Friday, September 30, 2011

LHOP: ByThe Shores week 1

October 3rd begins our next book in line with the series...By The Shores of Silver Lake. 
In the fall of 1875, Pa returned home and moved Ma and the girls into a rented house in Walnut Grove. On November 1, 1875, Charles Frederick Ingalls was born. When the 1876 crop, Pa felt he could no longer remain in Wlanut Grove. Friends from their church urged them to become their partners in a hotel business in Burr oak, Iowa. Pa agreed. En route to Iowa, while visiting Uncle Peter and Aunt Eliza Ingalls, illness struck laura's only brother. On August 27, 1876, less than a year after his birth, little Freddie died.
Along with possibly 200 other wagons, the Ingalls family arrived in Burr Oak, sad and tired from the events of their journey.  The Ingalls quickly went to work caring for the guests. Laura, now age 10, went to school with Mary. It was during their year long stay in Burr Oak that Grace Pearl Ingalls was born.
After a year in Burr Oak, the Ingalls returned to Walnut Grove. While living in town, Pa supported his family with a variety of odd jobs as a carpenter, a clerk, a butcher, a storekeeper and a miller. Then, in 1879, the opportunity to move westward happened and Pa was again on the move.
Notes of background: The Dakota Territory from Wikipedia,  Creating a Dakota Territory from the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Dakota Territory and Statehood
The Homestead Act of 1862 via documents, Library of Congress, National Park Service
Thhe Chicago & Northwestern Railroad via ND Studies: Railroads Open Dakota for Settlement, Railroad Parts: History for Kids pages

Reading Schedule:
Monday: chapters 1-2
Tuesday: chapters 3-4
Wednesday: chapters 5-6
Thursday: chapters 7-8

Memory Work: Romans 8:31-39
   Memorize each state and state capitol, in the order of their entrance to the Union (to finish by the end of this book, you'll need to learn 3 states per day).
Keep a State Notebook during this book.  A resource we enjoy here is Trail Guide to US Geography from GeoMatters.

This first week we will trail into areas such as causes of diseases,immunizations, how germs enter the body and how infections are spread, all about bacteria and viruses particularly meningitis, scarlet fever and measles. We will also learn about eyes, and eyesight.
We will begin learning about Statehood, the various design of the United States territories over the decades, and our own state history.

Weekly Notes:
What happened to Mary as a result of her illness with scarlet fever?
What was mary's reaction to her misfortune?
Why did Pa not like the country? What did he want to do?Why had the family not followed Pa's desires?
What did they think of riding the train?  Do you have any railway museums in your area?
What enabled them to pay their debts before moving on? What might a family of lesser character done?
What was jack's reaction to moving? Where had Jack previously traveled with the family?
Where did jack sleep, and why? What did Laura do before bedtime each night?
What did Laura regret (pg 13)?
What did Laura now know (pg 14)?
Study the purpose, then and now, of the United States territories/states.
Research the signs, causes, and treatments and effects of meningitis and scarlet fever. What are the differences in the illnesses between today and Laura's time?
Learn about antibiotics, how they are produced and how they are administered.
Draw a map of your state and label it with agricultural, mineral, forest products and industries.
Read about Fanny Crosby and write/dictate/narrate a report about her life as a blind poet.

What had the family done preparing for their departure?
How did Laura compare wagon travel by train travel?
How did Mary "see" the seat?
What fueled the train?
How did the train turn around?
What was Laura's opinion of Pa (pg 31)?
Why did they dread going to the dining room? Why were the dishes covered with screen?
What did the waitress assume about the Ingalls? Why do most families come in the spring?
Keep memorizing your states/capitols/dates of statehood!
Mark your state map with lnadmarks and geographical features. Write some notes on the Indians, land, weather and first explorers to your state.
Study types of viruses. Label a paper with the headings: Bacteria, Virus, Both. List as many diseases as you can under these headings.
Make a poster showing the 'life cycle' of a germ, how they enter the body, how they spread, how they are dealt with.
Learn about measles and rubella (measles is another disease that was known to cause blindness)
What event on page 24 proves that their society did not apply the knowledge of the time about germ therapy?
What are satchels?
Discuss the differences between being physically blind and spiritually blind...John 12:40, II Corinthians 4:4, I John 2:11)

Were the Ingalls environmentally conscience?
Continue work on your US States memorization.
Write/Dictate/Narrate a report about the first men to come to your state....Missionaries, trappers, explorers, etc.
Study the eye, diagram the parts and explain their purpose, look at things that can impair vision.
Dissection of a cow eye, Enchanted Learning's eye page, anatomy of an eye
Explain the saying "you look as if butter would melt in your mouth"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Journaling Around Nature

We aren't huge with nature journals here, but we should be. We love the outdoors, we take slot of walks and quiet time in the wooded lands on and around our homestead here, and the 'nature' keeps coming inside with us...grasshoppers, dragonflies, weird spiders, lizards and definitely a well-rounded assortment of frogs and toads! We draw pictures, sure. We look up interesting notes and the like online, in field guides, and in our go-to resource, The Handbook of Nature Study.

What we don't do, though, is really put our hearts into our nature pages and notebooks. They are rather dry. Just sketches and little note bits to remember something by. Maybe a pressed flower or leaf as well. But no real depth, no heart.

Barb over at The Handbook of Nature Study blog has some great resources and guides. Her ideas have sparked many children, and their parent/teachers, to give heart to their notebooks. She inspires you to be simple in some aspects, but to remember that heart and soul created nature, and heart and soul need to share in it as well. And deep artistic talent isn't even required! Drawing may come naturally to many folks, though I am not one of them, but it doesn't matter. Desire far outweighs talent. And, as with the more traditional journal of thoughts and ideas, it's your notebook...does it matter your maple tree is a bit lopsided? Or your red-breasted robin is looking more like an Angry Bird than a realistic view? Or your clouds are stretched and pulled cotton balls, pasted in, rather than drawn, wispy strings from a 2b pencil?

Trust me, it doesn't matter. Give up on the Van Gogh and Rembrandt ideals...they started somewhere, too, you know. Enjoy nature journalling, enjoy the drawing, enjoy the time spent just soaking up nature's offerings and in time those Van Gogh and Rembrandt moments will come. Practice makes perfect...or at least a very passable copy.

Barb's blog is just too full of wonderful ideas and guides to get your nature journals off and running. And autumn...what better season to start taking in nature's bounty? Yes, I'm a definite autumn and winter person :-) Here are Barb's pages for getting started:
Nature Study Helps
Getting Started
Autumn Challenges
...and I definitely recommend the Outdoor Hour Challenge ebooks she puts together. They look to be the perfect addition to your creative juices.

No, I do not nor have I ever been, compensated by Barb in any way. I merely like to share the good things I find along the way so that someone else can be inspired and encouraged. I promise Barb and The Handbook of Nature Study blog will do just that...inspire and encourage!
-blessings from Hands and Hearts Homestead!

LHOP: Plum Creek, week 4

Fun Extra's this week:  On The Banks of Plum Creek Trivia, extra sites and learning with On The Banks of Plum Creek, Harper Collins' 17 page PDF on the series.

We Love the Prairie Primer Blog Links and Notes for week 4.

Quilt patterns, particularly 9-Patch (or Disappearing 9-Patch...even a Crazy 9-Patch with no straight lines!)) and Bear's Track.  Have you started a quilt of your own during our reading? Have you considered all the things that you could make while learning to quilt? Pot holders, table runners, doll quilts, sampler blocks, etc.

Weekly Reading:
Monday: chapters 35-36
Tuesday: chapters 37-38
Wednesday:  chapters 39-41, end of the book!

Which of Ma's character qualities were given on pg 285? How would you describe your mother's qualities?
Which of Pa's stories prompted the girls to carry in the firewood?
How did Pa find his way to the stable and back with limited visibility?
Why did Pa milk the cow, even though he wouldn't make it back with much milk?
With what did Pa compare the previous places they had lived?
What did the girls do during the day?
What did the girls do with their slate?
What type of quilts were the girls working on? Whose quilt pattern was more difficult?
What did they do on Sundays? Why did they not go to church?
Choose an experience from the story told from laura's point of view and rewrite it from another point of view (Ma, Pa or Mary) Ideas: How Pa felt walking East for work, what Ma thought while Pa was gone to town, What Carrie thought of her sisters carrying in the wood, or when the oxen ran away...
Learn about Beavers...Enchanted learning pages,  Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife, National Geographic Wildlife: Beavers, learning activities page...
What are the health hazards of tobacco use? Design an anti-smoking poster for your home.
Apply these verses to tobacco use: Proverbs 14:12, John 10:10
Read page 291 and discuss what Laura thought would happen when they got older.

What chores did Ma do in the barn?
Why did ma put a lamp in the window?
What did Laura sneek down to see Ma doing?
What did Ma do to Carrie's pajamas?
What came down the stovepipe? What do you think caused it?
What character qualities did the girls show while Ma was doing Pa's chores?
What happened when Ma went out to do the chores?
What did Laura think about crying?
Why did Ma not leave the lantern in the window on the second night?

What did all the snow mean for the wheat crop?
What had Pa bought in town? How did each help him when he was stranded?
Why could Pa not stop walking? What kept Pa from having a sense of direction in the storm?
Pa knew he had to keep walking and not give up. Proverbs 24:10, Isaiah 40:29, Romans 8:31-39, Psalm 27:5. What gave him strength to continue?
How did God provide for Pa?
How close was Pa from home?
What was the girls' reaction to Pa eating their candy?
What did they do for Christmas eve?
Which is your favorite song that they sang?
What did laura say was so good about this Christmas?
Write a 2 page report on Noah Webster.

It's time to recite Psalm 51 :o)

LHOP: Plum Creek, week 3

As always, our primary guide online is We Love The Prairie Primer blog.
Do you have your own set of the original Little House on the Prairie series? ABC Distributing has them for a great price if you're interested...check them out here.

Suggested crafts this week are working on that 9-patch quilt, doll quilt, table runner, etc.

Weekly Reading:
Monday:  chapters 24-25
Tuesday: chapters 26-28
Wednesday: chapters 29-31
Thursday: chapters 32-34

What was Ma excited about?
What was different about the girls' hair? What determined the color ribbon they were to wear?
How was town different on Sunday? Do you notice any changes in your own town on Sundays vs other days of the week?
Why did Rev. Alden only come to town once a month? What did they do on the other Sundays?
Apply these verses to the observance of Sunday: Isaiah 56:2, Hebrews 5:9-10, Exodus 20:8-11
What did Pa do with the money for his boots?
Why did the walls drip with sticky pine juice?
How did the grasshopper's coming change their lives?
Do you think another grasshopper plague could happen today?
Draw a food chain cycle using the grasshopper.
Pretend you are an Israelite and write a descriptive story about the coming of the grasshopper plague in Egypt.
Read Psalm 46 when facing a crisis. How does this Psalm pass along comfort?

What did Laura see? What did Pa see?
How did the girl's honor their Pa?
How did Pa say they were better off than most folks?
What was pa's solution to provide for his family?
Where would he go and how would he get there?
How did Ma get water for the family?
What do you think about Ma having the girl's dress properly, even though it was so hot and no one else was around?
Why were the boots an important part of the letter?
Use the information on page 208 to calculate how many potential grasshoppers were in each square foot of ground.
If a person can walk 4 miles per hour, how long would it take to walk 250 miles? How many days would it take if one stopped for 8 hours a day to rest?
They mention reading Psalm 21 when traveling. How might this chapter have 'talked' to Pa?
What does the Bible say about providing for your family (I Timothy 5:7-8)
Proverbs 24 distinguishes the fall of the righteous man vs the fall of the wicked. What is the difference? Read Psalm 57:1 also.
How many gallons of water do the Ingall's use daily? Compare this to your water usage daily.
Laura describes the drought on pg 219. On a page, write the 5 senses across the top and under each sense, list those that Laura used.
Learn about the underground water tables in your area.
learn about the heat index (and the wind chill...)

What is a thresher?
What was the first problem Pa solved when he arrived home?
What did Laura think about Mary getting new shoes? Was this right? Have you ever felt like this?
What did Pa trap and why?
Why would it still be "grasshopper weather"?
What schedule did the Ingalls girls follow for homeschool (pg 245)
Talk about the process of taking a bath in Laura's day vs now.
Make a warning poster about envy using each of the following verses: Job 5:2, Proverbs 14:30, I Timothy 6:3-5, Titus 3:3-5, James 3:16
God provided what Laura secretly wanted. Any coat would have kept her warm, but this one shows how God cares about even the details in our lives. Memorize the following verses: Philippeans 4:19, I John 5:14-15, Psalm 23:6
Write a descriptive story about a favorite doll or toy you've had.

How long did the grasshopper walking last?
Why did Pa leave whistling?
What caused the fire? How did they fight the fire? Who helped? How did he know they needed help?
Why did the girls not wear their mittend when digging in the garden on a cold day?
What was the salve on their hands made of?
What did the girls do to calculate Pa's arrival? Why did he arrive earlier than they expected?
Draw a picture of the most immpressive part of the grasshopper's migration.
Copy (narrate or dictate) your 2 most favorite descriptive paragrahs in these chapters. Underline the verbs, circle the nouns, etc.
Apply Joel 2:25-26 to the grasshopper problem at Plum Creek.
Look up and draw pictures of ragweed and tumbleweed (Russian Thistle) for your nature journals.
Eat turnips :o)
Discuss how true Proverbs 27:10 proved to be. What else could this verse mean?
Study the properties of fire:
kindling temperature...fuel...oxygen...
Knowing these properties, how does a firebreak work?
Send letters to families and friends in other areas and note the dates sent with the dates arrived and see how long the postal service takes today compared to Laura's time.

LHOP: Plum Creek wee 2

After several failed attempts at posting, or at least saving these last fe3w weeks, I think we have it worked out. At least I hope so! I don’t know how many are even following along with our reading here, but I’m sure those that are have managed along perfectly well without my little input here.  Our main text (the book series as well as our guide, The Prairie Primer) and the great directions and notes shared by We Love the Prairie Primer blog are more than enough to keep us going along.  The units are fun, not strict ;-)

Do you have your own set of the original Little House on the Prairie series, illustrated by Garth Williams? I found a great price recently, via ABC Distributing on the original boxed set.  You can check them out here 

Notes and Links for week 2 here.
Monday: ch 13-15
Tuesday: ch 16-18
Wednesday: ch 19-21
Thursday: ch 22-23
Friday is the catch-up and crafting day this week.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

week 2 On the Banks...

My entire post has been eaten apparently. I will try to have it up and ready for Monday, but seems all my archived drafts are just gone

-blessings from Hands and Hearts Homestead!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

IPad Blogging....a test

We put the iPad to slot of use around here. While I don't much like typing via the iPad touchscreen, it sure beats sharing finds via the cell! I know...we still have a computer...a real keyboard input netbook machine...but I get busy with day to day things around here and I just never seem to take the time to pull it out and use it. It takes effort.

Of course, taking a deliberate effort is usually a good thing. A deliberate effort means I have scheduled a specific time frame for drafting entries and sharing. It (should) mean that I have completed other necessary duties of the day and have 'earned' that deliberate effort of computer blogging fun.

I found this iPad app to aid in my blogging (I know...I had that same gasp...I think it will be ok. Really.). It's called BlogPress and can be found at BlogPress App
It works with several blog platforms, including Blogger, which seems to have a limited access face with these things. There are others, maybe great ones even, but I'm not familiar with Blogsy or QuickWordPress for the iOS.

Do you utilize an iPad in your daily networking or schooling? Do you have some favorite apps that make your iPad more useful in your day? I would love to hear what you use and what you like or dislike. Please take a moment to share!

-blessings from Hands and Hearts Homestead!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On The Banks of Plum Creek Intro Notes and Week 1

September finds us following Laura and her family from the prairies of Kansas back 'home' to Pepin, Wisconsin and onto Walnut Grove, Minnesota.

Reading Schedules and Primer Links:
Week 1: We Love the Prairie Primer Links, Chapters 1-12, up to 3 chapters daily reading
Week 2: Prairie Primer Links, Chapters 13-23, up to 3 chapters daily
Week 3: Prairie Primer Links, Chapters 24-34, up to 3 chapters daily
Week 4: We Love the Prairie Primer Links, Chapters 35-41

Noah Webster's biography is also suggested during this book reading.
Our suggested memory verse for this book is Psalm 51.

During Plum Creek, we will touch on areas including:
Animals, insects...
grasshoppers, butterflies, moths, bees, badgers, mammals in general, leeches, blue herons, beavers,
diagramming parts of a tree, Willows morning glories, lichens, ragweed, tumbleweed,
Science in general...
Classifications of plants, animals, etc., sources of heat exchange (conduction, convection, radiation), water safety, the human body's response to fear, drying fruit to preserve, water purification, how to produce paper, hazards of tobacco use.

Follow the bunny trails you and your children find along your reading! That's what makes reading such a great learning adventure!

A great project to begin if you haven't already is work on a 9 patch quilt, or table runner. Plan to work on it regularly and complete by the end of the book.

Week 1:
Monday: Chapters 1-3
Visit a pond, lake or creek, collect some water and grasses. Place in a sunny window, then sample and view under a microscope...note your observations.
Discuss water purification reasons and methods, water safety concerns today vs Laura's time, water-born diseases.
Map the trail Pa took from the prairies to Pepin, note the terrain, compare the mileage to travels today.
Discuss the 3 methods of heat transfer, the benefits of living in an earth home or underground home.
Practice shading and drawing techniques and draw morning glories and blue flags.
Discuss incidents of complaining in Scripture.
Tuesday: Chapters 4-6
Discuss geographical terms such as butte, mesa, plateau, plain.
Apply I John 1:8-9, James 5:16, and Proverbs 28:13 to Laura's need to tell Pa about the swimming hole adventure. Compare to an event in your own experience.
Discuss and map the countries you find Swedes, Germans and Norwegians, map the areas of immigration, explore their characteristics and culture.
Life cycle and habitat of butterflies.
Collect lichens and learn how they exist.
Discuss water safety.
Read about badgers, their habitat, part in the food chain, lifestyle, etc.
Wednesday: Chapters 7-9
learn about wheat, how and where it grows, harvest and usages.
Discuss the steps to falling into sin (questioning the Lord, telling half-truths, excusing actions by technicalities, etc.
Laura led Mary astray...discuss how we must be careful to not lead our friends, or allow ourselves to be led, into situations that are not proper. Matthew 18:6 James 3:1
Study the life of bees and bumblebees.
Learn about preserving fruits by drying.
Foreshadowing...the mention of grasshoppers now and the plague in chapter 25.
Thursday: Chapters 10-12
do a word study on idleness
discuss the body's reaction to fear
mammals...characteristics, classifications and Orders
Read about the first Thanksgiving and learn about the Festival of Booths and the Israelites.

Friday is a review or catch-up day this week.