Day by Day, Nature study and science, Uncertain times 2020

Fun with butterflies – June 2020

I’ve heard a couple of parents liken life to a roller coaster at the moment. I can very much identify with that. We’ve had some beautifully warm sunny days, Rhythm Dude has almost finished his college course, I’ve been feeling better and feel so blessed to have this extra time with our young adult sons at home; I want to make the most of every moment! However, my HWH is back at work, and despite all the goodwill from the general public, unsurprisingly this hasn’t been backed up by any increase in understanding from NHS England.

And this is a tough time for children, too. I think this is a season when many issues, either good or troubling, rise to the surface, and for children who have behavioural struggles, these are often heightened. So, if your child is one of these, you’re not alone! We are dealing with extraordinary uncertainties and this is especially hard for kids who need the security of a regular rhythm and familiar people in their lives. So go easy on yourselves. I am trying (and often failing) to avoid any potential flare up points. But when there is a melt down, know tomorrow is a new day, know that attachments are actually made through saying sorry and having a hug (air and repair), and know you are really doing an incredible job in very difficult circumstances. Be kind to yourselves and your children. Do something fun tomorrow.

And so to the post Sparkly Eyes helped me to create; on caterpillars and butterflies…

I enjoy Gerald Durrell’s books, “My Family and other Animals” being the most well known of them. I often think about the young Gerald when our daughters bring their new “pets” into our house…I’m not sure I’m as welcoming to the creepy crawlies as his mother was!

Sparkly Eyes has enjoyed collecting caterpillars and butterflies over the past few weeks. They each have names and are allocated to their own abodes with food and water. Butterflies are released back into their natural habitat with tears. So, we’ve taken up this current interest and run with it as a learning opportunity.

Silky the butterfly

We started by raiding the bookshelves and gathering together a stash of books. When I was a child, one of my favourite lessons was nature study. (I even remember I had a green exercise book for it!). Although this seems to have gone out of vogue now, we’ve always enjoyed nature walks and learning about our finds when we get home. I think that the skills children learn in observation are a good foundation for further science, the fresh air is good for our souls and the exercise for our bodies. I later discovered, to my delight, that it is a cornerstone of the Charlotte Mason approach to education. So, I can run with my intuition, indulge in an activity I enjoy and feel valid within it! Both the boys have chosen to study science, and both love the great outdoors; I wonder if any of this was rooted in our daily rambles?

Back to butterflies..we made a “butterfly bar” by heating together half a mashed banana, some sugar and some water. Butterflies love the sweetness.

Butterfly bar

I downloaded some butterfly worksheets from activity village . Butterflies are great for learning about symmetry. I also cut out butterfly shapes and the girls decorated them with finds from the garden.

At this stage in lockdown I definitely feel less is more, so that was about it. An easy win all round!

2 thoughts on “Fun with butterflies – June 2020”

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