Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Little House on the Prairie

So there are plenty of blogs and websites devoted to all things Little House on the Prairie.

If you want to live the simple prairie life, you can read Little House Living. If you just want to dish on the books and the shows, there’s Laura’s Little Houses.

Here’s an article just about hating Ma.

I can’t convey all the awesomeness of LHOTP in one measly post, but I just want to say that I have been reading the actual book Little House on the Prairie, book 2 of the series, at night with my oldest, and it’s been great. He got interested in it after reading a picture book version of it at school. Although I will periodically reread the books, I hadn’t read this particular one in a long time. There’s a lot of action, and it’s keeping his interest. Wolves! Indians! Well accidents! Falling log accidents!

And for a boy who has repeatedly told me that he “hates” fiction (cue sound of my heart breaking), this is a nice blend of fic and nonfic. He gets the pleasure of knowing it is all basically true, and I get to enjoy a more poetic read (lots of description of the prairie, Pa’s fiddle at night, the moon, etc., etc.) than 1000 Super Scary Things You Wish You Didn’t Know About Sharks.

Then there’s all the lessons. First, he is getting a glimpse of a life vastly different than his. I have to imagine that it is pretty mind-blowing for him to hear about the family building their own house, beds, everything. About the children playing all day in the grass, no TV or electronics or even toys. My favorite “teachable moment” so far has been when the Indians came while Pa was away and Laura and Mary debated whether they should let Jack off his chain, even though Pa had expressly told them not to. When Pa gave home, he gave them a tongue-lashing for just THINKING about taking Jack off the chain. Even I was kind of surprised. I’m sitting there thinking, well, do I want my kids to think for themselves, or to be blindly obedient? He and I talked through the whole situation.

Another interesting aspect of the book is their need to conserve everything. When Pa uses nails in building the cabin, Laura and Mary run around on the ground collecting any lost or bent ones, because they were so precious.

All in all, I think all my kids could use a dose of LHOTP manners, discipline, and lifestyle. “Children should be seen and not heard.” Yes. Yes yes yes.

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