Unschooling Themes: The Body


Nookie is totally obsessed with the human body at the minute. It’s all she talks about. It all started from a chance re-watching of an old movie on YouTube… a spooky black-and-white film of dancing skeletons. From there she happened across other videos about the skeleton, and ended up watching a very informative documentary film about the skeletal system. For such an advanced video she loved it and watched it literally dozens of times (I could now tell you all about the axial and appendicular skeletal systems, as well as the differences in bone structure. Ha ha). This led onto other, more cartoonish, videos about the skeletal and muscular systems, the digestive system and the blood, heart and brain.

This is often how our unschooling topics start. Whoever says kids shouldn’t watch any TV is plain wrong! Something sparks her interest and from there we can follow along, learning, and see where that interest takes us. We’ve had lots of discussions since about how the body works, where babies are made, what happens if we break a bone, what blood does, what happens to our food after we’ve eaten it, etc. Then I remembered that the children’s museum about an hour’s journey away currently has an exhibition on the human body. So off we went. Nookie was VERY excited!

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We got to see how much blood is inside the body, what each organ looks like, how big the heart is, etc.

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This led to discussions about what the brain does.

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We spent a lot of time looking at the X-rays. Nookie just loved them.

photo(11)This was definitely her favourite. We spent a lot of time standing in front of the dancing skeleton, copying his moves and talking about how the bones and muscles move.

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She really liked this too, and it helped her understand how the muscles and bones work together.

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This is just brilliant. The “baby” in the mummy’s tummy actually kicks when you touch it… it feels so real! Nookie thought it was fascinating.

Since the museum we’ve acquired a book about the human body from the library, and had lots of conversations about broken bones. We’ve also played with skull ornaments.

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I’ve asked for ideas from other unschoolers on a Facebook page, and the next things we’ll be doing are drawing around Nookie’s body on a large piece of paper and drawing on the bones. I also plan to get her Gray’s anatomy colouring book, and perhaps even one of those models where you can take all the organs out and put them back in again.

This is unschooling. And it’s brilliant!

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