My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs. My links above are all new and current.

I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Little House Books for Boys!!

For at least 30 years, I've hung on to my Little House on the Prarie Books. They have moved with me many times and most recently sat out in the garage in box never emptied from the last move. I've wondered if I'd every be able to enjoy those stories with my boys. I've thought of tossing them out with their yellow and very frail pages and buy new books. When I looked at the newer edition, they just don't have all the illustrations my old ones have. So, I've hung on to them.

I've tried to get my three sons interested in them. I bought the toddler/preschool (lift the flap) picture version years ago. No success. About a year ago, I tried the approach by starting with Farmer Boy. We read a little in to it then got side tracked. Everytime I go onto a homeschool website and read about themed units based on Little House my desire to get my boys interested stirs me. I kind of gave up trying to get their interest.

Recently after reading A few Great Illustrated Classics, Scott announced that Swiss Family Robinson was his favorite. He liked the adventure after adventure all alone on an Island with all the animals.

Hmmm... this is my opportunity!

"Scott, I know another series where a family lives all by themselves and does everything alone. Little House on the Prarie."

Grudgingly: "Alright mom, I'll try it."

I started reading the first book out loud , Little House in the Big Woods. The other brothers listen, too. I feel like it is FOR us. It is right where we are at. In fact it is a boy book: hunting, trapping, guns, making bullets, animals, fire, treats, log cabins and more. There is no resistance now. I am certain we will enjoy this series now! I am looking forward to the next opportunity to read more!

I was pretty impressed with the meat smoker Pa made out of a hollowed tree stump. John smoked a turkey recently in an aluminum smoker from a home supply place. I like Pa's way.

You will probably hear more from me as we slowly move through the series. One thing I want to know is why Laura Ingalls Wilder doesn't mention birth or breastfeeding, ever. Or have I just forgotten and will find the info as I read more. You would think that living in the woods by themselves "Baby Carrie who was too small yet to know who Santa Claus was" may have been a medically unassisted birth (everything else they did was independent!). And you would only hope the babies were all breastfed and not drinking milk expressed from the livestock.

Any Laura Ingalls Wilder fans know the details of birth and breastfeeding in this family?

Anyone have great ideas for activities that go along with the series to maintain my boys interest?

My sister and I loved this stuff growing up. Check out the blog about my sister in her Holly Hobbie bedroom.


Fun Mama - Deanna said...

I reread these last fall and there was no mention of birth or breastfeeding. But I think Mrs. Wilder was intending to write for a child audience, and these things weren't discussed. Ma was a very proper, modest lady. There is mention of co-sleeping with Carrie in one book. While Laura is a tomboy, there is more mention of dressmaking and sewing as the books progress. And you may want to preread the last few before reading them aloud to your children. Not an issue for you, I think, but Ma tells Laura and Mary about Santa in Plum Creek, I think. Although I don't remember understanding what she meant when I was 8.

womantowomancbe said...

I would assume that the details of birth and breastfeeding were too "unmentionable" in the Victorian society in which she grew up.


fitncrafty said...

We are watching the Little House DVD's that Ariana got for a gift.. I totally forgot the first season.
Ariana's been reading the books too...

You may want to try this book
It was written about the area where Brian is from, his Dad knows the author. I am hoping that Zach will read it.

Lily Girl said...

I agree with Kathy - while Laura was certainly quite the feminist for her time, birth and breast feeding were topics that were passed from woman to woman and certainly not written about in books with a vast audience. I don't believe infant care in general was much mentioned in any of the books, but I imagine that they were what we would consider "hippies" lol. They must have been a home-birthing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby-wearing family.

I *love* those books, I read the covers off of almost all of them. I need to go through the series again, it's been ages. I'm glad to hear your boys are enjoying them.

Becky R said...

I re read these books all th etime. I too am trying to get my two boys into them. They are 11 & 5. They will watch the dvds with me. I rented seasons 1-4 from Netflix, and then bought seasons 5, 6, & 7 used online (it was actually chaeper that way.) Soon I need to get seasons 8 & 9.
But my boys are not interested in the books. Maybe I will try to do a unit study on them as well. -Becky

Permission to Mother said...

Just adding some thoughts (and repeating myself a little)...

Laura likes to write about the way things were and hopefully the birth and breastfeeeding were passed on in her family and she didn't think of B & B as "change."

I know she wrote some articles and letters for an adult audiance. I was kind of hoping someone familiar with her other writings might know more. But obviously it probably wasn't ever mentioned.

Being that they had such a small house and the trendlebed in the little woods house fit under the big bed during the day, you can assume they share the room, which is what we would do now if there wasn't so many cultural expectations.

About the little house TV shows. My boys are used to action and gore... and the Little House shows are sweet but I hate to say it, sometimes corny, I think my boys would be discouraged from the books after watching such "mushy" shows.

sueg said...

My son is too young yet for chapter books, but I think it is important to mention that as the books progress a bit, you will want to do some pre-reading and decide how you want to handle racism in the books. There are many deeply racist references to "wild Indians" and such. Native Americans are portrayed as very frightening and "bad". Friends of mine who have read the book to their children have omitted certain chapters or incidents. Other parents might choose to read the books in total and discuss the material with their kids.

Tammie said...

We love Laura at our house but because I have two boys we have also fallen in love with Ralph Moody from the Little Britches series. Give them a try too I bet your boys will love them they are a lot like Little House but with a boys perspective. We actually call them Little House for boys!

Margaret said...

That's great!! My kids love to read animal related books...

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