joss whedon is my hero

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 :: Holiday Break Edition

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

We’re taking a couple of weeks off to wrap up the winter issue and just chill (but we do have a few great blog posts scheduled over the next few weeks), so this will be our last Stuff We Like of 2015. We expect to like plenty of stuff in 2016, too, so we’ll be back to our regular posting in January.

around the web

Everybody is talking about Iceland’s Christmas Eve book flood, but that’s because it’s awesome.

I don’t really take selfies, but after reading this, I kind of want to.

Dream trip: The Alice in Wonderland guide to Oxford

 

at home/school/life

in the magazine: The winter issue may be my favorite issue yet—and it'll be out in just a few weeks. Right now I’m editing a really cool piece on planning your life after homeschool. (Because after homeschooling, you can do anything!)

on the blog: I am inspired by Lisa’s post on making your own wellness a priority—that’s something I really struggle with.

on pinterest: Now all I can think about is making homemade chocolate pop tarts.

 

reading list

I’m reading an odd little book about early 19th century murders that’s equal parts bizarre and fascinating. If you’re interested in a quirky history of the dark side of the Romantics, you too might enjoy Murder By Candlelight.

We started Sea of Trolls as a winter readaloud—even though it’s not build-a-fire weather at all around here, this seems like the perfect book to read by the fireplace. Maybe we’ll do it anyway.

Both the activity-ish books we got the kids for Hanukkah this year have been big hits: Finish This Book (for our teenager) and Don’t Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book (for the 8-year-old).

 

at home

We are settling in for a few days of much-needed vacation. On the agenda: Harry Potter movies, hot chocolate, cuddling, and starting my ZickZack scarf. (I couldn’t resist!)

My best friend and I are planning a Dollhouse marathon over the break. (Are you a Dollhouse fan? When I first watched it—when it originally aired—I was pretty bummed by what seemed like a lot of unrealized potential, but on further viewings, it’s really grown on me. I’m pretty interested in some of its ideas about identity and consent.)

I am practicing walking in the most comfortable, supportive shoes I have ever owned. Jas teases me that my Alegria Palomas are "prescription shoes" and they are definitely clunky looking, but wow, seriously comfortable.

New Year’s Eve is the best excuse to eat blinis with creme fraiche and smoked salmon.


Stuff We Like :: 12.4.15

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 Jason’s birthday today and Hanukkah starts on Sunday, so it’s a party weekend here at Casa Sharony. I hope your family has plans for fun, too!

around the web

I may be obsessed with the education system in Finland—but articles like this make it seem kind of like learning paradise, don’t they?

“You're not irrational, you're just quantum probabilistic.”

This list of volunteer work for loners has some great ideas.

I am not surprised (but I am pleased) that Buffy kicked Dawson to the curb in Vulture’s best high school show battle.

You should know that my holiday menus will be inspired by Hermione Granger, Ramona Quimby, and Harriet Dufresnes , thanks to this guide to cooking like your favorite literary heroines.

 

at home/school/life

in the magazine: We’ve got so much good stuff coming up in the winter issue: a readaloud guide to Chinese history, inspiration for imagining your life after homeschooling, snow day science, the best winter field trips, and lots, lots more. (This looks like it’s going to be our longest issue yet!)

on the blog :Rebecca’s found a way to slow down and enjoy the holidays this year.

on pinterest: I wish someone would make me a batch of these salted caramels.

 

reading list

I discovered the Kindle edition of Greensleeves and spent a delicious evening rediscovering one of my favorite books from middle school. I had forgotten how much I loved this book.

I am on a cookbook buying spree, apparently: I picked up Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes, Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix, NOPI, Genius Recipes, and Gjelina. (At least a couple of them are for other people, I promise.) What’s on your cookbook radar these days?

We have commenced our annual December readaloud of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I thought about switching it up this year and reading something different, but the kids were having none of it. And now that we’ve started, I’m glad — it wouldn’t feel like the holidays without it.

 

at home

We’re definitely deep into holiday making mode. Like a lot of people, we follow the “something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read” plan for minimizing stuff, but we also allow unlimited homemade gifts, which I like because they make everyone more excited about giving than getting. (Plus the “Keep Out” signs the kids come up with for their bedroom doors every year really crack me up.) I usually make one big knitted gift per person (this year, as you know, it’s sweaters for the kids and a scarf for Jas), a notebook of poetry, quotes, cartoons, memories, little notes, etc. for each person that I add to sporadically all year (I use these notebooks), and some kind of plush for the kids. This year, thanks to my forced downtime, I actually finished my making early for the first time ever.

And speaking of the holidays, few things are more fun than breaking out the Menorasaurus Rex for the first night of Hanukkah.

I’m so happy that the second season of Broadchurchis finally on Netflix. And people keep telling me to watch Jessica Jones—is it really that good?

I want to make this super cute Missoni-ish scarf so much. How cool is that a basically one-row pattern turns into such a cool chevron design?


Stuff We Like :: 10.30.15

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 a big weekend for us here since our very favorite girl will be celebrating her birthday! So there’s lots to love about this week.

around the web

I have learned to love my Kindle (you can pack 100 books in one suitcase), but I’m thrilled by the resurgence of print.

I am insanely, ridiculously excited that the Cure is planning a 2016 concert tour.

Well, yes, everybody should be studying Buffy.

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: Nine new fall books that should probably be on your library list.

in the magazine: It’s looking like we’ll be breaking our total page number record with the winter issue. There’s some terrific stuff coming in!

from the archives: I love this post from Idzie about why boredom can be a good thing.

 

reading list

I’m listening to Pride and Prejudice on audiobook (it is only $1.95 if you download the free ebook on your Kindle—totally worth it!) because it’s like the literary equivalent of mashed potatoes—comfort food for the brain.

Apparently, this is my week for intellectual comfort food because I’ve also been rereading The Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first in the Amelia Peabody series. (If you like Agatha Christie and Egyptology, this series is probably right up your alley.)

My kids have been reading the Warrior Cats series out loud together, and they’re pretty adorable about it. I like it so much when my daughter likes a book so much she wants to share it with her little brother—it’s the best reading inspiration he could have.

 

at home

Invader Zim inspired this year’s Halloween costumes, so we’ve been enjoying a Zim marathon this week while carefully embroidering alien masks. Jason has promised to wheel me around our neighborhood for trick-or-treating, so wish us luck.

My creative writing students are publishing a magazine this year, and I’m so proud of their hard work. Seriously, that class is often the high point of my week—I love the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the project.

I am bopping along on my holiday knitting. (I’m halfway through with my daughter’s very pink Boxy.) What about you?


Stuff We Like :: 9.4.15

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

This has been a crazy week at Casa Sharony and a slow week here on the home/school/life blog as we try to adjust to the challenges of my two broken ankles. (I was taking out the trash. I tripped. That’s the whole story!) It’s definitely tough to be forced to slow down during out busiest time of year, but you can’t really argue with broken ankles. (I’ve tried!)  

 

around the web

Maybe it’s because I’m getting used to working from a new space, but I am loving this site that lets you create your own version of white noise. (I’m writing this with night + fire + rain in the background.)

Remember those long, intimate emails we used to write? I miss them.

Such a good read: This teenager left the classroom (with his school’s sanction) to learn more.

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: I always love Lisa’s posts, but this one, about how we sometimes need to move outside our daily routine to touch base with our life priorities, came just when I needed it.

on pinterest: I’ve been finding so many fun art project ideas that I started a board for them.

from the archives: We still get lots of mail about our fall 2014 list of the best cities for homeschooling families. Maybe it's time to think about doing an update?

 

reading list

One good thing about bedrest is that it’s the best excuse to listen to audiobooks. I’ve been digging Bringing Up the Bodies (the sequel to Wolf Hall), about Thomas Cromwell’s campaign to dethrone Anne Boleyn; The Spire (read by Benedict Cumberbatch, which may or may not be why I picked it up); Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood’s short story collection that I’ve had on my to-read list forever; and Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, which we’ve been listening to together in the evenings.

I’ve also been doing more than usual reading aloud, and we finished Crenshaw, which was lovely — a delicate story of how a boy’s imaginary friend helps him cope with a difficult family situation. It really deserves its own review — I'll give it one when it officially hits shelves later this month.

The time seemed right to finally read Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened.

 

in the kitchen

Since I can’t actually get up the stairs to my kitchen right now, I am eating the end-of-summer tomatoes just sliced with salt and pepper. And honestly, they’re as good as any of my fancier efforts.

I am definitely thankful that we have a few freezer meal options tucked away, including a couple of pans of this easy macaroni and cheese.

I am eternally indebted to Shawne for introducing me to Instacart.

 

at home

Lots of couch time means lots of knitting time. I may finish my Beekeeper’s Quilt yet!

The kids and I have been watching the past season of My Little Pony together on Netflix. It’s always fun to watch something they really love with them.

Jason and I have been absolutely loving The Flash. (We bought the first season because Suzanne kept recommending it even though Suzanne still hasn’t watched Firefly. Ahem.) It’s delightfully refreshing to see a superhero who thinks his super powers are ultimately pretty cool — plus lots of science nerdiness.


Stuff We Like :: 7.24.15

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

First stories are starting to roll in for the fall issue around here, but we are firmly committed to believing that summer will never end. Hence: Much time at the pool, coffee dates with new friends, matinee movies, and reading on the porch.

around the web

It’s no secret that I love Joss Whedon, but Joss Whedon + a female Victorian Batman? Sign me up now.

This review of the Egg Master make me laugh out loud. (Under redeeming features: “It’s quite space-efficient, being so dense with evil.”)

I was fascinated by this article on the physiological effects of reading great literature — and pretty delighted by the possibility that thoughtful reading might make us, ultimately, smarter.

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: People often ask us why we don’t have a print edition of home/school/life — here’s the answer.

on pinterest: Wouldn’t it be fun to make a set of these storytelling dice with images that inspire your kid’s imagination?

on the blog: Have you been following our summer reading series?

 

reading list

My daughter has had her nose buried in Ready Player One for most of the summer — I think she’s on her second reread.

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to read The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, which I’ve finally gotten my hot little hands on.

I’m a sucker for a good biography, and David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers has been my poolside reading material recently. I thought I knew all about the Wrights, but this book has been full of fun surprises.

 

in the kitchen

Tacos are my oops-I-forgot-about-dinner solution, and this vegetarian version (with goat cheese!) is a great way to use a little summer produce, too.

I've been freezing basil puree (puree 1 cup of basil leaves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil) in an ice tray so that I can pull out the taste of summer for pesto and salad dressing throughout the year. Lucky for me, there's tons of basil at the market right now.

I made these ginger-peach cobbler bars as a back-up dessert, and they were a sleeper potluck hit.

 

at home

Jason and I went to see Mr. Holmes, which I loved — it feels ragged and lyrical next to the logical cohesion of the Holmes narratives, and to me, that felt just right for a detective near the end of his days. Plus, Ian McKellen can do no wrong.

I’m prepping for my Buffy the Vampire Slayer seminar this fall by screening season two. It's obviously a tough job.

I knitted a longer version of this little lacy top (free pattern) in recycled silk/cotton yarn for my daughter’s swim cover-up this year — it’s really cute and a super-quick knit.

I think Space Camp was our favorite week of Camp Google so far.

 

notable sales

Craftsy has a big supply sale going on this weekend through Monday, July 27. I’m tempted to pick up a pack of Copic Multiliner pens for our sketchbooks bag (they’re 40% off), and I think I’m going to finally shell out for a Trim N Turn Cake Turntable so that I keep my frosting tidy (it’s on sale for just under $14), though of course, then I will have no excuse for my messy frosting. It's a real dilemma.

A few good young adult book deals: John Greene’s An Abundance of Katherines is just $5.92 in paperback right now, and the Kindle version of Rainbow Rowell’s (delightful) Fangirlis just $4.99.


Stuff We Like :: 6.19.15

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 a busy week here at home/school/life as we prep for our web relaunch, work on the summer issue (I just signed off on our summer reading guide!), welcome our awesome new intern Erin, and try to log as many pool hours as possible.

Around the Web

Obviously, this list of Myers Briggs book recommendations is spot on since it gave me Jane Austen.

There is no way I am not going to get a little excited about a new Anne of Green Gables movie, but Martin Sheen is not my Matthew Cuthbert.

Why hover boards aren’t going to happen: Way to break everybody’s futuristic-dreaming little hearts, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

I teared up a little reading this story about inclusiveness and kids with special needs. I’m going to do this better.

 

On home/school/life

On the blog: Starting next week, we’ll be featuring new content every single day for the next four weeks to celebrate the relaunch of our website. And y’all, there is some good stuff in the lineup—be sure to check it out!

On Pinterest: I love this idea for prettying up all those inevitable cords.

On the blog: Tracy tackles the question that never fails to stump a homeschooler: “Are you enjoying your summer break?”

 

At Home

Jason and I are listening to the audiobook of Wolf Hall.I love how the narrator reads Wolsey like a dissipated Winnie-the-Pooh — it feels so appropriate!

My daughter signed up for this anime drawing classthrough Craftsy — the instructor has been awesomely available and responsive. (Thanks to Stephanie for the recommendation!)

This Firefly t-shirt has found its way into Jason’s Father’s Day gift pile. (Shh, don’t tell him!)

 

Notable Sales

The KnitPicks summer yarn sale is going on now, with lots of yarns up to 40% off. I’m eyeing this dreamy gray fingering yarn for a second Boxy. (I love my first one, the worsted version that I knit last winter.) I’m also going to grab some superwash bulky for baby knitting, but I can’t decide between this avocado green color or a sunny but not-too-bright yellow. I’ll definitely be using it to knit this Fisherman’s Pullover, though. (I think it might be my favorite boys' sweater pattern.)

Get 20% off select items at Oak Meadow's Summer Solstice Sale this weekend (June 19-22). If you don't have Crafts for the Early Grades (such a great resource!) or a copy of The Heart of Learning, this is a great opportunity to scoop them up at a discounted price.