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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

180


Here we are! Post 180. Today was a sweet homeschooly day. Our friend Samuel came to play for a couple of hours in the morning, and all three boys bounced most contentedly from one activity to another, letting each other know clearly when there were perceived injustices, and recovering just as fast to go on to play again together.


At one point, Fox brought me two Scooby-Doo books to read to him, and within a minute Samuel and Woody were also on either side of me to listen, too. Knowing the mystery-story formula, the boys guessed at various points what would happen next: the house would be haunted, Shaggy would yell "Zoinks!", the shadow would turn out to be only the farmer, the gang would unmask someone.


Evidence like that of cultural dissemination, how even young children can know with a few clues how things typically go in certain contexts, is fascinating to me. We perceive patterns in our real lives just as we do in stories. Samuel's mom, Joy, who is a great student of human ways of being, talks a lot about personal "narratives" that we construct around our experiences, the stories we tell ourselves about what happened and how it fits in to our bigger understanding of how the world works and our place in it. It makes me glad that the preponderance of material my boys have to work with in real life is nurturing and fluid and supportive of the ongoing search for meaning.

Not all kids have that. My kids might not have had that, if I hadn't have walked the path I walked up until the point that they came into my life.

At the park, they expect other kids to be friendly, and they'll usually walk away or come get me if they're not. When they come to me and ask to read a book together or draw or look up something on the computer, they expect that I'll help them --maybe not right that second, or in the exact manifestation they're asking for, but in some form, sooner rather than later. They expect stories that Daddy Honey and I tell from our lives to feature the helpers and the lessons, the interesting, uplifting, bizarre, funny, and cool. We don't brag about put-downs or play up violence or speak admiringly of winning arguments or besting someone else in a way that's hurtful.

This is good. Many days, it feels like even if I get nothing else right (and sometimes, it feels as if that is exactly the case!), the fact that I have presented to them a vision of the world that is full of possibilities  gives me great comfort.

I am working on an Afterward, a wrapping-up post to end our project. Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow.

I'm a little sad about it.