Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Week of UN-school

The first week of unschool is an oxymoron if you understand what unschooling is all about. Life learning never starts or ends. It's always happening from the womb to the grave. But with every other person asking Z when he was starting kindergarten and some of his school-going buddies starting this year, he decided he wanted to have an official "first day". So we planned a special week of fun to kick off our "Kindergarten Year".

At his request, our first day was spent here.

Aboard the USS Constellation. The Constellation was the last ALL SAIL war ship built by the US Navy. Launched in 1854 she carried a crew of 325 men and boys from the United States to the Mediterranean and Africa. They carried out everything from diplomatic missions, to deterring "commerce raiders" (a.k.a. pirates), to intercepting slave ships and freeing captured slaves. She runs 199 feet stem to stern and served the US Navy for 100 years.

We spent the afternoon...

...awestruck...
... at the "food" sailors had to eat...

... at the simplicity of the ship's surgeon's supplies...

... at the sleeping quarters.

We idled away the sunny day...

...drawing...

... talking all the while about what stood out to him, what he would change, what he wanted to remember...


We walked the decks...

...pondering...
... the power of the men who worked the rigging...

... the contents of the trunks packed for a transoceanic voyage...

... the life of the captain in his stately cabin and dining area...


He scurried around the ship...

...plotting...

... how to stow away and blend in...

... what it would be like as a "powder monkey" -- or ship's boy who helps the men load and blast the 16 canons on the gun deck...


We ended our visit...

...dreaming...
It was a good day.

11 comments:

Masasa said...

Sounds awesome, and like a wonderful "first day!"

Stuff On My Blog said...

What an amazing day! He will definitely remember that for along time :)

Joy said...

What a cool ship to visit! The meal looks simple. I'll bet it would have gotten old after many months. Isn't it fascinating how they survived on so little? We can hardly imagine eating the same things 2 days in a row without needing some variety. Of course, scurvy was rampant so maybe it wasn't the best lot in life. Anyway, thanks for sharing your pics. I'll bet Z had a great time!

Witchy Mom's Homeschool said...

Wow, how wonderful! My hubby has talked about sailing around the world with the kids and homeschooling along the way, and your blog gives me inspiration and hope that it can really be done! Love it!

Erin J said...

That sure beats sitting at a desk in a classroom and being told to be quiet! What a fun day.

lifeonplanetearth said...

This looks much better than sitting around getting talked at all day.

this little light said...

What a wonderful gift you are giving your son! This makes so much more sense to me than worksheets!

Christine said...

what a beautiful 'first day'

Kate said...

GREAT photos:) And i know *just* what you mean about needing a first day-- I think that's what Noah has been after-- a little talkability with his schooling friends that has any semblance of the same lingo...of course, as we stretched out on the beach at 1 pm last week, he looked at me and said "ahhh...this IS the right kind of school mom." :)

gardenmama said...

What a beautiful post Cindy!
I appreciate this so much and understand those questions always being asked of "when is your first day of school" ect... yes, everyday learning, life long learning. Isn't it incredible how much this one boat you explored made you think and ask questions which lead into more questions and research and thinking and dreaming and just plain enjoying life. Love that.

Cam said...

We call it our Not Back to School Day!!

Looks like you spent the day absolutely perfectly!!

What a fascinating adventure...

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