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

An Afterward

Hello, friends!

This is the last post I'm writing on this blog, which has chronicled in words and pictures bits and pieces of my now-6-year-old son Woody's learning as an unschooled child over 180 or so days.

But it's possible that you're reading this as the first post, and I'm so glad you found us. While the posts were written chronologically, almost all of them stand alone, so I might recommend that you use the labels to the right to poke around, clicking on subject terms that are most interesting to you. The search box, too, might be helpful.

I think writing this blog helped me to be a better parent. When I'd sit down to write a post, I'd be thinking of one or a handful of learning moments in isolation, but also in the bigger context of our whole year of learning, sometimes even Woody's life so far. This was good. It kept the big picture in my mind: the point is to live with kids with curiosity, love, understanding, happiness, and feelings of gladness and plenty. Even when I was writing about the mother of all meltdowns--mine or Woody's--or my worst doubts and insecurities, I thought about it as only one of 180 moments--our life together could still look like that beautiful big picture, and the next moment I wrote about could be a happier or more gentle one. I had to decide to make that so, and to get myself the tools I needed to do it.

And now I have a record of our first year of unschooling--many, many instances that were wonderful, fun, magical, sad, disappointing, silly, hard, scary, amazing, sweet, and surprising. We made it through all of them, and got better at doing this unschooling thing--hell, this family thing--together. I am grateful for that.

This blog was also my almost-daily writing practice. I loved it. I treasured it. Now I'm going to be happy to focus on other kinds of writing, though doubtless the same themes that came up here will feature in whatever comes next. Writing what you love may be trite, but it works for me.

Wherever you are on your own learning journey, I wish you well. I like to imagine that we're all traveling the roads and off-roads together, carrying knapsacks in which we keep the ideas, pictures, phrases, realizations, memories, poems and stories that we pick up, the ones that seem worth holding on to and that make us happy or thankful or known or hopeful to look at. They're all over, these little gems, and I'm most thankful that others graciously share their collections through writing, songs, talks, videos, and other ways of communicating.  If you've found one or two here, I'm glad. It's good to travel these less-charted paths with kindred spirits.