doctor who

Stuff We Like :: 4.29.16

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

Happy birthday today to my mom, who always bought me all the books I wanted from the Scholastic order form!

around the web

I have always suspected this: Speed reading is really just a fancy term for skimming

I will always love A Little Princess, but this critique of Sara’s wealth morality is pretty spot-on.

Just for fun: If we wrote about men’s athletic wear the way we write about women’s fashion

Being busy and distracted is actually retro. Like 1700s retro.

The brief, glorious life of Boaty McBoatface


at home | school | life

on Have you downloaded our Homeschool Recharge workbook yet? It’s free for everyone through the end of May (and always free for subscribers)

on the blog: I have been living vicariously through Shelli’s Citizen Science posts, but this one is so easy, I have no excuse not to try it!

also on the blog: I'm really excited about our new bloggers, who you'll get to meet next month!

in the classroom: Registration for our summer classes starts on Sunday!

on Facebook: Weigh in on what you’d like to see more (or less) of on the home | school | life blog.


reading list

I’m trying to get back into the routine of doing a new book review for the blog every Saturday—which means I finally got around to reviewing The Goblin’s Puzzle, which we really loved.

On my night table: Inventions of the March Hare, Loquela (so weird and challenging, but I kind of love it)

On my 8th grader’s night table: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, thanks to Suzanne’s spring column. (We ordered ours from Abe Books, but it looks like there’s U.S. edition coming our way this fall.)

On my 3rd grader’s night table: A giant collection of Pokemon cards. (But he’s been reading his sister’s old Amanda Pig books when no one is looking. Honestly, I have no idea how to classify his reading level at this point, so I’m just going to eat some chocolate and try not to think about it.)

Next up in our readaloud queue: Holes


at home

watching: Doctor Who, now that it’s finally returned to streaming on Amazon Prime

knitting: Nothing! I can’t decide what to knit next

planning: Our first Homeschool 101 online workshop with the fabulous Suzanne and figuring out how to set up a private chat group for the participants

eating: Every artichoke I can get my greedy little hands on

listening: Prince, Prince Prince

Stuff We Like :: 2.19.16

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 winter is probably one of my favorite times to be a homeschooler. By February, we’ve hit our groove, we’ve usually got a few awesome projects going, and it’s still cold enough so that cuddling on the couch is a featured morning activity.

around the web

It’s like Patricia is living inside my brain with this post about her son’s professed disinterest in reading. (This is one of those times where just knowing that I am not alone helps SO MUCH.)

Wait, scientists printed a human ear?

Another you-read-my-mind post: What’s up with sites creating situations where kids have to lie about their age?

The history of the world, in puns.

The In Search of Lost Time graphic novel is at the very top of my I-want-this list, y’all.


at home/school/life

in the magazine: We’re working on a piece about experiences every homeschool family should have. What’s on your homeschool bucket list?

on the blog: Rebecca discovers a groovy curriculum for deep thinkers.

in the archives: When I need a little jolt of inspiration, I find myself turning back to Tracy’s post on the three words every homeschool parent should know.


reading list

I love starting a new readaloud, and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library has all the makings of a new favorite.

I may have preordered the Doctor Who coloring book.

I will read anything about the Tudors, but even if you don't share my obsession, I can wholeheartedly recommend The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas, Alison Weir’s new biography of one of family’s lesser-known members.


at home

Pretty much all we talk about at dinner these days is Undertale. (Are your kids obsessed, too?)

Jason and I are on the last season of Smallville. I am all over the place about this show—I am glad we watched it because some of it has been really interesting (and I really love Ollie and Lois), but it is so uneven.

We are finally easing back into meal planning (after months of kitchen exile), and I love getting to make actual food again. (The bolognese from Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year is my favorite cooking project so far, no question!)


homeschooling highlights

We’ve started watching an episode of Good Eats together most afternoons (a lot of episodes are free on Netflix now), and it’s become one of the most fun parts of our day. I love all the random information that sends us off on tangents together.

My friend’s daughter had so much fun in this Expressive Picture Book Characters Craftsy drawing class that I signed my daughter up, too.

We have been gearing up for Leap Day with some of these activities. The calendar math puzzling has been a surprise hit. Are you doing anything special for Leap Day?

Stuff We Like :: 2.12.16

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

After a couple of fun but way-too-busy weekends, I am looking forward to a completely lazy couple of days off this weekend. I'm enjoying getting (literally) back on my feet, but I need a recharge.

around the web

Obviously I am going to get excited if J.K. Rowling decides to reveal details about other wizarding world schools. (I’m sure my letter just got lost in the owl post.)

Now I really want a custom library tailored to my own weirdly specific interests, don’t you?

I can never get enough of weird Edgar Allan Poe theories.(This time: time-traveling!) 

This reimagining of the Doctors Who as American actresses of the same time isn’t new, but it’s new to me—and it’s awesome. (And now I want a Tina Fey Doctor SO BAD.)


at home/school/life

in the magazine: We’re so excited about our fall class line-up! (And we’re taking class proposals.)

on the blog: Everything you need to prepare for the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend.

on pinterest: I’d love to recreate this adorable fox sweater for my daughter.


reading list

Like practically everyone else in the reading world, I couldn’t resist picking up Frances Hardinge’s The Lie Tree, a story about a 19th century English girl who gets caught up in the era’s intellectual battle between evolutionary theory and traditional faith when she sets out to solve the murder of her priest/amateur archaeologist father. I had some nits to pick, particularly with the resolution, but this one’s totally worth reading.

I am completely obsessed with Plotted: A Literary Atlas. Get on the list for it at your library now if you haven't already—it’s gorgeous!

My son and I have been reading Sees Behind Trees as part of our Native American study, and it’s one of the first books that he’s gotten completely caught up in. I love that he wants “one more chapter” every time.

I have a strange love of housekeeping books (strange because I do not have a love for actual housekeeping), and Erica Strauss’s The Hands-On Home: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking, Preserving & Natural Homekeeping is my new favorite. (My old favorite is the great Home Comforts, in case you wondered.)


at home

My daughter is so inspired by these anime-ed Harry Potter characters that she’s been anime-ing versions of all her favorite literary characters, from Daphne Grimm to Heidi. (They are pretty adorable, though, aren’t they?)

I’ve been recycling some of our old art projects into notepads with the good scissors and some padding compound, and I’m kind of addicted. I think I’m going to make my daughter’s lab sheets into a pad so that she can just tear them off, and I’ve already turned my weekly menu-planning printouts into a pad, too.(If you haven't used padding compound, which is basically the glue that sticks pages together to form a pad, you should try it—it is one of the easiest ways I know to feel productive and industrious without having to be productive or industrious.)

Now that I can hobble around, I am looking forward to (finally) seeing the Iris van Herpen exhibition at our local art museum.

Monday Pep Talk No. 20

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

Can you believe we've been doing Monday pep talks for 20 weeks? Putting them together has been such fun because it really gets me energized for the week ahead (not to mention filling in some gaps in our weekly menus). I hope you guys are getting fun ideas from them, too.  

3 fun things to do this week

Monday is Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day, and while the idea of dressing anachronistically, asking strangers for the year, and reacting dramatically actually sounds pretty fun, a time travel movie marathon is an equally legitimate way to celebrate. We recommend Time Bandits, Groundhog Day, and Back to the Future—though you could certainly make an argument for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure or Midnight in Paris, too. (Or you could just watch Doctor Who all day.)

Celebrate Gingerbread Decorating Day (Dec. 12) by making your own gingerbread creations. (A basic house is all I can manage, but if you are crafty, you could make gingerbread Daleks or a gingerbread hobbit house this year.)

Grow your own crystal Christmas tree with salt and ammonia.


3 ideas for this week’s dinners

Slow-roasted onions take the eye-stinging out of Nigel Slater’s easy onion soup recipe but still deliver classic French onion soup flavor.

Get in the Hanukkah spirit with root vegetable latkes—which are delicious whether you are lighting a menorah or not. (Serve them with sour cream, applesauce, or—my daughter’s fave—tomato jam.)

This dijon and cognac beef stew makes a decadent weeknight dinner, especially if you serve it over a pile of horseradish-spiked mashed potatoes.


one great readaloud

By Michelle Houts

When Bettina’s family forgets the Christmas pudding for their nisse—the tiny spirit that protects their farm—trouble ensues in the charming Winterfrost, which is full of details about Danish Christmases.


one thought to ponder


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

two-ingredient Nutella brownies

Stuff We Like :: 10.23.15

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

We are busy working on Halloween costumes and top-secret birthday presents here at Casa Sharony. We may also have planned our entire Thanksgiving menu last weekend. I love fall.

around the web

I am not a theme park person, but I would make an exception for a nature-centric theme park created by Hayao Miyazaki. Wouldn’t you?

I thought I was a big Little House fan, but these scientists may have me beat. I love when different disciplines come together like this.

David Bowie paper dolls. No comment needed.


at home/school/life

in the magazine: Our subscription cost is going up at the end of October, so renew your subscription before then if you like the $15 price tag.

on the blog: In the spirit of Halloween reading, we hooked a reader up with some of our favorite scary books.

on pinterest: I want to make some of these super-cute leaf creatures with the kids.


reading list

We were late on the Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures craze, but my son is now completely obsessed. It’s a really fun readaloud.

I read a lot of books that don’t always end up in the magazine.A few books that I read and liked but don’t have immediate plans to review: Every Last Word, about a secret high school poetry club and a girl struggling with mental health problems; The Peddler’s Road, a Pied Piper story that I really enjoyed until it did that thing where it ends on a dramatic cliffhanger for no good reason; and The Rise and Rise of Tabitha Baird, which was fluffy, fun, and British.

Jason is reading The Name of the Wind and really digging it. I have a hard time getting into fantasy books, but it sounds like this one is worth checking out if you enjoy them.


at home

I’m pretending that it’s for the class I’m going to be teaching this winter, but I’m really just binge-watching Doctor Who because I can.

I started a Saroyan to knit while I’m hanging in the waiting room at physical therapy. I love the little leaves along the edge—I’m using red yarn, so it’s like knitting autumn.

I am weirdly obsessed with learning to play mah jongg. Does anybody play? I love bridge, and we inherited a gorgeous mah jongg set from my mother-in-law … but it may just be the non-weight-bearing talking.