Friday, June 3, 2016

A Room of (Son's) Own

by Sofie Couch

This year, I have been blogging about space – the space that helps us define ourselves and the world around us.

It’s easy for me to think of my own space in those terms, but this past month, I realized another really important space: the space designated for another creative, my son.

I may have mentioned that we do this odd thing, here on the chicken ranch. It’s called “unschooling”. Basically, the parent lets go of expectations and follows the child, a la Montessori, a la free-range chickens. (I've been operating under the notion that I've got two kids... in case I mess up one of them with this whacky unschooling thing. So far, they haven't proved the strategy wrong.) So we’ve been unschooling now for going on seven years with one child or another. My son is quiet, not selectively verbal, private, and while I spent the month of May, (his birth month, I might add), harping on my expectations of him, I forgot to consider what he wanted for himself. It turns out, he’s been stewing over a “room of his own” for work - as in a real job doing what he wants to do long-term, Game Design. Sure, he has a bedroom. But he just turned seventeen and like a typical seventeen year old, he’s been pondering his own independence, his place in the world,... his space.

So this month, the She-She-Shed changed its trajectory. It has become the future headquarters of his game design company. So now, the single solar panel that is fine for running a lamp and charging a laptop, just decided to upgrade to a full electrical panel, insulation, cooling and heating… and the removal of a lot of girlie froo-froo Mommy stuff.

I have a new “room of (my) own” in my previous writer’s retreat - in the cottage out back. I blocked off week days, so now, it’s rented as a writer’s retreat only on the weekends. Weekdays, it’s my own private writing retreat, as it was originally intended. Somehow, I lost sight of the fact that it was designed for that function.

And the She-She-Shed-soon-to-be-Game-Design-Studio begins its journey. Feel free to share with me, pictures of the space you have carved out for yourself.  I would love to see it. And in the meantime, enjoy some of my “pins” for the Game Design Studio at:


  1. We raised three boys with the 'unschooling' method. We gave them parameters, support, encouragement and guidance. We offered opportunities and let them find what worked for them. Results so far: three charming, self-reliant, productive, creative young men who left the nest to start building their own.
    PS: I took over their rooms as they left for my creative endeavors.

  2. Hi Sofie--
    What a change for the She-She Shed, but it sounds exciting for your son to spread his creative wings. So happy you have the retreat to use as your writing space.