I loved this show as a child, and still watch re-runs to this day.
I realize that the TV show is nothing like the books. I guess for me, that doesn't really matter. I acquired so many other things from watching the show. Ideals which have remained with me for life. In addition to an hour of entertainment, I learned about the value of being honest, the importance of working hard, the significance of family and community, the emphasis placed on God and His central role in each family's life, (almost every show makes reference to God and the faith that people put in Him.)
Furthermore, the series portrays a tenderness and simplicity that mesmerizes the viewer and allows them to experience "small-town" life during the 1870's~albeit Hollywood's version of the 1870's. It does provide some history in the clothing and customs of that era.
I know that life wasn't as glamorous as Little House depicts. Ma's dress is always clean and pressed, her hands callous-free, and Pa with his broad shoulders and thick head of hair always willing to jump in and save the day. With much success, I might add.
I do think this series provides us with an opportunity to escape for an hour into a land of wholesomeness, integrity and virtue, with a captivating and sometimes humorous plot and the ability (if we choose) to turn to our children and talk to them about what they just saw.
And isn't that what family viewing is all about?