More on Unschooling
OUR SEPTEMBER NOT-BACK-TO-SCHOOL CURRICULUM by Gail Nagasako
September 7 we’re off to LA to visit friends and relatives in the area for a few days. We also plan to contact some retail outlets to get them to sell our line of milk covers — especially the Maui Dragon series, designed by Thumper as part of our last year’s curriculum. Count this as geography, sociology, and business administration.
From September 10 through the 26th we’ll be in Michigan visiting family there. One of Thumper’s favorite spots there is the University’s Museum of Natural History, so we’ll again tour that — put anthropology and more sociology on our curriculum.
We’ll also be watching the UM Wolverines football team: on national TV, we expect to see them win over Notre Dame; and then we’ll be there in person when they trounce Houston. The excitement and pomp of Michigan football & its half-time show, with the largest attendance of any college or professional sport in the US is an experience not to be forgotten. Add sports, music, math (we expect high scoring) and more sociology to our curriculum.
Of course, it’ll be fall when we are there and we’ll be helping my folks rake the many leaves from the two kinds of oaks growing in their yard. We’ll also be experiencing the different weather of that latitude and season, as we have on our other visits during winter, spring and summer. Chalk up credit for community service, astronomy, botany, meteorology and geography.
Another favorite spot of ours is the Hands-on Museum, four floors of fun activities illustrating various scientific principles. There’s some physics.
We will be searching though University archives to locate a current address for a distant relative of ours, so add geneology and methods of research to our list.
Ann Arbor and the outlying areas were formed by glaciers that scoured the area long ago and left rivers and lakes. We’ll be hiking and biking trails around these areas. We’ll be on the lookout for Indian fossils and for poison ivy! There’s more sports and botany plus geology.
As always, we’ll be reading some great books (literature), and we will squeeze in a trip to Greenfield Village & The Henry Ford Museum. These have unbelievably abundant items of historical interest: Thomas Edison’s laboratory, just as it was when he worked in it, the chair Lincoln was in when he was shot and the courtroom where he first practiced law, the first cars, the Spirit of St. Louis (the airplane that Charles Lindberg flew on the first transatlantic flight), and much, much more. There’s enough history for several years of curricula.
Flying home to Maui, crossing the mainland US is always interesting. This will be Thumper’s 11th trip to Michigan and each time we try to identify some landmarks in the terrain below. This year we’ll be on the lookout for the Mississippi and Missouri rivers as we’ve been following the flood coverage in Newsweek. There’s more geography.
So a simple vacation to visit friends and relatives with activities scheduled for the fun of it, provides us with real-life, hand-on history, meteorology, geography, sociology, business administration, anthropology, sports, music, math, community service, astronomy, physics, methods of research, literature, geology and botany. Maybe we’ll send you a postcard — oops, add writing to that curriculum!