The Natural Homeschool Entomologists

Thank you Tanya.

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

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Have you found the perfect Science curriculum yet? We have! I am so excited to share with you the one we have and how amazing it is. I will tell you all about it and why we love it so much. We are sticking with it for a long while, for sure! This is a review post for  Nancy Larson Science 1 Unit F: Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders).

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Let me explain to you how this curriculum works. This year has 6 units and every unit focuses on a different topic. This is the sixth and last unit. It focuses on insects and spiders. We had so much fun with this unit in particular. Take a look below at the awesome lessons we covered in this unit!

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

We took our time examining the characteristics and life cycles of insects (and spiders) to learn about insects. We learned about how many legs and body parts they have. We learned about different insects (earwigs, praying mantises, beetles, etc).

These are some of the best books we read about insects: 1) The Best Book of Bugs 2) Big Book of Bugs 3) Familiar insects and Spiders (already included in the kit) 4) Bugs A to Z.

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

One of our top reasons to love Nancy Larson Science 1 so much is that it is hands-on, visual and also quantifiable by having paper and pencil activities as well. I simply love that balance!

For our butterfly unit, we received a voucher to order our caterpillars (kit is included in the curriculum, so no extra charge) and got them in the mail a couple of weeks later. You can specify to the company which week of the month you would like to receive them.

We watched them eat and eat and grow and molt and eat some more. We recorded our observations in the record sheets included in our curriculum. Then we watched them go into the chrysalis stage and then we waited as we learned more with pictures (included in the kit), mini butterfly and caterpillar replicas and activity sheets.

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

We read several butterfly books and we learned so much more. We learned the differences between butterflies and moths and we went exploring for butterflies during the day and we scouted for moths around our lights outside at night.

Finally, our butterflies came out! We fed them (instructions included for every step of the process) and watched them flutter around in their habitat for a few days. Once the last one came out, we released them. Their habitat is a cylindrical net, so we went into our trampoline for a giant habitat feel before they flew out into the world.

It was bittersweet, fascinating and beautiful, all at the same time. We really enjoyed examining the characteristics and life cycles of the beautiful insects! Here is part of our butterfly reading list 1) Butterflies and Moths 2) Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing Butterflies and Moths 3) Are You a Butterfly? 4) From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Enjoying what you see on  Nancy Larson Science 1? Well, come take a look at our lessons studying the ladybug life cycle, up close and personal. Our kit also included a ladybug (ladybird beetle) habitat and a voucher to order our larvas.

We received them about a week or two after our caterpillars arrived, so, while the caterpillars were in their chrysalis stage, we were had fun observing ladybug larvas scurry around, eat and eat and eat and then go into their pupas. We recorded our observations in each stage with them as well.

This experience was just as fascinating! Once the ladybugs came out of their pupas, we fed them and then we opened their habitat and let them crawl on our hands over a couple of days. It was so much fun! Here is part of the ladybug book list 1) Are You a Ladybug? 2) The Grouchy Ladybug 3) A Ladybug Larva Grows Up

We also studied the life cycle of grasshoppers, but we didn’t grow any. Here is part of our grasshopper book list 1) Are You a Grasshopper? 2) Grasshopper 3) Grasshopper life cycle

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

This post is titled: Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders) and now, we have arrived to the spider part. Spiders are arachnids, from the arthropod family. They are not insects and we learned all about that! We recognized the differences, different kinds of spiders and their general behavior. It was fun leaving the hands-on part out of the equation for this one, hehe.

We have truly enjoyed using  Nancy Larson Science 1 this school year. We love it and look forward to Science 2 this Fall! Stay tuned for our posts about it! In my honest opinion,  Nancy Larson Science 1 is definitely worth the investment. It comes with so much material to cover (71 lessons in all) that it would have taken forever for me to put something this thorough and hands-on on my own.

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Interested in Nancy Larson Science? Find them everywhere! Take at the list below. ?

Follow Nancy Larson on social media: Pinterest   Twitter @NLScience   Instagram

Nancy Larson Science for Homeschool and Why Nancy Larson Science Works

Facebook group Nancy Larson Science Homeschoolers

YouTube Channel (with videos answering many of your FAQs)

Blog BloomingScientists (where many parents share their stories)

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Thank you for reading our Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders) post! Here is the list of past posts from this year’s curriculum. You get to study them all with your children! Every single unit has been amazing!

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