Free Online Course – The Life & Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Today, I bumped into a free course that will study the life and the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I immediately knew that I was destined to participate. I have just learned that Wilder did not write her first book, Little House on the Prairie until she was 65-years-old. I am 66-yeas-old, and I have been hearing a tug that is pestering me to write something similar for quite some time. It is inspiring to know that it is not too late.

Wilder was born in 1867, and in 1894, she and her husband and daughter moved to Mansfield, Missouri, which is only about 3 hours away from where I grew up in Missouri. Because of her having lived and written in Missouri, I feel another connection to Wilder.

My great grandparents were married in 1897 near my hometown in Missouri. I have their daughter’s memoir, which is a vivid description of my own family’s life in frontier America not far away from where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived. You might like to read what my great aunt wrote about the wilderness path on which my own ancestors traveled to reach my home Here.  I am fascinated by that period of history, and I love reading other peoples’ accounts of what life was like during the time of my great grandparents and my great aunt, all of whom I remember well. I am excited to participate in this Laura Ingalls Wilder course. I know that it will provide innumerable insights for me not only about Laura Ingalls Wilder but about my own family who lived similar lives.

mansfield-map

While at Mansfield, the Wilders lived in a farm house on a piece of land that they named Rocky Ridge Farm, but Laura Ingalls Wilder had moved several times before settling there.

Caroline and Charles Ingalls

Wilder was born in Minnesota. Her first two books Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie are about the earlier years of her childhood. On the Banks of Plum Creek is about the time in her childhood when the family lived in Minnesota in a dugout of Plum Creek, which is near Walnut Grove, Minnesota.

A dugout home would have looked like what you see in the above photographs.

The dugout was carved into a hilltop on the Plum Creek.

The following, short video shows actual footage of the Walnut Grove area with actual photos from the Little House series superimposed on them. It allows the viewer to visualize the terrain of hat part of the journey made by Laura Ingalls Wilder:

The following video is a nice, short summary of some of the places that Wilder lived and about the books that evolved from those places:

You can register for the free course Here.

Week 1: Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life

  • Introduction
  • Chapters 1 & 2

Week 2:

Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life

  • Chapters 3 – 10

Week 3:

Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life

  • Chapters 11 & 12

Week 4:

Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life

  • Chapter 13

Little House in the Big Woods (full book)

Week 5:

Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life

  • Chapter 14

Farmer Boy (full book)

Week 6:

Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life

  • Chapter 15

Little House on the Prairie (full book)

Week 7:

On the Banks of Plum Creek (full book)

Week 8:

Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life

  • Chapter 16

By the Shores of Silver Lake (full book)

Week 9:

The Long Winter (full book)

Week 10:

Little Town on the Prairie (full book)

These Happy Golden Years (full book)

Week 11:

Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life

  • Chapter 17

The First Four Years (full book)

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