know your bird sounds

Stuff We Like :: 3.11.16

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

We’re whistling while we work on the spring issue, which promises to be pretty fantastic. (Shakespeare! Inspiring self-directed learners! So many awesome books!) Here’s what else is making our happy radar sing lately:

around the web

I want to drape my house in Carson Ellis wallpaper the way George Costanza wanted to be draped in velvet.

This Got Milk? parody commercial for Hamilton fans is hilarious.

This post about how homeschooling is like living in a fraternity house is still [1] true and [2] the most popular blog post I’ve ever written.

 

at home/school/life

in the magazine: So excited that the fabulous Blair Lee will be joining us as a regular columnist starting with the summer issue. (She’s got a great piece on setting up a homeschool science fair in the spring issue.)

on the blog: We’re really enjoying spotlighting so many cool women’s biographies during Women’s History Month.

in the archives: It’s the perfect time to try one of Shelli’s bright ideas for welcoming spring in your homeschool.

 

reading list

I feel like I don’t always love Kazuo Ishiguro’s books, but I do usually love the experience of reading them, if that makes sense. His worlds are so deliberate, so nuanced—and The Buried Giant is no exception. I didn’t love it, but it gave me so many interesting things to think about. Worth reading, for sure.

I am almost done with my extreme Diana Wynne Jones-ing, which puts me right at The Power of Three.

Did you read Echo yet? I think it’s one of my favorite middle grades books of 2015—just gorgeous.

 

at home

I volunteered to knit another Brickless as an incentive for a friend’s Kickstarter campaign, so I had a legitimate excuse to order a pretty skein of Miss Babs yarn. Isn’t yarn delivery the best part of the day?

The Norman Centuries podcast is currently enlivening my physical therapy sessions.

My kids have got me trying to track down an Undertale-inspired cinnamon-butterscotch pie for Pi Day next week.

 

homeschooling highlights

I’ve been looking for a post-Miquon math option for next year, and I’m feeling optimistic that Beast Academy might be just the ticket. (Rebecca always finds the best stuff!)

My son has developed a passion for soap-carving, which has become his go-to project for read-aloud time. (My daughter continues to favor the time-honored tradition of doodling.) We just use plain Ivory soap bars and a small butter knife.

This has been a great week for nature journaling. We’ve been using the Know Your Bird Sounds CD to help us recognize all the different birds singing it up in the backyard.


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

Hoot
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.