Layout of The Prairie Primer

The Prairie Primer was published in 1993 by Margie Gray when she discovered a lack in homeschooling curriculum.

She filled a huge void.

Gray defines her book as a “Literature Based Unit Studies for Grades 3-6 Utilizing the “Little House” Series.

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I heard about this curriculum years ago,  when an acquaintance used it with great enthusiasm and success.  At the end of the school year, she and her daughters took a field trip and visited as many places featured as possible. They read, cut, colored, crafted and cooked their way through school.

I wanted to be that kind of homeschool mommy when I grew up.

At that stage of my life, I always had a baby in the womb and usually one on the hip, so doing anything other than traditional worksheets was out of the question.

It might be debatable about whether I’m grown up, but my kids have, and I feel the liberty to branch out and try a new homeschool approach.
(read the WHY here)

(click on any pic to enlarge)

Weekly Planning Guide

The book is so organized, it makes me wonder what Margie’s linen closet looks like.

Her towels are probably neatly folded, and I’m sure she knows how to fold a fitted sheet.

I added removable tabs on the edge for each week.

Weekly Planning Guide p. 2

For a list-maker, a weekly planning guide for EACH week is awesome.

It gets even better.

Daily Assignment Page
There’s a DAILY list of things to do.

So, all nine books are divided into weeks and days.

The whole year is planned out for you.

If I had known this was so user friendly, I might not have put it off for so long.

Little House in the Big Woods Journal

For each book in the series, we’ll be using a softbound journal, the cheap kind that are usually under a dollar.

We copied the cover of the book and my daughter Mod Podged it on. We called it “crafts” for the day.

Spiral bound notebooks are messy, the pages fall out, the wire unspirals
and puts holes in clothes, and they don’t stack well.

Rust Assignment 001

Since there are so many activities listed for each day, you choose what you want to do. To make sure my daughter isn’t sitting around waiting for me to tell her what to do, I write daily assignments she can do on her own in the journal.

Summer 2012 217

We made binders for storing all the projects, writing and worksheets, with tabbed dividers for each book.

What kinda’ homeschool mommy do you wanna’ be when you grow up?

Back to School! 014

I’m finally the Prairie Momma I dreamed about.

Someone pinch me, please, before I wake up.

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Prairie Primer is Prime Way to Begin New Year

I’ve been a mommy for 25 years,
and the majority of that time I have been homeschooling.

My 19th year just started,
but who’s counting?
Apparently, I am.

Do I dare admit,
at the beginning of a new blog,
at the beginning of a new year,
I’m a little burned out?


YES I DO!


I’m not tired of teaching, I’ve always loved school.

I’m not tired of my children,
they were all in my Gifted and  Talented program,
despite not making their beds and brushing their teeth regularly.
I didn’t begin homeschooling because
I was exceptionally brilliant and talented.
I loved my children and wanted to be around them.

I’m tired of reading a few pages and answering a few questions.

B-O-O-O-O-O-R-R-I-I-I-N-G!
The motivation to cross off one more assignment on the weekly goal chart,
had totally lost its thrill and luster,
and our love for learning was being quenched.

We long for time to sew, craft, bake, read, explore, dress-up,
pretend, play with toys, snuggle, and laugh.

Above all, we need to regain our love of learning.

With four students graduated and one entering college,
I am departing
 from the workbook teaching
and am going to a hands-on, literature based learning.

I’m wondering why I waited so long to do this.

This year, we’ll be living, laughing, loving, and  learning  through
Margie Gray’s Prairie Primer,
using all the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder as our educational foundation.

Even if you aren’t using this curriculum this year, I will be sharing all kinds of veteran tricks  hidden up my sleeve, or should I say, for this year, in my apron pocket?

I’d love to have you join us on the adventure.

We intend to fan into flames our love for learning.