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, March 22, 2012


This picture was from yesterday, when I woke up crazy early and couldn't fall back asleep. I spent the wee hours writing, and then the dawning hours making breakfast of honeyed oatmeal with cut up fruit and a few Sundrops on the side for extra sweetness throughout the day. (It worked, you'll recall. Yesterday was terrific.) I was happy about breakfast yesterday.

But this morning--this morning I woke up FULLY RESTED and BRIMMING with ENERGY. I'll tell you why: I slept in my own bed last night!

We have had a big-mattress-on-the-floor sleeping arrangement since Woody was born, but it was getting increasingly difficult due to our emerging individual sleep rhythms and needs.

  • I am a moderate bedtimer and waker upper who tosses and turns all night and can sleep with some, but not a whole lot, of snuggling during the night.

  • Woody is a moderate bedtimer and late waker upper who likes to be right on top of everyone he's sleeping with: an arm here, a leg tossed over there, a face breathing in a face to one side.

  • Fox is a late bedtimer and an early waker upper who may or may not shriek, punch, and kick if anyone touches him in his sleep.

  • Daddy Honey is a very, very late bedtimer and an early waker upper (for work) who is as easy-going in sleep as he is in his waking hours. But he likes to let the dogs sleep in the bed with him, and also sets an alarm to rise each morning, so has had the second bedroom to himself. 

Things have been getting tense, and I've been gently suggesting an alternative for a few months now. But last night, finally, the perfect solution arrived all on its own!

Fox asked to sleep on the bottom bunk. Unexpected from the three year old who has only just, in the last couple of weeks, mostly weaned himself and started sleeping in underwear instead of diapers, but sure.

So, I asked Woody if he'd like to sleep on the top bunk. He would. Would I be in there with them, he wanted to know? YES. The single bed in that room has my favorite mattress on it. Everybody got the covers they requested and the stuffed animal they were fond of. While the settling in was long coming, and after a few ups and downs each, everybody fell asleep! And Daddy Honey and the dogs (aged and with stiff joints) were equally comfortable on the big mattress on the floor in the other bedroom.

We are ever hopeful for a repeat of last night's success, but not expecting too much, as sometimes changes take a while to feel just right.

But today just kept getting better. The picture above was taken this afternoon, after Woody had helped me to re-envision the space and move the furniture to accommodate the three of us sharing the room. We moved furniture and found long-lost toys and unpacked closets and repacked dressers and washed bedding and dusted blinds. It was a day of happy productivity.

Then! (This is so exciting.)

Then, our neighbor Gabrielle shared some of the big bunch of morels she found in her backyard!

Morels were one of the reasons I agreed to move to Arkansas. They don't grow in Florida. I had never seen one in real life nor tasted one, yet I was tantalized by their woodsy mystery. I used to draw them in my sketch book and dream about walking through the woods with a basket to hunt and gather them. Turns out, no woods needed; Gabrielle found them right there on the edge of the gravel driveway we share! They are far firmer than I expected, nothing like portabellas or criminis. They feel almost like plastic. Naturally, we looked them up and found out that mushrooming season is just beginning, and now, just after a good soak, is a good time to go looking. 

We start tomorrow in the backyard...