Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Cheese, Degrees and Honey Bees {Prairie Primer: Big Woods Week 3}

Our week started off much like last week. Brynne developed pink eye and then her virus moved a little further south. We just took Monday off. She put on her new prairie dress and apron, grabbed her rag doll and stuffed cat, and played with some of the new updates on Minecraft. I cleaned like a crazy woman. I disinfected every surface, door knob, cabinet pull, and did lots of laundry. I was determined to take a step toward getting this virus out of our house! It was a day well spent. She was feeling much better by Monday night so we got to bed early to get ready for a good day of school on Tuesday.

And we did have a pretty good school day on Tuesday. We did all of our regular daily lessons: Bible (the building of the second Temple in Ezra), math (the area of triangles), grammar (quotations), current events, and reading (We finished Little House in the Big Woods. Brynne is reading On the Other Side of the Hill by Roger Lea MacBride. And Eli is reading Zeke Meeks vs. the Gruesome Girls by D. L. Green.) We watched a video on beekeeping and collecting honey (this video was very quiet on the computer so we had to watch it on Youtube on the television) and another one on animal tracks. Then we got out our white playdoh and the kids made animal tracks and tried to guess each other's.

Remember the blue cupcakes we made on Friday as part of our Gastrointestinal Blue Cupcake Experiment? Here are the results: Exactly 29 hours after Brynne ate the blue cupcakes she excreted them. I heard her yelling my name from the bathroom and there was her pretty aqua blue poopy. I so wanted to take a picture of it for science sake, but I spared you all the agony of it. But believe me, the experiment worked. Her system is right on schedule as it typically takes between 24 and 36 hours for a food to be processed through the gastrointestinal system. Everybody who ate the cupcakes had a similar "experience" at about the same time interval.

We learned all about how oats were harvested in the frontier by using a cradle and hand-stocking. We watched a couple of different videos on Youtube and sampled three different types of oats: steel cut, rolled, and processed into Cheerios. We also learned about threshing and the origin of "horsepower".

Honeybees and yellow jackets are easily mistaken for one another. But if you compare them, they are nothing alike except for their size. We did a Venn Diagram to see the differences.

When Dawson came home from school that same afternoon he said that right after school he and his friend found a beehive in his friend's backyard. Look at that beauty!!

We made cheese. As we did not have a rennet available (oh, yuck), we used vinegar in the first batch and peach juice in the second. The peach juice wasn't quite acidic enough so it didn't work. But the vinegar cheese actually turned out pretty good with some added salt! A little sour but still not bad. We are going to get some lemon juice this weekend and make it all again doing a taste test.

In the fall Ma had lots of food prepping to do to prepare for winter. This involved stewing their pumpkins. But when they were done they had some yummy treats. We love pumpkin bread! So the kids and I made some and also pumpkin muffins. And it couldn't have happened on a better day. We woke up to 50 degree temperatures with a high of about 65 in the afternoon. The warm treats were so soothing on a chilly day!

The kids picked the last of their vegetables from the community garden they have helped take care of as part of their gardening class at the library. Afterward they all sat together and discussed their plans for next year. This class is single-handedly responsible for getting Brynne and Eli to at least try some vegetables. Brynne has even liked some she tried.

Yesterday was a crazy day. We made sure we started right on time because we needed to end school early for some Life Skills training (aka going to get groceries). We made sure we completed our math and grammar assignments for the week, got caught up on current events on CNN Student News (We will NEVER skip this! My kids love it!), and then started a science experiment on salt and worked in our science notebooks.

While shopping the sodium/salt content came up many times when reading labels (see school was happening!). And we also enjoyed spending time together.

We had a snake program to attend at our library so we rushed back to town, but it had been cancelled. I can't say I was too sorry about that. I hate snakes!! But we also had to pick up our baby Chloe. She had surgery yesterday morning to remove a bladder full of stones, and I mean full. The picture below shows all that they took out of her poor little bladder. Her bladder is about the size of an egg and it was stuffed full of all of these. See how the big ones are bigger than a penny? Our sweet baby. She is in some pain now and recovering at home with her mommy and daddy. Kyndal and Collin were under a lot of emotional stress all day waiting for the results of her surgery. But she is going to be just fine. While picking up Chloe we also got quite a lesson from our vet about the stones. It is really fascinating.

In older kid news, Kyndal and I went to a Ladies Night at her new salon. She starts there next week and already has several clients booked. It's a super cool place and she is so excited to finally be going to work!! I am so proud of her! It's awesome! She attended her last full day of school today. She graduates on Tuesday.

We have another great week planned next week with a fabulous field trip scheduled for Saturday. Prairie Primer has been an excellent study for us. We are really loving it and learning so much.

Linking up this week with ...


  1. That looks like a busy week. The animal tracks looks like a fun activity. I might have to do that with my kids.

  2. Looks like a great week to me!!!!! And poor thing with all of those kidney stones!!!! Ouch!!!!

  3. Glad to read that everyone is feeling better, including Chloe! Ouch! I had to LOL at the, er, excretion experiment. We've noticed that certain dyes in food has the same effect...or grape soda. Yummy cooking! Now that the weather is cooling, I am looking forward to doing a little baking again.

  4. Prairie Primer sounds great! I wish we could do it too. I hop everyone is well next week.

  5. I am so glad that you are enjoying the prairie primer. Some of my fondest memories of homeschooling my older kiddos are from our Little House unit study. That is one packed week! So glad that everyone is on the mend. And so happy for your new hair stylist!


We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!