Friday, October 1, 2010

Week 5: All About Butterflies!

This week, we moved things around in Ron's kindergarten curriculum to focus on butterflies, because the caterpillars we'd been watching had all emerged into butterflies early this week!

A recently-hatched butterfly, resting above the leftover cocoons from our five painted ladies!
The My Father's World curriculum we use assigns each letter of the alphabet to a particular object or animal and then ties it together with a biblical truth. In this case, the butterfly reminds us that God can make us new.  So we spent the week focusing on the life stages of a butterfly, which we illustrated in a number of ways. But the most fun activity we did involved making our own caterpillars out of egg cartons. It looked so fun that even Harry couldn't resist joining in.

"That flash is always too bright for me, Mom!"

Dobby is more interested in making funny faces these days when the camera comes his way!
Each boy had fun picking out colors for his own caterpillar, painting, then adding pipe-cleaner antennae and legs. They drew their own faces and helped Dobby with his caterpillar's face as well. I found some old craft pom-pom balls lying around and offered those up as well for decoration. And the final result:

Harry's (L), Ron's, and Dobby's new friends. The expressions crack me up!

And of course, knowing we couldn't keep these butterflies inside forever, we had a releasing celebration to send our friends into the world. Painted ladies live all over the U.S. and can survive so long as the temperatures are high enough. It's been lovely here in Illinois of late, so we were confident the butterflies would be happier in the natural world than in our netted habitat!

Getting ready to unzip and free our butterflies! The plate in the net has orange wedges, which the butterflies are said to enjoy. Do you know that butterflies taste with their feet???

The last butterfly enjoys a brief rest on our nearby evergreen tree before making its way into the world!

In other topics, our focus this week in our world geography study was the country of Mexico, and I hope to have some fun photos to share next week as we continue on the same subject. The boys are also enjoying our simple lessons from Getting Started With Spanish and I'm thrilled that I actually remember and can use what I know from junior high/high school!

Harry went back to Singapore Math 2A this week, as we reviewed some topics with which  I want for him to be comfortable--addition and subtraction into the hundreds and thousands with renaming--and although I hear that homeschooled kids often jump ahead, in our case I feel as though we are doing the opposite. I'd much rather be convinced that Harry understands the concepts and my rule is that we don't move ahead unless he can score at least 90% on the cumulative review. So that meant we spent several days making sure he could reach that target. I don't think we are anywhere close to "jumping ahead" but that is really OK with me! As long as he is learning and continuing to progress at a reasonable pace, I'm fine with taking our time.

Today is co-op day, so I thought I'd end with a couple of photos from their classes. Ron and Harry both take gym, karate, and art, while their dad (who, in exchange for working late on Mondays and Thursdays, is off on Fridays, hooray!) stays home with Dobby. I wait for the boys at the church where the co-op is held and enjoy the free wi-fi (great time to update my blog!) =)

Ron after his gym class, ready to join Harry...

...for some karate action!

Lastly, this photo has nothing to do with homeschooling but it was an amazing exhibition of industriousness from one of our backyard spiders so I thought I would share it! The boys were impressed by it as well!

Thanks for visiting! Hope you had a great week as well.


  1. Harry's caterpillar looks like he's having a REALLY bad day! I'm jealous that you had 5 butterflies successfully hatch. When we last "grew" painted ladies---gosh, dd10 was a toddler!---only 3 of our survived to hatch. Good job, guys :)

  2. Karen, LOL! I thought the same thing about Harry's caterpillar. He drew the face and start cracking himself up! Well, all our caterpillars hatched but one had slightly deformed wings. We let it loose with the others but likely the chances it has survived are slim? (It was a hard decision either way!) Thanks so much for visiting!

  3. Wow, that web is amazing! We did butterflies last fall as well. It was a fun project! Looks like you had a great week!

  4. That is so cool that your boys can take karate at Co-op - what a fun class!!

    Love the caterpillars! What a fun, memorable thing for your boys to free the butterflies!

    I'm jealous that you have quiet time with wifi!! ;)

  5. Those caterpillars are so cute! We enjoyed the MFW activities too - so many good memories! Looks like you had a great week!

  6. Carrie, even with that quiet Wi-Fi time (which always goes by SO fast!!!) you always manage to blog more than I do. You have to share your secrets! =)

    Thanks, Tonia and Robyn, for stopping by! I am looking forward to visiting everyone's blogs later today!

  7. All the catepillar/butterfly stuff looked so fun! I love that hs allows us to rearrange our schedules to take advantage of such things.

  8. We hatched painted ladies a few years ago -- fun! The spider web is amazing!
    Lee (5wolfcubs)

  9. Mandy--absolutely! Sometimes I forget to take advantage of the flexibility homeschooling gives us. My husband often has to remind me to do so! Bright Sky Mom, we were totally surprised by our butterflies; one night they were in pupa form and the next morning we had four butterflies! Then we never actually saw the 5th one hatch! Next time, hopefully! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Their caterpillars turned out so good! Brings back many very fond memories from when my oldest was in K. We'll repeat it again next year with my youngest.

    My oldest is also very sensitive to the flash. I read in a photography book that if you have your subject close his eyes while you count 1, 2, then he opens them on 3, then you take the pic on 4, it is supposed to eliminate that. We've had pretty good success with it so far!

    Oh, and your spider web pic is beautiful! :)

  11. Beaglemamma---great tip about the flash! I've already used it a few times--it helps! I still need to pay my award forward...haven't forgotten! =) Thanks again, and thanks so much for stopping by!

  12. We made egg carton caterpillars after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar. They were a pretty big hit here too!

  13. Tiffany, they turned out better than I expected as I am not particularly crafty! My kids love to show them to our visitors!