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.

Monday, April 16, 2012


After a weekend of what Woody termed a few  years ago "Daddy-stay-home days," Mondays can be tough on us all. It's the difference between dancing to three drum beats instead of four. It's still rich, and it's still dancing, after all,  but you notice that something nice is missing that was there before. And Daddy Honey has his first meeting tonight as a member of the board of directors at the co-op, so he won't be home until late.

So after breakfast, we decided to make a surprise visit to his work in the Special Collections of the university library. It was (thankfully) perfect timing. There were no researchers in at the moment so we didn't have to whisper and Daddy Honey could share some of his new projects with us.

He was so excited to see us.

He had been making scans of this book of Harper's Weekly issues from the 1860s. This particular folio contained a picture of slaves digging a canal through backwoods Mississippi that would have allowed Grant to bypass a Confederate fort that was giving him trouble. I was surprised that Grant would use slave labor for this. 

Remember when we went to the Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista? This is a bust of the architect who designed it. (Fox wanted to know if the rest of his body was in those file cabinets.) Models and pictures of his other buildings in the background.

And here's the model of the chapel that we saw. 

Afterward we stopped at the co-op  and saw a new vegetable--fresh Fava bean pods. One of the employees cut open a pod for us and showed us how to cut off the outer casing of the seed so that they were tender enough for fresh eating. (This is one of those things that makes me love food co-ops so much. We get this kind of treatment every time we go in, which is several times a week! They are just as geeky-happy about good food as we are.) We bought a few to try for ourselves.

Back at home, Woody wanted to draw a really big battle scene, so we used the roll of newsprint that Nana gave them for Christmas.

Only he decided later to share the paper, so we divided it up and each took a section. 

There was still a fair amount of sighing and shifting without apparent purpose from room to room in between other activities. What Daddy Honey adds to their life is special and irreplaceable, no doubt about that. I try to be extra gentle and fun with them on Mondays to set a really great tone for the week, and we make wild and wonderful plans for things to do when Daddy Honey again comes home.