It is nearly impossible not to love the Little House on the Prairie books. We are thrilled by Laura’s words to our very core. She inspires us to live more simply, love more deeply, and be thankful for the little things in life.
What a wonderful springboard for a child’s education!
Resources for homeschooling using the Little House on the Prairie books abound! Today, I want to share these resources with you along with some of the ways we use them in our own homeschool.
First, you will need to either buy your own set of Little House books or plan to borrow them from your local library. I highly recommend purchasing them for your own family library because you are going to want to savor them, read them again, and give your children the opportunity to read and re-read them as they grow up. These are not books you will want to return.
Secondly, I would encourage you to keep this low-key. Use the books as read-alouds during the day, at night before bed, during meals, any time! Do not squash the wonderment of these books by making your time with them “schoolish.”
You can turn this experience into a full-fledged curriculum by using The Prairie Primer, but be aware this curriculum is not for very young children. It is written with the upper-elementary student in mind. Also note, some of the projects might be a bit too time-consuming for a large family teaching multiple ages. The Prairie Primer is a fantastic curriculum, and I do not want to discredit that in any way, but if you do decide to go this route, remember to tweak to fit your family and continue to keep things relaxed with your read aloud time so that you don’t burn your children out. Your children will naturally want to gobble up anything Little House related if you simply let them savor the books. There will be no need to force feed this curriculum to your children. Let them be your guide and ENJOY!
Perhaps you don’t want to go with a full-fledged curriculum. You are still going to want to incorporate more Little House resources because your children will be begging you for them!
Here are a few of things I feel are a must for homeschooling using the Little House books.
The Little House on the Prairie Cookbook is a book you are going to want to own! Most of Laura’s stories revolve around food and you will want to try many of the things she mentions in her books. This cookbook also includes tons of information about the bygone days of Laura’s era, making it a fun way to enjoy history through your tastebuds. If you get nothing else to supplement the Little House books, get this!
Note: I prefer the hardcover cookbook to the paperback version because it is easier to set on your kitchen counter in hardback form. Owning this book makes those moments when your child asks, “Can we make XYZ like Laura did?” easy peasy!
Another resource we have truly enjoyed is Pa’s Fiddle Music. We purchased the 3 CD set, but you can also download them. Nearly all of the Little House books include words to music the family played; however, knowing the tunes brings that music to life as you read. In my opinion, it made the experience of reading the books that much more enjoyable.
Note: You can find a comprehensive list of the songs from the Little House on the Prairie books HERE!
My children love paper dolls and these have been played with over and over again. They can act out the scenes while we read, and later, play on their own, helping to reinforce what they have learned. This is one of those fun things, that while not necessary, adds a nice hands-on dimension to the books.
I do want to note that while we do not own the following resource, I have heard nothing but good about it:
Laura Ingalls Wilder Country is a book that digs deeper into the people and places of the Little House books. I do plan to add this book to our library at some point. (perhaps for a birthday present for a certain little girl…shhhhh…)
Note: You can get a FREE Laura’s Little Houses Guide from Notgrass.com HERE!
Another really great FREE resource for making the Little House books a well-rounded education are the lapbooks from Homeschool Share. Every single one of the books has a free lapbook you and your children can make to solidify and remember their learning. Click each of the titles below to see the corresponding lapbook pages and information:
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House on the Prairie
On the Banks of Plum Creek
By the Shores of Silver Lake
The Long Winter
Little Town on the Prairie
These Happy Golden Years
The First Four Years
You can also purchase from Journey Through Learning a really great Little House on the Prairie Notebook Binder-Builder set.
This set is made to go with The Prairie Primer by incorporating many of the projects and lessons from the curriculum into a lapbook that goes in a binder. You could definitely use this product on its own, and it is a great way to get your feet wet with lapbooking without doing the folder-style lapbook. My kids loved doing this binder, but be aware only 3 of the Little House books are covered in the set.
One thing I cannot stress enough when it comes to using these books in your homeschool is the need to follow your child’s desires. They are going to ask questions – look them up! They are going to want to cook things – do it! They might even want their own prairie bonnet or learn how to make maple syrup!
Take them to museums where you can find homestead type displays (often interactive and child-friendly).
Tape off an area on your floor the size of a wagon or cabin and let them have your dishes and play there all afternoon. Or, if you are like my 9 year old, let her set up a permanent “cabin”.
Enjoy a Little House on the Prairie Christmas (like we did) or have a Little House on the Prairie Party! (cannot wait to do this!) And after a long day on the homestead, sit down as a family and watch Little House on the Prairie episodes – they aren’t entirely accurate, but they are oh-so delicious!
And don’t forget to take a look at my
Little House on the Prairie Pinterest board
for more ideas!