February 18, 2010

Little House On The Prairie

One of the things I enjoy most about homeschooling is reading out loud to my kids. I just love to expose them to books they would otherwise maybe not pick up and read for themselves.

A couple of years ago I read Little House on the Prairie to Big A and Little M. It was one of my all-time favorite TV shows as a kid, but I had never had the pleasure of reading the book. I didn't even know there was a book, let alone a whole series!

I read a chapter or so a day to them until we were finished. It was fantastic! Wow, history just comes alive when it's written in story form, not as a dry, boring textbook. We learned so much about building a log cabin, hunting, taking care of horses and other farm animals, wolves and other animals of the prairie, the American Frontier, sustainable living, how to make bullets, covered wagons, 1800's American History, and so much more.

We loved it so much, that after we watched the original TV movie that sparked the show (available at our friendly neighborhood library) we dove into Little House in the Big Woods like a pack of ravenous wolves (ok, maybe I dove into it, they just played along).

For me Little House in the Big Woods was even BETTER than Little House on the Prairie. LHitBW sets the backdrop for LHotP. It describes the everyday lives of the Ingalls family in such rich, descriptive detail that you can completely and totally imagine yourself there. It follows them as they prepare to leave their life in the Big Woods of 1800's Wisconsin for life on the prairie. It's absolutely delicious.

We learned how to make cheese, garden, smoke meat, grind wheat, tend cows, store meat and vegetables for the winter, and that panthers actually used to roam the woods of the wild Midwest. How cool is that?

Read it if you can!

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