Stuff We Like :: 6.8.18

How does it always go from lovely almost-spring temperatures to blazing desert with no balmy transition period?


My homeschool planner is officially on sale!

Also on sale: Our comprehensive high school curriculum.

Are you coming to the SEA conference? (Suzanne and I will be there! And I am sitting in on a homeschool 101 panel and giving a little workshop on using literary theory to teach literature, which is basically my favorite thing in the world, so please come and say hi!)

on the blog: Suzanne always reads the best books, Library Chicken score be darned. Also: A great book list for studying the Oregon Trail.

one year ago: How we homeschooled 9th grade. (I need to do a 10th grade post!) Plus: Shelli’s favorite resource for elementary current events.

two years ago: Our plan to homeschool high school. (Two years in, I feel like we were on the right track!) Also: An eerie middle grades novel about a girl who sees ghosts.

three years ago: I love this post from Idzie on how travel — near or far — helps us grow independence and confidence.



This was my feel-good story of the week: Sephora now offers beauty classes for the trans community.

I wish this collection of doomed Roman emperor cartoons had been available when we were reading SPQR this spring!

Incels may have their roots in the medieval code of courtly love. (Lots of shade-throwing on Capellanus, if you’re into that — which I totally am.)

What does Native American art look like if we move beyond its very real past tragedies? How do you acknowledge, honor, and transcend your cultural history — all at the same time? I think this is one of the big questions of the postcolonial world.

Just for fun: Literary classics retold as two panel comics

I haven’t lived around the corner from Caffe Vivaldi for more than a decade, but the thought of it not being there when I visit NYC has gotten me all choked up.



I am working on a gigantic book review post of all the books I read and never got around to reviewing this spring, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, I am not letting the fact that I am very behind deter me from reading new books, including The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden, which I am looking forward to gushing over a bit when it comes out in September. (If you haven’t read The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, you are missing out.)

On my night table: How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide; Victorian People and Ideas; After the Funeral (and I can't remember whodunnit, so it's very suspenseful!); and The Invisible Library. I just finished The Invisible Library, and I was so prepared to love it, but it was ultimately just too much — I loved the central idea of a library that exists interdimensionally, and I was willing to buy the whole steampunk alternate world and the dragons and faeries, but when the vampires came in, I just felt like the author had taken all the popular literature from the past three decades, tossed it in a blender, and run with it. Which isn’t to say that it was bad, per se — I quite enjoyed parts of it — but with all the STUFF happening, you really notice that the development of the main and secondary characters is lacking.



These strawberry fried pies are addictively good and so easy if you use refrigerated pie crust. (Trader Joe’s is my favorite readymade pie crust, but they don’t always have it at my store.)

I am always getting messages from people about reading levels for book lists, and I’ve been trying to incorporate more guidance in that department — but am I the only one who just honestly thinks reading levels are kind of pointless? I’ve always read what I enjoyed, whether it’s a picture book like Julian Is a Mermaid (which you should all go and get right now because this book is just pure delight) or a big fat tome of existential philosophy (hi, Heidegger), and I really want my kids to do the same. I do understand that it can get frustrating if something is too challenging for a kid to read on her own (though I’ve found readalouds are a great solution for that), and I’m definitely not critical of people who opt to read on grade level — I have just always found that letting my kids read what they are excited to read has been the best way to grow them as readers. What is your experience with reading levels like? Am I missing something important? 

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