Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Little House in the Burbs

It's funny sometimes, the things that you wish for in your children. For me, one of my silent yearnings was for a child who had a love for the Little House books as deep as mine. I had always imagined that this love for LIW would come from a daughter, but I love that right now the child who is as passionate about all things Little House is seven year old Little Guy.

We are immersed in Laura and Pa and Baby Carrie and log cabins and sugaring and covered wagons and everything Little House. All day, everyday. And can I tell you that I am just loving it.

A few things we've been doing!

Although this is something that I do, I invited the children to help me make bread for the family, and then we made our own butter, which feels very very Ma. The Little Guy asked whether we would be shaving a carrot and adding a little boiled carrot juice to the butter so that it was a pretty yellow color as Laura describes Ma doing in Little House in the Big Woods; I replied that we wouldn't. Apparently Ma had a much greater need for 'pretty' than I do! (Here's a link to a post I did a while ago about making butter; it is so so easy, and the kiddos think it is just magical!)

We have been listening to a lot of early fiddle music, which has lead to lots of jigging-style dance parties and whooping in our home. Trust me, it is so much fun to spontaneously jig! I've got my eye on the Arkansas Traveler CD, but for now we are listening to the Pa's Fiddle station on Pandora.

We are working our way through listening to the Little House books on CD in the car; we have been completely enamored by the Cherry Jones narrations (here, here and here), and despite the dozens of times I've read the books, listening to these recordings has brought a new depth of understanding for me. The children have never been so eager to spend time in the car as they are these days - "just one more chapter? Pleeeeeease?"

We have been researching covered wagons, threshing, panning for gold, how to build a log cabin and breaking ponies. We have spent so much time researching these areas, that I think we will be making it official and be doing a Little House unit study this coming year as part of our homeschool curriculum. We'll be using The Prairie Primer by Margie Gray, which is out of print, but there often seem to be copies available on Amazon and eBay.

One last thought! I mentioned that I had often imagined it would be a daughter who would share my love of LIW; but chatting to The Little Guy about the books, he is convinced that Pa is the hero of the books. He is strong, capable, kind and generous of spirit. What more could we want in a hero figure for our young boys! (Check out what Cindy Rollins, a well known Classical homeschooling blogger, says about the Little House books in her post about Books for Cultivating Honorable Boys ... it's all the way down at the end, but the whole post is a good one!)