Little House on the Prairie

For a long time, I felt like a terrible failure as a homeschool mom.

My children were all working at grade level.

My kids were well-adjusted, friendly, and able to make friends.

No the failure about which I am speaking is this:

My two oldest girls disliked Little House on the Prairie.

I’m not talking about that insipid television show with Michael Landon. I am talking the real deal. The original Little House on the Prairie books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I know, there are many homeschoolers that are gasping in shock and horror. It can be forgiven a homeschool mom if she has boys and they don’t care for Little House on the Prairie. But homeschool girls are supposed to love it. They are supposed to devour every word, want to wear prairie dresses and excitedly beg their parents for vacations visiting Mansfield, Missouri where the real Laura Ingalls Wilder ended up settling. My oldest girls just never liked it. They would read a few chapters, yawn, set the book down, and never pick it back up again.

No matter what I tried, they just didn’t connect with this series written so long ago.

However, my last little girl was the lone hold out. We started a curriculm called the Prairie Primer last year for third grade. This is a unit study that uses the books as its core. It integrates science, history, geography, literature, and vocabulary. To my delight, my third daughter, Rose, loved the series.

We didn’t use all of the resources available in the unit study. I am a terrible failure at unit studies, mostly because I don’t do well planning ahead after the fourth or fifth week. I don’t get to the library and check out the related books and I have other methods for learning spelling and vocabulary that I like better. However, we did use many of the craft ideas and the cooking ideas. The comprehension questions at the end of each chapter are good too. I also like the fact that the author of this unit study does include scripture and point out points of application in the books.

Last year, we didn’t make it through all of the books. In late January, the whole family and some of our farm animals all caught an awful illness (yes, it does happen sometimes that you catch the same illness as your cattle) and we dealt with sickness for about three or four weeks. We got way off track after that and never completed the Little House books.

However, we are back to them this year. Rose and I are reading By the Shores of Silver Lake right now. Many days it is hard for me to make myself sit on the couch and read aloud to my youngest children. However, when I do make it a priority, I feel better for it. Blue and Rose sometimes get lost in the shuffle since their older siblings take so much more energy and have a much more complex load of work. Yet, those mornings when I have one child on either side of me and we are talking about life lived long ago are so precious.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebeca Jones
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 20:22:30

    I laughed out loud at your beginning…my older two girls never liked Little House books either. It felt wrong somehow, like I was doing something wrong that they would be so indifferent to these books that are sacrosanct in homeschooling circles!

    This post does give me hope though. I haven’t tried them out on my youngest yet… 🙂


  2. fairfarmhand79
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 19:56:46

    Good Luck! Thanks for coming by!


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