Reading Little House on the Prairie

I love reading out loud to my girls.

They both have their favorite books which I (or dad) read to them often. But a big girl chapter book we are all enjoying is Little House on the Prairie.

When we started it, I thought maybe Hailee would be too young to grasp it. But she has surprised me! She loves every character, she gets anxious when Laura does and smiles when everyone dances around the fire while Pa plays his fiddle.

I’m surprised by her capacity to focus and imagine what is happening in the book.

Claire usually enjoys a snack and a snuggle, and waits for the small black and white pictures… which is pretty much all she likes. I’m not going to pretend it’s anymore than that. Just to keep it real. She doesn’t get it at all, but isn’t this a healthy habit? For a child to sit still and focus?

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I love reading this story.

The dialogue infuses Hailee’s every day conversations. I see this happen with Disney movies and other influencers, and the results are not always as positive!

It is important to immerse our children’s imagination’s with well-behaved, respectable, responsible characters.

People who set a good example for them rather than bad.

Girls who listen to their parents and play together well, but not perfectly! So she sees examples of how to problem solve and compromise.

The girls fight and disobey but their result is always a serious one.

Women who work hard and speak kindly, and men who work relentlessly for their family.

 

Take this for quote for contrast. The Ingalls family has been traveling for weeks, by wagon, from Wisconsin to Kansas (790 miles by our nice, modern roads!) Laura is hungry and tired.

“Ma, can’t we get out and run behind the wagon? My legs are so tired.” 

“No, Laura,” Ma said.

“Aren’t we going to camp pretty soon?”

Pa answered. “Not yet. It’s too early to camp now.”

“I want to camp, now! I’m so tired,” Laura said.

Then Ma said, “Laura.”

That was all, but it meant that Laura must not complain. So she did not complain any more out loud, but she was still naughty, inside. She sat and thought complaints to herself.

I love the truth in this! Laura is a little girl with innocent desires, but even the best desires must be ready to listen to those protecting her.

This exemplifies to my little girl, who has her own innocent (and not so innocent!) desires, that a little girl can obey and still be her own person.

The hope is that as they grow up, their little hearts grow so that they discipline themselves and don’t grumble so much inside either, but let’s be honest, who out there NEVER really grumbles to themselves? I think it’s a well written, child like example that she can follow.

And don’t even get me started on all the stuff I love about Ma & Pa’s relationship, and parenting style…

Boys love it too. We just finished the third chapter in a row of how Pa built their house, chopping and splitting his own logs. Building his own door, with NO nails. He made smooth floor boards, and a rain-proof roof by hand with just his ax. It’ really just great for anyone who will listen!

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