virtual field trip

Monday Pep Talk No. 27

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

Happy Monday! We’ve got a few fun ideas to add to your to-do list for the week.

3 fun things to do this week

Monday is Leap Day! Learn more about the science and history behind our extra calendar day this year

Mark National Anthem Day (on Thursday) by traveling back in time to 1814 with the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary “A Star-Spangled Story: Battle for America.” Plus: 9 things you may not know about “The Star-Spangled Banner” via the History Channel

What better way to celebrate World Book Day (on Thursday) than by exploring the history of books? The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has a terrific online exhibition of books through time, starting with clay tablets and continuing all the way through to modern-day editions.

 

3 ideas for this week’s dinners

Dress up your standard grilled-cheese-and-tomato-soup dinner with this labneh grilled cheese sandwich. (Have you made your own labneh? It’s really easy and also tastes delicious on your morning toast with honey and hazelnuts—just saying!)

Nigella’s French lasagne is really a savory bread pudding made with leftover croissants, and it’s the perfect dinner for a chilly winter evening. I’d serve it with an easy kale salad.

If you are looking for a side idea for your regular grilled or rotisserie chicken, these barbecue carrots with yogurt and pecans will steal the show.

 

one great readaloud

Wrap up Black History Month by reading The Book Itch, a lovely history of Lewis Michaux’s National Memorial African Bookstore, which opened in the 1930s and became a rallying point for the civil rights movement.

 

one thought to ponder

“Men become builders by building houses, harpers by playing the harp. Similarly, we become just by doing just acts, brave by doing brave acts.”
—Aristotle

 

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

vodka, blood orange, and fennel cocktail


Monday Pep Talk No. 23

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

It’s Monday again! Here’s your weekly dose of ideas for feeding, engaging, entertaining, and enjoying your homeschool family in the days ahead.  

3 fun things to do this week

Forget the groundhogs—celebrate Sled Dog Day (on Feb. 2) by virtually hopping aboard an Iditarod dogsled for a race across Arctic terrain, with stops for science and cultural study along the way.

Doodle Day (Feb. 5) is the perfect excuse to start keeping a Four-Minute Diary.

Get to know the stories that ballet dancers bring to lyrical life with Tales from the Ballet by Louis Untermeyer, a gorgeously illustrated retelling of classic ballet stories. (Ballet Day is Feb. 7.)

 

3 ideas for this week’s dinners

Chicken parm meatballs are a fun riff on two regular family favorites.

Making schlutzkrapfen with porcini, browned butter and walnuts is a little fussy, but big cooking projects make great entertainment on cold days—and these are so yummy!

Tastier than takeout Chinese and nearly as quick, this hot and sour soup warms up chilly nights.

 

one great readaloud

The War That Saved My Life
By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
 

There are some emotionally charged bits that you may want to prepare sensitive kids for, but The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, World War II historical fiction in which abused, unhappy Ava finds happiness when she sneaks off to the country to escape the war, is easily one of last year’s best books.

 

one thought to ponder

“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.” 
—Victor Hugo

 

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

hot white chocolate


Monday Pep Talk No. 17

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

Let the holiday rush begin! I don’t know about you, but in our house things kick into high gear just before Thanksgiving and don’t slow down again until January—and a weekly kick-in-the-pants of inspiration is pretty essential.

3 fun things to do this week

What better way to celebrate Homemade Bread Day (Tuesday) than by whipping up a loaf of bread in your kitchen? This no-knead recipe is designed for preschoolers, so it’s virtually impossible to mess up.

Take a virtual field trip to the first Thanksgiving (in 1621) at Plimoth Plantation. (Download the application first, and it will run faster than streaming it.)

Find out how much energy is stored in a single peanut with this simple (but fascinating) peanut power science experiment.

 

3 ideas for this week’s dinners

Warm everybody up with bowls of this 15-minute Greek chicken soup. It’s the perfect dinner on those grumpy, sniffly nights when everybody needs the food equivalent of a hug.

This easy shrimp-fried rice is an ideal one-pan dinner. (Sub tofu or chicken if your gang is anti-shrimp.)

This crunchy, spicy autumn salad with horseradish vinaigrette is exactly what a cold-weather salad should be.

 

one great readaloud

To gear up for Thanksgiving cooking next week, read A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat, a delightful picture book describing how four different generations of American families prepare the same blackberry fool. (This book is definitely on my list for best picture books of 2015.)

 

one thought to ponder

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

hard cider sangria