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.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

54

While I was making breakfast this morning, I looked up on YouTube a song I'm trying to learn for choir called Siyahamba. It's a lovely song. (Our choir is substituting the word "Love" for the word "God," if you happen to give it a listen.). It's partly in Zulu, and as Woody listened to it with me, he asked about it. I showed him on the shower curtain map where the Zulu people live and lived, and we looked up pictures of Zulus on the Internet. The late 19th-century and early 20th-century postcards were the most authentic pictures I could find on short notice.

Circa 1925

Circa late 1800s


When he looked at the pictures, he asked about American Indians (I think the spears and domed houses were what made that leap in his mind), and we spent a little while talking about the Iroquois. I found this picture of the interior of a wigwam, and he asked about how they were built.



We happen to know a guy, Jeff Gottlieb, through a primitive skills gathering we sometimes attend who makes wigwams using all original methods and technology. Googling his name, I knew I'd be led to good information.

Woody saw the holes in the top and started talking about that being a way to make sure the smoke could escape and the buildings didn't burn down and the people didn't breathe too much smoke. I can't be sure if he was thinking of the dozen or so times that we went to the Apalachee Council House at the Mission San Luis while we lived in Tallahassee, and he had moved on already to playing settlers and Indians by the time that the connection came to my mind. But it was a nice series of moments of excitement in learning, making connections, and exploring new subjects together.