35/52: School Days

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

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We are the proud parents of 7 Black Swallowtail Caterpillars! Well actually, as of the writing of this post, two of them are chrysalides and the others are well on their way. I've cheerfully ceded control of my parsley plants so that they can eat their fill, and they seem pretty happy in their little habitat. We're hoping they don't make the final metamorphosis until we're back from vacation, because we're all pretty excited to watch the transformation. Honestly I might be enjoying this more than the kids, but don't tell them. It's just so darned cool! Parsley, dill, and carrots all attract them, so plant some next year and you might get little visitors of your own.

In a (failed) attempt to occupy Peter and Edith on the first day of school, I got this set of water beads, complete with cute little scoops and tweezers for fine motor & sensory activities. It worked! For... 10 minutes? Then Peter very "helpfully" decided they were done and packed everything up to bring it inside. When I told him that it needed to stay on the porch, he opened the door and... dropped the container, spilling water beads all over the porch. Then, of course, the other kids remembered just how fun it is to squish them, so we just had smashed water beads all over the place. I still can't keep them from smashing them, two weeks later, so it looks like they'll be going into hiding for a good long time. They did serve as excellent motivation for the big kids to finish their school work though, because they were so excited to play!

Nature Study is going great, in no small part because they all have nice new materials to use. I got these travel paint sets for the twins, and we're all really pleased with the colors. These little watercolor journals were the best price I could find, and John Paul and Cecilia immediately decided they needed nice new journals, too. So I bought them a couple as well, and now their old nature journals (which never did end up being used as such) are just regular art doodle books, which they've apparently decided to use almost exclusively to draw Pokemon. John Paul even did Pokemon copywork one day last week. Have I mentioned how over their little Pokemon craze I am? I had to ban them from even looking Pokemon books up on the computer last time we were at the library. I'm hoping it's a phase that passes soon.

I did manage to snap them out of their Pokemon obsession for a little while, at least - Rebecca at Delphina Rose Art sent me some of her gorgeous coloring pages to print, and the girls have started coloring those when we do our reading for school, instead of drawing pictures of Pokemon. It's a MUCH better option, and I'm eventually going to choose some of her coloring pages that are based on works of great artists for picture study! I can't ever get the kids to try drawing their own version of whatever painting we focus on when we do picture study, but I definitely think I could get them to color a simplified version.

Oh. And I suppose I should mention those top pictures... On that same day as the ill-fated water beads, I also... Let Peter and Edith paint. I should have known better, but they were jealous of the other kids with their "real" paints, so I figured I could let them have some VERY short, VERY supervised painting time. Then Lucy woke up. When I returned, there were black blobs all over the place, particularly on their clothing, and all the colors were mixed together. So. I guess that was enough painting for this year!


  1. Both of our swallowtail butterflies emerged while we were camping :-( I was so bummed!!!! But at least I had the foresight to set them open on the porch so they could fly free. Maybe next year . . .

    1. Oh that is so frustrating!! I'm betting at least one of ours will emerge while we're gone...


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