third time’s a charm, homeschooling.

I am working with grade two homeschooling materials this year for the third time. We have just finished Little House on the Prairie as a read aloud and let’s be honest, the portrayal and fear of Native People in Little House is problematic at best and not ideal when pouring the language in to little ears. In North American Waldorf-inspired homeschooling circles the reading of the Little House books is entrenched beginning in grade one with suggested reading of one book per year. Grade three skips to Farmer Boy because of the focus on farm life in tune with grade three themes.

As an adult reading Little House on the Prairie the nuances in attitude and reading of fear reactions are easy to spot but for the most part not available to the 8 year old child. For the upcoming children 3, I get five chances to fuss around with my approach I will skip the grade two reading of Little House on the Prairie and instead read the Birchbark House, keep Farmer Boy for grade three and read both Prairie and On the Banks of Plum Creek in grade four. Grade four in Waldorf has the nine to ten year old working with Norse myths and the fatally flawed Norse gods and goddesses. It is my hopes that the nine year old while both waking up to the flaws around them will have a more balanced view of the Little House narrative.

I would be interested in how others feel about the Little House book  i  loved these books when i was a child and read them several times and how you work with them in your family.


One thought on “third time’s a charm, homeschooling.

  1. I have read the first four Little House books aloud to Joss. We had a meaningful conversation about the Ingalls family’s interactions with the Native Americans each time they are mentioned in the book. We talked about character’s reactions & feelings & how the native Americans must have been feeling too. We also discussed point of view of the author. If the story had been told by the native Americans, he asked how the story might be different. This led to further questioning and research about native culture, especially in our area. Joss was able to expand on a project he did in school about Cahokia with his class. I think it is important to discuss racism & how it affected the westward expansion, and to discuss flawed character points even with very young kiddos. We phrased it as “Not everyone is perfect, people make mistakes based on prejudice. We can learn from their mistakes & do better. “

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