After seeing that caterpillar at Wild Adventures on Monday, Canaan has been on a bug "kick". He really wanted to know what kind of butterfly that specific caterpillar was going to turn into, why it had bristles on it's back, what it ate - the list goes on and on.
Being a homeschool family, we adjusted our curriculum to match his interest.
First, I would like to recommend the site, "What's this Caterpillar?" The name says it all. It was very easy to use, narrowed it down by style of caterpillar (smooth, hairy, spiney, horned, etc) then had pictures of each kind so you could "match" them.
Ours is an Io Moth.
When it "grow up" it will first turn green,
then build it's cocoon, (which will be similar to this)
then look like this:
Isn't that beautiful? It is easily identified by the "eye" markings on the hind wings.
Want to know something really cool? The caterpillar spines have poison in them. The website we found actually says "handle with care". Canaan was pretty impressed by that! If you touch it, you might feel a "sting", and some people even react to it strongly enough to need hospitalization.
Another site worth checking out is "The Children's Butterfly Site". Fairly simple, but some good links.
I have been reminded this week of all the reason's why we homeschool. Yes, my children still have to learn to read, and that 2+2=4, but I want as much of the other stuff to be fun. I want life to be an adventure and school to just fit into that adventure.
Canaan worked on two column addition and subtraction this week, and he kept saying he hated it. 24-14=10. 17+8= 25, with carrying the 1. Those were new concept, and he had to learn them - but by the end of the week, he had them. He still had to work, but he had them.
And in the meantime, he had fun studying caterpillars and what they turn into, and reading a mystery book and studying transportation in history.
Life is good.