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.

Friday, December 16, 2011


You probably need to know two tangential things about this picture:

1. Fox has adopted a hanging skeleton from our holiday decorations box as his dear friend, Skelly. (I assume Woody or Daddy Honey helped with the name, but I'm not sure.) Skelly has been eating with us, riding in the car with us, and has been featured in most Fox-commissioned drawings in the last two days (see Daddy Honey-drawn and Fox-colored picture in the middle of the table).

2. I wasn't joking about yesterday's lack of housework.

On to the learning moment. So, the two "Lego" (really Cobi) kits they are working on so earnestly were purchased this morning at the hobby store with a $20 that Woody's Grandmama sent for his birthday. He first picked up a kit that cost $24.99, but I showed him that it cost more than he had. Then, as he shopped, I wandered down the aisle to look at the science experiments (marveling that they still sold the exact same gyroscopes I remembered owning as a kid in the mid-'80s). A few minutes later, he came up to me with this little armored car bricks kit, eyes lit up, smiling, and said to me, "Since this is only $9.99, we can get one for Foxy, too!" 

I was stunned. Really and truly. This would not have occurred to me as a 6 year old. My money ='ed my present. I might have let my sister hold my toy, on the second day, after I was beginning to tire of it.

So, we walked back over to the kits, and Woody showed Fox which ones cost $9.99 or less. Fox picked up the same one as Woody, and we walked up to the register to pay. I explained to Woody about tax (high in our county at 9.25%), and how I'd kick in the couple of extra bucks to cover it. He was delighted with his purchase, and told the cashier we didn't need a bag, that he and his brother would like to carry their kits out in their hands. 

There were ups and downs in the play once we got the cars and guys full assembled, with Woody growling at Fox at one point that he wasn't "playing realistic enough!" But soon thereafter, they found common ground again in figuring out how to artfully illustrate terrible military deaths (decapitations, being shot out of their cars, etc.) I'm happy that Woody made the play possible, that he shared not out of coercion or in deference to a rule, but from his heart. For some kids, sharing this way comes naturally, but Woody struggled with it. I'm glad that he found a peace with it, and I'm glad for all those times I accepted the frustrated looks of other parents when I didn't "make" him share with other kids, but rather let him choose whether or not he wanted to.