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What We Love in the Fall Issue of HSL

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home/school/life fall 2014 issue

We asked some of our regular home/school/life contributors to share their favorites from the fall issue. (Want to read them all? You can subscribe or buy the current issue here.)

  • Once again, home/school/life is full of fantastic reading suggestions. This month’s guide to books for young writers was just the list I’ve been looking for. My oldest son is participating in NaNoWriMo, an online writing project. The fabulous collection of titles HSL suggests this issue will come in handy in my quest to support my budding young author. As the weather grows colder, my kids and I look forward to long afternoons by the fire. You’ll find us there curled up with gems like the Halloween selections Suzanne recommends in her column this month. As if all this wasn’t enough to keep us busy, Amy shares 11 must-read titles spanning many genres including poetry, fiction, science, and history! Thanks for all of the great suggestions! —Rebecca
  • * I love "Best Cities for Homeschooling" and am particularly tickled at the fact that my own city, Oakland, made the list! I wholeheartedly agree that Oakland is a wonderful place to homeschool. It's neat to see Lake Merritt mentioned; it's been the heart of the city for years, but it's been recently spiffed up. A walk around the lake these days gives the ideal snapshot of Oakland: vibrant, diverse, urban and naturally beautiful all at once. * "Snap Happy" is a fantastic article on how to take better photos. I'm amazed at how much useful information Shelli managed to pack into this piece. Her suggestions about how to take advantage of light should be invaluable to anyone who wants to take better photos. I've been working at my photography for a few years now, and I found this piece to be both a great refresher and excellent inspiration for me to pick up my camera more often. * If you know me at all, you know that I love writing, and encouraging others to love it too. Parents who want to inspire their kids to write ought to write themselves—which is why I think "Just Asking" is such a neat article. It's aimed at helping parents think deeply about their reasons for homeschooling, and how they spend their homeschooling lives. But they could also be used as the ten best writing prompts for homeschooling parents ever! Parents who don't have a regular writing practice could buy a new journal, or open a new Evernote file and try answering these questions. Just tackle one at a time. They're such thoughtful questions, and they're bound to lead to deep wonder and discovery. I know I'll be trying them out myself! —Patricia
  • This is very hard for me because I love everything in the magazine, but if I have to pick just five, I will pick the five that were very informative to me right now as a homeschooling mom. * You Asked: I loved the question about when a parent should start worrying about a child who isn’t interested in reading because this is something I’ve dealt with and I think parents need all the encouragement they can get to not worry about this issue. * Curriculum Junkie: I love our new curriculum junkie’s first column, and when I read it I wanted to go buy the biographies she recommended immediately. * Career Path: I love these interviews with professionals because as a homeschooling mom, I want to learn as much as I can about different career paths and how to help my children on their chosen career paths. *Mark Twain’s Mississippi: I just love Mark Twain and enjoy reading anything about him. It reminded me that I want to read all his books to my boys. * Just Asking: When I read these excellent questions to ask myself on this homeschooling journey, I knew I’d revisit it someday with my journal, and I think I might just do that tonight…. —Shelli
  • Officially, everything in the issue is my favorite because that's kind of how we put each issue together—we say "What do I really want to know about homeschool life this season?" and go from there. I've been gushing about the Best Cities for Homeschooling for a while, so I won't include that one (even though I think it's terrific!) and I'll try not to repeat anything that's already been mentioned, but here are a few things in this issue that have really inspired me: * Patricia's lovely letter to her new-to-homeschooling self is a much-needed reminder that we can trust our kids to point the way when we feel stuck. * Our reader letters page is one of my favorite pages ever because it's so wonderful to hear from people who are actually reading the magazine we work so hard on. * I have already purchased the quick-attach smartphone microscope in our holiday gift guide. I love the idea of having an instant microscope for nature walks. * I wish I had had Amy Hood's tips for art museum field trips when we started homeschooling — I think our museum jaunts would have been a lot less stressful and a lot more fun. * I always love Shelli's "Our Way" pieces, which profile real-live homeschool families, and this issue is no exception. I don't know about you, but I never get tired of hearing about other families make the homeschool life work. —Amy