I received the DVD "Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura" from Dean Butler with Legacy Documentaries for review.
DVD $21.95 (PayPal accepted)
Recommended for children and adults of all ages.
What Is This? -
This is a DVD of Almanzo Wilder's life. It contains his life before Laura Ingalls. This DVD tells the story of Almanzo and his growing up in northern New York in the mid 1800's; his disappointments, happy times and his family. His father was very good at colt training. Not many people think about Almanzo being so involved in his love of horses. This DVD tells the story of the one colt he desperately wanted to touch, love, and train on his own. It took some major work convincing his father that he was ready.
Almanzo's mother and father worked so hard on the farm. They had nice things, but worked very hard for the everything they had. Their family lived very differently than the Ingalls family. The Wilder family had nice things, lots of food, several horses and supplied much of their own food. The Ingalls family struggled a lot. They were in poverty and the children were malnutritioned. Some do not realize this as they watch the TV series "Little House on the Prairie". We do see them struggle a bit, but I think this DVD tells a bit more on how they really lived as Laura wrote in her books. This DVD shows how their lives really were. It also tells how Laura began writing her books and how Almanzo helped. He even made sketches for Laura on how their farm (growing up) was laid out while she was writing 'Farmer Boy', which we all know was about Almanzo's life as a young boy. This drawing helped show where the horse barns were, the house, pastures, etc.
This DVD will take you to that place, back in time, to not just see, but to experience the life of Almanzo. It shows that he was a hard working, honest young boy and later grew up into a well respected man.
The DVD also tells about the Wilder Homestead. It is located in Malone, NY. It is 84 acres of farmland, their home, which is on the original posts and beams, barns, outbuildings, etc. They just finished a replica of a one room schoolhouse on the property. You can visit the Wilder Homestead during certain times of the year. To find out more about visitation, click the picture below.
What I Thought -
This is a great educational DVD for all ages. I enjoyed all the references to the Little House books that it supplied. One of my favorite references was in 'Farmer Boy', the one where Almanzo found a wallet containing a large amount of money. He returned the wallet to the rightful owner and the owner gave him a tiny reward until an onlooker threatened the owner. He then gave Almanzo a respectable and well deserved reward. That story always inspires me. Not too many children would be so honest and return that sum of money, if any, in today's time.
On day, I would love to take my children to the Wilder Homestead. It would be such a wonderful experience for all of our family. We live in WV at the present time, and have some chickens. We had some pigs a few years back, but we've always wanted to live off the land and have a large farm. Visiting the Wilder Homestead would be such an honor!
I really enjoyed this DVD. It was very informative and interesting; a truly awesome and education DVD!
Highly recommend for all, not only homeschoolers, but any child learning about the 1800's era.