the network for radical unschooling families
A couple of years ago, David and I had the bright idea of a calendar called Sock Monkey Shakespeare. The idea came to me when I had a dream--during a very high fever--of a sock monkey portraying Hamlet. I lay in bed, brain roasting, 4:30 in the morning, and let the idea stew in my bubbling juices. A sock monkey wouldn't hold a skull--no, he'd hold fluff!
When David woke up, I told him my idea, and he loved it. We bought some Rockford Red Heel socks, made the monkeys and their costumes and sets by hand, I read 16 Shakespeare plays, and we watched every Shakespeare-related movie we could obtain.
Two months later, we had a calendar, and a super-cute one at that. We, at the time, knew nothing about marketing, however, so the calendar just kind of sat there.
Today, however, it's serving as a great unschooling tool! Georgie and Lily are playing with the celebrities themselves, and have been having a great time going through the calendar. Georgie knows the beginning of the "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" speech, and she's been teaching it to Lily.
As they've been leafing through the calendar, Georgie has been telling Lily the synopses each photo (she's had the tour of the calendar before), and I've been amazed at how well she remembered each one. She's also familiar with William Shakespeare from a great Magic Tree House book!
Romeo and Juliet from Sock Monkey Shakespeare (c) David and Amy Jones 2011
I'm so glad that they have an early appreciation and understanding that Shakespeare meant his plays to be fun and entertaining, not boring or the bases for long, tedious projects. Learning was never meant to be work!