Unschooling does give us the freedom to get out of our town more often and to explore the different nooks and crannies beyond the familiar. I see my kids notice yalmulkes and burkhas and saris. I watch them try platanos, pho, and curried rice. We listen to samplings of different music. When it is better weather, we are more apt to use the subway or the commuter train to get into and to move around the city. During our outings and after we return home, I try to encourage conversations about all that we've seen. Much of what they notice goes far beyond the walls of any museum.
I am hoping that they will feel comfortable moving around in the larger world when they get older. I am hoping that they will feel able to relate to people who are different from them. I am hoping they will develop awareness and compassion for those who are less fortunate. I hope that the freedom of unschooling allows me to show them a bigger world beyond the segregated society we live in here. Exposing them to math, science, history...all the traditional school subjetcs..that's easy. Those concepts and opportunities are everywhere. Helping them to become citizens of the world is perhaps a more daunting issue for me.
Opportunities for friendships with children from different racial or ethnic backgrounds are extremely limited. A few of their friends are adoptees from foreign countries, and those adoptive families do discuss and incorporate the culture of their child's birth country into family life. Sometimes we attend organized trip for homeschoolers outside of our area, but even these groups are not racially or culturally diverse. As my kids grow, I hope to continue finding opportunities for us to enrich our lives with people and places that are more reflective of the world.