Laura Ingalls Wilder - MetroFamily Magazine
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Laura Ingalls Wilder

by Jennifer Geary

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books have been enjoyed by children for decades, and they make a great way to introduce your kids to some history, too. The series seems to be especially popular with homeschoolers, with lots of free lesson plan ideas out there, along with plenty of go-alongs on Pinterest. Here are a few links to check out to get you started!

Little House Books:  Of course you're going to want to read the original books! And contrary to what your sons might think, they're not just for girls. Yes, the main characters are female, but there's plenty of adventure to be had that’s fun for all kids to hear about. If they’re really unsure, start with Farmer Boy, the book she wrote about her husband's childhood. I've actually read this one to my son twice now, and he loved it both times.

My First Little House series: If your kids are younger they might enjoy the picture books based on the original series. These are basically short stories from some of the novels and are accompanied by beautiful color illustrations.

Activity books that go along with the stories like The Little House Cookbook and the My Little House Craft Book are a fun way to bring the stories you read to life!

If you're up for a road trip, you can visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri. Just five hours from the metro, this is where Laura began writing her books. Tour the farmhouse and the home their daughter, Rose, built for them nearby. There is also a museum filled with all kinds of related artifacts and memorabilia, including Pa's fiddle.

For parents (or even older kids) who are fans, Missouri State University will be offering a free online course on her writings. The link gives details on the required readings and how the course works.

With five years between my kids, it can sometimes be hard to find books they both really enjoy, but the Little House books are entertaining to both of them. I like them because they reinforce many of the values we try to teach our kids, and I think after hearing about all the chores children had to do back then mine realize they have things pretty good! If it's been a while since you've read the books, take some time to enjoy them again with your kids this year.

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