little house

Stuff We Like :: 4.15.16

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

This week, Shelli's got the scoop on what's lighting up her April homeschool. 

spring

We’re a birding family, so we love the spring weather and watching the birds nest and fly about in our yard! My six-year-old especially loved this interactive website that lets you explore bird anatomy, and in the evenings we’re also enjoying watching some wild bird videos too.

 

at home/school/iife

in the magazine: Subscribers can download our free meal planning sheet (with spaces for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks because homeschoolers need spaces for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks!) when you log into the subscribers-only portal.

on the blog: Amy shares what she's learned teaching homeschoolers creative writing

on instagram: Why yes, our Friday nights are pretty thrilling

 

Homeschool

This month we’ve been learning about the Cherokee Indians because our local art museum has a Cherokee Basketry exhibit I want to attend, and this is an important part of our state’s history the boys should understand. (So, yes, this is a Mama-led activity!) I began by reading The Cherokee: native basket weavers by Therese DeAngelis, Sequoyah by Doraine Bennett, and The Cherokees by Jill Ward, which were all short (elementary level) books I checked out from the library.  Then we read the (middle school-ish) book Only the Names Remain by Alex W. Bealer, a sad account of the Trail of Tears. These were all good books.

 

My New Adventure

It’s not always about the boys’ projects around here. This spring I have been delving into the world of bread baking, and not only that, I have captured my own wild yeast, too! The series Cooked (exclusive to Netflix) inspired me. I am using the book Classic Sourdoughs, but it hasn’t answered all my questions, so I’ve frequented YouTube and friends on Twitter as well! (Thank you, Twitter friends!) After four loaves of bread, I’m still trying to get it right! (I did have great success with pizza dough, however.)

 

Books

The boys are constantly looking at our collection of Calvin and Hobbes books, which I keep on the kitchen table with the weekly newspaper. At least my nine-year-old is reading something without being told!

A couple of years ago, my nine-year-old lost interest in the Little House books when we got to By the Shores of Silver Lake. Now we’ve picked it up again, and he’s enjoying it. I think we’ll finish the series now!

For myself, I just finished reading Taking Lottie Home by Terry Kay. It’s a Southern novel, and I thought it was going to be predictable, but as the story gained momentum, I realized it was not! It was a very good read and a meaningful story.

 

T.V.

Our most current beloved documentaries: 

--NOVA’s Rise of the Robots (PBS)

--Nature’s Wild France (PBS)

--Cooked (Netflix exclusive)

--Chef’s Table (Netflix exclusive) (These last two were insanely great.)

Just for me: Mr. Selfridge (Masterpiece Theatre PBS; available on Amazon Prime)


Stuff We Like :: 10.23.15

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 busy working on Halloween costumes and top-secret birthday presents here at Casa Sharony. We may also have planned our entire Thanksgiving menu last weekend. I love fall.

around the web

I am not a theme park person, but I would make an exception for a nature-centric theme park created by Hayao Miyazaki. Wouldn’t you?

I thought I was a big Little House fan, but these scientists may have me beat. I love when different disciplines come together like this.

David Bowie paper dolls. No comment needed.

 

at home/school/life

in the magazine: Our subscription cost is going up at the end of October, so renew your subscription before then if you like the $15 price tag.

on the blog: In the spirit of Halloween reading, we hooked a reader up with some of our favorite scary books.

on pinterest: I want to make some of these super-cute leaf creatures with the kids.

 

reading list

We were late on the Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures craze, but my son is now completely obsessed. It’s a really fun readaloud.

I read a lot of books that don’t always end up in the magazine.A few books that I read and liked but don’t have immediate plans to review: Every Last Word, about a secret high school poetry club and a girl struggling with mental health problems; The Peddler’s Road, a Pied Piper story that I really enjoyed until it did that thing where it ends on a dramatic cliffhanger for no good reason; and The Rise and Rise of Tabitha Baird, which was fluffy, fun, and British.

Jason is reading The Name of the Wind and really digging it. I have a hard time getting into fantasy books, but it sounds like this one is worth checking out if you enjoy them.

 

at home

I’m pretending that it’s for the class I’m going to be teaching this winter, but I’m really just binge-watching Doctor Who because I can.

I started a Saroyan to knit while I’m hanging in the waiting room at physical therapy. I love the little leaves along the edge—I’m using red yarn, so it’s like knitting autumn.

I am weirdly obsessed with learning to play mah jongg. Does anybody play? I love bridge, and we inherited a gorgeous mah jongg set from my mother-in-law … but it may just be the non-weight-bearing talking.


Summer Reading: If You Loved The Little House Books

Did you love the Little House series? These books — for every reading level — share the simple, everyday details of life in the American past. If you’re looking for books like Little House on the Prairie, these titles are good place to start.  

 

Your Next Picture Book:

The Snowy Day
By Ezra Jack Keats
 

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats perfectly captures the magic of a little boy’s first snow day.

 

Your Next Chapter Book

The Birchbark House
By Louise Erdrich
 

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich does for the Native American experience what Little House did for the pioneers, chronicling the rhythms of life through a child’s eyes.

 

Your Next Readaloud:

Understood Betsy - Illustrated
By Dorothy Canfield
 

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher tells the story of a city-reared girl who learns to love the labors of country living.

 

Your Next Teen Read:

 

The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell is usually recommended for middle school, but the story of Karana’s self-sufficient life alone on a California island may be more deeply appreciated by older readers.

 

Your Next Grown-Up Book:

My Antonia
By Willa Cather
 

My Antonia by Willa Cather illuminates the story of the American West — and gives voice to some of the more adult difficulties of pioneer life — through the relationship of Jim and Bohemian immigrant Antonia.

 

We’re reprinting some of Amy’s summer reading series favorites from home/school/life magazine. This list appeared in our 2014 summer reading guide.


What You Should Read in Elementary School

What You Should Read in Elementary School

Whatever else you read, make time for these classics before middle school.