Friday, July 29, 2011

LHOP: On the Prairie Schedule

The Reading plan is pretty much the same set up:

Week 1: Reading thru Chapter 6, Links Page
Week 2: Chapters 7-13, Links Page
Week 3: Chapters 14-21, Links Page
Week 4: Chapters 22-26, Links Page

I've already listed alot of the goodies to pad out your reading of On the Prairie, plus there are wonderful links and Youtube clips at We Love the Prairie Primer blog (I've linked the individual weeks above with our reading plan) as always.

During this book, we can work on so many fun things that flow along with the book. Some suggestions in the Primer include checking out your family tree for your relatives living during the 1870s.  You can also add in some extra geography by mapping out the Ingalls' route as they traveled across the various states, learning about each state along the way, including a study on the prairie lands of North America. We have been using GeoMatters Trail Guide to US Geography for a couple years now and love it. It works well as a stand-alone program, but it also lends itself nicely to virtually any other curriculum as well. 

On the Prairie is perfect for branching off in may different directions...a study of the Native American groups that have a foundation in so much of our history, (which can lead to a whole variety of art and craft projects as well, like beaded belts, mocassin making, Indian dwellings, games, etc...),  a study of the Pony Express and the history of our postal service (which could lead into a cultural discussion on postal offerings in other countries, or just a comparison of then and now, as we keep running into the electronic age, etc.)  You can easily study the nuances of the English language and review the many differences in speech styles and phrasing from the late 1800s to today (the word 'providential' is used so often in the late 1800's speech, and we have turned it into something as short and lacking as 'lucky'...).

During this book you can discuss a variety of animal and plant life...the Mustang, meadow larks, chickadees, mockingbirds, Phoebe birds, gophers, goldenrod, mosquitos, snakes common to the prairie lands, wolves, beaver, muskrat, mink, panthers,  oak, sycamore and cottonwood trees and of course, the buffalo.

From a science standpoint you have simple machines, the study of your blood and its components and their functions, the affects of chewing tobacco, the disease malaria (fever 'n' ague), sun exposure ( which will lead us to a study of the Sun in general), the water table and water aquifers, etc.

Some larger projects for this story could be continued work on a simple quilt project, sampler stitching, needlework or for the boys, building a stockade or Calvary fort, or even a scale model of an Indian village.

Keep an open mind while reading and I'm sure your children will lead the way in discovering all sorts of fun projects and learning directions along Laura's journeys!

LHOP: On The Prairie

(click the image to view the page and enlarge)

Starting August 1st, we will begin the second book in the Little House on The Prairie Series, Little House on The Prairie.  In this book, Ma and Pa make the move from the Big Woods to the prairie land of Kansas.  Originally, Ms. Wilder intended only to write the one book, but the response was so great, she continued along producing 8 volumes of her story.

In The Big Woods, Laura was said to have been 6 years old. In reality, Laura was just 2 years old, and Baby Carrie was not born yet.  In planning only 1 book, she connected stories in a way that flowed quite well, but created a problem for the future stories.  Many of the events in Little House on The Prairie actually occured before Big Woods, as the journey to the Kansas prairie happened when Laura was 2 years old.

Does it bother the story really to know this? It sure didn't for us! The adventures are just as inspiring and engrossing, no matter what her age!

The Osage Indians are a part of Laura's adventures in this story. Here are several links for learning more about the Osage History
Facts for Kids: The Osage
The Osage
Osage Indian Culture and History
Kansas Book Collection, The Osage
Kansas Genealogy Osage Tribe...there are some good links at the bottom of the page in additional information.

United States Postal Service Notes:
History of the USPS from their own site has a great collection of historical notes on the postal service and pony express
History of the Post Office

Bible Memory for this book is Psalm 8 and here are Matthew Henry's notes from his Commentary.

As with Big Woods, we will definitely keep following along with great links shared at We Love The Prairie Primer  each week (here are links for Week 1) as we read through Little House on The Prairie.

Please share your thoughts, links and projects with us weekly as we go along so others may benefit from your adventures as well.

Monday, July 18, 2011

LHOP: Big Woods Week 3 and 4 Notes

This is our final week of reading Big Woods, chapters 10-13, although we can easily stretch out our time and spend some fun researching the California Gold Rush, and following the great Gold Rush links shared by We Love The Prairie Primer. Or complete the memory section, Psalm 91. How about a crafting week...did you start any special projects to go along with our Little House reading, like a stitched sampler or a lap quilt, maybe your own popsicle or stick built little log cabin or full town set?

Some Bible verses this week include:
Proverbs 22:15, 13:24, 29:15
Hebrews 12:5-11
Proverbs 24:13, 25:16, 25:27
I Peter 3:2
Titus 2:4-5
Proverbs 20:11
Proverbs 10:15, 10:23, 15:21, 26:18-19
Proverbs 17:12...try making your own warning poster about this verse!
Proverbs 17:25, 19:13
Proverbs 9:10-11, 16:6, 10:27, 14:27, 8:13...discuss what the fear of the Lord is :-)

Links for this week:
As always, follow along with We Love The Prairie Primer blog, and here are some links I've shared

Laura has seen and heard quite a few adventures in this first story, hasn't she? All the 'family stories' about life in the Big Woods, the day to day life of family visits, dances, trips to town and more, the loving times of a close-knit family...Laura and her family have provided a wonderful view for us reading her adventures.

Do you have any favorite tales from within the pagesof The Big Woods? Any favorite quotes that sparked your reading time into visions of her quiet but exciting life?  We sure did.  With the local bear sightings, my children were fixed on the bear tales and life in the Big Woods. Despite the heat wave that we've been under these past weeks, they have had many adventures of their own in our woods. I love living in the country and being so rural. It's the best place for my children to thrive and grow their imaginations and play!

Thankfully, books can open these kinds of adventures for anyone who reads them! City or country, adventures are just waiting to be had!

Some passages we enjoyed:
....The Little House was fairly bursting with good food stored away for the long winter. The pantry and the shed and the cellar were full, and so was the attic. Laura and Mary must play in the house now, for it was cold outdoors and the brown leaves were all falling from the trees. The fire in the cookstove never went out. At night Pa banked it with ashes to keep the coals alive till morning.
The attic was a lovely place to play. The large, round, colored pumpkins made beautiful chairs and tables. The red peppers and the onions dangled overhead. The hams and the venison hung in their paper wrappings, and all the bunches of dried herbs, the spicy herbs for cooking and the bitter herbs for medicine, gave the place a dusty-spicy smell. (pg 19-20)

....Ma began the work that belonged to that day. each day had its own proper work. Ma used to say: Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday. (pg 29)

....Christmas was coming. The little log house was almost buried in snow. Great drifts were banked against the walls and windows, and in the morning when Pa opened the door, there was a wall of snow as high as Laura's head. Pa took the shovel and shoveled it away, and then he shoveled a path to the barn, where the horses and the cows were snug and warm in their stalls.
The days were clear and bright. laura and Mary stood on charis by the window and looked out across the glittering snow at the glittering trees. Snow was piled all along their bare, dark branches, and it sparkled in the sunshine. Icicles hung from the eaves of the house to the snow-banks, great icicles as large at the top as Laura's arm. They were like glass and full of sharp lights. (pg 59-60)

....As soon as the days were warm, Laura and Mary begged to be allowed to run barefoot. At first they might only run around the woodpile and back, in their bare feet. Next day they could run farther, and soon their shoes were oiled and put away and they ran barefoot all day long.
Every night they washed their feet before they went to bed. Under the hems of their skirts their ankles and their feet were as brown as their faces.
They had playhouses under two big oak trees in front of the house. Mary's playhouse was under Mary's tree, and Laura's playhouse was under Laura's tree. The soft grass made a green carpet for them. The leaves were the roofs, and through them could see bits of blue sky.
Pay made a swing of tough bark and hung it to a llarge, low branch of Laura's tree. It was Laura's swing because it was in her tree, but she had to be unselfish and let Mary swing in it whever she wanted to.  (pg 156-157)

...The store was full of things to look at. All along one side of it were shelves full of colored prints and calicos. There were beautiful pinks and blues and reds and browns and purples. On the floor along side the plank counters there were kegs of nails, and kegs of round, gray shot, and there were big wooden pails full of candy. There were sacks of salt, and sacks of store sugar.
In the middle of the store was a plow made of shiny wood, with a glittering bright plowshare, and there were steel ax heads, and hammer heads, and sawsn and all kinds of knives -- hunting knives, and skinning knives and butcher knives and jack knives. There were big boots and little boots, big shoes and little shoes.
laura could have looked for weeks and not seen all the things that were in that store. She had not known there were so many things in the world. (pg 167-168)

There were just too many favorite passages to share them all, but these are some of our most favorites. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

just some Laura Ingalls Wilder links...

 Just a few odds and ends I've found and thought I'd share....

Laura's Little Houses has some neat pages and information

Little House on The Prairie Living...shares a few goodies, as well as some great Little House style recipes.

Need ideas for sites to see connected to Little House? Check out the reference pages at Beyond Little House blog.

Laura's Sweet Memories looks promising, and such delicious recipes shared!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

LHOP: Big Woods Week 2 intro

How was your first week sharing in the adventures of Mary, Laura, Ma and Pa and little Carrie?  We had a blast.  My children love the adventurous tales Pa shares.  It didn't hurt that we actually had black bear sightings only about 3-4 miles from our homestead, either! They aren't terrible common around here, but they aren't that rare, either.  Seems during June and July, the young males between 2 and 3 years old, leave their mothers and head off to stake their own territory.  Most often found in the Delta area of our state, they can be seen farther north here, as well as throughout Alabama as well. Of course that meant we had to pay close attention to things making rounds to check the animals in the barn, you know, just in case of bear attack!

Now we head into Week 2, reading chapters 5-9 this week.  We'll learn about how Laura's family spent their sabbath time, we'll read of the great adventure Grandpa's pig took (LOL), Ma and the bear, and Pa's "bear".  We'll work on learning some church hymns for our own Sunday time, including Rock of Ages, as Pa sang for the family. We'll also get to learn about the sugar snow....maple syrup time.

I've linked the Week 2 pages in the tab along with this post.  I'd love to hear if anyone sharing in the reading here has made their own maple syrup.  We have friends in Tennessee who do try each year, though it's a bit more difficult down here as opposed to the wintry north country Laura and her family are from!

Enjoy Week 2, and if you are working on any crafts along the way, or have plans for some local field trips that tie in with the story,or activities you're doing, please share them with us!

Here is the link to We Love The Prairie Primer blog's Week 2 lessons....enjoy!

added note: Here is another blog with a few goodies on Little House and Laura herself...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Westward Ho Everyone!

This week begins Little House in the Big Woods.  Each day we'll read one chapter, ending with chapter 4 on Friday.  Be sure to check out We Love The Prairie Primer blog for some great links and YouTube resources for each chapter as we go along! Don't have the books? Check out some sources here and here, including other titles of interest with Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Vocabulary lists can be made as you read, or you can use these great lists over at Garden of Praise.
There is also a great lapbook for Big Woods here at HomeschoolShare and another great one at Lapbook Lessons. Be sure to check out EasyFunSchool's Little House pages for ideas for crafts and more, as well as puzzles and games connected with the various books. A page of Laura Ingalls Prairie Books resources are here, with some crafts, some musid and more.

Pa spends time whittling...a great way to make this story a little more "boy friendly" might be learning to whittle, or easier yet: soap carving!  Ivory Soap Carving. There is a great book for kids on soap carving, Soap Carving for Children of All Ages.

There are plenty of resources for crafting corn cob dolls...but if a corn cob isn't available, try easy corn husk dolls instead! Most large grocery stores or specialty food stores carry bulk corn husks in the section with Mexican foods. Native American Corn Husk Dolls...NativeTech...and a great YouTube source.

Some other things to discuss this preservation such as smoking foods,drying foods and root cellaring, gun safety and hunting regulations for your state, God's Umbrella of Protection in the home and His Order of Authority, etc.  There will be plenty of ideas coming to life as you read through this week's chapters and find areas of interest with your children!