Today’s Poetry Type:
When we fall in love, we dive right in
Not even hesitating to doubt
To wonder how much we might win
Or just how this will all turn out
Revolutionary, the way we begin
Yes, let’s learn what it’s all about!
So we play Hamilton in the car
On our way to touch history
Then and now merge where we are
We hear and feel, taste and see
Each exploration raises the bar
They were as alive as you and me.
Education doesn’t happen in a class
Not for us, the whiteboards and textbooks
They peek in at windows and roll in the grass
Touch the cannons at the overlooks
Hike the trails, look through the same window glass
Experiencing history in the hidden crevices and nooks.
Schoolkids get field trips – we just get to go.
Where? Why? When?
Wherever we can get to – which has stretched from a transcontinental flight to spend ten days in Oregon, where my Accomplice’s family lives, to Washington, D.C. by car – and lots of other shorter trips, from weekends away with our friends in central New Jersey, to an annual unschooling campout in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
And then there are the local trips, which can happen on a whim – just because it’s something we want to do, or see, or go. We especially enjoy our state museum, which is less than an hour away. We usually go on weekday afternoons, when the place isn’t at all crowded, because most kids are in school.
This year, we’ve been taking advantage of our area and our love of Hamilton: An American Musical. We happen to live in upstate New York, near Albany, in the same area where the Schuyler family lived, and with a Revolutionary War battlefield almost literally in our backyard.
This fall included a visit to the Schuyler House – General Philip Schuyler’s working property in what is now Schuylerville; The Schuyler Mansion in Albany; Fort Ticonderoga, which was once under General Schuyler’s command; and Saratoga National Historical Park, where the “Turning Point of the American Revolution” occurred in 1777 (it was as the result of the American victory here, and General Burgoyne’s defeat, that French aid was secured).
We live in an area steeped in national history, and when we explore, it’s not to meet a curriculum, with the kids herded from here to there, to see what they’re scheduled to see, and listen to adults read them scripts about it. No, when we go, they are free to explore, to flit from this to that, to notice what they will, to range wide and delve deeply – and the learning they gain is their own, to do with as they please.