Little House on the Prairie Unit Study: Week Two

This is week two of our ten week unit study of the Little House on the Prairie books.  It has been busy, busy, busy all week long and we have achieved loads.  The thing we are learning the most is that things we thought would be hard are actually very simple when you apply yourself and ask for help when needed.

The house is really starting to look good.  T11 and Gary replaced the bottom window and added back the window boxes that A4 had painted all by herself.  The outside of the house at the start:

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And the outside at the end of week two:

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And the inside at the beginning of the project:

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And at week two:

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The stairs and landing were wood painted but the floor still needs to be done, however it was too hot to be cooped up in such a small space with the paint fumes so we will do that this week if the weather is a bit cooler.  The mattress is now in place upstairs and the peg hook is screwed to the wall and holding two night gowns.

In the kitchen this week the girls made lots of delicious food to eat.  I taught them how to use the grinder for the corn and they ground a heap of it for both their chosen recipes:

DSC_0547The corn was used to make corn bread and hasty pudding:

C10 made crispy fried pork served with corn bread and gravy, all made from scratch
C10 made crispy fried pork served with corn bread and gravy, all made from scratch
L10 made hasty pudding and served it with maple syrup
L10 made hasty pudding and served it with maple syrup

We made some sour dough starter, which the Ingalls would have used instead of dried yeast:

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and then made some sour dough bread with it:

Our sour dough loaf
Our sour dough loaf

which I served with maple syrup:

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The younger two made some button lamps.  Ma Ingalls made some of these from grease, buttons and cloth to burn when there was not enough oil.  They went a small way to keeping their house light.  Ours were purely decorative:

I had cut some cloth squares, raffia, and collected some buttons.
I had cut some cloth squares, raffia, and collected some buttons.  To make a button lamp you simply place a button in the middle of the cloth, wrap the cloth around the button and secure it with a piece of raffia
I showed the girls how to do it and they followed my instructions really well.  I was really surprised to learn A4 could tie a knot.  When did she learn how to do that?  She was able to do the whole thing independently, B2 needed help to tie the raffia.
I showed the girls how to do it and they followed my instructions really well. I was really surprised to learn A4 could tie a knot. When did she learn how to do that? She was able to do the whole thing independently, B2 needed help to tie the raffia.

They made a whole basket full, which will be placed in the Little House for purely ornamental purposes:

Aren't they pretty?
Aren’t they pretty?

The younger two also helped Daddy in the garden planting up their window boxes:

A4 with her chosen flowers
A4 with her chosen flowers
B2 helping daddy to plant the flowers in the window box
B2 helping daddy to plant the flowers in the window box

B2 also took it upon herself to aid her brother in his ladder making:

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T11 had chosen to make a ladder this week, but all week he kept putting it off.  My son is not a procrastinator by nature at all, in fact he would be the opposite.  I suspected he was unsure of how to do it, but didn’t want to ask for help.  I had a word with Gary, who swiftly rose to the occasion.  Gary took him through the instructions in his survival book to ensure he understood them and then stood back and allowed T11 the space to create.  He was so pleased with the results, he went around grinning for the rest of the day, because not only did it hold T11 weight:

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It also held his Daddy’s weight:

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It might not look like much, but believe me it was strong and useful and my little boy learnt a valuable lesson in perseverance that day.

C10 chose to knit a bright orange dish cloth.  She taught herself to knit a couple of years ago by watching a how to dvd, and has really enjoyed it ever since.  I can knit but only very basic, simple stitches:

Here she is knitting away
Here she is knitting away

And here is the dish cloth almost finished (you can scroll up to the sour dough starter to see the finished product – I put it to good use as a covering for it!):

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L10 helped me to make a second night-gown for the little ones out of a pillow case.  I had attempted to make one from an old blue pillow case and some scrap material.  As always you learn from doing it once and inevitably the second one turned out far better than the first.  These nighties are simply for dress up purposes out in the play house.  Here are both girls modelling their Little House nighties:

So cute!
So cute!

And upstairs in their Little House:

Lying down on their new mattress, home made by the girls
Lying down on their new mattress, home-made by the girls
And peeking through the banisters
And peeking through the banisters

T11 had also been busy making a peg hook for me to put up in the upstairs of our Little House, for the nighties to hang on.  He did this easily and without any procrastination at all!  I was so happy with the result:

T11 screwing in his hooks
T11 screwing in his hooks
And his hooks, being used for what they were made for: hanging up the night gowns!
And his hooks, being used for what they were made for: hanging up the night gowns!

We have all periodically ripped up fabric for our rag rug and the girls are attempting to plait one strip each night:

Here they are plaiting before bed!
Here they are plaiting before bed!
And here are some plaits waiting to be sewn together.
And here are some plaits waiting to be sewn together.

We are having so much fun.  Next week the girls are hand stitching curtains for the upstairs of the house, whilst T11 is learning to apply his knot making skills to making a net.  This net will be made into a hammock and hung in the house upstairs to hold the rag doll we will be making as a toy for Carrie.  This is as a preliminary for him making himself a proper fishing net.  There will be some recipes from the kitchen as well as lots of gardening in our Little House vegetable patch.  So much excitement and so much fun!

For more details of recipes and how tos please feel free to pop over to the children’s blog which they are using as a way to chronicle their 2013 summer adventures.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

30 comments

    1. We really are (even I’m proud of myself!!). And I love the fact that all five children are enjoying it as much as they are. And best of all, I’m feeling fairly relaxed because compared to normal school this requires practically no work or planning from me at all.

    1. Thanks Dawn. I asked the children today if there was anything they’d like to change or they weren’t enjoying. All four (baby was in bed) replied with a resounding ‘NO!’ Warms the cockles of my heart!!

    1. It’s only been a couple of weeks so I’m not sure if we will run out of steam by the end, but this has definitely been our best summer yet. I wonder how I can better it next year….

  1. Wow so much fun! We just finished up reading “TheLittleHouse” but I don’t know if we will extend the learning such as you have! Amazing. I’m stopping in from Collage Friday.
    I also have a weekly week in review Link Up called “This Week…” I would love for you to come over and join in.

  2. The house looks wonderful! I’ve been finding it hard to keep up with your wonderful posts – you’ve been so busy, especially in this weather! But it’s always worth it, I learn so much 🙂

    1. We didn’t make it. We obtained it secondhand through freecycle. Gary dismounted and rebuilt it in our garden. Sorry, that probably doesn’t help much.

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