mark twain

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 :: 12.11.15

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

I am always seeking ways to help my children learn how to persevere, so I loved finding this article How creativity is helped by failure on BBC News. I even read the first four paragraphs to my son who happens to take pottery classes.

Another article that came to my attention lately was How do you raise a prodigy. I have never actually met a genius before, so I guess that’s why I found it so fascinating, but I also felt the article had some good advice for all parents.

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: I loved Shawne’s Mindful Homeschool: What Are You Afraid of?

the magazine: Hooray for our Curriculum Junkie’s latest review of EEME’s STEM-at-home Genius Light Kit. (Fall 2015 issue.) What a great resource for STEM-loving kids!

 

documentaries

As you probably know by now, I have a documentary-loving family! This past week, we enjoyed re-watching Wildest Indo China (on Netflix) because it’s one of our favorites. And then we found a fun 2-part series on PBS titled Wild at Heart: Pets. My boys were giggling up a storm at the hamsters! (See Episode 1 and Episode 2.)

Right now we’re being blown away by the 3-part series Making North America! Geology lovers will especially love the first episode.

For fun we’ve been watching the The Next Food Network Star on Netflix. I think it’s actually teaching my son not only how difficult it is to work on television but the importance of being able to speak clearly and get your point across.

 

good reads

I’ve had the pleasure of reading one of my old favorites, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, to my nine-year-old, and he loves it. I have to explain a lot to him, especially since “causing mischief” is totally foreign to my “serious” child, but I think that’s also why he’s enjoying it so much.

As for adult fiction, I found buried on my shelf a book from one of my long-time favorite authors, Louise Erdrich. I first discovered her in my college Native American literature class, and I loved her early work. Some of her later work can be difficult for me to read, but I’m finding The Antelope Wife to be fascinating, if sometimes heartbreaking. I wouldn’t recommend it, if it’s the first book you’ve ever read by Erdrich though.

 

art

My six-year-old loves to draw. Sometimes he’ll produce stacks of artwork, and I’m left trying to find a place to put it all, but sometimes he’ll go awhile without producing anything.  Then something will spur him on again, and lately that’s been our art apps. (And I appreciate the savings on paper!) I love both of these apps, and both my boys like to use them: Art Set on iPad ($1.99) or the Pro Edition looks pretty cool for $6.99 and Sketchbook Express on Google Play (free).


10 Things We Loved in October

Our favorite homeschool books, links, tools, and resources

Instead of just talking about books, I thought I'd do a little round-up of all the things we've been loving in our homeschool life this past month. (Feel free to share yours in the comments!)

1 :: Cold weather makes me want to knit, and I've been churning out new hats for the whole family. We all have a new Ripley to keep our heads warm. (I love patterns like this, that are utterly simple but have a little twist that makes them seem more complicated than they are.)

2 :: I have become addicted to Fallen London. So much so that my kids have started explaining it as "like Minecraft, for mamas." I blame Suzanne.

3 :: This fall, my best friend and I both celebrated milestone birthdays, and we've been cheering each other up by making mixtapes with Dar Williams' "You're Aging Well" on them. Because, darn it, we are.

4 :: Much reading, of course, is happening. We read The Beasts of Clawstone Castle as our not-at-all-scary Halloween readaloud, and we're still working our way through The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn together. I'm putting together a creative nonfiction class for our homeschool group, so I've been reading a lot about writing, including Several Short Sentences About Writing, which I picked up when Patricia recommended it a few years ago and am just getting around to reading. We've also had a lot of fun putting together the skeletons from Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology.

5 :: Do you know about DIY Scouts? We are kind of obsessed with it.

6 :: My friend Stephanie turned me onto this hilarious site that imagines how literary figures might order their drinks at Starbucks. The Hemingway one made me laugh out loud.

7 :: I've been stocking the freezer with heat-and-heat meals for the upcoming holiday crunch. (I actually like cooking, but some days, the prospect of making dinner makes me want to hide in the basement.) So we've been having easy-ish dinners, like quinoa-stuffed sweet potatoes (I often add bacon because, well, bacon) and baked avocado and egg with miso butter.

8 :: I am officially a rabid fan of bullet journals. I have never been able to find a calendar/planner that really worked for me, but I have been using the bullet journal method (with this little Moleskine because I buy them in bulk, but you could really use any notebook) for six months and can't believe how well it works with my life.

9 :: We are really enjoying using The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms by Clare Walker Leslie. I am not a naturally outdoorsy kind of person, and the whole nature study thing sometimes feels overwhelming to me. I like the simple, practical suggestions this book has for studying nature with your kids, and I love that it's helped us make our nature journals a daily habit.

10 :: Of all the holiday gift-making I'm working on right now, I think this little cold-weather outfit by the fabulous Alicia Paulson is my favorite. So much cute!