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nature study :: milkweed

nature study :: milkweed

One exciting aspect of homeschooling is that I can learn alongside of my children! I am quite content with the fact that I don’t have to know everything, and the information is out there as we need it. So when we recently acquired another treasure for our nature table, I was a little stumped in explaining the new beauty to the children.

“So, you guys, it’s milkweed.”
Said in a tentative tone.
“Is it dead?”
“Does it make milk like a cow? Can I drink it?”
“Why is this one empty and this one full…what’s in here by the way!?”
“Where can we find it? Is it in our backyard?”
After a few questions, it was obvious that Mama didn’t know enough. Promising to have more answers in 15 minutes, I hopped online while they played. Score!
:: videos on YouTube–an excellent three part series all on the milkweed plant in various seasons {each one is around 5 minutes}. My 10-yr old thought it too funny that each one begins with ‘hey guys…’.
:: a great explanation of the relationship between monarch butterflies and the milkweed plant. Scroll to page 3 for info specifically on milkweed.
:: we found a page in our Fun With Nature book that offered info on milkweed bugs, which are now hibernating, so we’ll look for them in Spring {click on the picture for a larger view}.
:: then we shared our own observations–
What does the outside feel like? {coconut shells–Jordyn, age 5}
How about the seeds inside? {my soft bear and blue blanket–Josiah, almost 3}
Josiah was quite fascinated with the fact that the seeds can fly and proceeded to take a handful and throw them ‘HIGH UP IN THE AIR MOMMY!’. A soft landing:
which of course led to a quick discussion on how seeds get around :: dandelion and milkweed seeds have the common factor of the wind aiding their travels.
Whew. Hooray for the Internet!
And while I didn’t know the ins and outs concerning the biology of the milkweed plant, I do have a fabulous craft idea brewing for those dried out pods. Now that I have no problem figuring out!
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  • randi---i have to sayNovember 20, 2008 - 9:44 am

    I love the internet for looking up things that my kids ask about! It is like having an extra teacher right in our house!ReplyCancel

  • mamaNovember 20, 2008 - 11:09 am

    I love the freedom that homeschooling our kids allow us. Thanks for sharing such great resources and picturesReplyCancel

  • abcmomof3March 23, 2009 - 10:30 pm

    The joy of homeschooling.. learning alongside your children. That’s what we love most about our journey as homeschooler’s.. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I look forward to reading more and stopping back by soon 🙂 UPB 09 Party!ReplyCancel

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Daniele Evans