Archive for the ‘Learn Nothing Day’ Category

Our 7th Learn Nothing Day. Read that – 7th!!! Holy cow on a hill! I just went back through the blog (painful at the best of times!) and last year I missed reporting…so, hey, maybe we actually DID learn nothing last year?!

This year. not so much. I woke up to panic in the house. Kai had a virus pop up page come on his laptop. So – panic stations…download Malwarebytes, Avast, install adblocker, run scans…fail, then…in the non-learning department. Kai learnt that watching Kiss Cartoon is fraught with pop-up threats!

He then skyped with friends and played Overgrowth for a few hours. Maybe he didn’t learn anything…yeah, nah.

Then we decided we’d just give up, and make it a normal Sunday….so we went for a drive to a waterfall we hadn’t been to before (disaster right there!), hiked up it. Took photos. ID’d plants (my new hobby, to the immense boredom of everyone else!). Went back down to the coffee shop for hot chocolate and played some Pokemon Go (and caught our first Pikachu!)

Steavenson Falls – one of Victoria’s highest drop waterfalls – 122m (sorry if you learnt something new!)


Laccaria species fungi at the top of the waterfall (yeah, now I’m just showing off!)

It’s 7.13pm. Kai’s playing Overgrowth again – sorting his stats, resources, trying to level up. I’m about to watch Masterchef, so bound to learn something new too….Kai’s also reading Harry Potter before bed….and each night learning something different in the story that he’s seen a billion times in the movie (mostly that Dudley is even more obnoxious in the book, it seems!).

Oh! And we just played 3 rounds of TimeLine – I lost all 3, as usual…but learnt a heap…and so did Kai. We googled what started WW1. How foolish!? Surely that could have waited till tomorrow…

So. 7 years fail. At least we are consistent ;)


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Our 4th Learn Nothing Day was 3 days ago. Goodness me – time flies!  I took photos, and recorded it, but only just got back to internet, so here I am!   As usual, our day of trying to learn nothing has been a huge failure. But it started out promisingly….

We have been on holidays in Wales with my cousin Gary, his wife and 4 of his 5 kids. In the middle of nowhere in a cottage. I figured if we didn’t really go outside, and tried to minimize other activities we might not learn tooooo much. We got up late-ish…the kids watched a movie. A new movie for Kai – eek! Called Dinosaur Hunters….double eek… I didn’t watch it, so I can surmise maybe he learnt nothing new (but I doubt that!). After the movie, Kai played some games on his iPod…hmmm, nothing to see here…

Then it went from bad to worse….some of the kids were playing 4 Kings in the lounge…


And Kai decided to show Poppy how to play 5 Crowns outside….


Aggghhh! Damn those learning kids!

Then me, Kai and Poppy played Uno…



And Kai and Berry played some soccer in the back garden…


By now I figure it’s a lost cause….but we add insult to injury by going out. We went to Pwllheli (which is pronounced pith-elli – go figure – crazy Welsh!)..On the way, Gary was playing some music, and Kai learnt some dance movies from his cousins in the car…and has memorized the words to #thatpower by Wil I Am…

We walked all around the shops. Went to the fun fair…


Went to the fancy sweet shop (no pics, I was in a different shop!)

Then we went to have a BBQ at the beach…At the beach there was swimming. Kai’s freestyle improved dramatically…


We found a shark egg (which is next to my finger as a size guide so we could later ID it….it was a catshark (dogfish) phew – thank goodness we couldn’t google on Learn Nothing Day!)


We BBQ’d on weird disposable BBQ’s and the kids made plates from rocks – and Kai used a jagged shell to cut his bread!



They went climbing……really, terrifyingly, high!


More swimming, rock and shell collecting, and a drive home with more music and dancing. Kai looked through a bit of his new gaming magazine when we got home, and now he’s going to bed…

Yeah. So. Epic fail….see y’all next year!!

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Goodness, that year went quickly! It’s Learn Nothing Day again (and Sandra Dodd’s birthday!). Since we just got home last night, I was quite optimistic that we’d probably stay home most of today, thereby minimising all opportunities to experience something new, anything in nature, and other heinous potential learning situations.



Kai was up before 7.30am, and watched some TV. I was asleep, so I can’t know for sure if or what he learnt at that point. Then he put on Call of Duty on the Wii. And played non-stop till about 2pm. He appears to have finished the entire game, including getting past a number of levels he hadn’t completed previously, and learnt new moves. Bah! Fail!

Still. If I was to quantify the learning at this stage, I’d say it was surely minimal, right?

Then we did actually leave the house. It was a worrying trip to the supermarket – potentially fraught with learning…Kai played the iPod on the way….It’s our local supermarket, so….nothing to see there, right? Well, apparently no – we managed to find a fruit we’d never seen before – a red grapefruit. We bought it. We ate some of it when we got home…Nooooooo!!!


Then Kai decided to watch The Hobbit. Since he’s watched it numerous times before, I decided that was a fairly safe activity. I read my Game of Thrones book (yeah…I learnt all about a whole bunch of people!)…Then he asked if he could make a spear, but not any old spear, it had to have two points. I asked if it was like one in The Hobbit. Nope….he’d only gone and started reading the Book of Trolls while I was in the bedroom! One of the Trolls has a spear with two points!

Then he watched Horrible Histories. Disaster. He’s also designed and cut out some cardboard weapons, based on the one’s in Call of Duty. So. We failed. Dismally. Again. It’s only 8pm. Anything could be learnt between now and bedtime….


Anyone else do any better!?


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After dismal failures in 2010 and 2011, this year we had high hopes….NO learning would happen in our house today. We were going have an entire day off learning….yep – today is Learn Nothing Day!

It all started promisingly. Kai got up late, around 9.30am. It looked like a picture-book, stereotypical, radical unschooling morning (in the mind of a non-radical unschooler, obviously!). Knotty hair. Slept in yesterday’s clothes. Sugary cereal for breakfast in front of the TV. I was happy with our non-learning progress up until around 10.15am when it all started to go horribly wrong….

Kai found a collectable card from somewhere or another, and asked me what it said and what the super power of the animal on the card was…..these questions were a little disconcerting, but I decided that no real learning was happening….but then he asked me to look it up online. We found out it was called Charger, a Core-tech Monsuno, resembling a mixture of moose, buffalo and armadillo (seriously – check it out!)

Still, this was information about a fictional animal, so it doesn’t qualify as real learning….right?! And I’m choosing to ignore all the reading and maths that were involved on the card!

I was deliberately not opening any interesting links on Facebook this morning, and avoiding work for fear of potentially learning something new about wildlife corridors or anything else work related!

At noon we had a doctor’s appointment….On the drive there, Kai played a battle game on his iPod. He was earning money in battle to spend on new weapons and armour…still….that’s not ‘real’ maths, is it??

At the doctors, we waited for a half-an-hour, and there was more game playing (hooray for the iPod!)…when we went in, we discussed Kai’s recent allergy reactions, as he has chosen to go get allergy tested to find out what he reacted to.

The doctor looked in his ears, up his nose, and down his throat, and listened to his chest. He talked about allergies, asthma and eczema and how they are related, and also drew us a picture of the inner ear and told us what happens when you get an infection in there. So….the doctors was a set-back, I admit it, but we marched bravely on to meet friends at the beach….

We chose the beach because we go there a lot. Nothing new to learn there, right??  Seen it all before….

Of course, we failed at the beach too….there was drawing, playing, rock and shell collecting….Kai’s best find was this rock with holes in it.

We looked it up (clearly we’ve given up by now!) and it’s a limestone rock, and the holes are made by marine worms (possibly horseshoe worms ) that secrete acid to make the holes and live in the rock! Cool!!

On the way home, we got stuck in school traffic, and discussed more about allergies – Kai’s nervous about the allergy test, so I asked him to ask his friend Summer what it’s like, as she’s already had some allergy tests. He asked what she was allergic too. I said dairy (amongst other things), and then we went through listing all the foods that are classed as dairy, what’s in them that makes you allergic, and what alternatives you could eat instead….this discussion was rounded up by Kai saying he’d be very sad if he couldn’t eat ice cream!

So, big fail by 4pm….and things only got worse when we got home…Kai played with his soldiers, lining them up, creating barricades and enemy lines….

 ……and while I was out at the gym, he’s apparently been reading a book from the library about WWII fighter pilots, and is now watching Horrible Histories! AGHH!! Disaster!! And it’s only 8.30pm, so probably at least another hour or so of learning left!!

We’re already googling Egyptian recipes for International Food Night (yes, we’ve resurrected it…monthly only though, so we don’t get fed up!).

One final photo…this was what it looked like at the beach today – how could anyone fail to learn anything on an amazing, beautiful day like this! (or any other day, obviously – I just like this picture!).

So, another monumental fail for Learn Nothing Day! This is our third…it doesn’t get any easier! Ha ha!! If you blogged about Learn Nothing Day, leave a link in the comments (I could do a link-up, but don’t know how, and really shouldn’t learn something new right now!)…

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So today, July 24th, is officially Learn Nothing Day. Instigated by Sandra Dodd (I believe it may be her birthday), Learn Nothing Day is an effort in futility. Since, as unschoolers, we all know that there is no way you can go a day without learning anything.

This morning I told Kai that today we were supposed to learn nothing, and I asked him if he thought we could go a whole day without learning anything. He looks somewhat concerned, and answered with a resounding ‘No’!

Our attempts to learn nothing today have failed dismally. While Kai was watching some episodes of Sponge Bob (possibly a rare occasion when it *may* actually be possible not to learn anything!?), I found an exoskeleton of a millipede in the vacuum bag.

We pulled it out, and Kai examined the rings under his new microscope. None of us knew if millipedes shed their skin, or whether the exoskeleton just gets left when they die. So we looked it up. They shed their skin……….

Kai wanted to know if Samurai’s and Ninja’s hold their swords with one hand or two. We looked it up. Seems like they both hold with two hands….

Kai told us he could blow air out of his eyeballs if he held his nose and blew. He showed us. Brett said he might hurt his ear drums if he kept doing it. Kai asked what ear drums were. Brett explained……

Yesterday we went to a Japanese Cultural Day at a library in town, and today we learnt how you write KAI in Japanese……(カイ)

I did some work today, and finished off an information leaflet about climate change, fire and biodiversity. So, I learnt a whole lot more about that. And I learnt how to preserve hyperlinks in a word document when you turn it into a pdf!

I also learnt that Kai has a lot more words he can sight read than I thought when I watched him on the computer. But, apparently ‘I’m not reading, I just know which one is the word EXIT and which one is PLAY.’ Can’t argue with that!

Kai helped me with dinner, and chopped up the paneer cheese into cubes for the curry. Whilst chopping into cubes he discovered some things about fractions and times tables….for example….he determined that when you chop one square in half, then quarters, the quickest way to get the most cubes with the least cutting is to cut two quarters at once into four! 


After that, we watched the end of Merlin, and Kai and Brett asked what Camelot was. I thought it was the castle of King Arthur, but wasn’t sure, so we looked it up (I know – it’s outrageous we don’t know that, but we’re biologists !)…I was right, and we learnt more stuff about the history of Camelot.

And right now we are all watching  ‘Great Migrations’ doco on TV and are learning a whole lot of other stuff about migrating animals.

When school children get home, their parents often ask them what they learnt that day at school. How often do they say ‘Nothing’? (Fairly often if they are anything like I was!). I don’t think an unschooled child would ever consider a day when they couldn’t learn anything…….

Since I didn’t have a blog last year on Learn Nothing Day, and since we had such an amazing day last year, I thought I’d post a pic this year…. we spent Learn Nothing Day 2010 snorkeling on the Florida Keys….Kai learnt to snorkel, and spent the afternoon underwater with the crabs, fish and other sea stuff….another total fail!

I challenge you to inform me if you and your family actually managed to learn nothing today!

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