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Stuff We Like :: 7.17.15

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home|school|life's Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

This week’s special edition of Stuff We Like is brought you by one of our home/school/life readers. Because we like finding out what y'all are loving in your homeschool lives, too!  

around the web

I have really been enjoying Pam Larrichia’s blog series, Exploring the Unschooling Journey in the Context of Joseph Campbell's Monomyth, the Hero's Journey. Her wonderful posts on the subject go so deep, and offer so much to think about, I’m finding myself re-reading some of them again (and again).

I’ve received three boxes so far from the online foodie subscription service, Try the World, and I am loving it. The company has had a few issues with customer service lately – people not getting their boxes on time mostly – but they seem to be addressing those issues and getting things running smoothly. The Paris Box has been my favorite so far, but the latest box is Japan, and I am really (really) looking forward to that one!

This news story out of Turkey is a favorite at our house; so much so that we’ve actually purchased the “respect the robot” URL and have starting designing “respect the robot” t-shirts.

 

on home/school/life

on the blog: I was so excited to see Amy’s What to Read in Elementary School list on the home/school/life blog! I am actually planning my six year old’s “1st grade” year around our reading of these books together.

in the magazine: I probably shouldn’t claim this as a "Thing I Like", but I can’t help myself! The new tech column in home/school/life is an immediate favorite at our house. Of course, I may be partial since the columnist is my always-homeschooled, recently graduated, teen son, but it is a subject I’m interested in, and I’m really looking forward to reading more.

 

at home

Instacart has made my life so much easier. In my neighborhood, they’ll shop for you at Whole Foods, Kroger, or Costco, and deliver it to your door (with a smile), within two hours. Not only does it save time, it also saves us money, since I’m shopping from a list and not tempted by all the goodies I always end up impulsively grabbing if I actually go to Whole Foods. Instacart’s prices are the same as in-store (I’ve double checked this multiple times), and the delivery fee is so nominal, I can’t imagine not using them.

Summer is the perfect time to try out new salad recipes. They’re easy, versatile, and nice to eat when it’s too hot to cook a big meal. I’ve found great salad ideas on the Pioneer Woman site (the Mediterranean Orzo is a favorite), and yummy pasta salad ideas from Food Network (the Italian Chicken is a must).

Duran Duran has a new album coming out in September (people still say “album,” right?). The first single, Pressure Off, was released in June, and it’s pretty good. Not my favorite Duran Duran song of all time – I’m a sucker for their 80s tunes – but I’m so happy they’re still together, making music and touring, I’ll listen to just about anything they come out with.

 

gaming

Both my teen and 6-year-old are hooked on the beta version of Lego Worlds, which was released through Steam early access on June 1st. This sandbox game allows players to explore a Lego universe, alter landscapes, build pre-designed Lego structures or create their own (brick by brick), collect objects, fly helicopters, and change characters. We are already enjoying it more than Minecraft (gasp!), and the developers aren’t even finished with it yet.

As a family, we’ve started playing Dungeons and Dragons (5th edition). The teen is our Dungeon Master and has come up with a really cool, original adventure for us. The 6-year-old is enjoying creating his character and finally being old enough to play. He’s a little reckless in some of the choices he makes within the game (“let’s fight all the monsters!”), but that keeps it pretty interesting, I must admit.

I am hooked on the Pokemon Master Trainer Board Game. Yes, it’s aimed at a younger demographic. But the design and game play are so straightforward and well done, and the Pokemon are so darned cute, I’ve been asking my youngest to play it with me just about every day.

 

books

I stumbled across this book, Unbored Games: Serious Fun for Everyoneby Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen, on my last trip to Barnes & Noble, and I’m so glad I did! I actually read the whole thing cover to cover as soon as I got home and got lots of good ideas for family fun. (Can you tell we’re a family that likes games?)

My youngest said he was ready for the Harry Potter series, so that has become our read aloud this summer. It’s been so much fun to re-read them and see the story through his eyes. We’ve just finished Chamber of Secrets and plan to take a week or two off to read some shorter books before diving into Prisoner of Azkaban.