cookie of the week

Stuff We Like :: 6.30.17

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

Where did June go, you guys!?


around the web

This is our official high school summer reading list: A curriculum for white Americans to educate themselves on race and racism. (See also: Reading list for summer in participatory citizenship)

Will somebody please buy me all of these wall decals of women scientists/engineers/mathematicians? Thank you very much. (The whole Beyond Curie project is awesome.)

Relevant to my interests: Gendered Treatments of Trauma during the First World War

Hilarious: How Dr Seuss could simplify boring, wordy documents

You may notice the absence of the video for "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)." That's because I broke down crying in the middle of watching it and couldn't finish. Maybe you'll have better luck.


at home/school/life

in the classroom: Just an FYI that we’re putting a hold on our online classes for one more term while I help my husband get his hybrid high school up and running this fall. (If you’re in the Atlanta area, you can always take a class with Suzanne or with me at the Academy.) We do plan to get back to classes—but a girl can only have so much on her to-do list at a time.

on the blog: Are you keeping up with our summer reading series? Suzanne has some great recommendations for addictive summer series.

one year ago: 6 surprising signs you’re actually doing a great job homeschooling

two years ago: The Rory Gilmore reading challenge, Emily Dickinson on Facebook, spoon puppets, Richard III and more feature in this Stuff We Like roundup from July 2015. 

three years ago: 11 reasons we love the summer (2014) issue of home/school/life (our second official issue!)


reading list

My Library Chicken report for this week: Socratic Circles: Fostering Critical and Creative Thinking in Middle and High School (+1, work-related), Habits of Mind Across the Curriculum: Practical and Creative Strategies for Teachers (+1, work-related), Queen Lucia (+0, read on Kindle), Miss Mapp (+0, read on Kindle), The Hearts We Sold (+0, advance copy), Just One Damned Thing After Another (-1, returned unread—I wanted to read this so much [British time travel antics!], but then I made the mistake of reading a review that compared it to Douglas Adams and another that called it a funnier Connie Willis, and I just knew it couldn't live up to that and I needed more space between reading it [which I will eventually because British time travel antics] and reading about it)

Homeschool reading: The Book of Unknown Americans, Art and Physics (with my almost-10th grader); The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardobe, The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, Ick! Yuck! Eew!: Our Gross American History (with my almost-4th grader)

Our current family readaloud: The Dark Is Rising


at home

I am in that place where I am trying to do too much, but everything I am doing is really important, so I have to keep juggling all the balls for a while. If you, too, find yourself in this position, I encourage you to (1.) get better at saying no! and (2.) invest in a bottle of Library of Flowers Forget Me Not bubble bath to make the most of those cobbled-together minutes of down time.

Cookie of the week: Billionaire bars (I could eat all of these by myself, but that might just be the deadline talking. :))

Stuff We Like :: 6.2.17

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

So bummed to be missing the fun at the SEA conference this week, but I am getting to binge Phineas and Ferb with cuddles, so I am making out okay.

around the web

I’m such a deviant: The dangers of reading in bed

I’m avoiding the new Anne of Green Gables (a.k.a. That Series Which Must Not Be Named) by reading all the reasons we should love the 1980s classic version: “I think of Anne every time a strange man on the street tells me to smile. Young women are so often taught to make boys feel comfortable, even when they’re being total assholes, and Anne just . . . doesn’t do that.” Anne Shirley, feminist icon.

And speaking of Netflix television series, it looks like The Dark Crystal is getting the series treatment.


at home/school/life

on the blog: We’re kicking off our 2017 summer reading blog series with what to read next if you loved Swallows and Amazons

one year ago: How we plan to homeschool high school (hey, this actually turned out to be a pretty good plan!)

two years ago: Jackaby is a supernatural Sherlock Holmes—kinda sorta


reading list

Someone who knows me well sent me a copy of Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America's Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, which I devoured this week. If you are a nerdy book person who digs literary name dropping and behind-the-covers scoop on publishing, I can highly recommend this.

I’ve had A Most Magical Girl on my list, but now that it’s won the Readings Children's Book Prize, it’s also on my night table. Hoping this one will be a good readaloud.

With all the talk about “fake news,” I’m looking at putting together a history of journalism class (maybe for Jason’s school, maybe for my rising 10th grader, maybe just for me!). First on my reading list: Mightier Than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History.


at home

At our house, the real start of summer is when the pool opens! This is also the time of year when my children start to get really annoyed with having to answer “We don’t take summer breaks” when people ask them if they are excited about their summer breaks.

I bought new flip flops, and I kind of love them. 

Cookie of the week: almond blueberry cookies

Stuff We Like :: 5.26.15

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

Suzanne and I are working on getting the podcast back into something resembling regular rotation. This has been a busy year!

around the web

Ooh, they are making a TV adaptation of The City and the City, which could be amazing because that book is so wonderfully weird.

I may be the last person to read this lovely piece about the Metropolitan Museum of Art and From the Mixed of Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, but it’s delightful.

This is what shopping is like right now! Ugh.

Oh, and speaking of fashion, this piece on appreciating the physics of fashion was fascinating.

Relevant to my interests: The fierce, forgotten library wars of the ancient world


at home/school/life

on the blog: Two great ways to spend your homeschool budget: Oak Meadow’s spring sale (20% off, guys!) and the SEA Conference (a totally secular homeschool conference)

one year ago: Rebecca’s got the scoop on a hands-on curriculum for studying nature with children

two years ago: What’s so special about homeschooling?


reading list

I totally lost at Library Chicken this week, so I am planning a virtuous weekend of actually reading my library books, starting with Worth a Dozen Men: Women and Nursing in the Civil War South and All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation.

I got to reread East of Eden twice this year (once with my daughter and now again with one of my favorite students — though, who am I kidding, I only teach people I like so they are all my favorites), and it has just cemented my opinion that this book is the Great American Novel. (If you haven’t read it, I’m so jealous because you get to read it for the first time, but also you should put it on your holds list now.)

We took a week off, so we’re easing back into our regular routine with The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True. I’m pretty sure there’s scientific research to support the idea that all summer readalouds are better when you read them at the pool.


at home

I am hooked on the new Twin Peaks. (Which is no surprise to anyone who knew me in high school, when I would camp out in front of the television at parties, hissing at people to keep it down.) It’s so utterly weird, and I love that it’s unpredictable and difficult and resistant to passive viewing—obviously many people do NOT like those qualities in a television show, but I really, really do.

Cookie of the week: lemon sugar cookies (these are lovely!)

Stuff We Like :: 5.5.17

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

You know how some weeks, it's like "Wow, is it Friday already?" and other weeks, it's more like, "Holy cow, I cannot believe we actually made it to Friday." Yeah, this is the latter. :)

around the web

Because food doesn't have to look good on Instagram to taste good.

I am now completely obsessed with the Chicago squirrel class divide.

Relevant to our interests: Death Made Material: The Hair Jewelry of The Brontës (If you’re not yet obsessed with the Brontes, Suzanne can help you get started.)

If you have the time and the emotional space to read this essay, it is worth your time. It’s a really lovely, nuanced account by the mom of a child with a rare chromosomal deletion but also about the things society expects of women and mothers, the challenges and rewards of motherhood, ideas about what it means to be healthy and normal—it’s just a good read, and it made me cry a little but the good crying.

Stephen Fry + The Hitchhiker's Guide + free audiobook!


at home/school/life

on the blog: If you’re interested in my own personal homeschool methods, you can read all about how we put together 3rd grade this year

one year ago: This house is a mess!

two years ago: Living and learning on wilderness time


reading list

Suzanne warned me, but how could I not take a chance on the newest Connie Willis? As usual, she was right: There were some great moments in Crosstalk, but it was overall kind of meh (and the plot holes—ugh!) and just not what I want from a Connie Willis novel. So maybe the moral here is that I should listen to Suzanne?

I finished Seveneves, part of my quest to read more genre books that aren’t Katie Fforde romances. (Though I do have Second Thyme Around going in the upstairs bath.) I loved the idea: The moon explodes, effectively ending life on Earth but leaving just enough time for the planet to secure humanity’s future on the International Space Station. Everyone’s scrambling to science and politic their way to a successful survival of the species, and there are lots of technical and personal challenges that threaten the project. I really enjoyed this part, the apocalyptic part. The second part of the book—set roughly 5,000 years later when the Earth becomes habitable again—was less satisfying, a problem that I often run into with sci-fi stories in general and with Stephenson in particular. There’s this great idea, and it gets set up brilliantly, but then it’s like the author’s not totally sure what to do with said great idea. Overall, it was a fun read.

I also finally read Among Others by Jo Watson, who wrote my favorite dragon comedy of manners. It is not so much a story with a plot as it is a love letter to books (especially science-fiction books), and it was weird (there’s magic—well, kind of, probably anyway) and lonely (the heroine ends up separated from her family at an English boarding school where she really doesn’t fit in) and full of references to so many wonderful books. I’m coming down firmly on the side of being a fan, though I can appreciate that it might not be for everyone.


in the kitchen 

My favorite weekend dinner is a bunch of different appetizers from our Chinese/Thai delivery joint, but when I want to feel particularly virtuous, I add something homemade to the mix, like these salmon and egg wraps.

These baked sweet potatoes are the perfect easy dinner. (I like them with a big spinach salad.)

Cookie of the week: molasses cookies (better with ice cream)


at home

I think no one will be surprised that I CANNOT WAIT to watch Victorian Slum House.

I’ve been knitting a bunch of these to give as holiday presents this year. 

Our outside classes are almost done for summer! I am looking forward to logging some poolside summer reading time in the very near future.

Stuff We Like :: 4.21.17

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

Hello, weekend! 

around the web

People used to call me a grammar vigilante because I’d pull over while driving to complain to someone about a pluralizing apostrophe (what is up with that, though?), but this guy totally puts me to shame.

Who’s up for an HSL field trip?

Why do women’s dystopias seem so prescient right now?

I love this: What famous authors’ most used words say about them


at home/school/life

on the blog: Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday with some of our favorite film adaptations

one year ago: 4 ways to get your homeschool mornings off to a great start

two years ago: Inside Shelli’s project-based homeschool


reading list

I loved The Lost City of Z (which is the kind of twisty, nerdy historical mystery I can’t resist, and which you should definitely read if you’re also into that), so I was excited to pick up David Grann’s new book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.

Continuing my “women writers I’d never heard of” run, I read Rumer Godden’s In This House of Brede, about a successful career woman who retires from the world to join a community of Benedictine nuns just in time to help solve the financial crisis caused by the death of the order’s charismatic Abbess. It's one of those books that you want to go back and read again right away just so that you don’t have to leave the world and people it’s created.

It’s funny to be reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with my son so soon after rereading Huckleberry Finn because I am still full of post-Huck Tom hatred. (Seriously, let’s go drink too much wine and complain about how terrible Tom Sawyer is, can we?) I’m trying to embrace the lighthearted spirit especially because my son is kind of digging it, but I AM NOT A FAN.


in the kitchen

I am in the restocking the freezer phase of cooking right now, and I was happy to discover this recipe that uses leftover brisket because I may have gone a little overboard with the brisket this year.

Nobody else in my family will eat this, but that’s okay because I want it all for myself anyway.

Cookie of the week: glazed lemon cookies


at home

I am a sucker for time travel and Victoriana, so obviously it was only a matter of time before I watched Time After Time. (If it sounds familiar, it’s because the television series is based on the 1979 movie and has the same premise: Jack the Ripper steals H.G. Wells’ time machine and travels to the present day; Wells follows him to bring him back to face justice for his crimes.) It’s just OK, but it’s fun enough for those collapsed-on-the-couch evenings.

Am I being totally superficial if I say that I have finally found my perfect everyday lipstick?

I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but everything always feels so hectic! I’m looking forward to the winding-down phase of all our school-year activities and the slower-paced summer school days. Though I am not looking forward to the crowds at the library!

Stuff We Like :: 4.14.17

You can tell that I’ve just wrapped up an issue because I’m suddenly very chatty! Pretend we're drinking wine instead of coffee.

around the web

I can’t decide whether I should be secretly proud or secretly embarrassed that I have read more than half of the most ridiculous Sweet Valley High plotlines. (That punch-spiking/drunk driving/evil twin drama, though!)

The internet has done many wonderful things, but perpetuating wrongly attributed quotes is definitely not one of them. (I do love the story about how Anne Rice accidentally attributed one of her own quotes to Kafka. I thank the internet for that.)

And since we’re talking about the internet, “what fresh hell” has become the jargon of our lives—which may actually be a coping mechanism. (This totally makes sense to me. And am I the only one who feels like she has to check the news just-really-quickly before bed just because if there is really bad news I don’t feel like I can deal with it emotionally before I have coffee? Even though I also probably really can’t deal with it right before I go to sleep. So it’s just basically touring myself.)

I mean, if you can resist the title, I don’t know if we can be friends: Toni Morrison is more Hemingway than Hemingway Himself


at home/school/life

for subscribers: A few brave souls have ventured into our new forum. You can join us by requesting your invite on the subscribers only page.

on the blog: File under not even a little a bit surprising: Wearing pajamas all day is the MOST HOMESCHOOLERY THING EVER. (The voting was really fun, though—thanks for playing!)

one year ago: Oh, I loved The Goblin’s Puzzle. Maybe I can convince my son to read it again.

two years ago: Resources for young entrepreneurs


reading list

My daughter and I are taking a brain break this week and not really doing any work, but we are having so much fun reading the first pages of books and analyzing them a la How to Read Novels Like a Professor. (If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s a fun read—he theorizes that you can tell most of what you need to know about a book from the first page, which you may or may not agree with but which is a fun way to spend a sunny front porch kind of afternoon.)

My best friend lent me a copy of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race—it’s ultimately destined for Jason’s school library, but I get to read it first. (The perks of being a volunteer librarian!) I feel like racism is one of those things that I always thought “oh, yeah, that’s bad” about without ever really digging into the reality or how culturally pervasive it is—which is ironic, kind of, because I get so annoyed when people do that with women’s issues. Now I’m reading everything I can get my hands on and trying to help my kids navigate the world in a way that’s respectful and inclusive and aware.

I have recently discovered Barbara Comyns in my never-ending quest to find women writers I’d never heard of (see also Isabel Colegate, Mariama Bâ). I started with The Vet’s Daughter, which is like—what? Sort of suburban Gothic/British Flannery O’Connor with magical realism woven through it? I feel like that comes close but doesn’t really do it justice. 


in the kitchen

Jas and I went out to brunch with the kids to celebrate our anniversary, and I had these amazing lemon-blueberry-goat cheese pancakes that I want to recreate at home. (Maybe I’ll start with this recipe.)

We have been experimenting with matzoh toast. So far, scrambled eggs have been the only universal hit, but I really like the avocado toast version, and my daughter is a fan of peanut butter and banana with just a little chocolate-hazelnut spread.

Cookie of the week: Passover chocolate chip cookies


at home

My daughter and I have had so much fun with our Studio Ghibli movie/book combo class that I’m toying with the idea of writing a comparative literature high school curriculum along those lines. You know, because I have so much free time. (Or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to give up laundry forever? Though I have kind of fallen hard for this honeysuckle laundry soap. Does having a favorite laundry product make you a real grown-up?)

Having a dog is possibly the greatest thing ever. While I write this, my son is reading Encyclopedia Brown aloud to the dog and pausing at the end of each story just in case the dog decides he wants to solve it before he hears the solution. 

My district happens to be one with a spring election, and it felt so good to (early) vote after everything that’s happened in the past few months. 

Stuff We Like :: 4.7.17

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

I think everybody knows that the thing I like best is having the spring issue out! (It may not be available to download yet when you read this, but it will be available today.)

around the web

I would totally watch a remake of Mannequin with James Corden and Victoria Beckham—wouldn’t you?

Where are the people of color in the middle ages?

This is one of the most interesting pieces of long-form journalism I’ve read in ages. If you have a while, it's definitely worth reading.


at home/school/life

in the magazine: Did we mention the spring issue is out?

one year ago: The Pleasures of Spring Homeschooling

two years ago: Sorting through Subjects in an Everything-is-Connected Manner of Homeschooling


reading list

I finished A Tangle of Gold—and with it the Colors of Madeleine series—and I seriously think you should make this your 2017 Vacation Reading Series. It was very satisfying.

I am going to be reviewing A Face Like Glass and The Star Thief soon for the blog because they were both totally review-worthy.

We are reading The Lives of Christopher Chant for our family readaloud right now and enjoying it thoroughly.


at home

We got a dog! The kids named him Oscar Wilde von Pupper (apparently that The Importance of Being Earnest readaloud was a hit after all), and we’re all totally in love with him.

Cookie of the week: Snickerdoodles

We’ve all been putting so much time and energy into Jason’s school, so it’s really exciting that he pretty much has a full class for fall. Yay, Jas!

Stuff We Like :: 3.23.17

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

It’s spring—which probably means it’s going to snow now? I’m so confused about the weather.

around the web

I’m in love with this: Muggle artifacts on display

In praise of literature’s bossy big sisters

Great read: When picture books get political

I will never hire children living in a boxcar to solve a mystery again


at home/school/life

on the blog: I love this community education project Carrie’s community has created

in homeschool madness: Tune in this weekend for THE FINAL TWO. 

one year ago: Three bookish biographies for Women’s History Month

two years ago: Flashback to Shelli’s 2nd grade and preschool


reading list

My daughter and I are reading Letters of a Woman Homesteader out loud together and enjoying every minute. My son and I tried to read Wildwood together, but he hated it so much we switched to Witch Week.

One of the things I love the fact that Jason is starting a school is that I have an excuse to test-drive books for classes. I am not sure if his students are going to end up with copies of Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour in the fall, but I am sure that’s what my daughter and I are going to use as the spine for astronomy next year.

I picked up a copy of Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue when it was cheap for the Kindle (I try to mention these things on our Kindle Deals page), so of course I had to interrupt all my reading lists so that I could immediately read it again.


at home

I did almost no cooking this week, so the kitchen doesn’t deserve its own section, but don’t worry, I kept my priorities straight. We’ve got a cookie of the week: John Legend's Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’m working hard on wrapping up the spring issue, so it’s all chaos and copyediting this week. It’s coming together, though!

Stuff We Like :: 3.17.17

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

Happy weekend!

around the web

If you have had a tough week, you need Friar Moustache.

And another story to make you feel better about the world: This college student is writing women back into the history of science, one Wikipedia entry at a time

Now this is an Instagram I could get behind.


at home/school/life

on the blog: Homeschool Madness is getting real, y’all! Round 3 starts this afternoon. Help us narrow the FINAL FOUR down to the FINAL TWO.

one year ago: The Music Gap that Filled Itself

two years ago: So What If All They Do Is Play Video Games?


reading list

OK, so I read a lot of books. I like a lot of books. But wow, The Hate U Give completely blew me away. It’s not an easy book to read—it’s about the shooting of a young black man by a police officer and the effect it has on a neighborhood and one girl in particular. But it is un-put-down-able. I passed this one on to my teenager immediately. I also bought another copy for my best friend.

I doubt that anyone will be surprised that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries. If you are similarly obsessed with similarly obsessive books about words, this one doesn’t disappoint. 

My son and I are reading Ottoline and the Purple Fox. I love Ottoline for many reasons (Mr. Munroe! Those illustrations! The postcards!), but maybe the biggest reason is that my son sometimes takes one of these books off the shelf and says, “Can we read this one again?”


in the kitchen

I finally had to replace my beloved hand-held can opener. (One can of chickpeas too many, I guess!) I don’t even know how old it was, but it was my grandmother’s before it was mine, and it had a long, proud life. I got a slightly updated version of the same one so I can keep making those endless pans of roasted chickpeas.

Cookie of the week: Olive oil sugar cookies with blood orange glaze (these were ridiculously good)


at home

We’ve been having lots of open houses and Q&A nights for Jason’s school the last few weeks, and it looks like we’re set to have a full class for fall. So yay! But it’s definitely been busy and exhausting, and I will be glad to hole up with the spring issue alone for a few weeks to recharge.

The weather is so crazy—last week, it felt like summer was on the way, and we spent every possible minute outside. This week, it’s been so cold we lit a fire. In both places, we’ve been playing lots of Adventure Time Munchkin. (They always let me be BMO. That’s love.)

Stuff We Like :: 3.10.17

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

Happy Friday! We're looking forward to getting all dressed up for Purim this weekend—what's on your to-do list?

around the web

Great tips for talking to your librarian about getting more diverse books on the shelves at your local library.

How to write great protest signs

No, but seriously, I think the best compliment I ever got was when someone told me I reminded him of Daria.

Relevant to my interests: Neil Gaiman talks about Norse mythology


at home/school/life

on the blog: Voting for Round Two of HOMESCHOOL MADNESS opens this afternoon!

on Facebook: My annual dithering about starting an HSL forum—what’s your opinion?

one year ago: Rebecca reviews the Art of Problem Solving’s Beast Academy. (She was so convincing, we ended up using it in our homeschool!)

two years ago: Shelli rounded up some practical, real-life tips for making a little room for me-time in your homeschool life


reading list

I’m finally getting around to reading Susan Wise Bauer’s The History of the Ancient World, and I am happy to report that it has a much more reasonable number of exclamation points than Story of the World. (I know it's not for everyone, but I love Story of the World, used it with both my kids, and recommend it all the time, but it definitely does that thing where when you want to sound casual and chatty, you add more exclamation points. I do this in email all the time, so no judgment!) I think it’s a solid history, anchored around pivotal people and moments, which to me are the most interesting parts of history.

I took Suzanne’s advice and started The Colors of Madeleine series, and I just finished the first book A Corner of White. On to The Cracks in the Kingdom!

I’ve heard so many good things about Exit West that I picked up a copy even though I cannot justify adding another book to my To Read pile if I ever want to use my nightstand for anything else.

I’m helping one of my old students catch up on American literature this spring, so that means I get to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn again. My daughter is reading a collection of Mark Twain essays, so this is one of those lovely (and rare) moments when I get to feel like I’ve totally got my homeschooling act together.


in the kitchen

Dinner: Changing the Game is my new cookbook obsession. (I could eat the escarole salad with runny egg and crispy, spicy chickpeas for every meal right now.)

These black bean and brown rice cakes are the latest in our hunt for the perfect veggie burger. (I really liked them, but the rest of the family was kind of meh.)

Cookie of the Week: compost cookies


at home

I’m sort of obsessed with the Walden computer game. (You can still get in on the Early Access Alpha phase!)

Obviously I am celebrating Buffy’s 20th anniversary today by binge watching my favorite season, wearing my favorite fangirl t-shirt, and following the AV Club’s celebratory Buffy coverage.

I get to buy books for Jason’s new school’s library, and it is the BEST JOB EVER.

Stuff We Like :: 2.17.17

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

Are you going to the SEA homeschool conference this spring? Suzanne and I will be there from June 1-4 giving away copies of HSL and feeling socially awkward, so please stop by and say hi if you’re there!

around the web

Just when the weight of the world feels like too much to bear, someone makes a list of book-ice cream pairings, and you know you’ll make it through.

I really love these alternative approaches to high school math.

I have so many feelings about the new James Baldwin documentary, but the main one is that everyone should go and see it.

Ursula Le Guin on "alternative facts" versus science fiction


at home/school/life

on the blog: A big woo-hoo to Shelli who wrapped up her year-long citizen science project with this week’s post. And Oak Meadow's winter sale is going on through the 28th!

one year ago: Rebecca reviews a curriculum for young philosophers

two years ago: Why boredom is an important part of learning

three years ago: Simple strategies to turn around a bad homeschool day


reading list

I’m rereading Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency so that I can watch the new television series, and I’d forgotten what a pleasure it is to make fun of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

I love when you think you’ve read everything by an author and then discover that nope, in fact, you are wrong, and there is another book. So I was delighted to discover Mischievous Meg by Astrid Lindgren, and we’ve been enjoying it as a readaloud.

My 9-year-old is reading The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. My daughter is being horrified by The Jungle for U.S. History and reading Fangirl for fun.


in the kitchen

Now that we’ve actually gotten back to some semblance of routine after the Tragic Ankle Breaks of 2015, I’m finding my way back to the kitchen on a regular basis. My kids mock me relentlessly, though, because I always fail Taco Tuesday—I plan tacos for Tuesday every week but something always goes sideways and we end up having them a different night. We did not have them on Tuesday, but these beef picadillo puffy tacos were much enjoyed anyway.

It’s definitely still comfort food season, and this wild rice-mushroom soup hits the spot.

Cookie of the week: Salty oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies


at home

I’m having trouble finding balance between staying informed and active politically (which feels important to do right now) and staying sane and available to my everyday cooking-dinner, reading-books-together, doing-the-laundry (who am I kidding? I would take any excuse to skip the laundry) life. Political happenings are like chicken pox—I’m just constantly aware of them in an uncomfortable kind of way, so much so that the rest of my life suffers, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. And yet, how can I not pay attention every minute? How are you guys handling this? Is this just the new normal?

I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ The West while I knit at my Heaven and Space. (I love patterns like this that are almost-but-not-quite brainless, and really, who can ever have enough scarves?)