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Stuff We Like :: 2.19.16

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

I think winter is probably one of my favorite times to be a homeschooler. By February, we’ve hit our groove, we’ve usually got a few awesome projects going, and it’s still cold enough so that cuddling on the couch is a featured morning activity.

around the web

It’s like Patricia is living inside my brain with this post about her son’s professed disinterest in reading. (This is one of those times where just knowing that I am not alone helps SO MUCH.)

Wait, scientists printed a human ear?

Another you-read-my-mind post: What’s up with sites creating situations where kids have to lie about their age?

The history of the world, in puns.

The In Search of Lost Time graphic novel is at the very top of my I-want-this list, y’all.

 

at home/school/life

in the magazine: We’re working on a piece about experiences every homeschool family should have. What’s on your homeschool bucket list?

on the blog: Rebecca discovers a groovy curriculum for deep thinkers.

in the archives: When I need a little jolt of inspiration, I find myself turning back to Tracy’s post on the three words every homeschool parent should know.

 

reading list

I love starting a new readaloud, and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library has all the makings of a new favorite.

I may have preordered the Doctor Who coloring book.

I will read anything about the Tudors, but even if you don't share my obsession, I can wholeheartedly recommend The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas, Alison Weir’s new biography of one of family’s lesser-known members.

 

at home

Pretty much all we talk about at dinner these days is Undertale. (Are your kids obsessed, too?)

Jason and I are on the last season of Smallville. I am all over the place about this show—I am glad we watched it because some of it has been really interesting (and I really love Ollie and Lois), but it is so uneven.

We are finally easing back into meal planning (after months of kitchen exile), and I love getting to make actual food again. (The bolognese from Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year is my favorite cooking project so far, no question!)

 

homeschooling highlights

We’ve started watching an episode of Good Eats together most afternoons (a lot of episodes are free on Netflix now), and it’s become one of the most fun parts of our day. I love all the random information that sends us off on tangents together.

My friend’s daughter had so much fun in this Expressive Picture Book Characters Craftsy drawing class that I signed my daughter up, too.

We have been gearing up for Leap Day with some of these activities. The calendar math puzzling has been a surprise hit. Are you doing anything special for Leap Day?


Monday Pep Talk No. 25

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

3 fun things to do this week

Celebrate President’s Day (on Monday) by looking at the human side of the U.S. Presidents through 44 facts—one for each Commander-in-Chief—that you probably didn’t know, including the fact that Obama is a comic book nerd and that Van Buren popularized the word “OK.”

Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb. 17) is one of our favorite holidays. Celebrate by being kind—we’ve got some great ideas in the winter issue, and there’s a huge list of suggestions on the Random Acts of Kindness website, too.

Build your own working battery using pennies and nickels to mark the birthday of Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (Feb. 18), the inventor of the electric battery.

 

3 ideas for this week’s dinners

On busy days, one-pot meals like this kale and quinoa pilaf make the perfect easy dinner.

I want to come home at the end of a satisfying busy, cold day and eat slow-cooker pulled pork chili with cornbread dumplings, don’t you?

I want to eat spaghetti pie with pecorino and black pepper right now.

 

one great readaloud

Mark the discovery of Pluto (on Feb. 19, 1930) by reading all about the crazy history of the most controversial planet-not-a-planet in our solar system in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet.

 

one thought to ponder

To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: That’s enough for one man’s life.  
—T.S. Eliot

 

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

Presidential cocktails


Monday Pep Talk No. 22

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

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Monday pep talk, a little jump-start of inspiration to help you start your week on a happy note.

3 fun things to do this week

Friday (Jan. 29) is National Puzzle Day—celebrate by putting your puzzling skills to the test with some of the brain teasing puzzles in a book like A Case of Red Herrings or Mind Benders.

Obviously any fire-making project requires responsible kids and parent supervision — but how cool is this science experiment that shows you how to make fire from ice?

If you’re still channeling a lot of Star Wars excitement, you will definitely want to check out Code.org's galaxy coding activities.

 

3 ideas for this week’s dinners

The au jus makes this easy French dip (and you can totally substitute deli roast beef for the home-cooked version with no negative side effects). My daughter insists this must be served with sweet potato fries, but I like a salad on the side.

This cheesy cauliflower soup will warm you up from the inside out — and it’s one of those soups that can make you fall in love with a vegetable you don’t normally seek out.

You probably already have everything you need to make this Filipino chicken porridge in your fridge and pantry.

 

one great readaloud

It’s Lewis Carroll’s birthday Wednesday (Jan. 27). so Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the perfect book to read aloud this week. Snag a copy of the Annotated Alice — the sidebar notes are fascinating.

 

one thought to ponder

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”   
― George Bernard Shaw

 

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