Taking a Break for School

I was out cleaning the yard recently with my two oldest sons when one of them discovered a GIANT green caterpillar. Since I love to turn everything into a learning experience, not only for them but also for myself, we set off to learn. First we captured the caterpillar. Then we finished cleaning the yard. It would have been fun to run and discover about the caterpillar right away, but I feel it’s important to teach character, such as focus and patience, in addition to academics. So we waited until after our chores were done before we got to discover about the caterpillar. All three of my sons (the youngest having just turned 2) ran to the encyclopedias and started looking, each under a different letter. B for butterfly. C for caterpillar. E for... well, not sure what that one was for, E Eating maybe? They also looked at an insect book we have. And I looked on the Internet for them.

We discovered that the GIANT green caterpillar was a polyphemus moth - one of the largest in North America, thus explaining why it was so ‘giant’. We learned what it eats or actually doesn’t once it becomes an adult moth. We discussed scientific classification since we had just learned about that the week before. We looked at lots of pictures of the moth, the favorite part of this process for my two-year-old. We learned how to care for it. And best of all, it spun a cocoon that night! What incredible timing! Now we get to learn more patience while we wait for it to hatch.

Some of the questions I like to ask myself with any learning experience are:

What can I learn from this?
Ex: What kind of moth.

What is special about this?
Ex: One of the largest moths in North America.

How can we learn more about God through this experience?
Ex: He created all living things. (Genesis 1)

How can I teach good character through this experience?
Ex: Finish chores before play.

Are there any life skills that can be taught through this?
Ex: Caring for another living thing.

Can I teach any life lessons from this?
Ex: We must care for the caterpillar or it will die.

What have we learned recently that we can tie into this?
Ex: Scientific classification.

I find the possibilities for teaching with any learning opportunity can be endless, and that I am most often limited by time and not opportunities.


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Please post an update when it

Please post an update when it emerges from the cocoon.

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