Homeschool Discoveries

Sharing a few things I've discovered along the way…

From Caterpillar to Butterfly June 25, 2012

Filed under: Fun Stuff and Extras — kirstenjoyhill @ 1:17 pm
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It took less than a month.  A tiny baby Monarch caterpillar that Miss M brought home on June 1st emerged as a butterfly yesterday, June 24th:

When a monarch emerges from its chrysalis (almost always in the morning), it needs to rest and inflate/dry its wings for a few hours.   Our monarch emerged on Sunday morning before we left for church.  Miss M and I had a bridal shower to attend after church so Tony and the boys released the butterfly while we were gone.  (I did just learn, though, from reading this page on rearing monarchs that they could have waited until we returned home in the afternoon, and the butterfly would have been fine. Now we know for future years!).

I love the process of raising monarchs.  The tiny caterpillars grow so quickly and the change of metamorphosis is wonderful to see and such a great learning opportunity!  Monarchs are a declining species due to loss of habitat, and it feels good to be involved in helping a monarch or two survive to adulthood each year.  This year we’re also going to plant some milkweed of our own instead of relying on the milkweed of neighbors! We’ll create a bit more habit for them and have an easier time getting food for our little guys next year.

I’m linking up with:

Science Sunday


Collage Saturday: Summer Fun, Weeks 3 and 4 June 23, 2012

Filed under: Weekly Highlights — kirstenjoyhill @ 8:08 am
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We’ve had no shortage of things to keep up busy the past couple weeks! Last week, we spent three very full days doing service projects with Mission to the City.  This week, we accepted an invite from a friend to do Vacation Bible Camp at a neighborhood church, so I had quality time with Mr. K each morning while the two older kids participated in the camp.

Last week Mr. E started a once-a-week-for-six-weeks evening soccer class.  And this week Miss M started a month of tennis at our neighborhood park.  That’s every day (weather permitting), but luckily it is first thing in the morning (8am!) and she can walk to the park with her best friend from across the street (thank heavens for the S. family, so I don’t have to get everyone out the door before 8!).

And on top of all of this, I’m nearing my quarterly editing deadline (July 1st) for Faithwalkers Journal, so I’ve been taking advantage of summer break and arranged several hours of daytime babysitting for the kids so that I could actually get my work done while I’m fresh (aka not editing late into the night while the kids are sleeping). That has been wonderful!

As crazy as this sounds, I haven’t felt too stressed out.  🙂  I feel like overall we’re still having a pretty relaxed and fun summer.  Here are a few other highlights of our “summer fun”:

1. Have you heard about the Little Free Library project? It’s a grassroots movement to put small tiny lending libraries in neighborhood everywhere.  Individuals create the library boxes and put them in their yard (I’ve also seen one at a neighborhood school yard).  It’s a lending library for everyone — you can take a book or leave a book any time! Neighbors just down the street installed a Little Free Library about two weeks ago. Our LFL has one shelf for adult books and one shelf for kids books.  The kids love to visit and exchange books.

2.  To help with the initial stocking of the Little Free Library, we donated a stack of books we selected at the thrift store (including some classic kids chapter books I picked out for the neighborhood kids to enjoy!).  But this is the stack I picked out for us!  I just couldn’t go browsing books without picking out some for us!  A dollar a book is just too good to pass up when there are lots of classic chapter books to be had.

3. Dinner picnic in the front lawn before Mr. E’s first night of soccer.  To be honest, the dinner picnic was more due to the fact I had gotten the dining room sparkling clean that afternoon and didn’t want to wreck it right away than due to me being so much fun as just letting the kids eat in the front yard.  😉

4. Watching big machinery is always entertaining.  Here the boys are watching a tree stump being dug up across the street.

5.  Big bouncy fun at the “Neighborhood Street Fest” at the church where the kids attended VBC this week.

6.  As always there is lots of arts and crafts going on around here.  Here Miss M and friend Miss L  create a sort of tye-dye effect on old rags with tempera paint.  They came with this themselves, with some inspiration from a craft book!

7.  Mr. K pushes baby J at the park swings

8. and 9. Our “very hungry caterpillar” grew to be very large…and made its chrysalis a little over a week ago.  Now we are patiently waiting to meet (and then release) our butterfly.  This is one of my favorite parts of summer.  Metamorphosis is such a miracle to see and I am amazed by it every time!

Hope you are having lots of summer fun too!

I’m linking up with Collage Friday and the Weekly-Wrap Up:

Homegrown Learners


Collage “Friday” (on Sunday): First Two Weeks of Summer Fun June 10, 2012

Filed under: Weekly Highlights — kirstenjoyhill @ 4:29 pm

It’s summer break around here, and that brings a total change in rhythm.  It’s hard to even remember to find time to blog on the usual days.  🙂  Here are a few highlights of our “summer fun” so far:

Our weekends have been jam-packed with camping, BBQs with friends, a weekend-long car project for Tony, swimming at the pool (we bought a pass for the summer, thanks to a great deal on Living Social!), and a morning of garage sale bargain hunting.

Our evenings were much busier than usual too, thanks to seven nights of swimming lessons over the past two weeks for Miss M and Mr. E.  They both passed their levels and showed much improvement.

Luckily our days have been pretty slow-paced so far.  Other than the fact that a two-day camping trip really takes more like 4 or 5 days of our life due to shopping, packing, unpacking, laundry, and so on…we’ve had lots of time to enjoy slow paced summer days at home.  We brainstormed what we want to put on our “bucket list” for the summer.  We’ve had plenty of time spent reading. The kids have enjoyed extra time for art, legos, and creative play.  We’ve played with friends that it is harder to find time to connect with during the year.  We are raising and observing caterpillars for the third or fourth summer in a row.

Next week, our days get busier as we participate in a a few special days of service to our community called “Mission to the City” along with others in our church.

Hope you are enjoying your summer so far too!

Linking up with….

Homegrown Learners