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In a message dated 12/30/03 5:12:17 PM Central Standard Time,

> Kids who've spent very long in school, or with parents pushing "educational
> activities" at them, might be twitchy about museums and hikes and other
> really
> cool stuff, so a parent trying to deschool might have to avoid those yet for
> awhile - especially if they'd be inclined to put on the teacher voice and
> start
> quizzing and rushing on a museum visit or a nature hike or whatever. And
> don't even THINK about going along on a "field trip" with a homeschool
> group. :)
> We're off to visit the new grocery store that opened a few blocks away. Very
> cool.
> Deborah in IL

Liam had this same problem when he left school (took us 2 years to get
through it), although he was willing to go to museums, but anything that seemed even
vaguely schoolish was strictly verboten.

One of the coolest things we did during our first year was to go to a Chinese
market and shop for food for a traditional Chinese dinner that we prepared

He'd been interested in anything Chinese for awhile...we'd watched movies,
read stories, played with calligraphy (stamp sets), the Chinese horoscope, ate
out at Chinese restaurants, went to exhibits of Asian art and antiques at
museums and galleries, etc.

Anyway, I found recipes at the library and off the internet, and found an
authentic Chinese cookbook and travel book combination at a remainder store...he
enjoyed looking through the recipes with me and learning about the differences
between northern and southern Chinese cooking, among other things. We
planned the whole things out, complete with exotic ingredients, and headed out. We
must have wandered that store for hours, buying lucky bamboo and engraved
porcelain chopsticks along with all of our eventually found ingredients...then we
came home and had a blast cooking it and presenting it as traditionally as we

The wonton fell apart in the broth and the rice cakes were tough, but we sure
did have a good time. :-)

There are lots of ways of engaging the mind without resorting to schoolish

Laura B.

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** There are sometimes worksheets out in at the door, with the exhibit flyer
my kids look and laugh, because the questions are inane. They're not
designed to do anything but prove that the kids scanned the whole room, and
they DO
scan. They end up ignoring important and interesting things just to find
their answers. Just like answering the questions at the end of a chapter,
worse. One question for the cool Canadian sports exhibit was "Which exhibit
had a green ball?"**

On one of our zoo visits a few years ago, we were hanging out in the rain
forest building, two of the kids sketching and the third bouncing back and forth
watching something or other, when a cluster of mid-teens from a school group
came swirling through, yelling and pushing and reading a question aloud from
their worksheets to the docent accompanying them. When they had rushed on out of
the building a few minutes later Patrick noted "Mom, they didn't look at
ANYTHING if it wasn't on their sheets. I don't think they really saw anything in
here at all, not even the bats they were answering the question about." The
docent hung out watching my children sketch bats and foxes for a few more
minutes, and then we were on our way.

Deborah in IL

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