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What We Love To Do - instead of school

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've just created a new blog and wanted to invite you all to join me to share what you love to do instead of school. http://whatwelovetodo.ning.com/

We just got back from the beach and everywhere we saw school buses and schools and no kids living and learning, just contained and transported without regard to where they wanted to go or what path they wanted to take. So, we're going on an adventure and hope you all will come along - it is called What We Love To Do, instead of school.

All unschooling families are welcome to create their own blog about What You Love To Do, instead of school. We've started a list of activities and places where we want to go, see, do. Want to come along? Maybe we'll meet up somewhere along the way.

Ds, age 9 and I want to visit all 50 states via train museums, playgrounds, mini-golf courses, swimming pools, hands-on science museums, camping, volcanoes, swinging bridges, festivals and Pokemon tournaments...

What is the MOST fun thing in your state, not educational, not 'must see', but Joyful to a 9 year old boy? We are going to travel and enjoy America through the eyes of a 9 year old, always unschooled boy.

Pat Robinson
post #2 of 20
Someone asked me yesterday, "what do you love to do? "

(Well not someone, but some web form they had written up that I had to fill out in order to enter their playground, I mean, their blog of the same name "Do what you love" as is writ large on the Cheerios box. Don't ask me how I know. For the record I am using real, albeit rolled, oats now. And steel cut oats. Next step will be whole oats ... but why reach the mountain top, when you can admire it?)

Having long forgotten the answer to that question, I deftly dodged to "what does my daughter love to do" and instantly knew it was "play Clue." Indeed I promptly shut off the computer and we played Clue. (I love websites like that that remind you of your priorities. Such a website I encountered long ago made me recognize how pointless it was to buy toys. A bold move on the part of the author, as the website was there to sell toys. And yet, there it said, "your child does not need toys." Exactly what I needed to hear.)

(I get in trouble for my digressions sometimes. It happened to me very recently. By putting selected material in parentheses, I hope it is easier to follow this story.)

It was a special game of clue, kind of At Last We Get to Play Clue ... because at last dh was done solving the Strong CP Problem. Well he solved it weeks ago, but he had to write, calculate, draw diagrams, find errors, then check to see if those were really errors ... and SEND. We had once valiantly tried playing a two person game of Clue, dd and I. It is not so bad actually. As dd says, "you can just say what is on your card, you don't have to secretly show it to me."

But AT LAST we got to "do what we love" because that Strong CP Problem was signed sealed and delivered AT LAST And then I realized that all along dh was doing what he loved, that is, particle physics. In spite of leaving the field long ago, the field has not left him. And the idea burst forth. It reminded me of Fukuoka, who said, according to Thomas J. Elpel, that

it is ego-centric to think that people grow crops. Ultimately it is nature that grows crops. He sees modern agriculture as doing-this and doing-that to grow crops, but it is meaningless work. (Source: Green University).

Thomas J. Elpel goes on to say that what Fukuoka does "is manipulate habitat to favor the crops he wants to grow. He works within the laws of ecology to tilt the ecosystem in favor of the plants he wants. Then his crops virtually invade and grow like weeds."

That last figure of speech (I don't know whether to call it simile because I have never been at ease with the word "weed" and maybe crops and weeds aren't so unlike after all) stuck with me as I walked around my neighbourhood, seeing all kinds of grass burst forth through the pavement. Which from one perspective is alarming - since in theory these are actually "weeds" that we do not want growing, like anti-social elements or rotten apples that threaten ruin. But on the other hand, is it not heartening that though we build barriers, nature overcomes? When I compare agriculture to education (as I often do) I think of nurturing the ecosystem (the whole ecosystem) and letting the learning burst forth, invade and grow. But it is also nice to think that even in spite of our shortcomings on the ecological front, green grows. That wild, irresistible yearning to grow, to root, to grasp the sunshine.

Dh says in fact that he might not have written the paper if he were in the field all these years. Maybe because he would then be doing-this and doing-that.

(inspired by "What We Love To Do," the group Pat announced above)
post #3 of 20
I have a seven year old boy who loves the Seattle Center in Seattle, Wa -- there are museums there such as the Pacific Science Center and the Science Fiction museum, and there are also arcade games. Oh, and he loves the ferries across the sound.
post #4 of 20
Here in IL the museums in Chicago are a no-brainer. In our neck of the woods there is the best place to go fossil hunting, they found the tully monster here. Its called Mazonia (State Park?) and it's in Braidwood, IL. Fishing and fossil hunting. If you know what to look for it is easy to still find a fossil every time you visit!

In peace & health,
post #5 of 20
for Visitor/tourist things here in Virginia, I guess our favorites have been Williamsburg and Jamestown, however they are no where near the part of VA that we are in. Closer to home we like to hike and/or backpack on the Appalacian Trail, but honestly we like that all the way from Maine to Georgia (although we really haven't been any further south than NC, we have hit portions in each of the states north of that- hey we've done all of it in Maryland.) We enjoy the Barter theatre in Abingdon, and there is a nice trail called the "Creeper" trail which we often tie to going to the theatre to make a day of it. There are nice beaches on the eastern shore, and you might enjoy some crabbing or sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.

How long do you want to spread out your tour of the US? Your son may be a good bit older before you finish it and the things that interest him may be much different in the first state you hit then they will be when you get to the last state.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
These are wonderful suggestions!!

Thank you!

post #7 of 20
my daughter (age 7) had a great time in Concord, MA - Walden Pond and Louisa May Alcott house. And of course taking the metro, seeing Robert McCloskey's ducklings in the park. If you can go in the summer you can usually find outdoor plays and concerts.
post #8 of 20
We love the beaches of the Cape (MA), Walden Pond, and riding into Boston on the train Mine are 5 and 3, and riding the train is still a really exciting trip for them! We love the Museum of Science in Boston too. And the Children's Museum. And the Acton Children's Museums.
post #9 of 20
i used to live in PA--i really loved old city philadelphia and they have a LOT of great museums. i loved to hike in Valley Forge Park--and honestly, there are a lot of cool parks and historical sites in PA.

we live in NZ now. there's lots of cool stuff to do, most of which we haven't done, but we look forward to doing it.
post #10 of 20
Oh, and when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, we loved to go to Tilden Park in Berkeley, and ride the steam trains. They have a little farm there although I don't recall there being many farm animals there.
post #11 of 20
My kids love running around in the adirondaks... their grandparents live up there. I guess any mountains/woods would do, though. My kids are little, though...
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
LOVE these suggestions!! I'm keeping a list, by state.

post #13 of 20
Mt Tremper NY has the worlds largest kaliedescope. It's really big. And that area in general is really fun.

And PA has ringing rocks:
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
those ringing rocks are amazing!

post #15 of 20
My son loves going to Flagstaff for Lowell Observatory, 'Home of Pluto'

Phoenix has a Childrens Museum, and Frank Lloyd Wright House.




Ds is 10
post #16 of 20
My 7yo girl loves the Ohio Caverns......... and going to Roscoe village to see the Amish lifestyle and explore what it is like to live that kind of simple life, going to the Columbus Zoo to see the polar bears and baby elephant, and visiting COSI. We also have plans to, in the next couple years hopefully, take her up to Cedar Point and down to Kings Island, go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame up in Cleveland, and a few hundred other things. There is a lot of fun stuff in Ohio, including a hotel over in Granville that is supposed to be haunted (the Buxton Inn) if you are into ghosts and haunted houses.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
MDC needs a "Like" option on posts. (I've been too much on FB, obviously)

These suggestions are so helpful! Thank you very much!

post #18 of 20
We are in Virginia, but you could do this in a dozen states--go through a corn maze under the full moon. It was completely magical in a way I can't describe. We keep talking about it! A great fall activity. Maybe not available in AZ.
post #19 of 20
There's a mall here in Syracuse, NY called Carousel Center. My 10 year old boy loves to go there, play some games in the arcade, ride the carousel, then go downstairs to the comic book store.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yes, our son would love a tour of the arcades of America!

(corn mazes give me claustrophobia I didn't even know I had)

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