Handbook of Nature Study - pp
We took this challenge thinking it would be so easy :). Most nights - as I'm always late watering my few plants/flowers that need water twice a day this time of year- I'm outside with the lights on and swatting the insects away! Normally my children have completed their bedtime routine and are in bed by this time but I thought this challenge would be a lot of fun SO when you see them in the pajamas -lol - that's why! :)
As I watered my flowers, they were trying to see the moths at our outside light. The problem being that the light is near the top of the house and they couldn't get a great look at the insects. My DH gave the kids a large flashlight to use and we turned off the spotlight on the house. At first they weren't seeing anything but my youngest was also dancing around with the light rather than setting it down :). I decided to turn on the smaller light on the back porch by the door to see what we were able to see. Almost immediately a moth came to the brick. The kids spotted it and as I tried to nudge it onto my fingers - it flew right onto my son's pajama shirt! :)
Chance & Alyssa having a look at the moth that landed on his shirt. They were really excited to be able to look at him so closely.
The moth didn't seem to mind resting on Chance's clothing at all so we all took turns getting a good look at the moth.
I am not very good at identifying moths - I went to Enature but it appears that the moths are SO similar in appearance. I have not identified him. We, instead, turned the conversation onto the differences of moths and butterflies that we could SEE that night. The kids did not do a nature journal entry this night because it was so late. My main objective was for us to have a good time finding a moth and taking a CLOSE look at one which we succeeded at! :)
We had already ordered some Painted Lady Butterfly caterpillars a few weeks before. They had arrived, eaten and more than tripled in size and were forming their chrysalides during this time. In the morning all of them had formed chrysalides so we were able to move them into their "butterfly habitat". This gave us a great opportunity for a nature sketch to follow up our outdoor hour challenge.
This was a wonderful time to distinguish the difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis.
Other links that explain the differences:
Cocoons and chrysalides are protective coverings for the pupa. The pupa is the intermediate stage between the larva and adult. A moth makes a cocoon, which is wrapped in a silk covering. A butterfly makes a chrysalis, which is hard, smooth and has no silk covering."
Another good website for coloring pages, printouts, and information:
If they left the morning with nothing else, my DC now know that butterflies do not (as they told thier daddy firmly later :)) form cocoons as most people say - moths do and butterflies form chrysalides.
It was quite a bit of fun for us as always with the Outdoor Hour Challenges! I encourage anyone who's not taking AT LEAST this amount of time out doors with their children weekly to really do so! There - for me- is something so incredibly bonding and important about experiencing God's wonders and Creation together with your children. Anyone homeschooling with the Charlotte Mason method should know from her writing the importance of Nature Study and time spent out of doors.
Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which
will be a source of delight and habit through life.~~Charlotte Mason,
Original Homeschooling Series