"Children do not need to be made to learn about the world, or shown how. They want to, and they know how." -John Holt

Friday, November 02, 2007

Anatomy of a Letterbox Find

Thought you'd enjoy a little tour of our day Letterboxing. (Just trying to get back to the Unschooling focus, ladies and gentlemen.) Shall we begin?

Our first stop was just over the bridge into Nashua en route to a Letterbox named "Back to School 2007". I have passed this cemetery zillions of times and never knew that the little red house on it's lot is actually a one-room schoolhouse built in 1775. Classes were conducted there until 1921. Sweet. I didn't expect a history lesson built right in! (And not that I normally look/plan for lessons either...we're Radical Unschoolers if you didn't realize. ;)
Anyhoo, we followed the clues that led us to the water pipe alongside the building where one-room school children would enjoy a cold beverage with their lunch. Today's unschooled children enjoyed working the broken lever...
Our next clue sent us to the top of the hill at an old tree stump in front of the stone wall. You can see them just below that big green tree. It was here that the children of today shoved and bickered as to who would stand on the stump alone.
It was also here that I showed the disrespectful hooligans just where we were standing and that maybe we could control ourselves and perhaps have a moment of silence. Well, lots of moments of silences if I had my way.
After that didn't work, we followed the next clue 56 steps away to a large oak tree, turned 90* and found a pointy jagged stump. Right next to it was a nest of rocks...
And... one found Letterbox!
The last step is stamping their stamp in your book and yours in theirs, re-sealing it all up and hiding it just where you found it. I think it's against Letterbox code to show pictures on the internet of the hidden stamps (they will hunt you down) so I used a tricky special effect to blur the image...
Thanks for joining us friends. If you couldn't quite follow that and could use a second tour, stay tuned for "Anatomy of a Letterbox Part 2" coming soon.

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"By nature people are learning animals. Birds fly; fish swim; humans think and learn. Therefore, we do not need to motivate children into learning by wheedling, bribing, or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we need to do - and all we need to do - is to give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for, listen respectfully when they feel like talking, and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest."
John Holt
"In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it...and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself." -Grace Llewellyn
"What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child."
George Bernard Shaw
Real, natural learning is in the living. It's in the observing, the questioning, the examining, the pondering, the analyzing, the watching, the reading, the DO-ing, the living, the breathing, the loving, the JOY. It's in the joy. ~Anne Ohman
"How could youth better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?" -Henry D. Thoreau