Saturday, October 3, 2015

Prairie Primer 2015 "Little House in the Big Woods"

 Now that Hailey is in 3rd grade, I decided to do the Prairie Primer again with my kids (it has been three years since the first time we did it) when Josiah was in 3rd grade. The kids are having a ball reviewing what we did last time or learning the things we had to skip over due to lack of time. This is an incredible fun and educational unit study written by Margie Gray. Since I had a baby this year, I decided to start a small co-op at my house to do this study, with just a couple of homeschool families I've met since moving here.  We're meeting every Friday and having a blast! We did a lot more than what is shown, but here are just a few of my favorite pics from the "Big Woods" section of the study.
 We all enjoying singing and playing songs from "The Laura Ingalls Wilder" Songbook. We usually do two songs followed by trivia questions each week. Love it when the kids really get into it!
 The first week, we dissected owl pellets as one of our activities. Gross fun!

 We grated a carrot and colored our cream to make our butter even more yellow, because "Ma liked things pretty". Ma would color her butter in the wintertime because the cows weren't giving such yellow cream as their nutrition in the winter months was not as good.
 Amanda took this sweet pic of our resident "Baby on the Prairie". She's along for the ride in this crazy household, and seems to be fitting right in. It is nice to have lots of "Mas" to help hold her while I'm doing activities or cooking.
One of the things I love about the Prairie Primer is it motivates me to get the dust off my fiddle and learn new songs or review old ones. It is a special treat to be able to play my great grandpa's fiddle that I just had restored. He was born in the 1880s. Very special! Love the growl of this old fiddle. 

Michael and I made lard and cracklings out some pig's fat we had saved back. We use the lard for making homemade soap

 Josiah did a presentation on bears. and cougars and how to load a musket.
 Cougar hide
 Our friends did an experiment showing different waves of light. It is awesome to see the progress of several of the kids in the group who are extremely shy (yeah, not my redheads). They are already feeling more comfortable speaking in front of our group and are gaining confidence every week. Awesome!
My living Prairie Doll, Rina. It is a wonder she has any skin left on her face from all the kisses she receives daily. 

Another Primer friend, Alli, is making homemade whipping cream for the pumpkin pie we were having at lunch.

 Dinner time was pleasantly quiet as the children (on their own) practiced the idea of "children should be seen and not heard". They did better than I expected - especially my talkative redheads. Gracia and Naomi's father is our "Pa" who works nearby and comes to eat with us every Friday. It is always fun to have him join us and try our food.
 We had elk roast (instead of venison) with veggies and brown gravy, cornbread flavored with cracklins and homemade butter that we made ourselves, and pumpkin and apple pie with homemade whipping cream sweetened with honey. Delicious!
 After dinner the girls made corncob dolls. Gracia is showing hers off.

 Sorry, couldn't help but throw this pic of my cutie pie in there wearing her plaid prairie dress. 4 months old in this pic!
 The next week we had pancake men, hasty pudding (cornmeal mush), ham and heart shaped cookies for dinner.
 Hailey helped me make "johnnycake", which you eat with butter and maple syrup, honey or molasses. Kind of chewy.
 Hailey taught us about the California Gold Rush. The week before she taught us about gun safety.
 We made cheese the last week of the Big Woods. We made my basic raw queso fresco recipe and the kids loved eating the raw curds. Alli is cutting the curd in this pic.

 Naomi is stirring the curd.
I'm putting the curds into the cheese press. 
The Primer asked us to study about honeybees and how to process honey. How nice to have bees in residence and just go out the backdoor to look at a hive and pull a frame to harvest. 

 I'm showing the kids how to cut the caps off with a hot bread knife. Don't saw back and forth or you will get wax in the honey.
Josiah quickly took over and had it down pat. Our fresh, raw honey is the best I've ever tasted. So light!
The Primer asked us to do a meatless meal. So this is what we came up with. Beans, fresh cheese curds, johnnycake with butter and fresh, raw honey, and pumpkin pie with raw whipped cream.

In addition to these activities, we recited Psalm 91. It is 16 verses long, and it always amazes me how much these kids can memorize. They work on a passage of scripture each book.

I plan to post at the end of the month many of the really fun things we did for each book. It takes us about a month to get through each book.  

Hope you've enjoyed seeing what we are up to on Mission Rd Homestead. This is homeschooling at it's most fun. So privileged to be able to do this with my kids. Love watching deep friendships develop as a result of meeting every week. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone either. Love getting to teach a lot of things I've learned over the years as I enjoy getting back to the basics of living when I can.

God Bless,


magnoliasntea said...

Look at those big beautiful eyes on that prairie baby! Rina is so precious, even if you already knew that. :) Way to go starting your on co-op for the unit study. I'm sure everyone is loving it. And it's so nice to have somewhere to go on Fridays for a break when you're homeschooling.
Have a lovely weekend!

Camille said...

What FUN! Long ago, when I first heard about the Prairie Primer lessons, I thought I would one day do it in our homeschool. However, it never happened. I am a bit sorry about that now. Your posts about it are lovely. And, who could resist adding photos of the precious baby you have been blessed with? Love it that you include your little Rina in your posts. XOXO

Jill said...

It amazes me all you manage to get done, especially now with a little one :-) How do you find your homeschool groups?
Have a great evening.


Simple Home Living said...

Wow! I love it!

Becky L. said...

aw, home school Friday fun and learning. We enjoyed our Friday school days when we had them....oh so long ago! Thanks for sharing and we enjoyed reading Little House on the Prairie books. Head cheese...saw it one time in PA at a deli, no we don't wanna try it either. Rina is so cute and your children are just growing and learning so much. Have a good week, my friend!

Mägi said...

Enjoyed this post so much! Love watching your family grow. Dude -- I wish I had school like this growing up.

aimee said...

Ah, you make me want to be one of your students! Love all the things you do with the kids--they are getting the most amazing education ever and will always remember these days! Rina is a doll baby---so cute:)
Blessings, Aimee


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