dirk gently's holistic detective agency

Stuff We Like :: 8.4.17

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

This is the time of year when I feel a little sorry for all the kids in our neighborhood going back to school but also I can’t wait to have the library to ourselves again!


around the web

I am obsessed with my disposable fountain pens, but Jas swears by the humble stick pen.

It’s like The Toast knew just what I needed.

Relevant to our interests: Hayao Miyazaki’s favorite children’s books


at home/school/life

on the blog: We published a review of a science curriculum that wasn’t actually secular, and we’re sorry

in the magazine: The good news: We’ve finally got a print edition! The bad news: It’s pretty pricey. (Maybe someone will buy it for you for the holidays if you start dropping hints, though?)

one year ago: Our favorite school supplies

two years ago: What to read next if you loved The Phantom Tollbooth

three years ago: Mindful Homeschool: Find Peace in Your Home


reading list 

This week in Library Chicken: A Circle of Quiet (+1, lovely whenever I need to feel that the world is a better place and I can be a better person in it); Labyrinths (+0, because it was on sale for the Kindle, and you can’t buy Borges and not read him immediately); The Hazel Wood (+0, advanced copy, and it was so weird because I don’t think it was a good book but it was so creepy that I couldn’t fall asleep until I finished it so maybe it actually was good? I will have to think further on this.); Dust Tracks on a Road (+1, and if you are a Zora Neale Hurston fan, you should definitely read this, and if you are not a Zora Neale Hurston fan, you may become one if you read this); Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin (+1, work-related); Howl and Other Poems (+1, work-related); People of the Book (+1, didn’t love it but it was still pretty good, and I was happy to cross it off my TBR list finally); The Library at Night (+1)


at home

We’ve been doing our homeschool planning meetings this week, and I think we’re all set to tackle 4th grade and 10th grade. I am especially excited about our NOT WHITE MEN world history year, which both my kids will be tackling in different ways. Putting together a plan for this was a little challenging, but I am so happy with what we came up with for both tracks. (If everything works as planned, maybe I’ll publish them here next summer.)

I finally got around to watching Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and while it is nothing like either of the Dirk Gently books, it is silly and fun and interesting. And it entertained me while I finished the knitting parts of my Tiny Tea Leaves and matching headband, so onto the Tiny Shoes!

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?)