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.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Two back-to-back episodes of Backyardigans featured cacti, so Woody and I got to talking about a book we like, Cactus Hotel. (I'd forgotten that I already posted about that book once, here, where coincidentally I was also tidying the bookshelf.) I told him how certain places--like where we used to live, Florida--support certain types of cacti, but that mostly people who don't live in the desert grow them in the house where they can control the moisture and humidity more. Would he like to go to the plant nursery and check out some cacti? I asked. He said OK, not full of enthusiasm, but OK.

So we went. Found the cactus and succulent section. Some were near flowering and all had very, very dry soil. He thought they were pretty cool, but he thought a lot of other stuff was REALLY cool. So, we puttered and jumped and splashed and ran around the garden center for the better part of the morning. I bought potting soil to get the tomatoes, peppers, basil, and pumpkins started in the garden.

Tadpoles! Woody forgot what these were called and first announced he had found the nimmows!

"Bleeding Hearts." So, you know this was Woody's favorite, right?

Back at home, we planted the summer veggies. And while the boys stayed outside to play Star Wars battle, I hung clothes out to dry.

There's a poem here that I haven't been able to grab hold of just yet, but maybe tonight when the boys go to bed...

Near the clothesline I found these really, really cool pink pupae. We can only guess which insect laid them since it's near to the honeysuckle plant, which has been attracting tons of flying creatures.

But as sometimes happens, a Google search for "pink pupa" or "pink pupae" turns up all kinds of irrelevant stuff. (In fact, adding the word pink to any number of normal nouns renders it absurd and irrelevant in Google. That was a fun experiment.) So, we may have to hit the actual books with this one, or take our picture up to the extension office and ask around.

ETA: I posted this picture on my friend Irwin's Facebook page and he pointed out to me that they are leaf galls, places where the plant has encapsulated and pushed out an insect egg! "Like a pimple," he said. Ha! Happy spring.