Thursday, April 19, 2012

Unschooling Tools : Around Town

One of my favorite parts of unschooling is Go.

Do I say 'my favorite' a lot?  It seems like I do.  Ah well, it really is  a goodly sort of life, hmm?

It's not something that belongs to unschoolers, exclusively, of course - but rather than 'Go'ing being just an extra-curriicular, 'field trip fun' sort of thing for my family, it's the energy -the currency- of this way of life.
Bringing the world home to the child and showing children the world is just what we do.

Living in and exploring the world is a major part of our curricula.  Its peoples... its hills and valleys... its caves and buildings and gardens and stages and factories and animals and museums.... these are the things that inspire, prompt, and teach us.

Going and being out in the world isn't necessarily about picking up a clipboard as we pass through the door, and checking things off as we explore the museum.  It's not about proving we're absorbing certain things, in a particular way and time.

 Ghost town : Peerless

And it may even be that nothing new was obviously learned that day at the museum at all.  But it's not the provable lessons we're after.
It's being in the world.

A dinosaur dig site

It's seeing the world.  It's making the connection in our minds between this howler monkey and the one on the documentary a couple of months ago.
It's hearing the world--communicating and interacting with friends, zookeepers, musicians, family, and strangers.

 Pictographs in the Buckhorn Wash

It's getting to know the world by touching it--petting, stroking, climbing, leaping, uncovering, wading, tossing, building, deciphering, tasting, digging, pushing, rearranging, smashing, lifting, launching, defining....

 State Capital

Just being interested in the world is the teacher.  When we're interested, we're inspired and learning
Lehman Cave

We all have lots and lots of places around us that will elate and embolden us if we keep our minds and hearts open to them.

 Cathedral of the Madeleine

living history museums
roadside fruit stands
farmers markets
ghost towns
swimming pool
science center
natural history museuem
art museum
children's museum
library programs
roller skating
nature trails
botanical gardens
pick your own farms
drive-in movie
dollar movie
petting zoo
ice skating
state or county fair
rock climbing
fish hatchery
archaeological sites
tallest buildings
oldest buildings
churches, temples, monasteries, and cathedrals
state capital or town hall
small town museums
beach - lake or seaside
fun center (with gokarts, miniature golf, laser tag, batting cages, arcade)
small airport
train station
bus station
live theatre
children's theater
symphony hall
Junior Ranger programs at state parks
letterboxing and geocaching
animal shelter
icecream shoppe
fossil hunting

When I look at this list, I think, "Wow, that's a lot of stuff!  A lot of living."  Fifty-something places to go.  Even two a week would be pretty adventurous, I think.  Make for a pretty great life.
Then I look again at the list... that would mean going to a ghost town twice a year.  Huh.  We go more like four or five times.  Or to the roller rink.  Same thing; probably four or five times a year.  Parks?  Well.  Probably at least two dozen times a year.  The science center?  Have been twice in the last few months.  Library programs?  Six or seven.  Ice skating?  Planetarium?  Children's theater?

I can't help but smile.  Many of these things we do at least three or four times a year.  Some a dozen.
This part of unschooling is a part of unschoolers themselves, I believe.  A part of the adventuresome spirit.
I don't mean that you have to be willing to constantly Go to be a successful unschooler, but rather that Curiosity (whether at home, or Out) is a consequence of living life this way.  I think as you open your mind to what the world has to offer, the more seeking of that knowledge you become.
The adventure makes the Adventurer.  The curiosity makes the Curious.  The interesting makes the Interested.

It's a good life.

*   *   *

Next week : Unschooling Tools : History

This post is part of the Unschooling Tools series.
Other posts are Unschooling Tools : Games
Unschooling Tools : Math Play
Unschooling Tools : Television
Unschooling Tools : For Creativity
Unschooling Tools : For Reading


  1. Love This! I will have and go back and read the series. I missed it somehow. It is busy, busy around here.

  2. That is quite a list! These posts are great.

  3. Wow! I love this unschooling tools series! Thanks for sharin them!

  4. Love this post - it is a goodly kind of life, isn't it?? I love the way you just live life and love it - very inspiring stuff!


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!