homemade pantry

Stuff We Like :: 8.5.16

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

around the web

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Roald Dahl’s contributions to the world of food.

Finally, a fashion “get the look” I can get behind.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve been running around gloating about passing The Strand’s new hire book test, but some of the people I live with might. (You should take it, too!)

Maybe it is all the Hamilton, but this article about the secret language of colonial handwriting was fascinating.

 And speaking of history, this was kind of depressing.

This article about the Olympics Refugee Team made me want to cry, hug my children, and cheer these guys on. (I would love to see them earn a medal.)

 

at home | school | life

on the website: So I always want to share good book deals when I see them, but I also stress about cluttering up people’s feeds with stuff they don’t want to see. I finally bit the bullet and set up a page on the website where we can highlight notable books on sale. (Don’t worry — this isn’t one of those crazy every-book-that’s-cheap lists — we’re only listing books we genuinely recommend for your reading list. And if you’re not interested in book sales, you never have to see it!) 

on the blog: Sometimes you just want to look at pretty school supplies and imagine how they could make your homeschool so shiny and organized.

in the classroom: Registration for fall classes is open!

on the podcast: I brag a little about getting my AP U.S. History syllabus approved this week, but it was all very exciting.

in the magazine: We’re starting the (months-long!) process of collecting data to update our Best Cities for Homeschool Families, and we’d love to hear from other homeschoolers about their favorite places to homeschool.

 

reading list

on my night table: All the Birds in the Sky (our next podcast read pick), The Memoirs of Aaron Burr (resistance was futile), Don’t Tell the Grown-Ups: The Subversive Power of Children’s Literature, The House of the Seven Gables

on my 14-year-old’s night table: A Separate Peace (I encouraged her to pick this one up, but she’s really not digging it), The House on Mango Street, The Princess Bride

on my 8-year-old’s night table: Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School, The Complete Brambly Hedge

together: The Blood of Olympus (we have successfully binged this whole series over the summer), The BFG

 

at home

watching: Like everyone else in the world, we binged Stranger Things. #bringbackbarb

eating: I made a giant batch of blueberry jam to give as favors at my sis-in-law’s baby shower.

knitting: My daughter and I have teamed up on a project: I’m knitting the Snug as a Bug sleep sack, and she’s making a matching pea shoot hat to make a sweet pea baby sleep set.

listening: Invisibilia


Stuff We Like :: 4.22.16

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

We will be making matzo balls all afternoon so that we have matzo ball soup all weekend long. I hope your weekend plans are equally delicious! (A little housekeeping note: Apparently, not everybody's RSS feed is working since we updated the site, so you may have to resubscribe to keep getting updates. I'm sorry about that!)

around the web

More reasons to make time for art in your homeschool: What children’s drawings can teach us about history

I am late to the party, but if you haven’t seen Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emma Watson sort the cast of Hamilton into their proper Hogwarts houses, you should.

Obviously this ranking of every meal in Jane Eyre in order of severity is the perfect accompaniment to our Charlotte Bronte reading list in the spring issue

You don’t have to read everything by an author—and maybe sometimes you shouldn’t

 

at home | school | life

on the blog: Have you been following the updates on our online classes? I want to take them all!

in the archives: These planning tips are definitely inspiring me as I freak out about homeschooling high school. (We start 9th grade this fall!)

on instagram: Love this quote!

 

reading list

With high school planning at the top of my to-do list, I unearthed my old copy of An Incomplete Education, which I used as the basis for a year-long independent study for myself in 10th grade. Reading it again, I’m kind of amazed by how much it shaped my post-high school intellectual pursuits.

What is up with Malorie Blackman’s books not getting U.S. releases? I had to order my copy of Chasing the Stars from Book Depository, but for a gender-swapped version of Othello set in space and written by the author of the Naughts and Crosses series, I will wait. Impatiently.

So I finally read Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s letter to his son about, essentially, the experience of being a black man in the United States today. It is as good as everyone says it is. It is also uncomfortable—uncomfortable to read, uncomfortable to talk about, uncomfortable to write about. (I’ve been adding it to and taking it off this list for weeks now.) I think you should probably read it, too.

 

at home

We’re having a pretty chill Passover this year, but I’m pretty excited to make these matzo fritters. 

Time for the annual spring kitchen dishcloth update! I use this Mason Dixon pattern and whatever random leftover cotton yarn I have lying around. 

We made a batch of these candied citrus rinds to use up some leftover grapefruit, and now I just want MORE MORE MORE.


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


Stuff We Like :: 8.28.15

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

As summer winds down, I’m finding myself walking the line between doing more research, getting organized, and making plans for the year, while also enjoying the last of what summer has to offer – movie nights, peaches, and hours-long board games with the family.

around the web

Homeschooling has changed a lot since we started 18 years ago. This article from Time does a great job of highlighting the modern homeschooling movement and how it has evolved over the years. (And I always like reading about homeschooling!)

I’ve been following Amanda Blake Soule’s wonderful blog, SouleMama, for over five years (her books are great too!). Reading her blog is like finding a little corner of peace and sunshine on the sometimes not-too-peaceful World Wide Web.

I love the whimsical artwork and gentle poetry of life-long learner and radical unschooler, Jacob Oh. And I think it’s awesome that he’s found a way to interact and share his work with fans, while supporting his passion.

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: I really like this Q&A post from Amy about creating volunteer opportunities for our kids. It got me thinking about ways I can give back to the community with my six year old, which has led us to start an ongoing service project to benefit our local Food Pantry.

on the blog: I just discovered Suzanne’s blog post, Organizing Your Reading Lists, from July. I don’t know how I missed it when it came out! But I’m glad I found it now. I’m excited to start a book journal for myself and for my 1st grader as well. 

 

in the kitchen

I made this peach cobbler for my son’s 18th birthday because it’s his favorite dessert, and we’re lucky that his birthday comes in August when our local peaches are still available at the market. As always, it came out lovely and delicious.

My very favorite thing to do with fresh peaches is make peach butter. This recipe comes pretty close to the one I came up with and only requires three ingredients: fresh peaches, sugar, and water. Though I also add a pinch of salt to it while cooking. Yum!

 

at home

We’ve watched a lot of movies together this summer, and we’re wrapping up our movie-fest by revisiting some of my childhood favorites with our six year old. The latest? Escape to Witch Mountain followed by The Love Bug. Thanks, Amazon Instant Video!

Our teen doesn’t watch a lot of movies with us, but he’s totally into board games. Our current favorite is Twilight Struggle, a two-person, cold war era game. It’s a little pricey on Amazon, but we found it at our local comics and gaming shop for about half the price. (Don’t be put off by the confusing instructions! Once you start playing, it all makes sense, and provides hours of historically dramatic fun.)

 

books

My youngest and I have really liked reading the Imaginary Veterinary series by Suzanne Selfors and Dan Santat together. So far we’ve finished the first four and will be started book 5 soon.

I can’t recommend Paradise in Plain Sight by Karen Maezen Miller enough. I have dog-eared almost the entire book with pages that I want to go back and read again and again. I also loved her other books, Momma Zen and Hand Wash Cold, but Paradise has really struck a nerve with me.


Stuff We Like :: 8.14.15

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 squeezing the heck out of these last few blissful weeks of summer. I'm glad that we take it easy in August because my soul just isn't ready to let go of summer yet.  

around the web

It’s a rare event, but news of the dystopian television adaptation of Little Women has left me speechless.

Apparently “on fleek” is nothing new: Teenage girls have been key figures in language evolution since at least the 1500s.

How does poetry matter in a world of insta-information?

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: Egg & Spoon is a delightful fairy tale for middle grades (and language lovers of all ages)

on pinterest: We’ve started our Nerdy Halloween Costumes board. (Apparently, I can't handle the prospect of autumn, but I'm cool with early Halloween planning.)

from the archives: I love this post from Shelli about how we have more time than we think we do in our homeschool lives

 

reading list

If Felicia Day writes a book and I don’t read it, does the world still exist? Luckily, we don’t have to find out because I did, in fact read it. (It was charming, as you’d expect.)

I’m finally reading The Doomsday Book — one of Connie Wilkes’ time-travel historian tales — and I am just loving it. (Have you read these? The premise is that future-day Oxford historians time-travel to their period of specialization, which sounds cool all by itself, but the books are smart and funny to boot.)

My daughter read Remarkable, about an ordinary girl living in a town of extraordinary people, and thought it was terrific. My son is falling in love with the Clementine books.

 

in the kitchen

I want to make spiced nectarine jam, but we keep eating all the nectarines. It’s a problem.

On hot nights, I am sometimes just plain not inspired to cook anything, so we have a cheese plate and a big vegetable salad and call it dinner.

These cookies from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook are a crazy combination (cornflakes! marshmallow! chocolate chip!) that totally works.

 

at home

We’re officially old — Jason and I are going to the wedding of one of his students this weekend. (I have this super-adorable hat to wear, but I always chicken out and go hatless at the last minute. Do you do that, too?)

I feel like way too many of our dinner conversations this summer have been about Angry Birds Epic.

Every few years, I'm tempted to try quilting because quilts are so cool. About two squares in, though, I remember how much I hate ironing little squares.


Stuff We Like :: 8.7.15

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

One of my friends was teasing me that my weekly stuff posts make it seem like I have my homeschool life act totally together. So just for the sake of transparency: I haven’t been completely caught up on laundry since one glorious week in 2011 and I do not include things like “ordered cheap Mexican because I was too lazy to cook dinner” on my lists because they are such routine occurrences that they don’t bear mentioning. In other words, I totally have my homeschool life act together — for about 11 whole minutes of every day.

around the web

This warmed my heart: What happens when you give a tree an email address?

This blog rounds up every line spoken by a person of color in hit movies. Wow.

Is our obsession with photographing every minute of our children’s lives shaping the way they’ll remember their childhoods — and not necessarily for the better?

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: Did you enter our Oak Meadow curriculum giveaway yet?

on pinterest: I am in love with this cozy, creative corner.

from the archives: Easy ways to turn around a not-so-great homeschool day.

 

reading list

Is anybody else dying to get her hands on the adult-novel sequel to Five Children and It, set during World War II?

I have been listening to this Oxford lecture series on the works of George Eliot, so of course I had to crack open Middlemarch again. (It's even better reading on the other side of thirty.)

It’s that time again: I’m doing my annual end-of-summer reread of Little Women. (And I’m totally okay now that Jo doesn’t end up with Laurie. But even Gabriel Byrne is not going to reconcile me to Professor Bhaer.)

 

in the kitchen

In my effort to squeeze every bit of flavor from tomato season, I made a batch of tomato jam. Verdict: Yum. (Think of it as a very posh ketchup.)

Shawne inspired me to try making onigiri at home, and these little stuffed rice balls have become a favorite afternoon snack. The recipe makes them sound complicated, but they are actually really easy. (Sometimes I stuff mine with smoked salmon and avocado, and they are delicious.)

If there are blueberries, I’m making blueberry boy bait. And there are blueberries.

 

at home

My daughter and I had our annual homeschool planning retreat — at the pool, this year. I just reported my July homeschool budget, but August spending is well underway.

Jason and I are trying to find a new television show to obsess over, but in the meantime, we’re digging the Harriet Vane Collection on DVD.

We’re totally obsessed with Quirkle, which is kind of like dominoes but with more sophisticated strategizing required. We’re always pulling it out and saying “just one quick game.”


Stuff We Like :: 7.31.15

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

Our month-long web extravaganza is ending, but we’d love to know what you’ve enjoyed reading on the site and what you’d like to see more of in the coming months. (Really! Pipe up!) And don’t worry, we’ve still got plenty of good stuff in the queue, including an awesome giveaway that we’ll tell you more about next week.

around the web

So I love Rebecca, which I read at exactly the right time to fall in love with its Gothic charms, but I do frequently find myself saying “What the heck is wrong with you, Max de Winter?” So this imagined conversation between Max and the second Mrs. de Winter made my day.

I still reread my favorite books every year. (I have reread Little Women every fall since I was 7 years old.) But apparently rereading is something we do less and less as we get older, and that’s a shame.

Great read for helping kids (and parents) recognize problematic statistics in news reporting.

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: We’re trying out the Monday pep talk as a little kickstart to your week. What do you think?

on pinterest: This wall-mounted kraft paper rollis so clever — I’m thinking we need one in the kitchen as a doodle station, and we’ll use the resulting artwork to wrap holiday presents.

in the magazine: You know your homeschool group wants our best subscription deal.

 

reading list

I already have a copy of Goodbye Stranger on order to give my daughter as soon as it comes out next week. I think this is THE book to give a middle school girl. (Despite the cover, it has nothing to do with boyfriends.)

We’re reading The Island of Dr. Libris as our morning readaloud, and it’s been a lot of fun. (I caught my 7-year-old trying to read ahead, which is high praise indeed.)

I just finished Silver in the Blood, which I wanted to love (shape-shifting! mysterious family origins! best-friend cousins! Jessica Day George!) but which was ultimately just okay.

 

in the kitchen

I love watermelon pickles. And now I have a bunch.

I am totally hooked on this quick skillet granola because I want to be the kind of person who has healthy homemade granola on hand but am more frequently the kind of person who needs a breakfast that comes together in under 15 minutes. (I add Trader Joe’s dried blueberries.)

Does anybody have a great tomato sauce recipe? I am at the stage where the tomatoes are outpacing our eating ability. (Luxury problems!)

 

at home

Mystery Show is my new podcast.

I am still chugging along on my Beekeeper’s Quilt. I keep trying to justify buying the big KnitPicks palette sampler to help motivate me over the last hill (or three), but my stash is already beyond reasonable life expectancy.

Do you play Ticket to Ride? It’s had a featured role at our table this summer. I like that it’s fast-paced so we can finish a game in an hour or so and challenging enough that it’s fun to play over (and over).


Stuff We Like :: 7.10.15

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

around the web

This NPR story confirms something I have always suspected: The team with the most librarians usually wins.

The whole #distractinglysexy thing was hilarious, but sexist jokes are serious.

“I’m not behind on my emails, I’m ahead on my life.”

I feel kind of icky about the circumstances of the new Harper Lee novel, but this article about what life is like now in the Alabama town that inspired Maycomb was a fascinating read.

 

at home/school/life

on pinterest: Genius! Write the microwave-in-a-mug cooking directions right on your mug with a Sharpie.

on instagram: We’re kind of new to the whole Instagram thing, but apparently we need to eat more doughnuts? We are down with that! See you there?

on the blog: Our blog is hopping with book lists, columns, and all kinds of fun stuff to celebrate our site relaunch, but you do not want to miss Lisa’s great post on why curiosity is the most important thing to give your kids.

 

reading list

I finally got around to reading The Girl on the Train, but I didn’t love it the way other people seemed to. What am I missing?

We discovered the Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book in a museum gift shop, and it is just delightful. We had to buy a second copy because my daughter really didn’t want to share. (Fair enough!)

“But I’m a little burned out on the whole dystopian thing,” I said when Suzanne raved about The Girl with All the Gifts. I was wrong — apparently there will always be room in my heart for really interesting dystopian fiction.

We’re reading the first book in The League of Beastly Dreadfuls series as our morning readaloud and digging the Roald Dahl/Lemony Snicket-ness of it.

I am afraid to hand my copy of Echo over to my daughter because I loved it so much, and what if she doesn’t? (But of course I will because this book is too good not to share.)

 

in the kitchen

I made a little batch of this blackberry-cabernet jam thinking that I might give it for holiday presents, but now I’m getting kind of my precious about keeping it all for myself.

This roasted carrot and avocado salad almost always ends up somewhere in our weekly summer meal rotation.

Easy cherry crostini is my kind of dessert, which is a good thing since I am apparently incapable of passing up cherries at the market. (I swear, I thought we were out! All three times!)

 

at home

I have had Winter is for Kierkegaard by Tyler Lyle playing on repeat for the last week. Even though it’s the opposite of winter here in Atlanta, and — obviously — autumn is for Kierkegaard.

I really want to knit Marigold, but it seems like an Advanced Expert pattern and I am just a Fairly Enthusiastic Amateur. Has anybody else had any success with it? I can’t crochet and I am so jealous of those gorgeous crochet flowers that people make, so I’m thinking this could be substitute.

There’s a Mo Willems exhibition at the art museum near us, and so it has been all Pigeon all the time here. (We are big fans.)

 

notable sales

Doctor, meet the Doctor: This Horton Sees a Who shirt is totally worth $12

Lots of good buys in Amazon’s monthly Kindle book deals, including The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (a steal for $2.99) and Jacob Have I Loved (just $1.99), one of my YA faves by the great Katherine Paterson.

KnitPicks has its Chroma Worsted self-striping yarn on sale for 30% off. I’ve been wanting to make another Rayures, but I’m also tempted to try something like the Butterfly Beanie.