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View Full Version : Looking for bugs as only extracurricular activity (sigh)



Laina
04-22-2011, 04:45 PM
Today I talked to Louisa about the plan for next year. She's excited to homeschool and especially excited about being able to do a lot of workbooks (?). Then I brought up what kind of activities she might want to join and gave her some options of the cool things she could do: swim lessons, dance, gymnastics, theater, chorus, nature science group, etc. She told me she doesn't want to do ANY of those things except maybe go swimming sometimes (but not lessons). I said, "So you just want to stay home all day?" and she said that she wouldn't be in the house all day--she will do her work and then go look for bugs in the backyard.

I can sense that getting her involved in extracurriculars is going to be a struggle. I really think having activities is important for her socially and a great advantage to homeschooling is that she can do more of them. Anyone else have a kid like this? Should I just not listen to her opinion? (FWIW, she does a few things now and usually complains when it's time to go but likes them when she gets there.)

bcnlvr
04-22-2011, 04:59 PM
This year we essentially "looked for bugs" after school was done. I said to myself that we were deschooling (as I had pulled DS9 out of ps) and that was fine. I have DS6 starting hs in the fall and I have the same question/concern. They just want to play after their work/community service is done. Right now I am inclined to let them. But then again I am a lazy homebody.....

farrarwilliams
04-22-2011, 05:03 PM
Some kids need more social interaction than others. One of mine needs A LOT. The other, not so much. He'll go through phases of not wanting to go out as much, though he's not that extreme - he likes to see his friends. If I was in your situation, I would look for a really good, tight-knit group to get involved with so your dd can actually form strong relationships. For most introverts (I'm assuming she's an introvert) having a few close relationships is more important than being out there interacting with people constantly.

Laina
04-22-2011, 05:18 PM
Some kids need more social interaction than others. One of mine needs A LOT. The other, not so much. He'll go through phases of not wanting to go out as much, though he's not that extreme - he likes to see his friends. If I was in your situation, I would look for a really good, tight-knit group to get involved with so your dd can actually form strong relationships. For most introverts (I'm assuming she's an introvert) having a few close relationships is more important than being out there interacting with people constantly.

She may be an introvert. She's definitely the type of kid who has only a couple of close friendships--she has one good friend who will be in ps next year and is VERY close to her little brother. She likes other kids fine but doesn't need them. I'm putting out feelers for a homeschool group now--it would be so nice if she could make at least one close homeschool friend. She's also kind of lazy and a homebody, like her mom :)

But I guess I just feel like some of these activities will be an important part of her schooling.

Teri
04-22-2011, 05:23 PM
Maybe you can look for something about insects. I know that our zoo has an insect club, the parks and rec have had classes on insects. I am sure that one of the science museums will have a camp that would cater to an insect lover.
I think it is hard for a six year old to process planning for the next year. I would put her in some shorter term classes to try them out and see what she likes.

Oh, you might look into 4H and the Jr. Master Gardening program. Lots of insects in that!

Greenmother
04-22-2011, 06:52 PM
Wow, just dumb luck I happened to join this site. We do Bugs for a lot of our life sciences and there are several programs your kid can do. It's all apart of a new movement called Citizen Science. That is where lay people help experts in the field observe and report various wildlife or ecological or scientific issues. First is the Lost Lady Bug Project by Cornell University. http://www.lostladybug.org/ Cornell has been/is doing a Census on North American Lady Bugs. They want to see species distribution, whether or not we are missing indigenous species or if there are any new introductions beyond the Asian lady bug. And so they want people to go out a photograph lady bugs in their area and log said photographs at the site. Then an entomologist will positively identify the insect photographed and catalogue it as part of the study. This is the first one I offer because Lady Bugs are harmless as far as insects go and very attractive [non scary looking]. The next program is the Bee Hunter http://www.discoverlife.org/bee/ {unless you live in Illinois then its Bee Spotter http://beespotter.mste.illinois.edu/ ] ...same thing only this is for the distribution of indigenous bees in North America. Photographing bees is a different thing, than photographing lady bugs. I do not recommend it for people who are terrified of bees who tend to swat or flail or worse those who might be allergic to bee venom. But in this house---we do both projects.

If you are interested in either, let me know.

Laina
04-22-2011, 06:59 PM
Wow, just dumb luck I happened to join this site. We do Bugs for a lot of our life sciences and there are several programs your kid can do. It's all apart of a new movement called Citizen Science. That is where lay people help experts in the field observe and report various wildlife or ecological or scientific issues. First is the Lost Lady Bug Project by Cornell University. http://www.lostladybug.org/ Cornell has been/is doing a Census on North American Lady Bugs. They want to see species distribution, whether or not we are missing indigenous species or if there are any new introductions beyond the Asian lady bug. And so they want people to go out a photograph lady bugs in their area and log said photographs at the site. Then an entomologist will positively identify the insect photographed and catalogue it as part of the study. This is the first one I offer because Lady Bugs are harmless as far as insects go and very attractive [non scary looking]. The next program is the Bee Hunter http://www.discoverlife.org/bee/ {unless you live in Illinois then its Bee Spotter http://beespotter.mste.illinois.edu/ ] ...same thing only this is for the distribution of indigenous bees in North America. Photographing bees is a different thing, than photographing lady bugs. I do not recommend it for people who are terrified of bees who tend to swat or flail or worse those who might be allergic to bee venom. But in this house---we do both projects.

If you are interested in either, let me know.

This sounds really cool! Sure, we are interested. This would be fun to do in the summer and these are DD's two favorite things--bugs and taking pictures.

farrarwilliams
04-22-2011, 07:38 PM
Photography class? There are some around here for that age.

I don't think it's wrong to mandate that she has to do at least one organized out of the house activity at any given time. I mean, there are a lot of different reasons to do that both socially (and I don't only mean for socializing with friends, but also for basic social and group skills) and educationally.

But I also think it's okay not to mandate it and not make her do an organized activity. I guess I do think it's important enough to make her go out with other kids sometimes - and the more regular the group (or individuals), the better. There was a thread on a certain other forum where the mom had a daughter who was a little older who never, ever wanted to go out and interact with friends and the mom was like what do I do. Literally everyone in the thread said, it's fine, she's an introvert, just let her do her thing and don't make her. Well, I'm an introvert and I often feel that introverts are really misunderstood. We *do* need a lot more time to ourselves and being out can be a chore. But that doesn't mean introverts don't need *some* time with others so I was like, um, no, you should make her get out occasionally - even if it's just once a week or once every other week or something. And for introverts, there can be an initial hurdle to getting out away from our little cocoons. I think it's okay for a parent to prod a little, as long as they understand that their kid is an introvert and there's nothing wrong with that.

Greenmother
04-22-2011, 08:52 PM
Well the camera should be relatively good at macrophotography--that is taking extreme closeups of flowers, bugs, and stuff. If you have to buy a camera you can find some pretty decent digital models online for 250$ thereabouts. I would invest in a good battery charger and some good rechargeable batteries [at least 8] because that is cheaper in the long run and greener. And the cool thing is--and I put this on another thread. Help your child pick the best photos out and print them up {I use Walgreens but you can use a variety of services or buy your own printer} and have her make a portfolio {use acid free scrapbook materials} And have your child make little inserts that you can put next to said photos that ids the bugs with the date, location, time and host plant or surface that the bug is found on. That means you can either buy field guides or you can use various online resources to help your child ID these critters. Then you have something cool just for memories or it could even be incorporated into a college admission package some day. If you do the Citizen scientist stuff-that could be considered a volunteer/civic activity. And this can be done indefinitely. If you go on Discover life-- and do the Bee Hunter, you have to e-mail them and request an album so you can upload your photos to have the insects indentified positively. That helps a lot. Because the Bee thing is cool, but it will blow your mind when you find out just how many different kinds of bees there are in N. America, much less globally. It's not all hard, but some of, you definitely need help from someone educated in that field. But Entomology is everywhere. So it is one of the easiest biological sciences to study because bugs are everywhere just about. If you go to the Bee Hunter Link and click on that, and then go up to the menu and click on Albums--you can see examples of what people photograph for Discover life.

It's really cool--When people ask you what you are doing to be green--you can say, pollinator conservation or wildlife census taking. How cool is that?!

Laina
04-22-2011, 10:03 PM
Greenmother, thanks so much for this info. I am really going to look into this.

Farrar, I'm an introvert too and I agree with you. Left to my own devices, I could become quite reclusive and thus even more socially awkward when I do venture out. My husband is much more active and social, so he pushes me. I do think it would have been a good thing if I had been prodded a little more as a child to join sports so I didn't tell myself I was just bad at sports. Then again Lou just barely turned six and doesn't need me pushing a lot of activities on her because of my own issues. Perhaps my desires for her relate to her diabetes too--I want her to develop confidence in herself and her skills so that someday she doesn't make really unhealthy decisions (like stop taking insulin to lose weight, or binge drink, or whatever other scary things I can imagine in my dark moments) that could kill her. Parenting is hard.

jessica14
04-23-2011, 08:07 AM
Try www.insectlore.com. It has all kids of kits and extras for bug exploration. We are currently getting ready use our butterfly kit They have a lot of neat stuff!

Greenmother
04-23-2011, 09:12 AM
We have raised painted ladies. I hear you can also get lady bugs and praying mantises too. --Which is very cool!

Teri
04-23-2011, 10:44 AM
We are members of our Zoo's Frog Club, which is a citizen science project. It's a lot of fun and I would think the insect version of the club at the zoo would be perfect for a bug loving introvert. ;)

Laina
04-29-2011, 07:58 PM
I was on a trip with limited computer use for the last week and didn't get to respond to say thanks for your suggestions -- you guys are the best!

Stella M
04-29-2011, 09:54 PM
I just try to make sure I give myself ( and my introvert dd ) plenty of recovery time after 'people time'. Maybe your dd really will need a lot of time with the bugs to re-centre herself!

There's a lovely book called Girls Who Looked Under Rocks - about women scientists - your dd might enjoy. She also might see herself reflected in their stories; the deep interest in the natural world, being content in her own company.

What about a nature study group ? Getting together for hikes etc. Some social time diluted by being out in nature :) Also, some kids just aren't into classes. Maybe a park day might work better for her ?

A lot for me would depend on whether or not my dc was content with her life. If she was happy with the bugs and the bugs were meeting her needs, then I'd go with the bugs! Inexpensive and easier to deal with than people :)

Greenmother
04-30-2011, 08:34 AM
You can also raise honey bees or mason bees.

Topsy
04-30-2011, 09:08 AM
I JUST happened across this ebook this morning...maybe you could get her excited about cross-curricular bug activities??!!
http://bit.ly/mBXGm4