My son Woody turned six in November of 2011. That would have been the kindergarten year for most kids, 180 days that mark the beginning of the school career. But Woody did his learning in the big, wide, beautiful world, without school being a part of it.

I'm Teresa Honey, and I kept this blog to document this time in my son's life, to share pictures and stories with far-away friends and relatives, and to add ours to the many stories of families living rich, engaging, loving lives with learning happening all the time and in many forms, totally inseparable from every other part of being human.

Here you'll find 180 or so learning moments recorded from August, 2011 to April, 2012 in the life of a 5-turned-6-year-old radically unschooled kid.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 3

One of my favorite bits of writing about unschooling comes from this page. It's by Pam Sorooshian, and it says that the essence of unschooling is to just live your life with your kids, but a bigger way to do it is to be present and playful, and also really curious and interesting. I love that. Be their interesting mom.

After yesterday's climbing of Mt. Compost, there was some focus on the bath. Putting on my Interesting Mom cap, I found these window crayons that Nana (my mom) had bought for the boys last winter, so we used them to draw on the tiles before bath time. (The motifs here pretty well represent what Woody likes to draw most of the time: soldiers, tanks and other weapons, monsters, vikings, fire and explosions. Fox likes knights and swords.)

Only later, when I attempted to "easily wipe off with soap and water" as the package suggested did I realize that these were not, in fact, real tiles, which are glazed with glass and therefore chemically identical to windows. These are plastic tiles. The colors embedded. The clean up is taking a loooong time, even with two little boys helping to spread the baking soda / detergent soft scrub...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 2

This...was great fun.

We made garden boxes together last week. Woody predrilled the holes for the screws, then helped hold the boards together while I drilled the screws in. So, this week was time to avail ourselves of the city's cheap compost. He wondered why it was so warm when he dug deep into the pile. We talked about the decomposition process, and I realized for the first time that compost and decomposition were related. Turns out they share the Latin root compositus, to put together. 

He made avalanches to help bring the material down after I had dug quite a bit out, and we had a quick discussion about doing things that are probably safe, but that there might be a rule against. This picture is taken on the back side of the compost mountain, the opposite side from the solid waste facility office, and Woody thought he wouldn't make a conspicuous stand at the very top of the mountain, just in case.

Day 1

We went to the botanical garden today. It was our first time there. We went early, before the day's 94 potential degrees were realized, and stayed a little less than two hours. We did a lot of running around and playing pretend. Passageways between parts of the garden became portals from America to China and back again. A willow-branch tunnel was a zero-gravity chamber. We spied on each other, on the small flock of chickens in the chicken coop in the vegetable garden (of which the laced Wynadotte was his favorite), and naturally, on the scarecrow. It was enchanting for all of us, and we called it quits just as the youngest among us was beginning to get tired and hungry.

This sculpture is about metamorphosis, and the words are written in braille at the bottom of the wings.