We love butterflies :-) In our household, if one is seen you can guarantee several children will squeal with delight and go running outside. In our own backyard, we have some lovelies that frequent us...painted ladies, cabbage whites, and some yellow one that resembles a monarch. Such amazing beauty contained in such a small being.
For science this year, Brenna has been using Apologia's Zoology 1, which focuses on flying creatures. The last lesson of the year is on order Lepodoptera (butterflies, moths, and skippers-also referred to as Leps). So for this lesson we bought a little butterfly home and ordered some Painted Lady caterpillars to raise and watch change.
What fun! The metamorphosis that Leps go through is such an amazing example of God's perfect design in creation. Truly awesome! We enjoyed watching our caterpillars eat and quadruple in size and then change to their chrysalises. The most difficult thing to actually catch in action was the butterflies coming out of their chrysalises. They do it so quickly!
(Liam looking at one of our painted ladies)
After enjoying and studying our little friends for a few days, we decided to free them. We had six butterflies(all survived, though one had fallen while in the middle of its final change to chrysalis) and so we enjoyed each one leaving in its own time. Four flew out within a few minutes of us opening our house, but two took their time. Both of these stayed in our yard for most of the afternoon and both allowed us to hold them :-) Now that was awesome!
(Brenna and Liam holding a butterfly)
The only one that didn't hold our friends was Rowan...I'm thinking she might have been a bit too enthusiastic in her affections ;-) So she watched everyone else hold them and was tickled to see them flutter above her head as they left. There is nothing like watching a two year old's wonder :-)
(Rowan in awe watching Fiona hold a butterfly)
(Brenna's patience paid off, such a happy little student!)
(Resting spot for our little Lep friend~the pomegranate tree)
I have a feeling that this little project may have bred a love of studying butterflies, moths, and skippers. Could there be a future Lepidopterist in our family? Who knows :-) But I will encourage their love of these beautiful creatures. Truly amazing to watch them start from a caterpillar and become something that looks completely different! I highly recommend doing this little project (homeschooler or not). Your kids(and you!) will love it :-)
I look forward to doing this again in the future!
May you have a blessed day and feel the wonder of God's magnificent creation!