I believe you can learn something from ANYTHING.
Well, except maybe from Tiger King. All of our brains need a good wash down after bingeing that hot mess.
But actually, I take that back. In an alternate universe where that train-wreck of a show is child-friendly, even Tiger King could be an excellent jumping off point for a unit study.
Two possible rabbit holes being: 1) a study of endangered wildlife and the mistreatment of animals in captivity or, even more applicable, 2) the effects of meth on the human brain. But really, where was that dude’s shirt?!
So before I talk more about these “rabbit holes,” let’s get serious for a minute.
Parents are mentally and emotionally maxed OUT right now. With the obvious result being that the majority of us are consuming a substantial amount of mindless garbage on Netflix. It’s filling some kind of a void because, well, things are weird.
They’re weird and they’re real and they’re scary, and I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m in the midst of some sort of bi-polar parenting crisis.
On any given morning, you may find me killing the homeschooling game while simultaneously organizing our medicine cabinet. I am caffeinated and focused. I’m coming up with new recipes for the Instant Pot and making lists of all the projects I’m going to tackle around the house.
Fast forward to six hours later when you’ll find me in the fetal position telling my children, “Sure, you can have Goldfish and ketchup for dinner. As long as you make it yourself.”
Ketchup officially counts as a vegetable during a pandemic. That’s right. You heard it here first.
And I feel like A LOT of you are right there with me; desperately trying to adult in a time when adulting feels so overwhelming.
It’s like we are all in this together… but also NOT. You know, because we can’t be near each other. Like I said, stuff’s weird.
But the thing is, our kids still need us to show up for them. And while I totally condone the occasional Goldfish and ketchup dinner, I also know I have to throw some peas and taters at them every now and again.
Feeding their minds is no different than feeding their bodies.
I am confident I can offset the copious amounts of television they’re watching by sprinkling in some thought-provoking stuff here and there.
It’s called balance, y’all.
This is where this rabbit hole learning comes in, and luckily for everyone, this most delicious kind of learning doesn’t look anything like school, AND (added bonus) it requires very little effort from the parent.
Finding the Rabbit Hole
A rabbit hole is basically akin to a unit study, but it is mostly student-led and completely interest-based.
Kiddos love learning this way because they think they are in charge. Your job is merely to serve as their travel guide.
Tumbling down these rabbit holes will help pass the time, and it will provide you and your kids with a sense of unity. And did I mention that all of this requires very little planning or preparation?
Fortnite or Frozen
But you’re thinking, “Okay Summer, Little Jimmy here isn’t exactly interested in Algebra.”
I HEAR YOU. I’m talking about their actual interests.
Maybe for your kids, it’s Pokemon or Fortnite. Or perhaps right now, it’s My Little Ponies and Frozen II.
Well, guess what? ALL of those are perfect jumping-off points for rabbit hole learning! Remember what I said, you can learn something from anything. You just have know how to facilitate it.
In my next post, I will share how you can take your kid’s current obsession and transform it into an all-hands-on-deck learning experience that he or she will truly enjoy.
I will teach you how to gently fan the embers of curiosity that are already glowing. I will also show you how to control the burn.
I hope you’ll join me as I explain in further detail how rabbit hole learning can work for you and your family.
In the meantime, Godspeed in your Netflix endeavors. May your demeanor be as sparkly as a Joe Exotic blouse, and may your Goldfish be extra, um, ketchup-y.
Until Then… Happy Learning!