Tag Archives: life skills

Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Resource List

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

We read Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography before starting our study.

NOTE: My kiddos were 5, 6, 9, 11, and 15 at the time we created study unit. Some ideas may need to be changed/adjusted for older kids.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


Introduction:

We have been using the Little House on the Prairie Books for our homeschool this year and my kids are loving it. I have scoured the internet for resources to make our learning experience as fun and exciting as possible. This series of posts is a compilation of different resources we have found and used in our home. Please note that some of these may have been FREE at the time I found them and prices and/or availability may have changed. Feel free to leave your own links in the comments section below.

I also want to take a moment to thank all of these wonderful people who put together so many wonderful resources for all of us to use with our children. I know that many hours, blood, sweat, and tears went into these projects but your work is greatly appreciated!


Answer Key found HERE**ANSWER KEY password: momsrock (highlight blank area)


Language Arts:

We will be completing this Lap Book project as we read through this book.

Reading:

We will be reading the noted selection for the week as well as discussing what we have read. I may come up with other questions as well. Kids are curious and I know we will have many questions which may lead to some research in other areas.

We will also be working on reading through a few books, see Kirby’s Kids Grade by Grade Homeschool Reading List , for each different grade level. The older kids will have some independent reading while the younger ones will have a mixture of read alouds, read alongs, and independent reading.

You should keep a record of the books read. You can do this in a notebook or using this printable HERE.

Handwriting:

I did not list handwriting in the weekly work tasks as my kids are using the Spencerian Penmanship for handwriting and will practice this every day.

Vocabulary:

We will be doing various activities for this area. We will be looking up definitions, matching words, putting the words in alphabetical order, and a variety of other activities.

Writing:

There will be a variety of creative writing ideas as well. I have tried to vary them and offer choices to help encourage writing. We will also be doing various writing assignments in some of other areas as well.

Check out PRINTABLE WRITING PAPER- TWENTY FREE TEMPLATES FOR KID’S WRITING for some FREE writing resources!

Other Activities:

These are just some of the other activities that I am incorporating into the lessons with my kiddos as we are all at different learning levels. I put these in here to keep me organized so I don’t ‘forget’ something.

I will add links to worksheets I find or make as we go through the unit. For a general guideline of skills your child should know by grade level click HERE.

I have pulled a lot of the material from the book for the worksheets listed down below.

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:

Other resources used:

The younger kids will also have access to various Read-Along books and puppet books. I will update links to those as we go along.


Math:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

Note about Ray’s Arithmetic Books: These can be a little confusing at first but the Parent/Teacher guide is so useful! I have found that the books are in order as follows:

  • 1st/2nd grades: Ray’s New Primary Arithmetic
  • 3rd/4th grades: Ray’s New Intellectual Math
  • 5th/6th grades: Ray’s Practical Arithmetic
  • 7th/8th grades: Ray’s Higher Arithmetic

I have used a lot of the examples from the book to create the worksheets you will find listed below. **ANSWER KEY password: momsrock (highlight blank area)

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:


Social Studies:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:


Science:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:

  • We will also be studying different lessons from Mystery Science which is a site that the kids LOVE! We have found a lot of FREE lessons on this site. (You do need a membership to access all of the site.)
  • YouTube can be a great resource for educational videos.
  • Itsy Bitsy Bear Book via KidZone
  • We will also be studying different lessons from Mystery Science which is a site that the kids LOVE! We have found a lot of FREE lessons on this site.
  • FREE Zoology Lessons at Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool.
  • FREE Physics and Chemistry Lessons at Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool.

My kids also enjoyed reading:

 Bears on the Brain (Science Solves It!)


PE/Health & Safety Resources:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons ideas with these links:

We often have some ‘Free Play’ outside whenever the weather allows as well.


Life Skills:

This area contains our lesson plans for a few different areas that I have included with our ‘Life Skills’. You will find lessons on cooking, cleaning, and organization as well as bible memory work and character training. All of these will go together to help raise our children into the responsible and caring citizens of tomorrow.

You can find a FREE printable log for keeping track of memory work here:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:


Music, Arts & Crafts:

These lesson plans include Music, Arts, and Crafts. Choose one or two ideas/day as desired.

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:

We have also bought the following books/products for use with this series:


Remember: These are the lessons and activities that we used while doing this study but you can do anything your heart desires to make this a great adventure for you and your kids!

 

 

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Little House On The Prairie Academic Adventures Weekly Lesson Plan Links & Guide

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Click Here for Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 1 Lesson Plans

  • Language Arts:
    • Read Chapters 1 & 2
    • Discussion
    • McGuffey Primer Lesson
    • Vocabulary
    • Writing Activities
    • These week we learn about fiction vs. nonfiction
    • Make a Pioneer Journal
    •  Mother Goose Phonics: Pat A Cake
  • Math:
  • Geography and History:
    • State Study: Wisconsin
    • Research Pioneer Life
  • Science:
    • Learn about Bears
    • Learn about Panthers
    • Research Microbes and Bacteria
    • Learn about Density
    • Bonus: Why does fire burn different colors?
  • Life Skills:
    • Research Pioneer Chores
    • Making our bed
    • Interrupting
    • Memory Work
    • Fun activities: Make Butter
    • Bonus Skills: Memorizing the books of the Bible, Archery, and/or Baking
  • PE, Health & Safety:
    • Stranger Danger
    • Play Little Brown Bear
  • Music, Arts, and Crafts:
    • Crafts: Hog’s Bladder Balloons, Corn Cob/Husk Dolls, Snowflakes, and Paper Dolls
    • Art: Bulldogs, Jack Frost
    • Music: Yankee Doodle Dandy, Butter Churning Song

2. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 2 Lesson Plans


3. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 3 Lesson Plans

  • Language Arts:
  • Math:
  • Geography and History:
    • State Study: New Hampshire 
    • Research School in Pioneer Days.
    • Continue to research Louis Pasteur.
    • Work on Speech
  • Science:
    • Study the Digestion System.
    • Heimlich Maneuver
    • Research Maple Trees
    • Research Maple Syrup Collecting
  • Life Skills:
    • Research Pioneer Children’s School Lunches
    • Maple Syrup
    • Setting the Table
    • Good Table Manners
    • Memory Work
    • Make Pancakes
    • Bonus Skills: Memorizing the books of the Bible, Archery, and/or Baking
    • Learn how to measure dry and wet ingredients
  • PE, Health & Safety:
    • What happens when you don’t bathe?
    • How to take a shower.
    • Happy,Healthy Kids: Fresh Air
    • Play Hot Potato
  • Music, Arts, and Crafts:
    • Crafts: Leaf Crafts, Tin Lanterns, Whittling
    • Art: Maple Trees, Leaf Rubbings
    • Music: Pop Goes the Weasel

4. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 4 Lesson Plans

  • Language Arts:
  • Math:
    • Group Activity
    • Ray’s Arithmetic Books
    • Fractions: Word Problems
    • Learning Your numbers 1-20
    • Learn to Write Your Numbers
  • Geography and History:
    • State Study: Indiana
    • Research history of Square Dancing.
    • Continue to research Louis Pasteur.
    • Work on Speech
  • Science:
    • Study Animal Tracks
    • Animal Track Activity
    • Study the Skin.
    • Study the Sun
  • Life Skills:
    • Research Pioneer Laundry Day
    • Soap Making
    • Sorting Laundry
    • Foolishness
    • Memory Work
    • Make Hasty Pudding
    • Learn to Braid
    • Bonus Skills: Memorizing the books of the Bible, Archery, and/or Baking
    • Learn how to read a recipe
  • PE, Health & Safety:
    • Benefits of square dancing
    • Benefits of Natural Light
    • Try Square Dancing
    • Try to jig
    • Play Four Square
  • Music, Arts, and Crafts:
    • Crafts: Knitting
    • Art: Flowers
    • Music: Buffalo Gals

5. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 5 Lesson Plans


6. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 6 Lesson Plans


7. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 7 Lesson Plans


**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

As always we try not to charge for any printables or resources that we offer but we do appreciate any donations that you may feel like giving. You can use the ‘Tip Jar’ link on the Home Page or send a donation via Paypal to ‘happy2bmyownboss@yahoo.com’. Thank you so much for your support!

Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 7 Lesson Plans

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Mornings:

We Start every morning off with our prayers and the Pledge of Allegiance. Below is a picture of the prayers that we say and a video of the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Not the prettiest example but that’s what we’ve been using for the past few years.

Don’t have a flag? Grab one HEREand print it out to put up somewhere… you could even let the kids make a flag to proudly display. Amazon also has some little ones like this one HERE and HERE.

After this we have our calendar time also where we go over such things as the Days of the Week, the months, and some basic math.

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This one came from Lakeshore Learning.


Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


Week 7: Finishing Up

Here is our lesson plan for the week:


Language Arts


Math

You can work on a lesson in your Ray’s Arithmetic Books or other math workbook. (The lessons below reflect what we worked on.)

Group:

Rotate through these activities:

Click HERE to check for updates.

Older Kids:

Younger Kids:


Geography and History

1. State Study **

  • Review the states we learned about and choose a state to research more.
  • Write a report about the state and include at least 3 interesting facts about the state.

2. Continue to Research the Gold Rush. **

  • Finish your speech!
  • Give your speech!

Bonus: **

Research the main ways of pioneer transportation.

  • How do our methods of transportation differ?
  • What ways, if any, do we still use today?

Here is an interesting video about transportation methods you can watch.

Fun things to do:

The Scrambled States of America Puzzle and Book Set


Science

1. Pick out a previous topic to research more and write a report about it.

2. Check out some other forest animals. Which ones have you seen before?

3. Check out these other videos for more information for you Gold Rush Speech.

  • How is Gold Mined?

  • How is Gold processed?

  • How is Gold used?

Fun Projects:

  • My kids also enjoyed reading:

 Bears on the Brain (Science Solves It!)


Life Skills

Be sure to continue practicing your manners at home and away from home.

1. Research Maple Syrup as an alternative natural sweetener

  • Discuss what you learned.

2. Research the history of Johnny Cakes

  • Watch this video:

  • What are two other names these are known by?
  • Bonus points for making up a batch of these today! Here is a recipe.

Check out these Pioneer recipes that are still around today:

3. Learn about the Sabbath Day.

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • How can you observe the Sabbath Day in your home?

Bonus Lesson/Activities:

  • Make some Pioneer Taffy.
  • Check out this video about preparing for a Pioneer Trek. (Mormon Pioneer Trek Preparation Demo)

  • Learn how to clean a gun, with your parent’s permission!
  • Look up at least two Bible verses about Gold, choose one to memorize.
  • Research Pioneer Fashion

Here is one about Amish clothing which is similar to the pioneer clothing:

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • How do these differ from our clothing today?

PE, Health & Safety

    1. Practice making healthy food choices
    1. Research Cabin Fever and ways to prevent/cure it.
    1. Make a Giant Tic-Tac-Toe Game
  • Bonus: Research Tobacco.

  • (mentioned in Chapter 9)
  • https://youtu.be/DORfPGMv-kc
  • https://youtu.be/fF7SNcw7kxQ
    • Discuss what you learned.
    • List 3 different side effects of tobacco use.
  • Games/Outdoor Play

  • Play any of the games listed above or choose your favorite game to play.
  • Continue your Square Dance lessons.

Music, Arts & Crafts

Crafts:**

  1. Choose a previous craft that you haven’t done yet.
  2. Make a Spoon Doll p. 14 Pioneer Crafts for Kids
  3. Make a Pioneer Doll p. 32 Pioneer Crafts for Kids
  4. Make a Log Cabin Photo Frame p. 36 Pioneer Crafts for Kids
  5. Make a Pioneer Life Diorama p. 51 Pioneer Crafts for Kids
  6. Use My Book of Little House Paper Dolls: The Big Woods Collection to reenact and retell the story to someone.
  7. Build a Pretzel Log Cabin
  8. Make a log cabin with Lincoln Logs.

Art:

  1. Choose a previous project that you haven’t done yet.
  2. Draw a picture of your earliest memory and write a story about it.**

Music:

  1. Am I A Soldier of the Cross? p. 138 Laura Ingalls Wilder Songbook

2. The Star Spangled Banner p. 80 Laura Ingalls Wilder Songbook

**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

Little House In The Big Woods Adventure: Week by Week Life Skills Lessons

**This post may contain affiliate links to some of the products and resources that we have used. These are provided at no extra charge to you and help to support our blog and family if a purchase is made through these links. -Thank you!

Here are our Lesson Plans For Life Skills

This page contains our lesson plans for a few different areas that I have included with our ‘Life Skills’. You will find lessons on cooking, cleaning, and organization as well as bible memory work and character training. All of these will go together to help raise our children into the responsible and caring citizens of tomorrow.

On weeks where there are several activities listed just choose a couple that interest you the most to work on.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or subject simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


Week 1: Chapters 1 & 2

1. Research chores for Pioneer Children

Check out the 2nd video for some Pioneer skills you can learn.

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • How do their chores differ from yours?
  • What was Ma’s chore schedule? Do this activity to test your memory:

Ma’s Chore Schedule Activity Week 1

  • Little ones can use Ma’s chore schedule to learn the days of the week.

 Pioneer chores vs. Modern chores.

Laura was 4 years old when this book took place. How did her chores/responsibilities compare to yours? What chores can you help with around the house?

Watch this video of kids doing farm chores.

 

2. Ways to help around the house like Laura

Arise, Shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. — Isaiah 60:1

  • Making the Bed
    • We should get in the habit of making our beds every day because it helps us get a great start for a productive day!

3. Character/Manners

– Read ‘Six Ways to be Considerate to Adults’ p. 22 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

– Read ‘Uncommon Courtesy is considering the needs and feelings of others.’ p. 12 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

  • Laura interrupted Mary in the story. Was this wrong?
  • Discuss how important it is not to interrupt others and how it might make others feel when we interrupt them. (It can make others feel like you don’t think what they have to say is important or that you feel you are better than they are when you interrupt them.)
  • Come up with a way for children to let you know that they need to tell you something without interrupting. (They can gently place their hand on your hand or arm and wait until you finish.)

 

4. Memory Verse

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • He who answers before listening – that is his folly and shame. –– Proverbs 18:13 
  • Older kids can check out this Doodle Page via Verse Doodles.

5. Fun Activities

  • Plan a meal where you can use cracklings. They can be put into cornbread (or hoe cakes) for flavoring. You could substitute chopped bacon if cracklings are not available.
  • Bake bread see Salt-Rising Bread p. 75 in The Little House Cookbook
  • Bake cookies
  • Make butter. Click HERE for a recipe or watch the video below.

  • Write out the steps for making butter.
  • How does your butter compare to store bought butter?

6. Bonus Skills — Choose one or two to work on

  • Practice these until you finish this unit study and then we will move on to another new skill.
  • Memorize the books of the Bible:

  • Learn about archery which is a skill that has been around for thousands of years.

    • Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field and take me some venison. — Genesis 27:3
    • You will need a good book or DVD on archery.
    • You will also need a properly sized bow and arrows for practice.
    • Don’t forget a target and a backstop.
    • Learn the parts of the bow and what they do.
    • Learn the parts of an arrow and what they do.
    • Ask an adult to show you how to safely shoot your bow.
  • Learn the skill of baking homemade nutritious foods from scratch.

    • …It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God — Luke 4:4
    • You will need a good cook book.
    • Start with simple recipes.
    • Make sure you have all of the ingredients before you start.
    • Read through the entire recipe before you start.
    • Ask an adult to show you how to work the oven safely.
    • Start a recipe collection.

Week 2: Chapters 3 & 4

1. Research Pioneer food preservation.

  • How do the different food preservation methods keep us from getting sick?
  • Watch the video:

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • Name 3 methods of preserving food that we still use today.

2. Ways to help around the house like Laura

For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine… for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. — Psalm 50:10

  • Taking Care of Your Pets
    • This video is about taking care of a dog but many of the responsibilities will be the same for other pets.

3. Character/Manners

– Read ‘Make Time For Courtesy.’ p. 14 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

– Read ‘Four Words to the Wise.’ p. 18 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

  • Discuss how important it is to use our ‘Please and Thank You’s’.

4. Memory Verse

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I was only joking!’ — Proverbs 26: 18-19
    • Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self control. — Proverbs 25:28

5. Fun Activities

  • Research how to dry food.

  • Discuss what you learned
  • Bonus points if you actually try it and write about what method you used and how everything tastes.

6. Bonus Skills — Choose one or two to work on

  • Practice these until you finish this unit study and then we will move on to another new skill.
  • Memorize the books of the Bible:

  • Learn about archery

  • Learn about baking


Week 3: Chapters 5, 6, & 7

1. Research Pioneer Children’s School Lunch

  • Check out this link HERE for more information.
  • Discuss what you learned.
  • How does this compare to your normal lunch?

Watch this fun video about school lunches:

Check out these interesting ways to use Maple Syrup:

2. Ways to help around the house like Laura

For God is not the author of confusion, but peace… Let all things be done decently and in order.  — 1 Corinthians 14:33,40

God wants us to do a good job every time we do something no matter how little or how big of a task it is.

  • Setting the table
    • It is important to set the table properly each time so each person has what they need for their meal.

3. Character/Manners

– Read ‘Six Table Manners.’ p. 24 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

– Read ‘Seven Rules for Going to Church.’ p. 30 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

  • Practice good table manners

4. Memory Verse

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. — Proverbs 13:20
    • He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it. — Proverbs 11: 27

5. Fun Activities

What is a bonus benefit of the clove apple?

  • Make pancakes and use real maple syrup.

  • Discuss what you learned.

6. Bonus Skills — Choose one or two to work on

  • Practice these until you finish this unit study and then we will move on to another new skill.
  • Memorize the books of the Bible:

  • Learn about archery

  • Learn about baking


Week 4: Chapters 8 & 9

1. Research a Pioneer Laundry Day

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • How is this different from the way you wash clothes?

Watch this video about soap making.

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • Why did they keep the kids away?

Other:

  • Springtime was when the gardens are planted. Click HERE to learn more about pioneer gardens.

Here is a fun video about a pioneer dance which may be similar to the one described in Chapter 8.

2. Ways to help around the house like Laura

Sin can pile up in our hearts just like dirty clothes can pile up in our rooms. We need to make to sure to get our hearts washed and our clothes washed on a regular basis.

  • Check out this Sorting Laundry Activity
  • Use this Sequencing Worksheet to make a chart showing the laundry cycle from sorting, to washing, to drying, to folding and putting away, and clean up.
  • Check out this video about the benefits of hanging your clothes out on the line:

3. Character/Manners

– Read ‘Six Manners of Speech.’ p. 16 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

– Read ‘Four Awkward Things That Happen To Everyone.’ p. 35 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

  • The girls were arguing in Chapter 8 which was Foolish.
  • Look up the meaning of foolish.
  • Read Proverbs 22:15.

4. Memory Verse

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Wealth brings many friends, but a poor man’s friend- deserts him. — Proverbs 19:4
    • He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done. — Proverbs 19:17

5. Fun Activities

  • Try out some rag curls. They use paper towels in this video.

  • Make your own soap

6. Bonus Skills — Choose one or two to work on

  • Practice these until you finish this unit study and then we will move on to another new skill.
  • Memorize the books of the Bible:

  • Learn about archery

  • Learn about baking


Week 5: Chapters 10 & 11

1. Research Beekeeping

Here is a short video to get you started.

  • Discuss what you learned.

Watch this video about Pioneer gardening:

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • Name 3 vegetables that were in the pioneer garden.

2. Ways to help around the house like Laura

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: without me ye can do nothing.— John 15:5

Weeds can hinder the growth of plants just like sin can keep us from growing in the way the Lord wants us to grow.

  • Weed the Garden

Here’s a fun little video for kids:

3. Character/Manners

– Read ‘Phone Manners.’ p. 26 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

– Read ‘How to Take a Phone Message.’ p. 28 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

  • How does having a foolish child affect the parents?
  • Read Proverbs 17:21, 17:25, and 19:13

4. Memory Verse

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. — Proverbs 13:1
    • The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. — Proverbs 12:22

5. Fun Activities

  • Grow a sunflower in a pot.

6. Bonus Skills — Choose one or two to work on

  • Practice these until you finish this unit study and then we will move on to another new skill.
  • Memorize the books of the Bible:

  • Learn about archery

  • Learn about baking


Week 6: Chapters 12 & 13

1. Research Pioneer Quilting

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • Where did they get the material for making quilts?
  • Do you have any quilts in your home?

Quilts were used to keep warm in the winter. Check out these articles to learn about how the pioneers prepared for winter:

2. Ways to help around the house like Laura

  • Wash dishes
    •  When you are washing dishes you need to keep in mind how God washes us clean and do a good job to get them sparkling clean.

3. Character/Manners

– Read ‘Eight Rules for Traveling in the Car.’ p. 32 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

– Read ‘Sometimes, Being “Rude” Is the Rule.’ p. 36 in Uncommon Courtesy For Kids: A Training Manual For Everyone

  • Laura tried to please her father by being obedient.
  • Look up obedient in the dictionary.
  • Read Exodus 20:12.

4. Memory Verse

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam: so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. — Proverbs 17: 14
    • A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. — Proverbs 15:17

5. Fun Activities

  • Find some fun ideas for your Gold Rush Party
  • Look up some fun recipes for your Gold Rush Party
  • Make some decorations for your Gold Rush Party
  • Check out the fun quilting ideas at Oriental TradingYou might also find some party ideas there!

melissa-and-doug-sup---/sup-flower-fleece-quilt

Watch this video:

6. Bonus Skills — Choose one or two to work on

  • Practice these until you finish this unit study and then we will move on to another new skill.
  • Memorize the books of the Bible:

  • Learn about archery

  • Learn about baking

 


Week 7: Finishing Up

Be sure to continue practicing your manners at home and away from home.

1. Research Maple Syrup as an alternative natural sweetener

  • Discuss what you learned.

2. Research the history of Johnny Cakes

  • Watch this video:

  • What are two other names these are known by?
  • Bonus points for making up a batch of these today! Here is a recipe.

Check out these Pioneer recipes that are still around today:

3. Learn about the Sabbath Day.

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • How can you observe the Sabbath Day in your home?

Bonus Lesson/Activities:

  • Make some Pioneer Taffy.
  • Check out this video about preparing for a Pioneer Trek. (Mormon Pioneer Trek Preparation Demo)

  • Learn how to clean a gun, with your parent’s permission!
  • Look up at least two Bible verses about Gold, choose one to memorize.
  • Research Pioneer Fashion

Here is one about Amish clothing which is similar to the pioneer clothing:

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • How do these differ from our clothing today?

 

**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  

PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

 

How To Start Homeschool With 10 Easy Resources

**This post does contain affiliate links with which I may earn a small commission if a purchase is made.

Has the thought of homeschooling entered your mind? Maybe you’ve bounced the idea around but you just aren’t sure it is right for you and your family? I know I thought about it when my oldest kids were in school but at the time it just wouldn’t work for us. I thought it was going to be too difficult but I was wrong and I’ll share some of our favorite resources with you. You can read more about our homeschool journey here. Continue reading How To Start Homeschool With 10 Easy Resources

Do You Need A Break?

Hey there! I don’t know about you but I’ve been so crazy busy here lately that I have been ready to just throw my hands up in the air and say ‘ENOUGH’. No more Christmas, no more cleaning, no more school! My house was pure and utter CHAOS today and it has been for the past week. I don’t know why everything seemed so hectic but something had to change.

Continue reading Do You Need A Break?

He marches to the beat of his own drum

As many of you probably know I have a special needs son. He has Down’s Syndrome and ADHD among several other diagnoses. He just turned 14 and he is almost as big as I am. Mentally though he is only about the level of a 3 or 4 year old. As frustrating as things can be for me I know that it must be extremely frustrating for him as well.

When he first came to live with us in 2010 I wasn’t prepared, I thought I was, but I wasn’t. I didn’t get any kind of instructions, no special training at all. What I did have was a lot of love and determination to do whatever was right for him.

It was a very hectic and chaotic time those first few weeks. He wouldn’t sleep without medication, which we did not have for the first week or so. He would just run around the house creating mass destruction. Not to mention the fact that his little sister had also been placed with us and she had been diagnosed as emotionally disturbed. She wasn’t even two at the time.

He was not potty trained and he would not tell you when he had soiled or wet his pull up. It took us over a year to fully potty train, we still had and still have times when he refuses, but when he reached the goal of being able to wear ‘real’ underwear the change in him was remarkable. He had gained self confidence and a sense of independence that he had never known before. Even his teachers commented on his new attitude.

He was mostly non verbal at the time also. I bought the Your Baby Can Read Dvds and began to play them everyday. Amazingly his speech began to improve and he began talking more and more everyday. And he hasn’t stopped! He can communicate pretty well now unless you want him to explain why on earth he was playing in the toilet or with cat poop in the play yard.

The placement was only temporary at first.  We had good days and we had bad days. The good days were few and far between. The bad days were often really bad and exhausting. I was thankful for every little tip his teachers and doctors were able to give me.

Eventually we started to develop a rhythm. Then he would do something totally unexpected. We knew that he did not sleep well and he had a history of getting up and sneaking out at night. Fortunately he has never tried to sneak out of the house but he has gotten up at night. (We actually installed a cheap alarm on his door that we turn on at night to alert us if he sneaks out of his room.)

There was one night his older sister found him in the kitchen making a ham and cheese sandwich, but he had put horseradish on it instead of mayonnaise. Then another night right before Thanksgiving he had gotten up and decorated all of the pies with blue icing.

When he got accustomed to our routines and when he began to feel safe we started to see improvements. They were slow, very slow, but every bit of progress was so exciting. Then we would have relapses and he would go back to his old ways and behaviors. It was so frustrating. I would often just sit and cry and pray to God for help and guidance. He would touch me and renew my strength and patience each and every night so I could wake up refreshed and ready to face the next set of obstacles.

I read up on every article I could. I talked to the doctors and specialists. I carried a huge notebook around with me everywhere so I could write down everything they told me. I checked out books at the library and took notes. Then I would try out a few ideas and suggestions at a time. If it worked that was great, If it didn’t I just crossed it off and tried again with something new.

I might add a little note here that what works today may not work tomorrow with him. Each day is a new day and he has a toatlly different outlook, personality, and attitude from day to day. So I just kinda have to judge him when he gets up in the morning to see if he needs a hug or if he just needs me to stay away.

I found ways to encourage and motivate him. When everyone said he couldn’t be potty trained I knew he could. I wasn’t trying to prove a point that I was right and they were wrong but rather prove to them that he was capable of more than what they believed he was. They told me I just needed to accept the fact that he would always be in pull ups.

He also hated and still hates loud noises. With that being said he is one of the loudest kids I’ve ever been around. He hums, he sings, he yells, he makes all kinds of noises at all times of the day with no apparent rhyme or reason. Let me get up and turn on my exercise video in another room and he is yelling at me to be quiet.

Normally he stomps through the house making as much noise as possible everywhere he goes. He sounds like a raging elephant unless he is trying to be sneaky. Then he can tiptoe and sneak up on almost anyone.

During that first year we also had another sister placed with us. She had her own set of challenges with being almost blind in one eye from a dog attack, ADHD, and ODD. I know that bringing her into the home helped him feel more secure as he was constantly asking about her but she also required a lot of attention. He did have some major relapses but we eventually worked through them.

His behavior is good most days now.I can remember the first doctor’s appointment I took him too. He was literally climbing the walls. I’m serious, I went straight to Wal-mart and bought one of those monkey backpack leashes for him. Yes, I got a lot of criticism for putting my child on a leash but I’d rather have him safe then be explaining to the paramedics how he ran away in the parking lot.

I can remember several meltdowns in public places when I thought for sure someone would be calling the authorities on me. I remember all of the ‘If that was my child…’ or ‘My kid would never act like that…’ from strangers who didn’t know the situation. I just smiled and sat in the floor with him wrapped in my arms until he calmed down. Then we would finish what we could finish and go home.

This child also loves food. He will wolf down two plates of food before I can finish half of my plate. We have had to work with him to help him slow down his eating so he can digest his food better and to keep him from choking at every meal. There has only been two things I’ve found that he wouldn’t eat, one was the horseradish I mentioned earlier, and the second was a ‘Monkey Milkshake’ his older sister made for him.

I also researched food allergies and sensitivities. I learned a lot by keeping track of his behaviors and checking them with our menus. After a few months I was able to take my notes to the doctor and show them what we had found. The doctor then wrote a note to the school and we had his diet modified. What a difference that made in his behavior!

He was in public school until he transitioned to middle school. He did not like the change and he rebelled in many ways. His new teachers did not know him and his little quirks and no matter how many times I tried to explain things to them or how many notes I wrote they just didn’t ‘get’ him. (Please note that I am not condemning public school and I know the teachers have a lot put on them. It just didn’t work for our family.)

The other problem they had is that he is just so sweet and convincing at times. He was on a modified diet but he would convince the teacher and aides to give him snacks and extras that he was not allowed to have. This resulted in serious issues and he began to get sick every time he went to school. I was picking him up, taking him to the doctor, doctor writing notes, keeping him home until the issues cleared up, sending him back to school, he would get sick again, I would pick him up again and back to the doctor…. it became a vicious cycle and something had to stop..

The last time I took him to the doctor he had lost a significant amount of weight from the diet issues. I had already spoken with her about homeschooling and she agreed that it would probably be the best route for him at that time. So that was his last week at public school. We’ve definitely had our ups and downs trying to get our routine set and getting him to understand that Momma doesn’t take ‘No’ for an answer.

His fine motor skills are not great but we work on that almost every day. When we first started he would absolutely refuse to write anything. He would simply say ‘I can’t’. If that didn’t work he had a pocketful of excuses that worked on the teachers at school.

‘I’m hungry’

‘My stomach hurts’

‘I’m sleepy’

‘I need to go potty’

This last one was a favorite at school. They would send him unsupervised and his older sisters found him several times wandering about the school campus alone. Sometimes the custodians would find him and ride him around the campus on their buggies. There was a time I went to pick him up for an appointment and they couldn’t find him anywhere. I tried my best not to panic but I was scared to death.

Oh, I almost forgot, maybe the favorite excuse was actually pretending he couldn’t hear anyone. I felt it was selective as he could always hear a bag of chips opening two rooms away with the door closed but the teacher insisted he couldn’t hear her. It got so bad that I took him to the doctor and had his hearing checked. I even asked for a referral to a specialist to double check. Not a thing wrong with his hearing. He just had everyone fooled.

He quickly learned that he had to at least try to do what I had asked him to do. Often I would offer a game or puzzle as a reward once he finished a certain amount of work. This was just the encouragement he needed and now most days we can get our work done by alternating ‘work’ with educational videos, games, or puzzles.

He is now reading at about a first grade level. He gets so excited when he reads a whole sentence by himself. This makes me happy because I know there are certain things that he needs to be able to do to be semi-independent. He will soon be an adult and I am not sure what the future will hold for him but I want him to be as prepared as he can be.

We focus on some reading and some basic math. We also do a lot of Life Skills. He can put his clothes in the washer and dryer. He can also fold them and put them away. He does help to prepare simple meals. He is learning to load the dishwasher but I have to supervise or else he will be licking the plates clean. He makes his bed and is responsible for keeping his room straight too.

He can now shower by himself which was a major achievement and he can do most of his basic hygiene routine without prompting. This has helped him to feel more independent. Also it helps me and everyone else as we don’t have to stand and supervise him and we can give him a little privacy. Bath time was at one time a screaming session because the water was too hot, too cold, too wet, etc. It always sounded like a scene out of a horror movie when I needed to wash his hair.

There are things we have had to learn along the way. Every morning I clean the bathrooms and do a quick check through the house. Every person has their own bathroom basket of toiletry items that they can take to the bathroom when they shower. If anyone leaves anything then he will be the one to find it and most likely destroy it. He has also been known to shave his eyebrows.

I learned early on that if there was something out of place then he would find it and it would call his name. I left a cabinet door open on my desk one time and he passed by it as he went to the bathroom. In less than two minutes he had completely taken apart my fax/copier/printer and destroyed it.

He is also obsessive about certain things at times. The toilet paper must be on the roll a certain way or else he just loses it. He will destroy the bathroom in a matter or minutes if someone has turned the roll around.

If we are moving furniture around or rearranging rooms we have to do it when he is outside or asleep. He gets upset to see the room(s) messed up or not in their normal state.

When he is playing he will line up toys, books, or whatever he is playing with in a certain order or sequence that only makes sense to him. If you ask him to clean it up then he has to do it his way and in his own time. He also does this with his socks and shoes… there have been many times when I go in his room to find an odd arrangement of clothing in the floor or on the bed.

Since he has come to be a part of our family I have definitely done many things that I never thought I would do or say. I won’t list them all but they have included things like ‘Don’t lick the wall, the window, the door, etc.’.

Heaven help us all if this child ever had to have stitches because he thinks he is dying when he gets a scratch that bleeds the tiniest bit. If he steps on a sand spur be ready to call 911. When he was in public school he had a small red spot from his flu shot and he made such a big deal about it that they had bandaged up his whole upper arm. Needless to say I freaked out a bit because I was wondering what kind of injury he had sustained at school to warrant such a bandage.

He loves to work on the tablets and the computers. The child who can’t complete his assignments without me standing by his side will be the one playing games on other sites the minute I walk away.

Movies are something that can absolutely capture his attention. He can watch a movie one time and have the whole thing memorized word for word. This is the same kid who can not remember his sight words from five minutes ago.

He loves to be outside, most of the time, except for when he doesn’t. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense but it would if you knew him. He will whine and ask nonstop to go outside. Then he will want to come right back in saying it is too hot, too cold, too windy, etc.

He is definitely a jokester too. He is constantly knocking on the wall in his room and making us believe someone is at the door. He can also imitate a variety of noises and have us thinking all kinds of crazy things are going on around us.

Sure there will be things that he can’t do but most things he can do just in a different way than others. He has a lot of trouble with buttons, zippers, and ties. That doesn’t keep him from dressing himself as I just try to buy pants with elastic waistbands, pull on shirts, and Velcro shoes. We will continue to work on these things but right now I feel it is best for him to be as independent as possible.

For now we will continue to focus on the things he can do and keep building his self confidence and independence. I will continue to pray for wisdom, guidance, and direction for what we should be doing and how to handle the obstacles that will come along.

If you will also please pray for our family and other families with special needs kids. My day usually starts about 4:00 am with him up singing or yelling, depending on his mood. It just gets busier throughout the day and doesn’t ever really end. Then there are the countless number of doctor visits, trips to specialists, and his least favorite, the dentist. We need everyone’s prayers for strength, health, and patience.

He processes things much differently than you and I do. In other words, he marches to the beat of his own drum. Someone has taught him how to ‘whip’ and ‘nay nay’ so he is dancing and saying ‘watch me whip’, ‘watch me mayonnaise’…. lol… don’t try to argue with him either because he is always right, even when he is wrong.

You can also read the following for more details about our adventures:

Our Homeschool Beginnings

Our ever changing homeschool routine

Dear special needs parent

Take a peek into my morning

Getting Routines Started 101

‘Your first obligation as a parent is to not bring chaos into your kids’ lives.’

OK, I should’ve written this before I started on the other posts about routines. I didn’t realize, until I was writing another post, how complicated and daunting routines can seem. Truth be told we all have some kind of routine already.

**Please note this post does contain affiliate links to which I may, possibly, earn a small commission from if you click on and purchase an item. For full disclosure click here. Continue reading Getting Routines Started 101