I’m mixing up the format here a little since I’ve been doing this for four years now! (How has it been four years?)
What’s happening at home/school/life
Beverly has some ideas for doing a mid-year review. (It’s a great way to check in with your goals and make any adjustments before diving into the second half of the year.)
If you are looking for a funny book to read together, may I suggest our most recent Readaloud of the Week?
One year ago, Suzanne was reading all the Hamilton and Hamilton-adjacent books she could get her hands on. (Also, I had some problems with Belzhar and we published a book-a-day reading list for Black History Month.)
Two years ago, Shelli was dabbling in calligraphy, building with Zoob, and reading Treasure Island. (Also, Lisa discovered the magic of following her kids’ passions and Shelli shared her family’s favorite math games.)
Three years ago, Tracy wondered why homeschooling always seems easier in hindsight.
Four years ago, Amy Hood joined the HSL columnists team. (The winter issue was her last — her family has moved on to other learning adventures — but I miss her already.)
The links I liked
I’m kinda thrilled that Murphy Brown is coming back.
Remembering Ursula LeGuin.
A record number of women are running for political office in 2018.
Take the Good Place morality quiz. (I am Janet.)
The Hairpin is going away so I just want to give a shoutout to one of my favorite pieces there: Six fairy tales for the modern woman.
How do we talk about politics to people who don’t see what we see?
You shouldn’t work more than 39 hours a week.
What I’m reading and watching
I am counting down the days until the Wrinkle in Time movie with a massive Madeline L’Engle reread, starting with the Time Quintet, of course. We reread A Wrinkle in Time together, but I finished A Wind in the Door (now I want to write a whole science curriculum based around L’Engle’s books, don’t you?) and Many Waters (one of my stealth L’Engle favorites on my own). I’ve got A Swiftly Tilting Planet on my night table, but I am definitely not planning to stop there.
If you know me at all, you know that I will read a fluffy British rom-com about someone who works in a bookstore and moves to Scotland in a heartbeat, so the The Bookshop on the Corner was inevitably going to make its way to the top of my TBR list. Nina, recently laid-off from her library job, buys an old van, outfits it into a mobile bookshop, and travels around rural Scotland matchmaking books with their perfect readers. It is just exactly what it claims to be and nothing more, but since that was just what I wanted I have no complaints.
We are starting Un Lun Dun for our new readaloud, and I am super excited to get into it. I love Mievelle’s distinctively weird adult novels, so I have high hopes for this middle grades novel, that’s got a premise kind of similar to Neverwhere.
Are you watching The Good Place? We should all be watching The Good Place, but now it’s time for the finale, and I’m trying to figure out how long I can stretch out the last two episodes so that the season isn’t over for me. (Spoiler: It will not be long.)
What’s happening in our homeschool
My son really wants to take a class that’s a couple of grade levels above his — the issue isn’t so much that he’s not intellectually ready to handle the class but that he doesn't have the ability to keep up with the writing, so he’s been passionately and excitedly working on improving his handwriting. You guys, this is after years of being a seriously reluctant writer. I do not necessarily think that wanting-to-do-it is the answer to everything, but with this particular kid, it has been the catalyst for pretty much every single academic breakthrough. On my end, I’m feeding him writing workbooks (we have a bunch of different ones, so I have no particular system — I just want him to get all the practice he can) and encouraging him when I see an opportunity for him to write something down. And, I will admit, I’m breathing a sigh of relief because even though I know people all do seem to manage to get the hang of writing eventually, I have spent a lot of time worrying about it anyway.