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.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Yesterday's apple activity wiped us out of fruit, so we went to the co-op early this morning for more. Woody went right to the Red Delicious bin and stocked us up.

Pears, too, made it to the shopping cart.

Bananas weighed in at 3 lbs. Fox's lone Ambrosia apple was half a pound.

Woody scooped and labeled the animal crackers, a new offering that caught the boys' eyes, and we ate them in the co-op gallery while waiting for the rain to let up.

We had an interesting conversation this morning, too, about numbers. Woody asked how many hours 60 was. He meant how many it was relative to something he was already familiar with. I answered in terms of days, 24 hours for one day, plus 24 more, 48 hours for two days, plus 24 more, 72 hours for three days. So I told him that 60 was in between 48 and 72, so 2 1/2 days. He said, "Remember that time we played Connect-4 with the one broken checker? When we won, we said, 'CONNECT THREE AND A HALF!'"

Sometimes I think lessons on paper is what ruins math for kids. Our brains are coded to find, predict, and repeat patterns, to take things apart and put them back together--essentially, to puzzle. I think numbers make great sense to us when we use them for real things. We probably picture them differently in our heads as we manipulate them, but there's an organization there. Using paper and pencil and showing work is only one way to work with numbers, and maybe not the best way for everyone. When I was a kid, beginning to understand pieces of wholes--fractions--I made the different proportions different colors in my mind. For some reason, I remember that I made 1/3 pink. There was no way to show this understanding on my worksheets or on the board, and I struggled converting my internal system to the school's system that I needed to get credit for mastery.