A friend just posted about how she is using Five in a Row as her time to connect with her kids ,who are primarily unschooling and it got me thinking about how we are approaching this thing we call learning. Because at first read I was surprised because it is a fairly laid out program, but the heart of what she is doing is her wanting to share her love of books and learning. We are doing something similar, though it isn’t so laid out. Instead Alder and I, and Kevin when he’s around, are making time three mornings a week to slow down and learn. Or project, or create.

We sat down earlier in the summer and talked about what we wanted our learning time to look like and this is what we decided. First Alder decided that he wanted a “school room” (though I call it a learning space). But basically it is supposed to be a space where we keep all the learning stuff where we can work together on things or he can work on his own. On my part I promised that on those three days a week I would completely focus on him and what ever project, research, creative thing we decide. This means not phones, no internet (unless we’re looking something up), and no chores. We agreed that unless we had a specific event these would be mornings when we stayed home (that was his request).

This is what we’ve decided.

Wake up.


Eat breakfast.

Go to learning space.

Read a poem (okay I asked for this one just because I haven’t had enough poetry in my life lately).

Turn on Jazz or classical music (his request).

Decide on what we are going to do.

Work together, no time limit or requirement, though we’ll try not to make any plans until after lunch those days.

And I love this idea. As a person who spend her free time focusing on writing and researching, I think that these focused mornings are something I want to share with Alder. I’m not trying to push one subject or another on him but to share with him my love of learning, the same way we’ve decided to go hiking or climbing or to the river at least once a week a well so we can share those as well. For myself I need the intention of this time together, I need this to remind me the value of my time with him.