Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monarch Butterfly

 Over our years of studies we have enjoyed many Monarch Butterfly hatchings.  This has always been one of our favorite science experiments.  First we'd hike around the yard searching out Milk Weed plants.  Sometimes it would take many attempts and then we'd find a small black and yellow striped fellow nibbling on the Milk Weed leaves.  We would carefully take the fellow and his plant home to our home and place him, or her, in a jar with a piece of screen fitted on the top with a ring, or elastic.  This had to be something easy to remove so that each day the little fellow could have some fresh Milk Weed added to the jar.  After some time the little fellow would grow into a larger, more chubby fellow.  Then he would make his trek to the top of the jar and spin a small piece of thread to glue himself in place.  After this he would hang in a "J" shape until he was ready to go into his chrysalis. Then after about 21 days out comes a beautiful Monarch Butterfly.

Yesterday I went for a walk with my friend and as I left her and continued on by myself I came across a Monarch Butterfly on the side of the road. This butterfly was very tattered. As a matter of fact, one of its wings was partially missing.  But it was flying over some flowers, probably in search of some Milk Weed to lay her eggs.  I remembered what we had learned in our study of Monarchs.  In our part of the country the Monarch Butterflies will spend the summer after hatching and then fly south to the home of their ancestors.  After wintering over in the warmer climate they will head north again to the place of their birth.  This trip is hard enough the first time when they fly south, many hundreds of thousands of miles.  But the trip back north is even harder on the butterfly, which at this time is almost a year old.  Pretty old in insect years.  After this hard trip the butterfly will return to the place of its hatching only to mate, lay eggs and die.  The next generation of butterflies will be born to continue on.  But the spring hatching is different than that of the fall or late summer hatching.  I have heard that this spring butterfly only lives for the summer.  It hatches in the spring, mates, lays its eggs and then dies.  It is incredible to think that the third generation is actually the one that heads south for the winter.  I am just awed by God's incredible design of the Monarch Butterfly.  I think He gave this creature amazing abilities.  Not only does it know where it needs to go, even the third generation, when it has never been there before but that it returns to its birth place, and that it can survive the incredible journey  it must endure.  What a wonderful picture of God's provision and love for His creatures.  How much more He loves those who He created in His own image!  Enjoy God's wonderful creation with your children this summer.  I hope you store up wonderful memories.

Happy Homeschooling!

Monday, June 4, 2012

How Unconventional! Hope for those who opt out of college Part 2

In my last post I shared with you about my son's unconventional way of getting his education and the kick start to his career.  Although my daughter only graduated two years ago she has also chosen a very unconventional path.  All through my daughter's senior year she wanted to start her own business.  She has a love for sewing and really spent much time during her high school years improving upon her seamstress training.  I had taught her the basics of sewing clothing and a little quilting as well.  But she really took off on her own when she discovered how much she loved making time period costumes.  Her favorites were dresses from the Colonial time period, but also Regency and Civil War era.  This love for sewing and her desire to start her own business spurred her on.  She began teaching sewing classes to beginners; younger girls ages ten and up.  This also helped her to fulfill her God given desire to be a Titus 2 woman; teaching women (girls) younger than herself.  She also began sewing modest girl's dresses, mostly for little girls.  She was thrilled when she sold all the dresses that she'd made and also received some orders.  After a year of running her business, she decided she still would like making time period costumes but with a bit of a twist.  She wants to teach early American history along with it.  Because she didn't want to go away to college and wanted to be a stay at home daughter, she began looking into taking online classes.  She discovered that even though online school is less expensive, it was still very costly.  Since she hadn't been able to find a part time job she was feeling this wasn't something she could afford.

Then God placed a wonderful opportunity in my daughter's path.  Our neighbor needed a full time nanny for her one year old grandson and she offered the job to her.  This worked out perfectly.  She could make some money, learn how to care for a baby, and have me right next door to help her out.  She also didn't need to drive to work so that has saved her a lot of money.  After nearly a year of being a nanny she had learned many child care skills and she had saved enough money to think about paying for online classes.  This was when she looked into College Plus!  The wonderful thing about College Plus! is that you work at the pace that works best for you while you earn your degree.  It has turned our to be a wonderful experience for her.   She can study and work at the same time.  She is doing very well and is majoring in history.  She hopes to get her BA in history in just two years time.  Not only is this program so much less expensive, but it is also accelerated.  If you desire to finish the program in less time than traditional college you can.  The amount of money that she is saving will allow her to be debt free when she is finished.  She is hoping to start her own business teaching others the true early American Christian history, through living history and costuming.

The reason I called these posts "How Unconventional" is because this is how my daughter explained her choice of schooling to a dear friend who we hadn't seen in many months, and ran into in a sewing store recently.  My daughter was explaining how her schooling choice was unconventional, and our friend replied, "you don't do anything conventionally, do you?"  At that point we laughed, she knew us well.  The truth is we don't! 

Even though my daughter has only been enrolled in College Plus! for six months, she has had a wonderful experience through them.  She highly recommends it and if you are interested in going an unconventional route as well, you'll have to check them out!

Happy homeschooling!