Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Caterpillar Conclusion

Well, we've been back from vacation for a couple weeks and it's been a whirlwind as always :) Many of you were wondering how the caterpillars survived the trip - all I can say is that nature is truly amazing. These four little caterpillars (turned pupa) weathered a bumpy 600 mile car ride and hatched into beautiful butterflies right on schedule once we reached our destination! The kids loved watching the butterflies drink from the flowers we put in their habitat and after a lot of discussion, Niklas decided to release them. Max still talks about "Raupe, Raupe" (caterpillar) and I think he is also saying "Schmetterling" (butterfly) when he sees one.

Russell Island (see picture above), where we spent a week and a half, is the perfect place for relaxation. Golf carts and footpower are the main modes of transportation, and with no cable tv, we had plenty of time to re-connect with family. However, on this "vacation", I saw my kids learning all the time. Niklas spent a couple hours working on the word games on the back of cereal boxes. He showed me he knows most of the letters even though we haven't focused on learning letters this summer. The word search progressed to rhyming games and a discussion of fractions over waffles which are conveniently divided into quarters. Some thoughtful neighbors brought us some fat hornworm caterpillars and Niklas discovered how they could hang by their munching little jaws from a leaf.

People ask Niklas how he likes having his mom for a teacher but the truth is that it is the KIDS who are continuously teaching ME new things - I am just their assistant, here to help them follow their passions.

Ahh - vacation! The view from Grandma's front yard. Island life on the St. Claire River in Michigan is wonderful.  Posted by Picasa

Our painted lady butterflies survived the trip from NJ to MI! This is the release :) Posted by Picasa

Tomato hornworm caterpillar. These guys are huge! What an appetite. Posted by Picasa