I had a cool homeschooling moment yesterday, a shining example of interest-based learning! Lucy and Ben, coming a little late to the party, (because their dear ‘ol mom is always about 6-12 months behind) love to watch the music video, “What does the fox say?” Lucy asked me to pull it up on our Apple TV. Since I had my hands full holding Virginia, I asked her to type it in by herself, using sound spelling with some reassurance from me that she was hearing/choosing the right sounds for the key words that we agreed might work: “fox say.” (By the way, teaching a kiddo how to use search engines has to be one of the most relevant lessons ever, right?!)
The video popped up as the number one choice (victory!) I noticed as it started that it had the lyrics on the bottom of the screen.
“Hey,” I said, “There’s the word ‘fox’ that you just spelled, Lucy. And there’s the word ‘say.'”
All of a sudden a lightbulb went off for her (and me!). She could recognize LOTS of these words. Dog. Woof. Cat. Meow. Bird. Tweet. Mouse. Frog…etc. Wow! This is a super cool tool to learn words! She sang each word and watched the words pop up, as if like magic. You could see her brain working overtime — in the BEST way — putting it all together. She was BEAMING. So was I. Ben was dancing around like only a crazy two-year-old can.
The song ended and I had the idea…I bet there are TONS of other videos online that she knows the words to that have pop-up lyrics.
Um YES. So, so many. In fact, there’s a whole series on YouTube of Disney sing-alongs. Lucy, along with a bazillion other five-year-olds right now, loves the song “Let it Go” from Frozen. She sang each word at the top of her lungs as her hazel eyes followed along. Next we did “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid. The possibilities are endless for this song-loving early reader! (Quick tip for finding these: search for the song title plus either “sing-along” or “lyrics.”)
One of my all-time favorite parts of homeschooling is when this intersection happens: pure passion for something (music/singing) and learning a new skill (reading).
And maybe, someday, all of this interest-based learning will finally reveal the answer to the question that continues to baffle us and so many others: What does the fox say?