One of the most challenging things about writing a U.S. history curriculum was learning how to rethink the language I’d grown up on for U.S. history completely. For instance, the word “settlers” is one that gets used all the times for Europeans coming to North America and for citizens of the new United States as they moved beyond the country’s western borders. But it’s not really an accurate word — it’s a word that whitewashes what was basically an invasion of lands that belonged to several different Native American nations. Finding meaningful ways to talk about the history of the United States in a way that includes people who aren’t just straight white men required me to think more carefully about all the history vocabulary I grew up with — and to deal with some of the not-so-shiny parts of U.S. history in a respectful and thoughtful way.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT HOME/SCHOOL/LIFE
Our curriculum sale is still going on!
Shelli reviewed the Critical Thinking Company’s Vocabulary Virtuoso — and we’ve got a 20% coupon for your curriculum shopping, too! (The Red Herring Mysteries are a favorite in our house, and Suzanne uses Mind Benders in the Academy’s junior high.)
It’s that time of year: 18 fun ways to take your homeschool outside
Summer classes start at the Academy June 3. (I am very excited about my chemistry class!)
From the archives: What to read next if you loved The Wizard of Oz, why this just might be the summer to start that homeschool co-op, and how homeschooling can be the opportunity to get the education YOU always wanted, too.
LINKS I LIKED
I quite enjoyed this NYT homage to the joys of the 1990s. (I totally remember getting phone ear from talking too long on the telephone, but I’m sad there was nothing about the literary pleasures of those long notes — with complicated folding — that you would write your best friend for hours after you finished your homework.)
We do tend to focus on dystopias (and especially right now), but literary utopias can be revealing, too.
THINGS I DIDN’T KNOW BUT NOW I DO
I feel like the title here speaks for itself: Everything you wanted to know about dinosaur sex.
My favorite color apparently says I am a robot. (I am not a robot. I think. Would I know, though?)
BOOKS ADDED TO MY TBR LIST THIS WEEK
Watch and Ward (Henry James that I've never gotten around to!)
WHAT’S MAKING ME HAPPY
AMY SHARONY is the founder and editor-in-chief of home | school | life magazine. She's a pretty nice person until someone starts pluralizing things with apostrophes, but then all bets are off.
Rediscovered Langston Hughes, the Algonquin Round Table turns 100, feminist utopias, and more stuff we like.
Preschool politics, battles on the YA shelves, Stone Age engineering projects, the subtleties of translation, and more stuff we like.
The downside of gifted-ness, secret literary fellowships, loving Judge Judy, LARPing with goats, and more stuff we like.
Why do we trust online reviews, reading by plant-light, the overlap between Waldorf, privilege, and vaccinations, Babylonian break-up tablets, and more stuff we like.
Is Mark Twain the problem with the modern United States, it’s still possible to get a great 1980s photo of yourself, television should be doing a better job across the board with women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, and more stuff we liked this week.
Revisiting the 90s, utopias vs dystopias, what your favorite color says about you, dinosaur courtship, and more stuff we like.
Burnout is not a professional goal, the myth of the frontier in U.S. history, what do we mean when we talk about “electability,” what we always suspected about cats is true, and more stuff we like.
Highs and lows of Facebook groups, Teddy Roosevelt and the Iron Throne, my new favorite interview with a vampire, and more stuff we like.
Our weekly roundup of links, books, and other homeschool inspiration.
Our weekly roundup of great links, books, and other stuff that’s inspiring our homeschool life.
The slow, important uncovering of history, snow plow parents, transcript-writing for people who aren’t transcript writers, cats in medieval manuscripts, and more stuff I like.
Problems with children’s literature, thirty years of “Closer to Fine,” saying goodbye to Dylan McKay, weird ancient Greek obsessions, and more stuff we like.
The magical union of science and art, objectivity in a post-truth world, Star Trek has seen the future, and more stuff we like.
RIP, Mars Rover; renegade nuns; my new favorite tip for recognizing passive voice; my neighborhood 50 million years ago; and more stuff we like.
Friends versus “friends,” the link between prairie dresses and colonization, slow cooking trumps quick hands, adventures in medieval poop, and more stuff we like.