Monday, March 14, 2011
Little House love
I have been reading through the Little House books with Evangeline and Estelle. I remember reading these books as a child, but they were never my favorite books. I only read them once, and really remember very little about them. I did not read them to my older children. However, this time around, I LOVE these books! The things they went through, the hardships they faced, and the fact that they witnessed so much of our nation's history make them a really good read aloud. I typically loathe books that are "inspirational". The characters can be so insipid, and flat. You know, the books that have a moral message and so every conversation and event serves to further drive home that moral point-can we say "contrived?" That said, these books are totally inspirational! The Ingalls family is so kind to each other, and willing to serve each other, and willing to work to make things happen. They are content with what they have, even if it is very little. We are reading Along the Shores of Silver Lake right now, and the family has just been told about a college for blind people in Iowa. They know it will be expensive, but really want for Mary to be able to go. Laura resolves to become a school teacher, and a good one, so she can help earn money to send Mary to college. The girls are content to receive simple gifts for Christmas, and spend many hours making gifts for each other. Totally inspiring, and yet you get a good sense for their real characters as well. They are all likable, yet not perfect. I am sure fault could be found with the books, for example, Ma hates Indians and will not be swayed from her opinion. But that was an honest part of our nations history, and so it has made a great springboard for discussions whenever we read about her dislike. The days have been rainy and grey here, and so we are reading by candle light, which seems like the best way to read these books. We have also made a few recipes mentioned in the book, and the girls have loved that! We still have Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, and Farmer Boy to finish, and then we will be looking for another series to go through!