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.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

11

Woody's foot, Fox's hand.

Woody reluctantly accepted Fox's invitation to a tea party in the garden at the art collective where we went this morning for their Fall Music Festival.

The boys play so differently from each other. Woody makes up elaborate make-believe battle scenarios where the weapons are bad-ass and the villains are numerous. Fox plays family, carrying a baby high on his shoulder, asking me to help when the baby cries. Woody wants to get right to the fighting. Fox wants to explain his character to me. Woody likes victory. Fox likes to be be pretend-healed after being pretend-hurt.

Some of that is personality, and some of that is age. They play together more than they play separately, and they more or less make room for each other's styles and preferences. I feel great relief at this. We thought about not having more than one child. Daddy Honey is one of six, and I am one of three. Our sibling relationships are good now, but they were hard growing up. Was it fair to ask our son, at 3, to adapt to the changes a new baby brought to the family? I started reading about unschooling at the same time that I got pregnant with Fox. I wondered if I'd be able to do it with two. It seemed so intense, even just with one.

When Fox was first learning to talk, there was a moment in the car when he said something funny and I caught Woody's eye in the rearview mirror and we both started laughing. I knew in that moment that Fox was ours, as much his as mine. I don't know exactly how to put sibling relationships into a language of learning, and that seems beside the point anyway.

No, that's not exactly true. Woody is learning how to be close to people. He's learning how to show and accept love. He's learning how to meet others where they are, and how to delight in that. He's learning give and take, with respect and growing understanding. I know there's a while ahead, but I think that's a pretty terrific start.