Friday, February 15, 2008

An unschooling trip to the mall

That restless feeling is creeping back. Yesterday the kids and I went to the library and then played at the mall as the weather was threatening rain and was a bit cool at times. What's going on? It's still officially summer until the end of the month. Last night was definitely an autumn night. But today is beautiful, warm and sunny.

When we went to the mall yesterday, I did not like the boxed in feeling and was longing for a nice long hike. But we made the most of it. As usual, interesting conversations came about regarding the people we saw. There was a lady in full Chinese dress promoting some Chinese extravaganza so we chatted with her for a while. A lady with a white cane prompted questions from AJ about how it might feel to be blind, or even deaf or both. Followed by his own experiment about how he might cope. The usual parade of women dressed in robes and veils led to further Sami's observations and curiosity about different religions and cultures. We will follow that up next time we go to the library.

The kids also spent some time going up and down the escalators. We looked at all of the different food available at the food court and took time to watch the preparation of different kinds of Indian and Greek food and talked about that and again, about different cultures. We went to the game arcade and AJ checked every machine to see if there were any coins in the coin return. Often he is lucky in this but there was nothing yesterday. There were however, a large number of teenagers there, considering it was school time. We watched some teens on the dance machine and they were really good. AJ has especially become interested in hip-hop kind of dance after watching "So You Think You Can Dance" on TV. He's asked to do a class in that so I've started looking for one in the new area we're going to.

A trip to the mall would not be complete without a stop at the game store to play Guitar Hero. We've been thinking of getting a gaming system and spent a while chatting to one of the assistants at the store who was very helpful. And patient with this techno newbie. He suggested the Nintendo Wii over the X-box 360 or Playstation 2 or 3. But then realising we'll probably get Cary to buy games when he's in the US as they're cheaper there, he suggested the PS3 as it's 'region free'. I managed to keep up with all the lingo as he was talking about the different systems. He was very curious about life in the USA and dreamily rolled his eyes when I told him we used to live in Las Vegas.

Sami looked at different fashions and talked about different styles of dresses. She looked at some of the other girly things as well. We spent a while in the newsagents looking at magazines and Nicholas played on a coin-operated tractor, without any coins being put in it. He loves that tractor and I know it's a minimum of a 10 minute stop every time we go past it.

As it was Valentines Day, we looked at all of the people walking around with bunches of flowers and big soft teddy bears. We talked about the idea of the holiday and why we don't get into all of the fuss surrounding the day. We don't believe in being extra loving on one particular day because the culture says we "should". And buying unnecessary gifts because someone made up the idea that we are supposed to. We aim to live with the Valentine spirit every day. That goes for Santa and the Easter Bunny too.

That was the main parts of our little excursion. Other things happened like stopping to watch the donuts coming out of the machine, and just so many other interesting little conversations and observations. I love this! I love watching my kids put things together in their minds. Yeah.

No comments: