Why We Love Our Berkey So Much and Why We Think You Would Love One Too!

Continue reading “Why We Love Our Berkey So Much and Why We Think You Would Love One Too!”

Emergency Preparedness: Water Purification with Berkey

As many of you know we have entered Hurricane Season where we live. (The season officially began on June 1, 2019, and will end on November 30, 2019.) Hurricanes and other natural disasters can wreak havoc all around us and cause many serious issues so it is important to always be prepared.

Clean Drinking Water Is A Must

One of the most important things you need in the event of a natural disaster is clean drinking water. Boy, do I know how fast water flies off the shelves and how hard it is to get if you wait until the last minute. (The last time that happened we had no choice but to wait to the last minute as we had no transportation at the time.) I try my best to stay stocked up but in this little house, there is only so much water we can hide under beds and such.

We have been washing out milk jugs and filling them with water. These have been placed in the bottom of a big chest freezer we have out in a shed. If an emergency hits they will help to keep the freezer cold and can provide us with water for drinking and cooking so I feel pretty comfortable that we would be okay if we had a power outage of a few days but more than 4 or 5 days would be pushing it.

We do have a generator that we can, and have, hooked up to run the water pump but you never know when something like that will fail or if we were to run out of fuel it may be hard to get out to get more for a time as the roads around us are frequently flooded after major storms. We needed a better plan, or at least I thought we did.

Use Code KIRBY5 for a 5% discount on your order TODAY!

Never Buy Bottled Water Again!

I have been looking at the Berkey Water Systems for quite a while now and really began to take an interest in them again recently. After debating and thinking about it I finally decided to go ahead and take the plunge… yes, they can be a bit expensive but they do have some great ways to save money with the Berkey Filter Scratch & Dent Sale which I had planned to take advantage of and may take advantage of in the future as I can see that these would make wonderful gifts too!

However recently we have been having some water issues here. We have hard water and we have a system for that but the system has been malfunctioning. The water has a slight smell and taste which they have assured us is nothing bad… they aren’t the ones drinking it though. It also has an orange color to it that has been discoloring EVERYTHING from the toilet bowl to the water bottles. YUCK! It made me sick just to look at it.

After waiting patiently for the system to begin functioning properly again, which it is working better but doesn’t quite seem to be at 100% yet, I decided ENOUGH was ENOUGH. I can’t let my family drink this water any longer! I mean the investment in the system is for our health and well being. The cost when compared to the smaller units you can buy for your faucet will be an even better value in the long run. (I believe the estimate the cost to be less than $0.02 a gallon! Now that’s a great value!)

Well, I still wanted to check out the facts and make sure that this was what we really needed. After checking out all the information they have on the website and reading about the different purification reports they have listed on the filter pages I was convinced that this would be the best thing for us.

Click here to learn about why the Berkey Water Filters are so good!

Variety of sizes to fit every need!

They have a variety of sizes and I believe we have the largest size available (the Crown Berkey) as I know we go through a lot of water. The way this filtered water tastes makes me think I need to invest in some more black filters too so it can be ready faster as we are sure to be drinking even more water from now on! It is a very noticeable difference in both the look and taste of the water. The more filters the faster we can have purified water. Yes, there is a difference between filtered and purified water and boy does it show!

Related image

Not to mention that you can use it to clean virtually any kind of water. I’ve read reviews about people using stream water, pond water, etc. I know they do have suggestions for treating this kind of water before filtering just to be safe so you would probably want to check that out beforehand. This is really good to know though as things can get quite desperate in emergency situations.  Berkey filters can remove 200+ contaminants from water and they have the certified lab results to prove it too!


They also have several bundles right now that can help you to save even more money! Not only do they have systems for your drinking water but they have a shower filter that is getting rave reviews! They are currently sold out but you can have your name added to the list to be notified when they are back in stock. I did this and I can’t wait to be able to order mine!

They shipped our order super fast too and it was so easy to set up. I had the system set up in less than 20 minutes! Yep, it was that fast. Getting the first batch of water run through the system did take a bit longer though but this morning we had clean, fresh water to drink. The kids were happy that it was clear and I am happy knowing that it is so much healthier for everyone! I really can’t wait to start making some of my Trim Healthy Mama drinks with this!

Don’t forget to use Code

KIRBY5 for a 5% discount on your order TODAY!

Our system:

Here are a few pics of our system as it arrived and was set up. I was so excited to see it out on the porch when we came home from a dance I stayed up after midnight to set it up!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. This means that we can keep bringing you great recipes, ideas, and tips for FREE! Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

Worried about other chemicals in your home? Click HERE to find out about some new products we are using to create a toxic-free safe haven here.

Meet Our New Berkey!

Continue reading “Meet Our New Berkey!”

On the Banks of Plum Creek Week 1 Lesson Plans


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.


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.


This one came from Lakeshore Learning.

The younger kids will also be watching some of these videos while I work with the older ones:

We may also use some of the songs found HERE.

And we will be trying out some relaxing background music with Google.

We also like to use this song during our ‘Morning Time’ to help the kids learn the 50 States. 

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.

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

Answer can be found HERE.

Answer Key Password: momsrock

Week 1: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

(The Door in the Ground, The House in the Ground, Rushes and Flags, Deep Water, Strange Animal, and Wreath of Roses)

Here is our lesson plan for the week:

Language Arts

We plan to use this FREE Lapbook to go along with our study.


Read Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Discussion Questions:

Chapter One (The Door in the Ground):

  • What four states did they travel through?
  • Why did Mr. Hanson want to sell his place?
  • What did Pa trade for the house?
  • How was this new house different from their old house? Click HERE for pictures.

Chapter Two (The House in the Ground):

  • Why was Laura sad?
  • How was the house made?
  • What did Pa bring back from town?
  • How far away was the town?
  • What new animals did they have? Click HERE for pictures.
  • How did Laura feel about them?

Chapter Three (Rushes and Flags):

  • What are Rushes? Click HERE for pictures.
  • What did Laura learn that she could do with the Rushes?
  • What are Flags? Click HERE for pictures.
  • What did the girls do with the Flags?
  • What did Ma say the girls would turn into?
  • What did Pa warn the girls about?

Chapter Four (Deep Water):

  • Where did Pa take the family?
  • What did they see on the way there? Click HERE for pictures.
  • What did Ma warn Laura about?
  • What happened to Laura when she disobeyed?

Chapter Five (Strange Animal):

  • Where did Laura go? Why?
  • What did Laura see? Click HERE for pictures.
  • How did it make Laura feel? How can you tell?
  • What was Laura’s punishment for being disobedient?

Chapter Six (Wreath of Roses):

  • What did Laura like to watch?
  • Why did she not touch?
  • Who was Johnny? How did Laura describe him?
  • Why couldn’t they talk to him?
  • What did Pa bring home? How did he get it?
  • What important lesson did Laura learn?

Additional Reading:

Older Children:

Each child would complete a reading lesson from our McGuffey Primer Books or other reading materials that we chose for the day.

Younger Children:

Younger kids will also be doing one lesson a day from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

We are also working through All About Reading Level Pre-reading with William as he needed something a little different from what we had been doing.


Print:  On the Banks of Plum Creek Week One Vocabulary List

Older Kids:

Parents click HERE for the answer key.**see instructions at the top of the page.

Younger Kids:


Older Kids:


Younger Kids:


We will be making a journal to record some of our pioneer adventures in. The link to the journal is HERE.

We will be using the Writing Activity Station Kit from Lakeshore Learning for some of our lessons.

Choose one prompt below:

  • Write about a time that someone in your family traded something to benefit the family.
  • Write about a day in the life of a butterfly.

**Remember to use the thesaurus to come up with different words.

Watch this video on foreshadowing:

Other Activities:**


Word Fun

Older kids:

Younger kids:


You may find it easier to buy a Math Workbook to work through as you go along with the study.

** For fun you may try ‘ciphering’ on a slate with a slate pencil.


Rotate through these activities:

MÖBI Kids-The Numerical Tile Game for Kids in a Whale Pouch with Included Activity Booklet

Older Kids:

Younger Kids:

Geography and History

Memorize the Continents and Oceans using the videos below to help:


1. State Study

  • Print out this map HERE or this one HERE. You can color in the states as you learn them and track Laura’s journeys.
  • This week we will study Minnesota.
  • Complete your notebooking pages.
  • Older kids can write a report about the state.

  • Mark the route that the family may have taken on your map.

2. Landforms & Mapping



You can print out a lapbook  HERE.

  • Plateaus (tableland p.22)

  • Valleys

3. Bonus

Research Dugout homes

  • Discuss what you have learned.
  • What are the pros and cons of a dugout home?
  • Compare this to your home. Make a Venn Diagram to compare/contrast the two.


We will also be using this People Long Ago Resource Box from Lakeshore Learning to go with our lessons.

People Long Ago Resource Box&nbsp;- Gr.&nbsp;<span style="white-space: nowrap;">1-3</span>

There are also some other resources available here:


1. Pick one or two topics to learn about:

  • Willow Trees

  • Morning Glories

  • Growing plants

  • Butterflies

  • Lichens

  • Badgers

  • Heat Transfer

2. Learn about the weather and seasons.

  • Seasons

3. Read:

Curiositree: Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature - Jacket unfolds into a huge wall poster!

4. Extra Activities:

5. Bonus

Look at a sample of pond water under a microscope and compare it to a sample of tap water. Watch this video if you don’t have access to pond water or a microscope.

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • What surprised you the most about this activity?

Life Skills

We will be discussing some of the character qualities that are displayed in the book but if you would like to do a separate character study lesson you can download one HERE.

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.


  • Work on memorizing two verses during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 1: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
    • Verse 2: Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character


Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. – Philippians 2:14-15

  • What did Laura complain about?

– Being honest. God hates lying.

  • Read this lesson HERE.
  • Why do you think Laura needed to tell Pa about her adventure?
  • Should you be honest?

  • Laura’s punishment was that she had to be watched, she had lost her freedom.
  • Do you think Laura like losing her freedom?

3. Manners

– Read the intro page through page 21 of Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss the manners used in each situation below:

  • How should you come to the table?
  • What do you do before you begin eating?
  • What happens as you are getting started eating?
  • What are the rules for bread?
  • How do you eat soup?
  • How do you eat salad?
  • How do you eat cherry tomatoes?
  • Practice these manners when you eat.

Emily Post's Table Manners for Kids

4. Fun Activities

  • Watch this video about the pioneers:

Bugs Floor: 24 Jumbo Pieces

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

Practice these until you finish this unit study and then we will move on to new skills.

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

Skill Trek

  • Work on at least one task a week.
  • Practice your new skill this week.

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 10-11
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

A Kid’s Herb Book: For Children of All Ages

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • What are the seven basic commands?
  • How many does your dog know?

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Also watch this video:

We will also be using:

PE, Health & Safety

1. Water Purification Safety

Drinking unpurified water can sometimes make you very sick.

The Magic School Bus At The Waterworks

  • Discuss what you have learned.
  • Research some diseases and illnesses that you could get from unpurified water.
  • Play a Magic School Bus Game

2. Games/Outdoor Play

Music, Arts & Crafts




You can check out my Pinterest page Little House on the Prairie Crafts for even more crafts and activities.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!