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16 in 2016: Read the "Little House on the Prairie" (Laura Ingalls Wilder) series to the kids


At the end of June we finished a monumental task- we finished the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder series; nine books where the shortest one was 150 pages, and most were well over 300. It took us a solid 7 months of reading aloud, during school time, bedtimes, bored times, etc. and I am so glad I made this a year-long goal, because quite frankly, it was a doozy.

I had never read the entire series myself, I remember reading at least two of them, but I knew my kids were at the right age to enjoy these books. There are a number of series I have 'planned' to read to them through the next 3 years or so, and these were the books that I thought best to start with, because the kids would enjoy the simple stories of pioneer life, and were considered the 'youngest' of the series.

The last two large books, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Happy Golden Years, were listened aloud on audio with Cherry Jones (thanks for the tip, Jamie Martin!) because I needed a break, and my kids needed someone to still be excited about reading 700 more pages. I finished up the series myself with The First Four Years, refreshed and excited to end on a good note. My kids were 8 and 6 when we started, and when we ended, 9 and 7! If your kids can sit still and enjoy chapter books to be read aloud, our experience was great.

I really hope to take the kids to the Ingalls homestead in De Smet, South Dakota, next time we drive back to Nebraska for a visit, and they're excited, too. I was really glad to enjoy this classic series with my kids and although it was seemingly a long-term effort, I know I'll look back in our homeschool journey and really appreciate that we took the time to read these stories together. Next year, Narnia!

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