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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Heat and Lack Thereof (Prairie Primer: Plum Creek Week 3)

We had a pretty great week around here, if you ignore the frigid cold temps that blew in! Brrrr! It's been crazy cold! But we are all snuggled up in the house keeping warm. And home is where we will be staying for the next several days as Eli now has the virus that nailed Brynne a couple of weeks ago. His fever has not gotten as high as hers, but he is much better about drinking fluids so I am sure that is helping.

On the last warm day before the frigid temps hit.

Despite the newest round of sickness to hit us, we had a very productive week. (Don't know if I am going to be able to say that about the upcoming week.)

Each day the kids continue to do their math assignments (they have completed Lesson 18 in Math U See), grammar assignments (they continued working on helping verbs), Bible (stick figuring the birth of Jesus), and personal reading (Eli is finishing up a book in the Middle School series by James Patterson and Brynne is reading a new book in the Dear America series: Like the Willow Tree by Lois Lowry.)

A huge highlight for the kids this week was when Carl Azuz gave a Roll Call shout out to all of the Homeschoolers who watch CNN Student News. No he didn't say, "I'd like to welcome the Taulman family" but we sure felt like he did. It's great to see the show recognize all of us homeschoolers who faithfully watch them. We love that show and hope to take a field trip to the CNN Headquarters in Atlanta sometime soon.

We continued to read On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder and do our Prairie Primer lessons. We also watched two episodes of "Little House on the Prairie".

This week's topics of study included:

Heat Transfer: Conductors vs. Insulators

We spent some time on Monday completing a science experiment we copied from Beakers and Bumblebees. We did a full science notebooking page on the experiment, documenting our Focus Question, Plan, Hypothesis, Observations, Data Collected, and Claims. We all made different guesses as to which materials would insulate the water the best or be the best conductor of heat transfer. We were all wrong! It was a good lesson!


We learned all about the grasshopper plagues that hit the Midwest in the late 1870s. It was this plague that destroyed the Ingalls' wheat crop and plans to pay off all of their debt from building their house. Those were some devastating years!

We read aloud the book Grasshoppers by Sophie Lockwood and then did research on what weather conditions exist for "Grasshopper Weather". Then the kids drew pictures in their science notebooks of what the weather was like in Fall, Winter and Spring to make the conditions ripe for a swarm of grasshoppers.

In 2012 there was a swarm of grasshoppers around Albuquerque, New Mexico, that it could be seen on Radar! The weather professionals were confused and thought that their radar must be broken until they realized it was grasshoppers. Yuck!

The kids also learned about the parts of a grasshopper and about the food chain and their important roll in it.


A big topic, especially involving Nellie Ollsen, is the one of vanity. We discussed vanity by reading scriptures from the Bible and individual stories from On the Banks of Plum Creek. Then we watched Beauty and the Beast to see what consequences were in store for the prince, and Gaston, from being vain. Lastly we made vanity cakes using the recipe from the The Little House Cookbook. Ours were a flop because I molded the dough too tightly into a ball instead of just moving it around in the flour before putting them in the oil to fry so they didn't puff up. These things only used a few ingredients but were very hard to make! You had to have your oil temperature just right, the right consistency of the dough, and more. Ours were like hard balls, but they tasted pretty good!

Veteran's Day

We took a break from Prairie Primer on Tuesday to celebrate Veteran's Day. This year we decided to learn about the Dogs of War. This was an emotional lesson for us as we so cherish our four dogs. Knowing what dogs have gone through in war zones throughout the past few hundred years (and before) was heartbreaking. We shed lots of tears for the fallen dogs and their handlers. In fact we had to stop watching The True Story of the Vietnam War - War Dogs - America's Forgotten Heroes because we were actually sobbing.

To cheer us up at the end of the day we made homemade dog treats for our pups using this recipe. They have loved these treats and they are so much better for them than store-bought treats.

I told the kids that it would be a super cool fundraiser to make and sell these dog treats and then donate the profits to America's Vet Dogs. What about a bigger fundraiser, like a bike-a-thon at the park? Maybe a pet parade and contest? Wouldn't that be cool? Maybe just before Veteran's Day next year? Something to consider!

It was another fun week in the Little House books. It always makes me look forward to what's in store for the next week! Join us to find out!


  1. Sounds like a fun and educational week. Hope Eli gets better soon! I'll take a bag of those treats! :) When I first got married and worked at the Preschool. On the side for some extra money I made homemade dog treats. I made quite a bit of spending money. So your idea is a great one! :)


  2. We were listening to CNN Student News in the car the day he did the shout out to the homeschoolers. It was pretty exciting! I hope everyone is healthy soon and you are staying warm. It's still flurrying here today.


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