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Homeschool Resource for Little House

The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are used around the world in classrooms and especially with homeschoolers. The books lend themselves easily to American history as well as cross-curricular tie-ins. 

When I was a classroom teacher and read Little House on the Prairie out loud to my students, most chapters required a lot of discussion and chatter. Years later, as I read the books aloud to my own children, they asked even more questions. It wasn't long before I realized children would benefit from a kid-friendly guide to the Little House books. 
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That was August 2014. I had already taken writing courses and published articles in magazines, but the book idea led me to study the publishing world, write my first book proposal with sample manuscript, and attend my first (of many) writing conference. Six years later, The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide was published with Chicago Review Press. 

I wrote The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion with a young Little House fan in mind. Young readers love using it on their own. Yet, adults appreciate it, too. Over and over again, I meet people who use my book in their homeschool or wish they had had it when they homeschooled in the past. There are no lesson plans included, yet it's still a great homeschool resource.

I hope you'll consider using The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion in your homeschool, classroom, or family reading. 

So just what's in The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion? A lot! 

The first nine chapters covers one of the nine books of the Little House books. Chapters begin with an introduction followed by the chapter-by-chapter "Dig Deeper" section where we dive into history, complicated issues, real people and places, and pioneer life. This is also where I included many sidebars exploring certain topics even more. The very popular "Fact or Fiction" bits are part of this. "Live Like Laura" (or Almanzo) activities follow. Each chapter ends with "House Talk." These can serve as a discussion guide for groups or a way to reflect and think more deeply about the book if read by an individual.
That's what is included in the first nine chapters. Chapter ten, titled "What Happened Next" follows Almanza, Laura, and Rose Wilder as well as the Ingalls family they left behind. We learn what happened to all of our favorite characters and how Laura became the famous writer we know today. 

At the end of The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion, hundreds of pioneer terms from the Little House books are defined in kid-friendly ways. I also wanted curious readers to keep learning, so I included resources to explore, highlighting places to visit as well as books, websites, and videos. 

In my book, I remind readers that the Little House books share only one family's pioneer story. It's important to remember that the Little House books are not a comprehensive guide to American pioneer history or the westward movement. My own book is a comprehensive guide--but only to the Little House books, not all of American history. Please read my additional book recommendation about other pioneer history perspectives

Have you used The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion in your homeschool? How did it benefit you the most? I'd love for you to leave me a comment! And tell your homeschooling friends!
 Happy Trails! 
 ~ Annette 

Annette Whipple is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at

1 comment

  1. Annette, I loved hearing how you read LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE to your students. My husband taught 4th grade and every year he read aloud FARMER BOY! Then they had a Farmer Boy Feast to cook and taste many of the delicious old fashioned recipes enjoyed in the book. I love that you have this companion out for educators and homeschool fans to use!