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, November 26, 2011

61

They don't happen all that often, but when they do, I am so grateful: the real, relaxed, rambling one-on-one times.

I love, love, love sibling time, too. And I've said before that I think siblings and close cousins and dear best friends or other childhood "buddies" are among the most important relationships kids can have in their lives.

But there is something about being an attention-generous adult's one and only youngin' to mind that is special.

So while Daddy Honey and Fox gave the dogs their first bath in Arkansas (don't do the math on that because it will embarrass me; just know that I know it had been too long!), Woody and I walked to the library, just the two of us. Woody had been asking this week that we do more crafts together, and I tried to play it cool, but my heart fairly sprouted wings when he said this, so I've been looking out for opportunities for us to make this trip to peruse the craft books and read some others beside.

It was cold and wet. We haven't yet acclimated to the weather or even dressing for the weather, so I had on a flimsy rayon skirt and Woody had on shorts and we passed a lady downtown who actually hooted at us and joked about us having visions of Florida.

If she only knew...

The library was warm and downright jovial with lighted trees around every corner and poinsettias on every desk.

We read story books in the comfy alcove, then we found the craft section and plopped down with laps full of books to figure out which one's we'd be taking home, somewhat limited by the fact that I'd be carrying the knapsack that mile. We stayed until the last, leaving two minutes to closing (which stressed Woody out a little bit, especially when he saw the big metal gate already half-closed at the entrance; they are not subtle about rules and regulations at this library.).


It was wonderful. We talked about sea creatures and machines and the four elements and felt. I could listen with my full brain when Woody talked, not having to absentmindedly "uh-huh" him while I scanned the room for his fast and wily younger brother. We could sit quietly side by side, then compare books without someone trying to wrench one from our hands or rip the page if we didn't respond quickly enough. Walking home together, there was no rush but the cold. We held hands and joked about getting mist on our eyeballs. We waited casually, confidently as traffic passed.We jumped from white stripe to white stripe in the crosswalks.  

Days with younger kids--or maybe I should say our younger kid--are not as relaxed or accommodating of quieter pursuits. They are more diverse than focused, more energetic than thoughtful, more open than purposeful. They have a beauty to them that is all about being two.

This afternoon was about being on the doorstep of six, and I'm glad I was the one who got to walk him there.