My Kids and I Learned Everything We Know from 'Schoolhouse Rock'

All together now: "Conjunction junction, what’s your function? Hooking up words and phrases, and clauses." I bet you remember more than you think. I’m actually wondering if Schoolhouse Rock is the equivalent of homeschooling because, I must confess, much of what I know came from watching it.

Do you know the rule of multiplying nines, the preamble to the Declaration of Independence or how a bill becomes a law? I do, and now, so do my children. I bought them the 30th anniversary edition of Schoolhouse Rock, and my 5-year-old daughter is reciting multiplication tables and talking about adverbs. My son knows Whitney invented the cotton gin, and what an interjection is. As for me, I retained far more information from these mini-lessons, aired between the Super Friends and The Smurfs, than I did in my early years of schooling.

For me, popping in the DVD is a trip down memory lane (and a refresher course), but that’s not the only reason it’s worth playing. The animation, though "old school," is fascinating and novel to my kids. The songs, though from the '70s, are brilliantly written and chock full of relevant information ... well, except for Pluto. Who could have foreseen that by the 30th anniversary of "Interplanet Janet," one of the planets of which she sang would be off the official list? Unless some time traveler alters the space-time continuum, I think it’s a safe bet that History Rock, Multiplication Rock, and Grammar Rock will be unscathed. Science Rock is on shakier ground, but for now, my children and I are learning something new every viewing, which is more than I can say about watching SpongeBob SquarePants.

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