Of course this ten week unit wasn’t simply about the children having a great learning experience over their summer. Oh no, I had plans secondary to that. I wanted us to work on doing up our play house so the younger ones would have somewhere new and special to play during their school time. I wanted free labour and lots of it! I knew that if I announced we would have a work summer redoing the house for the littles, maintaining (or even gaining their co-operation) for the length of the project could be tricky. Not so with a Little House summer adventure. Yes, it’s all in the selling folks, and sell I did. I threw in the bait of a blog and they were sold. I know, it’s a little crafty, but again it’s that spoonful of sugar making the medicine go down. And there’s no harm, so long as I remember to get the children to brush their teeth afterwards!
So the answer to the question ‘what next?’ is that the littles will enjoy some 1-2-1 sibling time in the playhouse. It was always my goal to construct it in such a way that ultimately it would be useable in a very real way. This is the reason we made the baskets, for they will contain the cookies- real not pretend. It is the reason we bought in the camping cups and coffee jug. Real and not pretend. These will hold their juice or warm milk on a cold winters day. This means they can go and have their snack time in their play house, sitting at their table, with warm blankets if necessary, lit in the bleak of the winter by our real lanterns. It will be make-believe play at its best, and hopefully will keep their attention for many years to come.
But there’s more….
There are two extra major things I have planned which link in beautifully to our Little House adventures. The first is to visit the museum in Ireland which takes people on a journey from 1800 Ireland to 1800 America and the settlers houses via a huge great ship. We have been once before but the older children only have vague memories. It is the perfect field trip to wrap up our studies:
The second is that over the next few months we will be preparing a little House Christmas celebration for our littlest two. It will be a small intimate party, just before Christmas. We will try to replicate the Ingall’s Christmas. Making small gifts, simple decorations and beautiful tasty food. We have a few resources to help us plan a fantastic Little House Christmas, which I will share nearer the time.
During the next few months the children are going to spend some time making a Little House on the Prairie out of wood, whittling dowels and using toy cement glue to fill in any gaps. Between us, we will be making some furniture to go in it and a cute Ingalls’ family peg doll set.
I will also be making a rag doll ‘Caroline’ for A5, just like Laura was given in her stocking.
It seems this will bring our studies to an appropriate conclusion, although at some point I intend to use the prairie primer with the little girls. This won’t be for years though.
Thank you everyone who has been following along this summer. I have so enjoyed reading all your encouraging comments! And thank you in particular for the wonderful people who faithfully followed the children’s blog, they loved reading your comments and I’m sure having you along for the ride made it even more special for them. If I can ever reciprocate for your children, please do let me know.