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52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 34: Be a Sky Gazer

52-Week Challengeamy sharonyComment
52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 34: Be a Sky Gazer

Who knew that blue skies could actually make you happier? People who spent time exposed to the color blue reported higher confidence, reduced stress, and greater overall happiness than those who didn’t soak up the blues in a University of Sussex study. It’s not clear why blue hues are such a mood booster for people—some researchers have theorized that it harks back to humanity’s early days when evening meant food, rest, and a little peace—but it’s clear that the literal blues can be a good way to shake off the figurative blues.

A sky-gazing project is the perfect way to incorporate a little everyday blue time into your homeschool routine this summer: Keep a cloud chart to record the different kinds of clouds or sky colors you see each day, do sky square paintings, knit a sky scarf, make a point of tracking the cycles of the moon, or just look for interesting cloud shapes while you’re nature journaling. Choose a simple activity that will be easy to do whatever else you have going on this summer, and embrace the happiness-boosting power of the color blue.

Your challenge this week: Choose a way to incorporate some sky-gazing into your daily routine.

HSL Book Deal of the Day 5.28.17: Heart of a Samurai

Book Deal of the Dayamy sharonyComment
Heart of a Samurai
By Margi Preus

Japan in 1841 is completely isolated from the rest of the world—so when 14-year-old Manjiro finds himself making a connection with the United States after an unexpected shipwreck, he's thrilled to have the opportunity to visit a whole new world as the adopted son of the captain who rescued him. Life in the United States is full of adventure and kindness, adversity and racism for its (allegedly) first Japanese resident, but Manjiro still dreams of someday going back to his native land. A great story that brings a piece of Asian history to life.

We're highlighting our picks for best book deal of the day on the blog, but you can always find our favorite Kindle book deals here.

Readaloud of the Week: The Secret Language

Reading Listamy sharonyComment
The Secret Language
By Ursula Nordstrom

In brief: Victoria is shy and lonely as she begins her first year at boarding school, but when she meets Martha, she discovers that friendship can make school a magical place.

What makes it a great readaloud? Nordstrom—who's probably best known as the editor of legendary authors including Maurice Sendak and Louise Fitzhugh—puts her own literary chops to work in this gentle boarding school tale about two lonely girls who bond over their shared circumstances. It's full of lovely details—pistachio ice cream Halloween costumes! a secret language! dollhouse drawers—and the wistful acknowledgement that everyone on an adventure longs for home.

But be aware: This is a quiet little book full of quiet little moments—there's not a lot of drama and no big villain to defeat, so you might want to skip it if that's a readaloud requirement.

HSL Book Deal of the Day 5.27.17: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

Book Deal of the Dayamy sharonyComment

Suzanne was raving about this series at lunch this week (and I don't want to spoil anything, but it might feature in her next Library Chicken update), so I can't not share that Volume 1 is bargain-priced for the Kindle right now. Squirrel Girl is a smart, feminist, awesome superhero who adventures are pure, hilarious fun. Can't wait to read it myself!

(Hey, are you a fan of the daily book deal? Leave a comment—we've been doing them for a couple of weeks and want to be sure we're not cluttering up the blog with stuff you don't want to see!)

We're highlighting our picks for best book deal of the day on the blog, but you can always find our favorite Kindle book deals here.