Posted: May 20, 2015 5:16 pm
by Clive Durdle

Kids won't voluntarily learn stuff out of school.


Growing up, Michael Rosen’s mum and dad taught him to ask questions, to explore ideas and to learn about everything. He says parents can be their children’s best teachers – through the stuff of daily living, not lists of dry facts ... ey-to-life

Michael Rosen, the poet, broadcaster and former children’s laureate, has written a book on how to educate kids at home. As you might imagine, this has nothing to do with anything as dry and fusty as maths papers or lists of spelling and everything to do with the mess of ordinary life – the kitchen, the bathroom, the bottom of the garden.

It’s about trapping and scrutinising nits and listening to the pulse in your ear; it’s about telling stories and collecting old stones, messing about with the wires in old plugs and recounting Greek myths. His advice is inspiring and entertaining and thrilling and, at the same time (I felt I had to tell him), possibly apt to make the average, shall we say lazier, parent feel like a bit of a failure …

“Oh God. Oh no. Oh, don’t feel that,” Rosen says. “Oh no. Oh no. You’re not supposed to do all of it all of the time. Just some of it. Sometimes.” He cracks his hand against his forehead. “I don’t want anyone to feel guilty. Remember I’ve been doing this for …” he widens his mouth in an exaggeration of a wince. “Almost 40 years.”