7 Lessons Learned From the Little House Books

7 Lessons Learned From the Little House Books

I have been reading through the Little House Books with my children over the last few years.  We aren’t finished yet, but we have really enjoyed them! Reading about how life was over 100 years ago has really shown us that we have more than we could ever need. My children are even seeing these important lessons as we continue reading. 

booksLesson 1: Rapid Resiliency 

There were so many terrible things that happened to the Ingalls family in their journey. They started in the big woods in Wisconsin and moved a few time for various circumstances. The most notable move happened just after Pa had planted an impressive wheat crop. The whole family was excited pay off all of their debt and have leftovers for the entire year. Then came the plague of grasshoppers. The grasshoppers were so many that there was not a single stalk of wheat left when they were done eating. They ate the family’s entire year of wages. Ma “only smiled and said: ‘Don’t worry Charles. We’ve always got along.'” WOW! That is resiliency!  

Lesson 2: True Thankfulness

Laura and Mary were constantly amazed at the littlest things. For Christmas one year, they each got a new penny and a piece of Christmas candy. They were in heaven! They were so thankful for their Christmas gifts. When Pa went to town, he would always bring them back something small. One trip he brought home some sugar. What a treat! That same trip he brought home some glass for the windows. Everyone was amazed, pleased, and so excited to be able to look out the windows even in the winter!

Lesson 3: School Was a Privilege

Through most of the books, the children didn’t go to school. The girls often studied at home using lesson books. The school was a long walk and the weather often prevented them from going. When they did go to school, they were so happy to be there. 

Lesson 4: Ma Could Do Everything Pa Could

There were several times in these stories where Pa would have to go away. He would need supplies in town and be gone for a few days. Or he would have to leave for a few months at a time to earn a paycheck because his harvest didn’t turn out the way he had hoped. While Pa was gone, Ma did everything Pa would do. She must have been a strong woman. She chopped wood. She fed the animals. She cleaned out the horse stalls. She would milk the cows. And sometimes, she would have to do this in a blizzard.

Lesson 5: They Made Everything in the Little House Books

Pa built their house and their furniture. Ma cooked everything from scratch. She made all of their clothing and their hats. They would buy coats and shoes in town at the store. But almost everything they used, they made. 

Lesson 6: They Always Used Their Manners

Throughout these books, the narrator (Laura) would describe the manners of herself and her siblings. Mary (the oldest sister) was the most polite and almost never did anything to get in trouble. Laura had a slight wild side and in her mind disliked having to behave. Even though she felt the urge to disobey, she still minded her manners.

Lesson 7: No One Complained. Ever.

The girls has many chores all throughout these books. Their daily routine always started with chores, and when they finished their morning chores, then they could play. They did them every day without fail, and without complaining.  They also ate the same foods often. In the winter they had turnips, potatoes, milk, and bread. They had meat whenever Pa had a successful hunt. In the summer, they would have some fresh vegetables and berries. Even though they ate the same food day after day, no one complained. Ever.

While reading these books, my children and I have learned to persevere, to be thankful, and not to complain. Life looked much different back then than it does now. It is fun and sobering to read stories from long ago seeing how little they had, but how happy they were.

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