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, December 27, 2011


I slept in today, having been up most of the night with holiday food-induced indigestion, so the bulk of the morning proceeded without me. When I got up and around, the boys were playing Snap Cubes and giant Legos and K'Nex, and Daddy Honey was finishing up cleaning the kitchen.

Some laundry and some free play and some bathroom cleaning later, Fox asked to watch the Secret of Kells again (which is on Netflix instant watching). We did, and the boys watched some and built viking swords some, and then, Woody asked Daddy Honey to "draw Secret of Kells" with him. Daddy Honey got out the art supplies and pulled up one of the pages of the real-life, 1,000-year-old, illuminated text, the Book of Kells, on his IPad. Woody copied a page with the letter P using a green oil pastel.

Then, Daddy Honey printed out pages of other Celtic-inspired graphics he thought Woody would like. Woody traced these, and did more free-hand drawings.

My friend Jennifer, once-fellow teacher and sister in lapsed (or maybe transfigured?) Catholicism, told me something about learning handwriting as a child. One of the nuns who was her teacher captured Jennifer's imagination by describing each of the letters as having its own personality, a unique beauty and lovely form that we could capture and imitate to infuse our own writing with grace. This made a great impression on Jennifer, and while her handwriting today is quirky and flowy and full of fantastic loops and half-connected lines--not the Catholic-school "perfect" script that many of us adopted--I loved that she held on to the idea that letters themselves were powerful marks to admire. Writing for her, she said, became an almost sacred act, not one that imparted high-stakes, pass/fail, be-saved-or-condemned anxiety, but rather, a quiet, important, meditative act of beauty.

How powerful. How personal. How undeniably fantastic a realization: writing is art is sacred is connection is writing.