Little House on the Prairie Unit Study: Week 1

This week has been our first of a ten week summer adventure, all about the Little House on the Prairie books:

Lovely summer fun!
Lovely summer fun!

It is our plan to renovate our play house into Laura’s Little House, T11, as Mr Ingalls, is spending the summer learning all manner of survival skills, whilst the girls, as Mrs Ingalls, Mary, Laura and Carrie, will be learning to sew, cook prairie style and all sorts of other skills which would have been useful for prairie living.  We will also be embarking on a journey to discover the chemistry and power of the natural cleaners they used in Laura’s time, with our Spar-Klean science and the children will keep up their writing by maintaining their own blog: A summer of Little House Living.

We have all been kept busy as a family renovating our play house.  It has been our primary activity during our first week, and we are nearly finished.  Progress so far:

All hands were on deck for the clearing out
All hands were on deck for the clearing out
T11 preparing the outside for browning
T11 preparing the outside for browning, whilst the girls paint
Everyone painting hard
Everyone painting hard
We had the local inspector come and check the work was being done to the required standard.
We had the local inspector come and check the work was being done to the required standard.
After just one coat she declared all was proceeding in the right direction
After just one coat she declared all was proceeding in the right direction
Here is the outside, almost finished.  This week we will put in the bottom level glass, reattach the planters to the window sill and fill A4's large planter with soil for her vegetable garden
Here is the outside, almost finished. This week we will put in the bottom level glass, reattach the planters to the window sill and fill A4’s large planter with soil for her vegetable garden
And here is the inside.  It required two coats of paint.  I am spending no money on this project and we are using all the paint we had lying around.  It was old and lumpy, but it did the job.  Well, it almost did the job until we ran out.  So I had the children raid their art paints and we finished off using their acrylic paint!
And here is the inside. It required two coats of paint. I am spending no money on this project and we are using all the paint we had lying around. It was old and lumpy, but it did the job. Well, it almost did the job until we ran out. So I had the children raid their art paints and we finished off using their acrylic paint!  The inside still needs the wood painted brown and the floor treated to a coat of the brown also.  It will then be ready to fill up with goodies!

Whilst heaps was going on outside in the play house, much industry was also occurring inside our home.  All the children had lots of fun in the kitchen:

T11 made sweet prairie pancakes:

Prairie pancakes, with boiled blackberries, yogurt and maple syrup
Prairie pancakes, with boiled blackberries, yogurt and maple syrup

L10 made crispy fried salt pork, mashed potatoes with green beans and a home-made gravy:

This was so much better than we all thought it was going to be.  Really, really tasty!
This was so much better than we all thought it was going to be. Really, really tasty!

C10 decided to make some corn bread:

The corn bread
The corn bread

Whilst A4 and B2 helped me to make prairie pancakes served with crispy bacon and eggs:

YUMMY!
YUMMY!

Not our most healthiest of weeks, but we had worked hard, so probably burnt it off!

The little ones, in addition to helping with the house, played with their Little House paper dolls:

The girls playing with their paper dolls.
The girls playing with their paper dolls.
The interior scene of the Little House
The interior scene of the Little House

And A4 made a button string as a toy for B2 who would be playing Carrie all summer:

A4 with her button string
A4 with her button string

A4 is also learning to read using McGuffey’s Primer.  She is doing so well, and it’s simplicity seems to really suit her:

L10 and C10 made a (slightly lumpy but I’m told very comfortable)

mattress to go on the top floor of the play house which is going to be the sleeping area:

A4 lying on her little house mattress
A4 lying on her little house mattress

T11, preparing himself for ladder making (which he is a little worried about doing) made some leather twine, turned it into rope and practiced the knots he would be using to make his ladder:

Here is the rope I made with my lengths of twine

And his pretend dagger he made for practising the knots on:

My dagger

Last but not least we started to rip up old material to make into a rag rug:

Lots of ripped up denim.  We're not sure if we're going to go with lots of different colours or just denim.
Lots of ripped up denim. We’re not sure if we’re going to go with lots of different colours or just denim.

Next week we’ll be finishing off the house, moving the mattress to the upstairs, making hooks and nighties to hang on the hooks, cooking from the Little House cook book and much, much more.  We really are having a lovely summer!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

44 comments

  1. Your posts on The Little House series are read, with great interest, by Reese, Jillian, Autumn, and myself. Your summer project is turning out to be a blast for you and your family. Thanks for sharing.

    Myra, from Winnipeg, where a cup of tea is helping to prop open my eyes this sunny hot morning.

    1. We are really enjoying it. Thank you so much for following along with us. It really is lovely for the children to be getting comments from your grandchildren on their blog, and I so appreciate the effort you go to Myra. Thank you.

      1. Autumn wanted to invite her over for a sleepover and a pillow fight!!

        Myra, from Winnipeg, where it is nearly 1:00 a.m. and I should get some sleep so I can cope with the “darlings” in the morning. I am not an insomniac like you are.

  2. It is now… As I read this…. 22h20 in lovely freezing South Africa… And all I want RIGHT now are pancakes with berries and yoghurt. 🙂 I am loving these posts! You guys have half the blog-world fired up about your Summer project! Awesome!!

  3. The painted playhouse looks amazing. I giggled at B2’s “inspection”. C(9) has resolved to paint the inside of ours, now, as well as making curtains!
    The mattress looks great – what’s it filled with? (Wondering if you’ve collected that many feathers at the pond?!)

    1. I’m really blessed because motivation is rarely an issue for anyone or anything (except for maths, L10 hates maths with a passion!). I think I’m so excitable, it must be catching!

  4. That’s a great playhouse and the food looks good. I love that it’s so natural, even if there are some unhealthy parts. We’ve been working on our rag rug for over a year now. I’d love some tips when you get it finished.

  5. Looks like a lot of fun! My daughter was into the Little House on the Prairie books a few years ago. We visited the site in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. I bought the cookbook at a second hand store not too long ago, and haven’t tried a recipe yet. After looking at your pictures of delicious food, I’m motivated to give it a try.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s