david attenborough

Monday Pep Talk No. 26

home|school|life magazine's Monday Pep Talk has lots of fun ideas for planning your homeschool week.

3 fun things to do this week

There is absolutely no better way to celebrate Curling Is Cool Day (on Tuesday) than by listening to the great David Attenborough narrate a curling match, documentary-style. (Seriously, though, why do we not have David Attenborough narrating all sporting events?)

There are lots of activities and reading ideas to choose from in Scholastic’s Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales workshop, which means there are lots of fun options for celebrating Tell a Fairy Tale Day on Friday.

Put your kitchen science skills to work making a batch of homemade yogurt together.


3 ideas for this week’s dinners

Put a twist on the breakfast-for-dinner standby by serving huevos rancheros. 

Nothing’s better than slow-cooker versions of family favorites, like this butter chicken. Serve with a big bowl of basmati rice.

Comfort food at its best: sweet potatoes with porcini gravy. (Bonus: Monday is Cook a Sweet Potato Day, so you’ve got that covered.)


one great readaloud

Sometimes in the middle of winter, you just want a readaloud that will make everyone laugh out loud. Put The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher on your library list, and you won’t be disappointed.


one thought to ponder

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”
—Jessica Hische


in case of emergency {because sometimes you need something stronger than inspiration}

spiked coffee milkshakes

Unit Study Inspiration: Birds

Love this roundup of books and resources for the Great Backyard Bird Hunt (in Feb.). This could be a stand-alone homeschool unit study on birds, too.

The Great Backyard Bird Count starts on Friday. Gear up to flex your citizen scientist muscle with these birding resources.

Read This

By Carl Hiaasen

The Burgess Bird Book For Children by Thornton W. Burgess introduces kids to birds through Peter Rabbit stories, making it as fun to read as it is informative.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, tells the story of a boy’s efforts to save the habitat of a family of burrowing owls from an encroaching pancake restaurant.

Bright Wings, edited by Billy Collins, is a collection of poetry about birds.


Birds, Nests, and Eggs by Mel Boring, is just the thing for beginning birders. The book covers fifteen common birds, including their appearance, nesting habits, and ideas for bird-themed nature activities.

The Complete Birder: A Guide to Better Birding by Jack Connor is the perfect next step when you’ve mastered the basics of birding and want to sharpen your skills.


Watch This

Winged Migration
Starring Philippe Labro, Jacques Perrin

The Life of Birds, from the BBC collection and narrated by David Attenborough, is a seven-part documentary just packed with avian information.

Winged Migration uses fabulous cinematography to capture birds in flight.


Do This

Dissect an owl pellet. If you’re not up for the real thing, use the KidWings Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection.

Play birdsong bingo. Practice identifying bird sounds by playing a bingo style identification game with a birdsong CD. (We like Know Your Bird Sounds, Volume 1: Yard, Garden, and City Birds andKnow Your Bird Sounds, Volume 2: Birds of the Countryside.)

Audubon’s Birds of America Coloring Book, part of the excellent Dover coloring book series, lets your student birders put their observation skills to the test coloring in copies of Audubon’s bird illustrations.


This article was originally published in the spring 2015 issue of home/school/life.