Monday, September 17, 2007

Homeschool Science and Insect Collecting

My Grandpa, George Woodruff, was a Biology professor at Harding for decades.  All of his children and grandchildren were blessed with a love for science. 

I have a very hard time killing healthy insects.  Most of my butterflies have been found on their death bed, or they were dead already.  A good place to find flying insects is the grill of your vehicle.  I try to capture only the weak and dying and let the healthy finish their given work in the environment.  Any where there are big outside lights, a parking lot, a little league sports game or your front porch, is another good place to hunt.

I put my live insects in a zip lock bag and place it in the freezer. A biologist friend of mine said it was a painless death. I hope she’s right. :(  I started keeping zip lock bags with me at all times.  I go prepared as you never know when you'll find an awesome bug. :)  I started coating our foam board with diatomaceous earth because a few of my most beautiful moths were eaten by microscopic somethings.  Why couldn’t they eat one of my ugly bugs? Grrrrrrrr.... 

Another sad thing I noticed was beautiful, gorgeous dragonflies do not keep their color after drying.  Oh, how I love dragonflies.  

One thing I haven’t figured out yet is how to preserve a big fat juicy bug.  They are going to smell as they decompose. I’ve learned to leave 5 inch grasshoppers alone because it wasn’t worth it. Ick! I wonder if we can put them in salt and make mummies out of them.  Hmmmmm....more research 

I have some pictures of some other things we’ve collected. The little white stone things were actual kidney stones out of a dog. Gross!!! Those are sharks teeth we found on the beach.  We have tons of fossils too. 

I just want to encourage you to collect gross things.  Many parents can be creeped out, but your kids.....especially your boys....will love it.  Speaking of gross, we LOVED this game, The Totally Gross Game.  And this was a yucky, gross, and thoroughly interesting book too: Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty.  I can't say they are pleasant, but they were fun and educational.  I like things which make my son laugh, where he can learn without knowing he is learning.  
What kinds of flora, fauna or "gross" things do your children collect?  Do you have any ideas or comments?
I hope you'll follow our blogging journey.  We look forward to sharing with you. 
Be blessed. 
Be kind.
Choose Joy. 

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