often…………how should I say……….colorful, perhaps?

I get quite an education myself when the boys come traipsing back home through the woods from Grandpa’s house.  My boys quickly memorize what Grandpa says.  My eight-year-old boy particularly enjoys this poem often recited my Grandpa.

One fine day in the middle of the night,

Two dead soldiers got up to fight.

Back to back they faced each other,

Drew their swords and shot each other.

One was blind and the other couldn’t see,

So they chose a dummy for a referree.

A blind man went to see fair play

And a dumb man went to shout hurray.

A paralyzed donkey passing by

kicked the blind man in the eye,

Knocked him through a nine inch wall

Into a dry ditch and drowned them all.

A deaf policeman heard the noise

And came to arrest the two dead boys.

If you don’t believe this story is true,

Ask the blind man, he saw it too!

Hmmmmm…….quite a different poem from Christina Rossetti’s poem “Brown and furry/ Caterpillar in a hurry…,” one of the poems I taught them.

Thank you Grandpa for broadening our tastes in poetry.

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