I know my boy will think so anyways. :)
My son is currently fascinated by mosquitoes. He has a bucket in the backyard filled with mosquito larva and a bunch of female mosquitoes. :) So when I got an email from "in the Hands of a Child" about this deal I was quite delighted (as was my son).
They are selling it for $1 for today and tomorrow. Isn't that great? Just in time for the buzzing, welt ridden season! The unit includes ways to deal with the bites and making a homemade repellant. OH.. Won't it be fun to try it and see if it works?
I know my boy will think so anyways. :)
I have to admit.. today has been a scattered, interrupting kind of a day.
I'm out doing bunny chores... MOM!!!! MOM!!!! Come quick!!! My crickets are mating!!!
So I rush to the house....only to have missed that wonderful event. The lad was full of talk about it though. :)
I went back out to finish the bunny chores and one eight year old lad accompanies. I continue cutting grass for them. MOM!!!! Come SEE!!!
What has he found you ask?
My toad... yes MY TOAD. Fred. Now called Fredrika as apparently Fred is a girl. I often found this particular toad near the fence in the backyard and when I"m cutting grass in that area I keep a close look out.
The lad learned this morning he is NOT allowed to add Fredrika to his collection of toads.
BUT MOM!!!! Was his lament. I like her! My other toads will like her too!!! Can I add her to the pond when it's all finished?
No. She's MY toad and you can leave her right where she likes to be.
And not even your best friends can keep her either.
We finish chores among much chatter about "wouldn't it be nice if we could have eusocial toads?" Lots of fun speculation going on. :)
Off for breakfast where we read another chapter in Little town on the prairie. Yesterday the lad thought it funny that the older children didn't know how to behave at a party. That they were too worried about being proper. Today was just a fun read with the boys pulling the girls on the hand sled. The chapter finished with Laura being worried about getting good grades so she could become a teacher so Mary could stay in School.
"But mom? Why would she worry about that? Couldn't her dad keep Mary in school? Why does Laura have to do that?".
It's just another lesson in how families help each other you know?
While the lad worked on his computer work: CTC math, Science4Us and Reading Kingdom I worked on the dishes. I stepped outside to do something and scared up a wee one. It hopped into our old dog kennel so I called the lad out to discover what it was. "oh mom" was his delighted soft cry "it's a baby robin! Can I keep it?"
Mean while.. Baby robin is just a hollering "MOM MOM!!!"
And momma Robin was hollering back "YOU DASTARDLY FIEND! LEAVE GO MY BABY!!!!!!"
So we released baby to momma's immense relief. I promised the lad that should we ever find a baby with no parents anywhere to be found or dead he could raise it up to be released later. But i said.. parents have to be dead or GONE. This of course led to an impromptu lesson on the different ways momma birds help their babies grow up. :)
Anyways, back to the computer work only for the lad to be called upstairs when the biggest bumble bee I'd ever seen was buzzing around the windows. Unfortunately it went to parts unknown before the lad made it upstairs (kinda like me and the crickets).
The Lad discovered the meaning of apostrophes and what the "O" in O'clock means. He was impressed by neither. What can I say?
For lunch I said "let's do something new" So I stuck some cheese inbetween two wraps.
The lad was ever so hesitant to try it but then said "oh. that's good mom. Next time can we try it with real cheese?". WOOT WOOT! My lad likes 'em. Dad comes in and says "OH.. you made quesadeahs" (spelling???) did you like them? Did you know they come from Mexico? Good things to teach a child right? :)
I don't know Lad, shall we go see?
So with anticipation and rubber boots on foot we headed out to McNaughton Park.
We saw the newest members of the park
We assume members in waiting are guarded here....
We saw various flowers....
and look as we might...
No frog or toad eggs were there in sight... NOT A ONE!
The only thing the lad managed to catch were two big water striders who got the fright of their life.
We did release them later upstream when feet too cold were found...
Disappointment reigned, but with hope for another day....
For according to google... mid to end May is when they should be out... and that's just days away! :) (I foresee many more walks in our future).
It was a lovely day outside, a great 30 minute time of discovery.
I'm writing this post as part of the TOS Crew Carnival topic Spring Studies. When I thought of spring studies I immediately thought of our recent day that we took off from doing book work.
My son was ABSOLUTELY delighted!
"Mom.. you mean I can help you and look for bugs too?"
Sure can lad. :)
"YEAH!!! This will be the best day ever!"
Our goal is to move the veggies gardens over. We have clay and digging in clay is NOT my idea of fun so when I moved in (after we got married) I set up raised beds to do my gardening. It was otherwise much to hard to work with. I have to say.. between the dirt I originally brought in and the rabbit waste.. I have the best soil around for miles. :) I actually have people come and buy it off me in the spring. :) But I digress.
We are moving the gardens in order to resituate our rabbitry a bit. I'm allowed 20 rabbits in town and was housing them 10 x 20 portable garages but someone complained and now I need to put them in to 10 x 10 shelters... seems silly but hey, it means we can resituate and make it work better in the long run.
In the process of our digging the lad is finding many interesting critters to study and we often take breaks to discover what they need to survive. Take for instance the big headed ground beetle. The image below is from theBugGuide. My son is finding these guys everywhere in our gardens. We've learned they like to live in moist places and are often found on rocks and other debris. They eat small insects and arthropods.
Having learned that information, everyone one of these nasty looking bugs (though they really aren't nasty as when you find them they "freeze". This means you can easily handle them and discover that they have reddish/brown highlights.. they aren't the solid black you first think they are. They are actually quite nice looking if you give them a chance, and very easy to handle. Anyways, my son built this habitat for them. under that ground cover (he didn't want me lifting the cover off) is a whack of damp dirt with stones, small insects, and rotten wood. The beetles seem quite happy and when you put them in (once they unfreeze) they immediately burrow away. Fascinating to watch how quickly they disappear.
He's also managed to find three different grubs and he's really hoping that this habitat is good for them. Other than the fact that they live in the ground and they come out when the weather is nice, we've been unable to learn much about what they need to survive. One thick white one, one skinny white/yellow one and one brown one that kinda looks like a caterpillar. He's also found what looks to me like a corn grub but he thought that one icky and tossed it over our back fence. I don't like that one mom.. it makes me think of a centipedes and I don't like them.
But we saw some really neat bugs... an iridescent blue one, some tiny springtails, baby centipedes, millipedes, NO snail eggs! WOOT WOOT, some small VERY FAST black bugs, different coloured worms, a flat brown bug that the lad said "he's ugly mom, I'm not keeping him. I'm sure the toads won't like him either". A colony of small brown/yellow ants that we didn't expect to find as there was no outward sign of them. "Watch them mom, they are scared you wrecked their home". Oh, and the lad had the extreme joy of finding his first wolf spider of the season. He just LOVES spiders (whereas I think of them as he thinks of outdoor centipedes).
I must mention, my boy loves all things buggy and animaly.. EXCEPT for centipedes. For some reason they just give him the creeps. "you know how you don't like spiders on you mom? I don't like centipedes.. they are red and they can bites and all those legs mom... I just don't like them." He tried to be brave and keep some for feeding the toads but he just couldn't do it. Speaking of our toads. The lad has successfully kept three toads all winter. He did so by feeding them crickets and the other day we fed them some worms. Boy that was funny to watch. They all gathered round with this look of intense concentration and then flick.. a worm would be snatched up. I hope you can see at least one of them in this picture getting ready to have his breakfast.
The lad has discovered how wood breaks down when exposed to dirt. It gets all soft and crumbly and bugs like to hide it. It's such a treasure trove for a lad.
And he had a great deal of fun smashing apart two old gardens that had degraded too much to be moved. "MOM!!!! Look how the worms stick into the cracks! I can't get him out he's so stubborn mom. What do you think the worms thinking with me pulling on him? Do you think he's saying AH.. let go of my butt!!! (giggle). MOM!!! See this huge root that grew through the wood!!! Did you know roots could be that strong mom?"
He has a bucket for worms now to feed his toads. The worms on the table there were picked out for feeding the toads. The lad has so much fun making up conversations for the toads. "ah, we were having a nice breakfast and AH!!! This huge predator has grabbed us AH!!!! oh good, we get to relax, we're not being eaten, hold on ... why are we on this hard surface, what's going on... AH!!! OH No... TOADS!!!! HELP!!!!"
While gardening I asked my lad if he checked the vole traps recently. "Oh no mom, I haven't! Oh.. I better do that we don't want them to die!!!" To his absolute delight there were two new ones today. They joined the rest in our basement tank. The new ones are still quite timid and let my boy handle them nicely. At the end of the month most will go to the raptor rescue to be a breeding colony there and the offspring used to help the raptors get "release ready".
Hmmm.. what else... We talked about the joy of finding the first flowers of spring. It's been a full week now since we discovered the snow drops are blooming. I have to admit.. I don't like this time of the year when it's all mucky everywhere you go. BUT what I like is looking for the beauty of the season...the birds returning, the first flowers of spring and what not. The muck annoys, but hidden within it is beauty. Kinda like how God sees us eh? Amidst the muck of our lives he sees the beauty of his son in us and calls us out of it.
I almost forgot. The lad is conducting an experiment that we really hope works. He found a tiny ground bee. He thinks it's a female since they hibernate over the winter. He put her in this largest jar with the hopes that she'll settle in, make a burrow and then he can let take the lid off and let her come and go. That way he won't have to struggle to feed her, she'll be safe with a good spot for her burrow, and he can watch bees do their thing. I am so hopeful for him that it will work. Bees are threatened in Ontario (and well all over Canada). So many pesticides are wiping them out or weakening them so they are less resistant to disease.
We felt very accomplished by the end of our day...and the lad got to enjoy a chocolate bar as the fruits of his labour. Certainly were tired and sore after our days work/fun.
On Good Friday my lad had the joy of showing his beloved gramma all the bugs that he caught, and she was duelly impressed. :) I so much appreciate my husband's mom and how interested she is in everything about her grandson. Even if she doesn't like 'em, she still takes an avid interest in everything that he is interested in. :) So nice to watch their interaction...I never thought that would bring me so much joy as a mom. :)
Anyways, do come on over and visit us. We, of the TOS Crew, would be delighted to have you learn how we do spring studies in our homeschooling adventures. :)
Here's the experiment sitting before we went on holidays. This is the results post from our fruit fly experiment.
Plain vinegar attracted but ONE lonely fruit fly. Not particularly effective.
The apples floating in water attracted a few, but turned mouldy which seemed to be a turn off for the fruit flies. Captured 8.
Apple cider vinegar attracted in excess of 20 but less than 40.
Balsamic Vinegar attracted over 40 fruit flies and continues to do so. It is highly effective in attracting fruit flies.
The lad is enjoying the fruit fly explosion. It gives him flies to feed his spiders. He's also been telling a number of people to use "balsic vinegar" to catch their fruit flies if they ever have an explosion too.
I am putting this post together for my son. We are reading from "Bugs" and tonight learned about the Pagoda Ant. And how they use sticks to build their nests. That fascinated us. So I said I'm going to look that up and let you see pictures in the morning okay bud? YES mom! Do that!
it was actually REALLY hard to find information on these ants. I tried a variety of tricks....but couldn't find a whole lot on them. The closest I came where pictures and how they made them. And a closely related ant is called a weaver ant.
they make their nests using: leaves, saliva and dry mud.
Images (click them to go to page they are from please)
What does one do on Labour Day? Well...around here when tend to relax, though we'll do some schooling as well if we're bored due to rain. :)
First we decided to go up the Pinery Provincial Park. They were doing a program in the afternoon on Smart Birds. And the lad wanted to hunt for ant lions.
He managed to catch 5 of them all together and has set them up in a nice tank at home and will be feeding them ants on a regular basis. If you don't know what ant lions are you can learn more about them here. I've attached a video below so you can see them in action.
He also discovered tent caterpillar nests... so off he went collecting some of them as well.
The smart birds program was about the crow family. We all learned (Dad came with) that crows use tools (using cars to crush hard nuts), know how to use ants to clean mites off their feathers (called anting), like to have fun (aka using plastic lids as sleds) and some of the crow family can mimic human speech. It was quite an interesting presentation though we got there five minutes late (we desperately needed to put gas in our car). After the presentation we took walk on one of the many trails the pinery has. Neither my son or my hubby understand why I like taking pictures of fungi, but I just find the variety in them fascinating. I mentioned to hubby I wouldn't mind have a book on identifying them (who knows, that might be a Christmas present this year). :)
We ended up doing some schooling later on in the day as I had a lad bored with the weather. We have continued to wander through "a child's geography". Stay tuned because a review is coming up soon for that. :) We also worked on A+ Math. We covered fractions today. We haven't done fractions in a while and it was amazing what the lad got hung up on. So we listened to the lesson and then are letting it sit for a bit.
Today we are going (I think) to the back to school picnic. We'll bring along an umbrella as it's supposed to rain and is rather damp now. It's usually fun regardless the weather. Dad needs to visit a rather sick parishoner in the hospital so he's providing us the ride down (we only have one vehicle at the moment so it makes travel a bit more difficult).
So that was how we spent out Labour Day. How did you spend yours?
Since I"m not allowed to eat today, during breakfast I took my concentration off food by reading books to my lad.
My lad LOVES bugs, so reading about bugs works for us. :)
We read the following books"
Bugs by Lucy Bowman
Strange Bugs by Justin McCory Martin
Hey Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose
We were reading about how bees help pollinate plants and my lad asked
MOM, are there any plants that use bugs to move their seeds around?
I said, I don't think so but I don't know. I know birds and animals are used by plants, and people too, but I don't know about bugs.
So we looked it up.
Did you know that ants are beneficial in helping move seeds around?
Do Insects help with seed dispersal?
When it comes to insects, only the ants have been found to play significant roles in seed dispersal, in an interaction called myrmecochory. The few plants that use ants as seed dispersers produce seeds with an elaiosome – a tasty covering that ants love. The ants carry this seed back to the nest where they feed on the elaiosome, leaving the seed itself unharmed, and the seed lies dormant until conditions are ideal enough for germination.
That had us looking up Myrmecochory. from Greek myrmeco-: "ant's" + -chory: "dispersal") is seed dispersal by ants, an ecologically significant ant-plant interaction with worldwide distribution.
And Elaisosome (Greek élaion "oil" and sóma "body") are fleshy structures that are attached to the seeds of many plant species. The elaiosome is rich in lipids and proteins, and may be variously shaped. Many plants have elaiosomes that attract ants, which take the seed to their nest and feed the elaiosome to their larvae.
Both of these definitions are from wiki.
Isn't it cool how God has plants and animals work together in such a beneficial way? Rather cool too, how we never would have learned this if I hadn't been hungry and needed to distract myself from food. :) God works in mysterious ways doesn't he?
There are over 3000 plants that use this technique to disperse their seeds.
Here is a study that goes into further detail.
It plays an important part in the lifecycle of cacti.
Just very very interesting. :) If this information is not in our study on Ants that we'll be doing later, I'll be sure to come back to it. :)
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2013 TOS Reviews
if you were me
Family Hope Center
Bible Study Guide for all ages
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Homeschool in the woods
Wet, Dry, Try App
Essentials in Writing
In the Hands of a Child
A journey through learning
2014 TOS Reviews
Philippians in 28 weeks.
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Logic of English.
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Wizzy Gizmo: In his image
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Topaz and the Evil Wizard
Alone yet not alone
Lead me Home
I am Second
Can't wait Willow
This is Our Time
What I wish I knew at 18
Raising boys by design.
The Ruby Ring.
Knowing God By name.
The Jesus Bible, NIV.
One Realm Beyond.