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, January 6, 2012


I am writing these blog posts from where the wi-fi is free, which is on the second floor of the hotel where all the conference rooms are, from which are spilling hundreds of historians to gather around small tables and drink cocktails. Brown, gray, and black are the dominant colors of clothing. There are more people wearing glasses than not. I have overheard the following in the last five minutes:

"Are you going to hire a Mexicanist, or is that not in the budget?"

"Read my book already!"

"You're not impressing me if your paper reads like a tangram."

"Egalitarian culture: where are we protecting that on the downside? You've got to make that shit policy."

Historians are a funny bunch. They're not nearly as serious as people think they are, though they often take themselves more seriously than some. But as one would guess, they like good stories. I like good stories. That's a good starting point.

We took the bus this morning to the Shedd Aquarium. We began paying the very reasonable $8 general admission, but by 1 o'clock, we had exhausted the $8 offerings. We were already there, and Woody wanted to see sharks, so I ponied up the bigger bucks for a few other special exhibits.  Again, thinking of all the dumb stuff I've spent $46 on in my life, this was so, so, so worth it. Woody remembered animals we'd read about in this one book in the library months ago, including the "Japanese Giant Spider Crab, Mom. Don't you remember?" Ah, the superior stretch and flex of the child's brain! He spent ages in exhibits that he liked a lot: sharks, interactive sub, giant coral reef. And he was really, really into it, wanting to read and do and touch and play games. We didn't rush anything. There was nothing else we wanted to or had to do but this. We walked out at closing time, 5:00, to a gorgeous setting sun on the plaza.

Both boys fell asleep on the very full bus home. We got many sweet looks and comments from fellow passengers. Seems like everybody can relate to being happily bone-tired. Most of us have a tender memory or two of being carried gently from one location to wake up in another.