I think I've successfully taught compassion to my children. Every time they find a bug in the house they gently scoop it up and let it go outside. Well it's bitterly cold outside. Not the kind of temperatures to be releasing innocent little insects into. After all, they took refuge in our house to get away from the deadly cold. So when Wesley came up to me with a ladybug on his hand asking to let it go outside I told him we'll have to keep it inside until it warms up. So he placed it on the table and I covered it up with the measuring cup from a children's Tylenol container. We decided it needed water so every day we go over and lift the lid and deposit a little drop of water on the table. The ladybug goes over and drinks the water. So it's been this way for about a week now. Now our little ladybug gets a drop of honey water or a chunk of banana every day. Then today it gained some company. Three more ladybugs appeared inside. We might have to invest in a bug house to get them through the Winter, especially if they keep multiplying.
I'm starting to think I've also instilled a love of plants and planting in the kids. A few weeks ago they were outside playing on the raised strawberry bed when they came running in talking about the seed pods hanging off the trellis. Sure enough after all the pole beans died off there were some bean pods there that I failed to harvest. I showed them that if you break open the dried pod you can gather the seeds inside. The seeds were dried and at the perfect point to harvest. They were so excited! They each got a plastic bag and started collecting seeds. I explained that we can keep those seeds to plant in the spring. Greta was far too excited to wait until spring so I filled one little Dixie cup with soil and let her push one seed into the soil. A week later five sprouts emerged from that little Dixie cup. Greta must have returned later and planted more on her own. This weekend I planted the seedlings in a large pot by the south windows in the living room and added a tomato cage in the off chance they thrive in this environment and decide to twine their way up the cage. Greta loves to watch them grow and I told her perhaps we'll have some green beans to eat in January. Wouldn't that be a fun learning experience?