Plum Creek - Week 4 {Prairie Primer}

Welcome to our final week on the banks of Plum Creek!  See what we are using and books and resources we use for more details!

This week we studied beavers, looked at quilt patterns, and made a nine-patch quilt square. 

Day 1: Keeping House and Prairie Winter

We did a lesson on Perspective/Point of View where we "rewrote" a story from a different perspective by imagining how that person would feel and act.

We studied beavers. I pulled up these pics from our nature walk last summer - I would have loved to go back to see if we can learn more about beavers first hand.

Instead, we watched a documentary on Beavers called Leave it to Beavers - very interesting. If we had water year round, and if I could bring a beaver to our land in Montana, I would.

We looked at quilt patterns.

Then Eliana sewed a 9 patch quilt square and made a pillow.

Day 2: The Long Blizzard and The Day of Games; Day 3: The Third Day, The Fourth Day, Christmas Eve; Day 4: Walnut Grove and the Banks of Plum Creek, Little Hotel in the Village, World of Little House - On the Banks of Plum Creek

We mostly focused on finishing the book (which includes reading the chapters and discussion). It was a very easy week as I was ready to wrap up Plum Creek. It took us way too long to finish and we will enjoy a nice long break before we start up again in September.

The kids played "Plum Creek" with Playmobil.

Read aloud with Bo.

Catching the wind on a windy day at our place in Montana.

A visit to Piney Creek in Wyoming.

This takes us to the end of Plum Creek!

We took a nice long break after this and started back with By the Shores of Silver Lake mid September.

Plum Creek - Week 3 {Prairie Primer}

Welcome to Week 3 of Plum Creek! This week we covered water usage, prairie fires, and cooked turnips! It was a very light and easy "week" school wise.

Day 1: Going to Church and The Glittering Cloud

Questions and discussion from the Prairie Primer manual - stuff on grasshoppers mostly.

Day 2: Grasshopper Eggs, Rain, and The Letter

We calculated how many potential grasshoppers were in each square foot - crazy to think how many! Malachi colored a grasshopper from a Biology coloring book (similar to this one).

We did the math activity (#2 - How long it would take to walk 250 miles?) and talked about how Pa was a good provider.

How many gallons of water does your family use in a day? We use so much more water at home here in Wyoming than we do in Montana. Here is a pic I took heating up bath water one day. In addition to the water on the stove (our hot water), I used one 5 gallon container (cold water).

We haul water in 5 gallon storage containers, but we bought a pick up tank to haul water in the future.

This is my husband's 1/2 ton pick up truck. He has had it since he was 16 - his first truck. We were only able to fill it 1/3 full - we need at least a 3/4 ton to haul a full tank of water into our place and we need a cistern to store it. We filled all our water storage containers and used all the water we could from it and still had to let it drain out - the kids loved that. They played with the water to their hearts content - not something they do up here as we conserve water carefully.

So, back to the question. We use 5 gallons a day to wash hands and dishes (150 gallons a month), 10 gallons per person if we take a bath (200 gallons if we take a bath once a week like Laura did), and about 2 gallons a day for cooking and drinking (60 gallons a month).  That's 410 gallons a month or an average of about 14 gallons a day.

Our last water bill here in Wyoming (running water!) metered at 1,300 gallons in September - 43 gallons a day!

Day 3: The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn, Going to Town and Surprise

Questions and discussion from the manual.

Day 4: Grasshoppers Walking, Wheels of Fire, and Marks on the Slate

Along with the questions and discussion from the manual, we studied the properties of fire and read about wildfires, then bought turnips from the store, and Elli and I made scalloped turnips.

I wish I loved turnips as they are a non-starchy and can be used in a Trim Healthy Mama S meal, but I don't. If they were all we had to eat, I would learn to like them, as I'm sure the Ingalls did when it was all they had to eat when Pa's wheat crop was destroyed by the grasshoppers. 

And that was our Week 3 with Plum Creek. See what we are using and books and resources we use for more details!

In other news...

We made a lot of trips to Montana to see Nathan and work on the house up there. One trip was just the youngest two and I. Malachi had soccer camp so he stayed behind. Then Elli stayed behind one week for Theatre camp. I did a lot of driving back and forth (a three hour trip one way) to bring a kid home and pick up another. 

At Woodbine (Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness) with Elli and Bo...

And on a hike with the three youngest at our property in Montana. 

Elli sitting on an outdoor "toilet" that Jordan built years ago. :) 
Here's the house we built up there - we hired someone to finish the siding (long overdue), and we painted the house ourselves. 

In my Week 1 post for Plum Creek, I shared that our house up here is built into the side of a hill - the back third of the house has 8 feet underground, the sides have 4 feet in the ground, and the front "walks out." Here's the back:

Summer happened around here and it took us longer than I had hoped to wrap up this unit. With soccer camps, theatre camp, trips to Montana + a trip to see Jordan and his first apartment, I think this "week" took us three weeks or longer! 

One more week to go! See you soon for Week 4 of Plum Creek! 

Plum Creek - Week 2 {Prairie Primer}

Welcome to Week 2 of Plum Creek! If you missed Week 1, catch it here

We studied leeches, explored creatures in a small creek, read about blue herons, made a button string, made star light catchers, and had a country party! 

 See what we are using and resources we use for more details!

Books in our book basket:

Day 1: Spring Freshet and The Footbridge

Day 2: The Wonderful House, Moving In, The Old Crab, and the Bloodsuckers

(We made our star light catchers wrong - we were supposed to cut out the star and leave the outline so it "catches the light".)

Day 3: The Fish-Trap, School, and Nellie Olson

We added the Handbook of Nature Study to our book basket - so wish I would have thought of it sooner!

We visited a creek to study leeches. We have found them in pools of bigger creeks (accidentally while wading - to be discovered later at home in the bath!) so I didn't let my kiddos wade in the creek. We took a white bucket to scoop water to find water bugs, leeches, and other creatures. 

Little tiny bloodsuckers

Day 4: The Party and Country Party 

We picked a big bouquet of wild flowers for our country party and when we got home, they looked like this:

They were so pretty when we picked them! But I left them on the table and the next morning, more little buds had opened up and we had a pretty bouquet.  I was so happy! :) 

I had planned to make Vanity Cakes and fill them with cream (aka cream puffs!), since they were basically cream puffs (hollow in the center) as I saw so many fails on the Vanity Cake recipe, but I ended up buying a box instead (just too much summer going on to make the effort!).

This was just after Elli's bike crash (her second one). Nathan took off on her bike so she got on my mountain bike to chase after him, twisted the handlebars too much while turning, and fell and hit her chin on a rock. I will often use butterfly bandages or liquid bandaids to treat wounds, but I didn't want to touch this one - I cleaned it out and took her to Urgent Care for stitches. 

This was her 2nd bike crash landing on her face. Her last one ended up with an emergency trip to the dentist to remove gravel embedded in her gums, poor girl.

See you soon for Week 3!
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