Give Your Children the Gift of Laura

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One of my fondest homeschool memories is reading the Little House books aloud to our children. We all enjoyed them very much. If you haven’t read them to your children yet, please consider doing so. Just because Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote them about a family with all girls doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable for both your sons and your daughters. A Washington Post article published in 2017 in honor of Laura’s 150th birthday said that the books were popular with boys during the Great Depression and World War II because of their exciting details of pioneer history and their descriptions of hunting, building, and self-defense.

Laura believed that hers was a story that American children needed to know. I agree. She published her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, when she was 65 years old. She published her eighth, These Happy Golden Years, in 1943, when she was 76. They are truly her gift to American children and to the children of the world since they have been translated into more than 40 languages.

We at Notgrass History love to share Laura’s stories. Today I am announcing two ways that we are celebrating Laura’s upcoming birthday on February 7:

Laura’s Birthday Party: We are continuing our tradition of hosting an online birthday party in honor of Laura. I hope you can join us on Wednesday, February 7, at 2:00 p.m. Central. Our son John plans to perform his entertaining program, The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Story and Song. Look in my post for tomorrow for information about how to register.

A Beautiful New Laura Ingalls’s Wilder website: Our team member Bonnie has been busy creating a website with free resources about Laura. She has pulled together Laura videos and other resources Notgrass History has created in the past and made them easily accessible in one location. She has also added new resources including a coloring book, an online puzzle (you change the number of pieces to make it easier or harder), and an article written by Laura and published on December 20, 1919, in the Missouri Ruralist magazine. I was excited to see a photo of Laura and Almanzo that I had never seen before. You can visit the new website here.

When Laura was 80 years old and a very famous author, she wrote a general letter to her young readers to answer some of their most common questions. As in her books, Laura took the opportunity to talk about important things. She said that the real things haven’t changed. She spoke of being honest and truthful, making the most of what we have, being happy with simple pleasures, being cheerful, and having courage when things go wrong. She said that the reason great improvements had been made in living was because every American has been free to pursue his happiness. She said that as long as Americans were free they would continue to make their country more and more wonderful.

During her long life, Laura experienced many changes. She traveled in a covered wagon when she was a girl; when she was 87 years old, she flew on an airplane to visit her daughter in Connecticut. Laura hoped she would reach the age of 90. She died at home three days after her 90th birthday in 1957. Inside the small Bible Laura kept on the table beside her rocking chair was a list in her handwriting of Bible references to read in certain situations. You can find a pretty list of the verses on our new Laura Ingalls Wilder website. The list is printable so that you can use it as a bookmark.

One of the subjects on Laura’s list was “Very Weary.” I know you can identify with that one. The following passage which has often given me comfort was one of her references for those times:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

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