Project based homeschooling is a way to ensure that children will take charge of their own education and gain essential skills.  In our home I start by paying attention.  When you know your child’s interests and potential strengths, you can plan activities that support them.   This is not only a rewarding way to approach learning, but it also sends the message –  ’you are important to me, I’m interested in what you have to say, and I enjoy being with you’.

My son is incredibly musical, banging out beats on the drums at age 3 (without any assistance or modeling from us).  He notices music everywhere and often makes comments on how it makes him feel.  Our journey into bugs started with the sweet song of the cicada.  Things that go so easily unnoticed by us, right?

I remember collecting bugs for class when I was in middle school and pinning them into a display box.  I had big plans of heading out with my son with our killing jar full of fingernail polish remover soaked cotton balls.  My son, however, had other ideas and refused to catch any live bugs because he did not want to kill them.  So, while our collection has been limited to only dead bugs we’ve found, our journey into learning about them has been nothing less than rich and fulfilling.

There are a lot of ways to learn about bugs.  This is how we did it…..

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I purchased wax, pins, and a wooden tray from Michaels.

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Melt the wax on low heat.

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Pour the wax into the tray and leave to cool/harden.


Let the bug collecting begin.


My son pinned the dead bugs he found into the display case.  He used his LABEL MAKER to type out the names of each bug (some are spelled wrong because he did this part without my help).  He’s also been learning cursive and prefers cursive, so the label maker is set on that style.

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Before pinning the bugs, we would observe and talk about them using our  USB microscope as well as our Duo-scope microscope.


I printed out information about each bug.  These bound sets include the name of the bug, a picture, and some facts about the bug – all found through google.  I cut out each rectangle, laminated them, hole punched the corners, and used binder rings to keep them all together.

We’ve also checked out books about the bugs we collected, and listened to some of their sounds via the web.  This journey has not ended, thanks to the many dead bugs in North Carolina.

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2 Responses to Bugs

  1. Vanessa says:

    I did an insect collection before. Usually if you can find an isolated light pole, like at a country gas station, you will find a ton of insects. Don’t forget about small insects too. :)

  2. susan says:

    I love this! It is so important to let children lead their learning. Part of doing that is by establishing a relationship that helps you have a total (well as much as you can) understanding of your children. I think that public schools are leaving out this important component. How can we “teach” a child if we do not KNOW them?

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