little women

Book Nerd: Library Chicken Weekly Scoreboard (9.12.17)

Book Nerd: Library Chicken Weekly Scoreboard (9.12.17)

Lots of Transcendentalists, why does no one talk about how terrible Bronson Alcott is, Suzanne finally reads some Faulker, and more Library Chicken.

Stuff We Like :: 8.19.16

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

around the web

The whole Michael Phelps/Katie Ledecky headline drama is nothing new. Women’s accomplishments have been so commonly overshadowed by men’s that there’s even a name for it: The Matilda Effect.

Yes, yes, yes: Why kids need monsters and magic.

The technology has changed, but social networks have been around since the Middle Ages.

My brand-new high schooler and I are definitely going to be using these exercises to kick off our new school year in a couple of weeks.

Oh, gosh, I really want to go on a road trip with Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes.

I never go anywhere without at least one emergency book. (And I’m so thankful that technology lets me carry around a chunk of library on my phone!)


at home | school | life

in the magazine: We’re getting started with the research for an update to our Best Cities for Homeschoolers list, and you can nominate your favorite city right here.

on the podcast: Suzanne and I are talking about socialization (which is simple) and friendships (which can be trickier). If you’re an iTunes user and you like the podcast, we’d love for you to leave a review—it’s always awesome to get a little feedback.

in the classroom: Fall classes don’t start until after Labor Day, so you’ve still got plenty of time to sign up for 12 weeks of learning adventures.

on instagram: My baby knitting (at least the bits that got done before the shower!) is a hit.


reading list

on my night table:

I should be reading Five Children on the Western Front, but I’m actually rereading Little Women instead because I have a tradition of reading it every year before school starts. (I’ve been doing this since kindergarten, so I can’t quit now!)

Big Bad Breakfast may be my new favorite cookbook. (And North Mississippi Eggs Benedict is my new favorite breakfast-for-dinner.)

on my 14-year-old’s night table:

The Embroidered Garden: Stitching through the Seasons of a Flower Garden (I keep waiting for her to finish with this so I can steal it, but no luck so far)

In the Spotlight (Number two in the Princess Diaries series)

The Secret of Platform 13

on my 8-year-old’s night table:

When Mischief Came to Town, but it’s practically buried under his rock collection right now, so I’m not sure if it counts.


We’re still reading Magic Or Not as our morning readaloud, but we also started Johnny Tremain this week. 


at home

watching: Clarissa Explains It All with the kids. (It’s streaming on Hulu!)

prepping: Our new school year doesn’t start until after Labor Day, but I’m rotating books around the house to get ready—and our homeschool group picks back up next week.

knitting: I’m churning away at my Elijah, but I keep worrying that I’m not going to get the right balance of stuffing in the trunk. If you look at the other project photos on Ravelry (aren’t they adorable?), it’s obvious that there’s a golden ratio for trunk stuffing.

socializing: I’ve been having some lovely going-away meals with former students who are headed off to college this fall.

Monday Pep Talk No. 21

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

We’ll be taking a couple of weeks off this month to wrap up the winter issue (also, to be honest, to play video games and start some projects with our Hanukkah yarn), but we’ll be back with your regular Monday pep talk in January. And since we’ll be gone for a little while, we’ve padded this week’s pep talk with a few extra ideas to tide you over.

fun things to do this week (and beyond)

Celebrate Bill of Rights Day on Dec. 15 with an Oregon Trail-ish online game.

December 18 is Bake Cookies Day, which means you haven’t been procrastinating your holiday baking, you’ve just been waiting for the official day. (I’ll be making rum balls.)

Celebrate National Flashlight Day (Dec. 21) by making your own flashlights.

Put on a family production. It could be that I have read Little Women too many time, but I love the idea of putting on a holiday show in your living room.

Make your own fake snow, and you can have a snowball fight whether it’s a white solstice or not.

Get hooked on a podcast. A few to try: Professor Blastoff’s archives (sadly, no new episodes are coming, but this mash-up of science, philosophy, and humor can be addictive); the Tolkien Professor’s Tolkien chats (perfect for people who want to obsess—and I mean, really obsess—over Middle Earth), and the Infinite Monkey Cage, which is a little bit like what would result if Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, and Monty Python got together and decided to host a podcast about science.


ideas for holiday eating

I want to eat this white bean risotto with garlicky greens tonight—but I’m also wondering if there’s a version of this with black-eyed peas that would make an awesome New Year’s lunch.

This winter vegetable soup is one of those slow-cooker meals that you’ll be so happy to come home to.

Sweet potato and kale bubble and squeak? Yes, please!

This crispy coconut kale with roasted salmon and coconut rice is fancy enough to feel special but a nice break from all the rich roasts we seem to eat over the holidays.

Beef stroganoff with dumplings is the perfect dinner on a chilly evening.

Someone brought this poppy seed chicken casserole to every single potluck when I was growing up, and I still think this with a big plate of roasted broccoli makes the perfect dinner.


one great readaloud



one thought to ponder


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

eggnog milkshake

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.”