Stuff We Like :: 3.17.17

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

Happy weekend!

around the web

If you have had a tough week, you need Friar Moustache.

And another story to make you feel better about the world: This college student is writing women back into the history of science, one Wikipedia entry at a time

Now this is an Instagram I could get behind.


at home/school/life

on the blog: Homeschool Madness is getting real, y’all! Round 3 starts this afternoon. Help us narrow the FINAL FOUR down to the FINAL TWO.

one year ago: The Music Gap that Filled Itself

two years ago: So What If All They Do Is Play Video Games?


reading list

OK, so I read a lot of books. I like a lot of books. But wow, The Hate U Give completely blew me away. It’s not an easy book to read—it’s about the shooting of a young black man by a police officer and the effect it has on a neighborhood and one girl in particular. But it is un-put-down-able. I passed this one on to my teenager immediately. I also bought another copy for my best friend.

I doubt that anyone will be surprised that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries. If you are similarly obsessed with similarly obsessive books about words, this one doesn’t disappoint. 

My son and I are reading Ottoline and the Purple Fox. I love Ottoline for many reasons (Mr. Munroe! Those illustrations! The postcards!), but maybe the biggest reason is that my son sometimes takes one of these books off the shelf and says, “Can we read this one again?”


in the kitchen

I finally had to replace my beloved hand-held can opener. (One can of chickpeas too many, I guess!) I don’t even know how old it was, but it was my grandmother’s before it was mine, and it had a long, proud life. I got a slightly updated version of the same one so I can keep making those endless pans of roasted chickpeas.

Cookie of the week: Olive oil sugar cookies with blood orange glaze (these were ridiculously good)


at home

We’ve been having lots of open houses and Q&A nights for Jason’s school the last few weeks, and it looks like we’re set to have a full class for fall. So yay! But it’s definitely been busy and exhausting, and I will be glad to hole up with the spring issue alone for a few weeks to recharge.

The weather is so crazy—last week, it felt like summer was on the way, and we spent every possible minute outside. This week, it’s been so cold we lit a fire. In both places, we’ve been playing lots of Adventure Time Munchkin. (They always let me be BMO. That’s love.)

Stuff We Like :: 7.1.16

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


Hooray! Suzanne is back with this week’s edition of Stuff We Like, most of which I plan to borrow for my own homeschool life, stat.

Around the Web

What’s better than a summer reading list? A LIST of summer reading lists!

As a long-­time reader of science fiction and fantasy­ mostly written by white men ­ I’ve really been enjoying the new books by authors like .N.K.Jemisin, Karen Lord, and Zen Cho. And (speaking of lists) here’s a great list of authors past and present to help diversify your sf/fantasy reading: 

I’m also enjoying Black Nerd Problems, a website with commentary, news, and reviews about diversity in comics, television, movies, video games, and all things geeky. (For a sample, check out this recent article on cultural appropriation.)

One of each, please! (My birthday is in October, but don’t feel you have to wait ‘til then.)


At home | school | life

in the magazine: The summer issue is coming out any minute. That means even more summer reading lists. Time to clear out some room on your library card!

on the blog: If you can’t wait another minute to fill up your library tote, there are some great summer readaloud ideas in the July Pep Talk.

in the classroom: The fall class schedule isn’t officially out yet, so I’ll just mention that if you are looking for a U.S. History class that is pretty much based around Broadway musical numbers, you are in luck. (Hamilton and 1776, together at last!)

on instagram: A much better comeback than the classic “only boring people are bored." (Though what's so bad about being bored anyway?)


Reading List

Just finished Nimona, the much praised web comic collection about teen shapeshifter Nimona, sidekick to the evil Lord Blackheart, and am ready to pass it on to the 13­-year-­old, who has discovered (after reading Persepolis that she really likes graphic novels. (Did I mention that Lord Blackheart’s hero nemesis is Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin?)

In the category of “Arrgh! What do you MEAN the third book isn’t out yet?!?”, I’d like to encourage Robert Jackson Bennett to hurry up with the final book (following City of Stairs and City of Blades) of his Divine Cities trilogy. I’m in love with these books and this world, not to mention Bennett’s smart, strong, and in­-charge female protagonists.

Fortunately, Jane Smiley recently did finish her Last Hundred Years trilogy, a multi­-generational saga following one Iowa farming family from 1920 to 2020, so I was able to power through all three (wonderful) books, me Some Luck, Early Warning, nd Golden Age, in one (long) go.

And Amy tells me I’ve been sorely remiss in leaving it this long, but I finally got around to reading some Chuck Klosterman, specifically his I Wear the Black Hat, essays on the nature of villainy. I’m glad I’ve got more by him to look forward to!


At Home—Special Board Game Edition!

We’re heading off for our annual vacation to meet up with family and do as little as possible for a week, so it’s time to pack the boardgames! ndemic s one of my all-time-favorites, so I’m excited to try out Pandemic Legacy, hich is an “epic twist” on the game with “ever­-changing elements”! I have no idea what that means, but I’m in.

For a person who can’t read Stephen King or watch a horror movie, I’m remarkably fond of “horrific” games, so we’ll definitely play a couple of rounds of Arkham Horror and and Betrayal at House on the Hill.

These days, I mostly prefer cooperative games, but I’ll make an exception for Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game.

And of course, there’s always room to pack various Munchkin card sets and maybe a deck or two of Gloom.

Stuff We Like :: 6.17.16

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

We are definitely getting into our summer groove here! Jason was off on his big annual fishing trip last week, so the kids and I had a little staycation fun (lots of baking, a Back to Future marathon, many hours of Mario, and daily kung fu parades). Now we’re basically just trying to squeeze in every possible minute of pool time.

around the web

Apparently I am not the only person who thinks this election season feels a lot like an 80s wrestling match. (Of course, now I'm going around making everyone read "The World of Wrestling.")

This: It’s nice to be polite, it’s fine to be a good sport sometimes, but it’s also perfectly, 100 percent, totally okay to get angry, daughters of the world.

I really love stories about snarky writers. Is it wrong that this article totally made me wish I could have been friends with D.H. Lawrence?

Every single writer who has ever tried to make a living writing should read this.

If someone writes a piece on the awesomeness of Wayside School, I’m going to share it.


at home | school | life

on the website: A few people have asked about getting email notifications when a new blog post goes up. (You guys are so nice!) We have added a Bloglovin’ sign-up in the right-hand sidebar—if you put in your email address, you’ll get an email whenever there’s a new post.

on the blog: The answer to the question I get asked the most: How do you work full-time and homeschool your kids?

on the podcast: Tune in Monday for our new episode—Suzanne and I are talking about summer homeschooling, dropping your kids off for a week on a college campus, Hamilton, baby knitting, Greensleeves by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, and more.

in the magazine: Everything’s starting to come together with the summer issue, and I know I say this every time, but I think it may be my favorite issue yet.


reading list

on my night table: Basically everything that was on it last week, plus The New Yorker’s fiction issue

on my 14-year-old’s night table: Bloomability, Seraphina, A Royal Pain (I was so excited to see this Ellen Conford book at the library—I’m hoping it holds up well because I loved it as a kid)

on my 6-year-old’s night table: Comet in Moominland, Karlson on the Roof (this one was a surprise hit from the library—he's already read it twice)

together: The Lost Hero (still), Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics


at home

watching: Overly Sarcastic’s Classics Summarized, which are possibly my new most favorite thing ever

knitting: Tell me your favorite baby knitting patterns because I’m going to be an aunt! There are many, many reasons to be excited about this, but baby knitting is pretty high on the list.

playing: The Adventure Time version of Munchkin, which has a lot of weird rules that I can’t seem to keep up with but which my children love

eating: no-churn salted caramel bourbon ice cream on the front porch

listening: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (This is keeping me moving during physical therapy, which is starting to feel like it will never end)