EU laws require me to tell you if I have cookies. So many jokes there. I have ads installed, so I suppose I have cookies. By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies. Learn more. Sing along.

First Day of Christmas School

Today was our first day of Christmas School and we didn't even start until 3:00 p.m.! The boys had the opportunity to learn how to butcher rabbits today, so they were gone until then. Their grandpa is teaching them how to save the pelts, planting us firmly in redneck territory.

Chris and I celebrated 17 riveting years of marriage, but we're apparently getting old because we both forgot. We tried to somewhat make up for it with chinese food for lunch. Eventually, we got to Christmas school. Today, we studied Norway. We all love reading about Vikings and Norwegian customs. The girls colored a map and flag and a picture of juleken. We watched some YouTube clips and then went on a hunt for the perfect Jesse Tree Branch.


We all memorized Isaiah 11:1  

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;     from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

We work on a new Jesse Tree verse every weekday throughout Advent. This would usually be a lot for us, but we choose simple verses and we repeat the same verses every year, so they come back to us quickly. We've never made it successfully through every verse, but after a few more years, we just might do it!
We began our Advent readings last night, using Jotham's Journey and John Piper's 2012 Advent book. Our wreath has taken a beating over the last 12 years, but it still gets the job done. 
 
Here is the finished product. It's probably looks simple and awkward, but it is filled with sweet memories and is a symbol of so much hope that I can't see it as anything but beautiful. This really is a precious time that I treasure with my children. 
 

I'm feeling it ever heavier, this burden to nurture their spiritual lives. It is a responsibility that we so often leave in the hands of our church, but that doesn't cut it. Choosing a good church home, expressing joy and reverence towards our church family and services, encouraging discussions about their lessons...these are all important things, but it's not enough. Deuteronomy 11:19 is pretty clear that there's more to it. Advent is a sweet reminder to me that taking the time to do it right is so very worth it.
     
Posted by Picasa


Advent 2012

This year, Advent begins December 2nd and is only 3 weeks long. This gives me a full week after Thanksgiving to prepare for Christmas School. If you are looking for ideas for new traditions throughout a meaningful Advent, you can join us at Advent Idea Box.

In addition to the activities on that site, I add in lots of extra math, science, and language arts activities with a Christmas flair. Here are some links to some great worksheets and activities to supplement your Christmas School!

Teaching Resources
Christmas Pack at 3 Dinosaurs
Common Core Math at TeachersPayTeachers (currently free)
Structured Writing Activities






Cyber Monday

I'm always a bit paranoid about sounding like a used car salesman when I mention Amazon, but I wanted to remind you that tomorrow is Cyber Monday: the relaxed, shop in your pajamas experience that is comparable to Black Friday in deals, but has the convenience of shopping online. Away from people.

Amazon tends to have some fantastic Cyber Monday Deals, as does New Egg, Hands of a Child, Currclick, and ThinkGeek. If you happen to be shopping on Amazon tomorrow, I'd be much obliged if you would consider using this link to get there. A small percentage of your purchase goes towards Amazon store credit for me. It's tiny, but it adds up to books, so that's wonderful!

Also, I'd love to hear about your favorite Cyber Monday hangouts! Where do you find great online deals?


How to Homeschool

Over the past few weeks, I've been approached by several families wanting to know how to start homeschooling. Some had decided to begin homeschooling immediately and needed fast answers, some were considering the idea, but still not sure if it was something that they would be able to do. Some were for Kindergarten aged students that hadn't yet stepped foot in public school; some were for high school students considering a huge leap in their education methods.

1 Thessalonians 5:14  And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-short-inspirational-bible-verses-for-strength/#ixzz2D3xnYBYB
After spending a lot of time answering each family individually, I thought it might be helpful to share some basic information for anyone considering the homeschooling journey. I'll make it a series, since there is no way to fit it all in at once. While I'm sure there is plenty that I'm leaving out, here is an attempt to introduce you to homeschooling. Part 1:  

Why homeschool? 
There are about 5,473 reasons to homeschool.  I really can't think of any reasons not to homeschool at the moment, but I'm sure they exist, too. Rather than go through the many reasons to consider homeschooling, let's address the stereotypes against homeschooling, as they might be scaring you a bit.  

What about Socialization?
Socialization is the "process that provides an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society." First, let's consider the logic involved in saying that public school is a good place to achieve this process. If "his or her own society" refers to other 2nd graders, then sure, public school will give your child a good skills for participating with other 2nd graders. Maybe. If "his or her own society" means the world around them, then no, not so much. In fact, public school students tend to learn only how to interact with their immediate peers, but are stunted in their growth in interaction with anyone else.

There are awkward homeschoolers. There are also awkward public school students. I was one of them. Freakishly awkward and I'd never even heard of homeschooling. Out of the hundreds of homeschooled students I've met, I've only met 2 that qualified as awkward. I assure you that public school was not going to change that fact. And I can also assure you that I've met many more awkward public school students.

 Fear of Gaps
But what if I leave something out? What if he applies to college and ends up humiliated because he doesn't know Blaise Pascal's middle name? Or how to add? #1, Why would they need to know old Blaise's middle name? #2, You would have to try really, really hard to keep them from learning how to add. The truth is, everyone has gaps. Everyone. You, my friend, have gaps. Do you remember finishing your textbooks at the end of every school year? No, no you don't. It may have happened once or twice, but I doubt you got there without the teacher skipping chapters. The point is to learn how to learn, so that you can continue to grow in your education for the rest of your life.

Please note that homeschool students tend to score significantly higher on standardized tests, so they don't seem to be missing much. And just so you know, Blaise didn't have a middle name.  

How can I teach without a teaching degree?
This is a concern for a lot of first time homeschooling families. It's also a concern expressed by many in the teaching community.  It is an unfounded fear. You know your child better than anyone else. You can do this. If you know how to read, you can teach your child anything. If you struggle with any area, there are resources, many of them free, that can help your student learn without your help. But even better, you can learn with your student!

If the data showing the incredible test scores of homeschooled students (most of whom are taught by parents that don't have teaching certificates) doesn't convince you, then just friend a few teachers and public-schooled high school students on your facebook page. A few weeks of watching their spelling and grammar errors, and you'll feel much better about your abilities.  

How do I know if it will be a good fit for us?
Prayer.  
Drink deeply of 1 Chronicles 16:11 and Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Don't let fear step in the way. 2 Timothy 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. If you feel God is directing you toward this method of education, you know that He will give you what you need to do it and do it well. You can do this. Philippians 4:13 says so.
1 Chronicles 16:11  Seek the LORD and his strength;  seek his presence continually!

Strength Through Christ

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Not Of Fear

2 Timothy 1:7  for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-short-inspirational-bible-verses-for-strength/#ixzz2D3xeJPlR
1 Chronicles 16:11  Seek the LORD and his strength;  seek his presence continually!

Strength Through Christ

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Not Of Fear

2 Timothy 1:7  for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-short-inspirational-bible-verses-for-strength/#ixzz2D3xeJPlR


Thanksgiving Celebrations

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. It's so uncommercialized, it's even being hidden by Black Friday sales. That's just fine by me. Let the stores and television channels do what they want. We'll be cozy in our Hobbit Hole, enjoying good company and good food. Feasts are hard work, but shared with many hands, the day seems slow and easy. It would be hard not to pause and experience the overwhelming joy of thankfulness for these many blessings!

This year, we've been enjoying some special Bible readings each morning and I've explored some heart-growing thoughts from the book One Thousand Gifts , which I've been sharing with the kids.  We've added in a few fun activities to these studies and to our plans for Thanksgiving Day, and I wanted to share them with you.

A Thanksgiving Tree is a beautiful focal point. Print these meaningful verses, set on adorable leaves and have the whole family take turns reading them, writing down something they are thankful for, and hanging them on a bouquet of twigs. 

Need a walk after that fabulous meal? Here is a Scavenger Hunt list for the whole family, courtesy of Family Fun.

Continue to set your thoughts on thankfulness, long after Thanksgiving Day is over, by starting a weekly Thankfulness Journal.

Above all, be sure to stop and smile. Look around you at the tiny things. Listen for that sweet sound of coffee gurgling in the coffee maker. Enjoy your family. Recognize the Grace that God has poured out for you. I dare you not to smile. 

Turkey Printable

Cute times 10! Download this free Coloring Page from Doodle Art Alley.


Elegance of the Hedgehog


     "Now you make me think, it's not just about the lamps. In fact, there aren't two of anything in Monsieur Ozu's apartment. Well, I must say it makes a pleasant impression."
     "Pleasant in what way?"
     She thinks for a moment, wrinkling her brow.
     "Pleasant like after the Christmas holidays, when you've had too much to eat. I think about the way it feels when everyone has left...My husband and I, we go to the kitchen, I make up a little bouillon with fresh vegetables, I slice some mushrooms real thin and we have our bouillon with those mushrooms in it.  You get the feeling you've just come through a storm, and it's all calm again."
     "No more fear of being short of anything. You're happy with the present moment."
     "You feel it's natural-andthat's the way it should be, when you eat."
     "You enjoy what you have, there's no competition. One sensation after the other."
     "Yes, you have less but you enjoy it more."

 Not the most pleasant of themes, but quite full of oddly profound thoughts, Elegance of the Hedgehog has me deeply questioning my priorities. Deep, deep thoughts cloaked in understated characters in an inconsequential fiction, I find myself contemplating things that never would have occurred to me otherwise. I'm able to finish thoughts that were previously too much for my mind to hold onto long enough to fully form. And this section...this section has me reeling.

"Have our civilizations become so destitute that we can only live in our fear of want? Can we only enjoy our possessions or our senses when we are certain that we shall always be able to enjoy them? Perhaps the Japanese have learned that you can only savor a pleasure when you know it is ephemeral and unique; armed with this knowledge, they are yet able to weave their lives."

Even my love of books stems from a fear of being unable to pick up a friend when I want it later, unable to share a lesson with my children when they come to it in their studies. And I'll be frighteningly honest: I have no immediate plans to do a craft with toilet paper tubes. And yet, I have bookmarked fun activities and crafts that call for toilet paper tubes. Worse yet, I have shopping bag hanging in my hall closet that is full of toilet paper tubes. No, I am not currently in need of them, but perhaps we'll have time for the craft next week or the week after and suppose I don't have them? I'll have to wait a month to collect enough to do the craft.

Is my clutter motivated by fear of lack? Is my lack of pleasure in my possessions motivated by fear?  Do I think that that reassurance of always having things will make them more enjoyable? Is it not the opposite? Should I not enjoy them all the more because they are here. now. at this moment.

I'm having a week of profound Eucharisteo, bombarding me from unexpected corners, trying to teach me something that I haven't quite grasped.

Homeschooling with the Holiday Blog Hop

PreparingfortheHolidays

Homeschooling during the Holidays can be difficult for a lot of families. Moms are exhausted, kids are wired. It always seems like there isn't enough time for everything. We pause our regular classes and start Christmas School during the weeks of Advent. This year, Advent is just over 3 weeks long. There is a week between Thanksgiving and the beginning of Advent this year, which gives me extra time to prepare crafts and activities.

These three weeks make a great time for a unit study, if your family enjoys them. Instead, we do a sort of Unit Study every day during Advent. Our Christmas School activities involve cute math worksheets printed off of the internet, Bible memory with our Jesse Tree traditions, lots of reading and copywork, and lots of crafts and activities as we study different countries around the world and some of their traditions and foods. All of this (minus the math worksheets) is shared at Advent Idea Box, which we've been tinkering with for a couple years now.

If you use the site, I would love to hear how you incorporate it into your homeschooling days or Christmas traditions. If you have any tips or suggestions, I would love to know how to make it better for families to use!

Note: there are Amazon ads in the sidebar. Please feel free to ignore them. They are there to go toward our book addiction. Last year was our first try with ads and we actually accumulated $50 after someone used the link to purchase a kindle and some other gifts. It was a nice Christmas surprise!


Arts and Crafts with the Holiday Blog Hop

PreparingfortheHolidays

Arts and crafts play a huge part in our Christmas School. You really need to check out the fun we have, all outlined at Advent Idea Box. Every day of Advent, we study a new country and new traditions from around the world and all through history.

We study the origin of Christmas cards in England


We study Poland make our favorite Kolacky recipe.



We study Russia and The Nutcracker Suite and we make nutcrackers.

 
 We study Germany and make edible Christmas trees.


We make most unappetizing gingerbread houses you've ever laid eyes on.

We try new crafts and new ideas and we revisit old favorites every year.


Our favorite traditional craft is our Jesse Tree. We decorate ornaments and memorize verses every year to help tell the gospel story, beginning with Creation. 
 



Gift Giving with the Holiday Blog Hop

PreparingfortheHolidays

Gift-giving is a concern for many of my friends this year. Our economy has caught up with just about everyone at this point, and many are having trouble imagining how they're going to pay for gifts this year. We've always been on a pretty tight budget, the kids' gifts being primarily stocking stuffers from us and packages from Grandparents. But, while I know packages are fun to open, I really don't think kids mind all that much if there are tons of gifts or just a few.

We had one year, after receiving a safety bonus check, that we purchased gifts for the kids. We parked new bicycles for each boy under the tree, and a tricycle for the toddler. We were so excited to see their faces when they saw something so huge on Christmas morning. However, their faces looked no more impressed or amazed than any other Christmas morning we'd ever had. I'll admit, though we KNOW the truth about what really matters, Chris and I had felt a little niggling in the back of our minds as we wished we could give them bigger gifts at Christmas. This particular Christmas revealed to us that our children knew the truth about what really matters even better than we did. They loved the bikes, but they really didn't care. They just love Christmas. They love celebrating what God has already given us. We told them this year that we were pretty much down to socks for Christmas and they grinned and said it sounded great.

I'm trying really hard to make them homemade socks, but we'll see how many I can get finished in the next few weeks.

Homemade is a wonderful way to share a heartfelt gift on a budget. Scarves, mittens, and hats are faster than you might think and they can be used and treasured for years.

This scarf is called a faggot stitch, referring to 'bundle of sticks'. I stitched it on size 11 needles to give it a draping, lacy feel. A faggot stitch is simply K1, YO, K2tog, repeat. I crocheted scallops at the ends to give it a cute, fun edging.



 These hats are from my favorite knitting book, called Baby Beanies .  It has excellent instructions, even for beginning knitters and it gives sizes for more than just babies. I've been able to adjust instructions and knit hats for my husband from this book! 

Cooking is another great way to share a homemade gift. Even when the results aren't the most attractive, they are always appreciated. Our neighbors have received many tree-shaped blobs through the years, but they know our kids had a day full of fun, thinking about them and working hard on their gift.  

 It's not always the prettiest, but children are much more able to grasp the concept of giving when they have a hand in making a gift. My girls still treasure a little stuffed dog that their big brother sewed for them.

The gift of time is possibly the best gift we can give to another, any time of year. Our sweet neighbor takes time out of her busy holiday to sit down with my girls and read them a Christmas story every year. Many people are aching with loneliness this year. Time is the best gift we can give them.

If you are in that group of friends, wishing you had the money to give more this year, please take comfort and remember that it's not about gifts. And even if it were, they don't remember them long anyway. This picture sums it up very well for me. After 3 solid days of opening presents at different families' houses, Honor plopped down, surrounded by new presents, to play with the thirty year old set of Little People her daddy once played with. They really DON'T CARE. And the could learn a few lessons from them.

Posted by Picasa


Cooking with Holiday Blog Hop and a Freebie!

PreparingfortheHolidays 
 Our Thanksgiving holidays are easy: everyone brings something they like. Younger family members experiment and bring new dishes and ideas (I have a feeling that Pinterest is going to be one of our favorite dinner guests this year) and older members bring their dishes that have joined the table for years. It just wouldn't be the same without Grandma's hot rolls, right? Every year, we gather with Chris' family for Thanksgiving (and mine a couple days later) and my family for Christmas (and with his a couple days later.)

Advent means lots of cooking all season long. It's one of our favorite activities! Advent food traditions start the night after Thanksgiving for us with our cold plate meal to sustain us through the heavy task of decorating.

We do feed them throughout the rest of the day, even though this photo makes it look as if Joel is starving. The truth his, he burned a lot of calories dragging those boxes down from the attic.

Cookie baking is one of our favorite activities to do together. We sample cookie recipes from around the world, but always settle back down with a yummy, standard Sugar Cookie. We have a tradition each year that involves getting together with some good friends and decorating cookies together. We've done it since our boys were babies. Now some of their babies have babies! It's still a favorite tradition.



Baking cookies with Grandma just can't be beat. 


Making candy gifts for the neighbors is another favorite tradition.


Last year we learned that not all of the holiday cooking needs to be edible. We had a blast adding Christmas confetti glitter to a homemade play-doh recipe.

All of these ideas and recipes are available at Advent Idea Box. Come and visit for more free Advent activities and ideas.

FREEBIE!!!

As you can see, I'm in the very early stages of transferring my blog over here and I could use a little help getting it established. If you would be so kind as to sign up in the sidebar to join this site, I will use that contact information to send you my Holiday Cookbook in PDF format. 
 



Decorating with Holiday Blog Hop

PreparingfortheHolidays

From the moment the first leaves begin to fall, days seem to take on a new magic. I love living in the Ozarks!
3-IMG_0430

In my garage sits a tub full of fall decorations. I used to pull it out at the very beginning of every September. As the babies came and grew, my box came out later and later. This wasn't so much because I was too tired, but because they opened up my eyes to God's beautiful decorations around me.
2-IMG_0414

Glorious walks and trips to the Pumpkin Patch trumped any decorations I could do around the house.

1-IMG_0376

 Dream filled days with friends made anything we could do around the house pale in comparison.

4-IMG_0441

 As the leaves continue falling, blanketing the ground, we get closer and closer to Thanksgiving. Still, the season is not one of anticipation, but of savoring each moment.

5-IMG_0772

As Thanksgiving nears and the season draws to a close, I begin planning behind the scenes. Thanksgiving requires barely any planning, just enjoying. Family gathering and enjoying good food and good company. Christmas, on the other hand, is soon to follow and our Advent plans require lots of planning.

Unlike Thanksgiving, Christmas season is full of anticipation. I know many parents worry that it is anticipation for presents, but I don't think this is so. My family doesn't do much by way of presents and the kids, while thankful, don't seem to enjoy that part better than any other part of the holiday. Instead, I think Christmas itself is full of anticipation. It is the very essence of Advent: celebrating that He came and joyfully anticipating Him coming again.

Decorating begins the day after Thanksgiving. While I shop on the computer, the men-folk carry down box after box of decorations and books and accessories. We take it easy, eating leftover cranberry salad for breakfast and turkey sandwiches for lunch. The decorating begins that night. We sip on the good cocoa and eat cold plates of olives, cheeses, and dips while dancing to Christmas music and pulling out the tree.


The lights are first, and are now the only part of the tree I have much hand in. Once the white lights are twinkling in their proper OCD formation, the kids pull out ornaments from years gone by. Every year, we each add another ornament to the tree. Someday, they will grow up and decorate their own trees with their own families. We'll likely send these ornaments with them to add some color to those early trees. 

The most important decoration in our home is the Advent Wreath. This takes center stage in our entryway, casting its glow into the livingroom as we read our Advent scriptures each night. This year, Advent doesn't begin until a full week after Thanksgiving, so the anticipation will be palpable.

Every year, we stop our regular homeschooling lessons to go through "Christmas School". The decorating will continue till the end of Advent with snowflakes, gingerbread houses, suncatchers, and more. Please join us at Advent IdeaBox. And be sure to check out more traditions and ideas by my fellow crew members! 


Pumpkin Pi


Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. We don't do the Halloween thing, but we love pumpkins and everything Autumn. My husband and I try to go all out for a romantic Columbus Day celebration (long story) and this was my Columbus Day present-on-a-budget to him this year. Some pumpkin pie pi!

Posted by Picasa


Oh, Palindrome!

We're studying palindromes today, thanks to some great free posters shared by Katie Jensen. I'm using the posters to introduce a new word to our morning board each day. My boys don't generally join us for morning board, being a bit old for skip counting and calendar activities, but they'll be helping us finish off those morning lessons with some fun vocabulary words.

Wrapping up today's lesson about palindromes, we watched this Weird Al video to deeply embed their new vocabulary word into their brains. Enjoy!

.


Brainy Balls


Osage Orange, Hedge Apple, Horse Apple, Bodock, or even Maclura pomifera if you're so inclined...my kids always called these "brainy balls".  And if you hate spiders, they're your new best friend.

It's an old wives' tale that's been around for ages, but it is nonetheless quite true: tossing these under your house or around your foundation will repel spiders and insects.  

We discovered it years ago, just as we were beginning to see brown recluse spiders in the house (hello, ozarks). With a baby in the house, this was particularly scary to me. Hiring an exterminator was expensive, but we saw no choice. Thankfully, we had an awful time getting him to return our calls and in the meantime, someone shared this tip with us and it worked beautifully. Two weeks later, when the exterminator finally called back, we were able to say , "Nevermind. We no longer have spiders." 

As these beauties decay, they get sticky and apparently stinky, though I've never smelled them myself. We toss them under the house, spaced out about every 10 ft. This stuff is so effective, someone was even awarded a patent this year for an osage orange insect repellent. A chemical in them is supposed to be good for repelling mosquitos, though I have no idea how you'd go about making an extract. 

The trees themselves were commonly planted as wind-breaks and used as hedges, hence the name Hedge Apples. The wood from the tree is supposed to be a superior bow-making wood. 

Brainy balls are all over the ground RIGHT NOW, so hunt some up and toss them under your house for a spider-free autumn!


Disclosure Statement

The following is copied/pasted stuff to keep me legal and I'm pretty sure the gist of it is: "Yeah, I'm VERY much honest about my very opinionated opinions."

This policy is valid from 13 June 2013 to the present and exists in accordance to FTC Regulations. For questions about this blog, contact jenn@simblissitycottage.com

This blog is a (very) personal blog written and edited by me. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. (But mostly just stuff. I highly enjoy receiving stuff to try out and then blab my opinion about said stuff.)

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. (Mostly because I'll likely forget, but I will certainly try my hot-diggitiest to label it.)

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. (Again, mostly through free stuff to try out) Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own (Amen to that.) Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest. However, the blog owner might be incredibly conflicted as a person. But that's an altogether different kind of post topic.


legal jargon courtesy of http://www.disclosurepolicy.org



Little House Lessons


A favorite of little girls for generations, The Little House books make an excellent unit study. While I believe they are best enjoyed by eight year olds with a flashlight under the bedsheet, greeting them at the homeschool table with lesson plans is a nice surprise for a change-up in the usual studies.


Here are some accessories to consider incorporating:

Freebies
Official Little House Website
Little House Blog
Free Lesson Plans and Ideas at Lesson Pathways
More free Lesson Plans & Ideas at Lesson Planet
Lapbooking and Notebooking at Homeschool Share

For a price:
Journey Through Learning Lapbook
Prairie Primer

Don't forget to party!
Invite friends over for a Little House themed party, including bonnets and prairie-style vittles. Make butter to serve on homemade sourdough bread. Embroider a small, basic flower. End with an episode of Michael Landon's Little House on the Prairie sitcom. 

The Books:

Huge, beautiful hardcover 75th Anniversary Edition (Full Color) of Little House on the Prairie.


Grandparents gave this beautiful edition to the girls and it is a favorite. It is larger than their laps and is a delight to read. For just a little more, you can own the complete set of paperbacks, so it's not for everyone. But it really is a treat if you have a Little House fan in your house.




The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set

There is another set that includes just 5 books and it runs $10 cheaper, but this set takes you through all of the Little House series.






On the Way Home 
Not everyone knows about this one. It is a diary that Laura kept during her journey from South Dakota to Missouri in 1894. The Wilder family included their daughter Rose at this point in their journey. It isn't written like the novels, but is an actual diary. Though different, it is quite interesting.





A Little Prairie House (My First Little House Books (Prebound))
These are cute introductions for younger children still in the reader stage. There are several of these books. They fit nicely for families that are doing the Little House books as a read aloud. Younger children can enjoy these on their own to enrich their reading time.



The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories
A fun addition to your reading!  Try your hand at Ma's Green Tomato Pickles, succotash, green pumpkin pie. Learn how to make cheese, butter, and sourdough. It is peppered with illustrations and quotes and is a treasured keepsake.




A Kindle book: Before the Prairie Books: The Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder 1911 - 1916: The Small Farm

This inexpensive kindle book is a collection of articles written by Laura. Very interesting stuff!





Laura's Love Story: The Lifetime Love of Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder

I haven't read this one, but I am very anxious to! It tells the love story of Laura and Almonzo from the time of the single musket shot to the atomic bomb.






 Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder

A biography of the life of Laura that draws from her personal, unpublished memoirs. For readers who want even more detail than this biography offers, look at Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder.





The movie that premiered the sitcom. This isn't for everyone. I grew up on it and knew Michael Landon as Pa before I ever read the series. If I had read the books first, this series might have been a huge disappointment. It really isn't like the books, but it is still a huge part of my childhood memories and I can't think of "Little House" without thinking of this movie.





Laura Ingalls Wilder Unit Study

An inexpensive Kindle book  that is a guide to doing a unit study on the books.







    Anything by William T. Anderson. He is a recognized authority on Laura Ingalls and the Little House books.