What’s Happening in Our Homeschool?
This week, I polled you on Instagram stories and asked if you’d be interested in reading an informal weekly recap of our homeschool — a brief blog post highlighting books we read and resources we particularly enjoyed that week. 90% of you — well, 90% of you who voted — said yes. (And a couple of you, prompted by Aveline’s book reviews, asked if she’d include any of her opinions in the weekly recaps. You’ll have to read and see…)
This format is really old-fashioned blogging, isn’t it? The headline didn’t give you five reasons why you should click, and what I’m writing here isn’t hyper-focused on answering your pain point in three easy steps. By all accounts, this kind of informal writing is what the blogging experts say not to do. But through what I’ve observed in my blogging-since-2002 escapades, it’s that the personal, transparent, unpolished conversational elements have largely vanished from the blog scene. So let’s try it, shall we?
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What I’m Reading This Week
I already finished this and returned this to the library, so I don’t have a photo of it. (I told you this was the kind of blogging experts don’t recommend.) I’m a huge fan of the memoir genre, especially if they are cross-cultural and written by women. I tend to gravitate toward either memoirs by third-culture kids or immigrants, or theological memoirs. At the Corner of East and Now is a theological memoir which juxtaposes — in alternating chapters — the parts of an Orthodox church service with ordinary life in Baltimore. The best kind of books, in my opinion, are those in which slice of life meet the profound. This books comes chronologically after Facing East, which I finished late last year. Mathewes-Green is a masterful writer, and she makes me want to write. (That’s the highest compliment I can give any author.) From the book:
“We are to behave at all times like people whose primary thought is, ‘I have been forgiven a great deal.'”
What Aveline is Reading This Week
This wide-format illustrated book — a kind of narrative comic, if you will — was first published in the 1970s and has been continuously in print since then. Kampung Boy lets the reader step into the rural Mayalsian life of a Muslim family in the 1950s. I’m thankful it was recommended in the Visits to…Asia curriculum by Simply Charlotte Mason, or this classic might have escaped my notice.
“It’s different because it’s a combination of a written book and a graphic novel. It has very funny illustrations. I think other people should read it because it’s funny, and when you’re reading it, you barely know you’re learning geography. I learned about life in a normal kampung, which is a type of little village in Malaysia long ago. It’s written in the first person!”
3 New Things We Tried This Week
1. Broccoli that looks like fractals.
(If you want to try this produce delivery service, my alphabet-soup-esque referral code COOKWME-PZ9AQI will get you (and me!) 20% off.)
2. Sharing homeschool duties via Google Classroom
It’s February. I love January, but February gets to me. So my bestie Marie and I decided to throw up a few lesson plans on Google Classroom and assign them to each other’s kids. Talk about a total game-changer!
3. Opinion Writing Unit by Create.Teach.Share on TPT
This is a great step-by-step unit to teach kids how to back up their opinions with examples and reasons. I mean, we could all do with a bit more of that, adults included, right? (Side note: Create.Teach.Share is my favorite Teachers Pay Teachers seller. I haven’t been disappointed yet.)
2 Things We’ve Studied This Week
1. Frida Kahlo.
Did you know Tomie de Paola illustrated a book about her? Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself contains historical photographics, full-color paintings, and illustrations from everyone’s beloved de Paolo. It’s a great kid-appropriate biography. (Thanks to Marie for this recommendation, too!)
2. Writing Your Own Fables
In book 1 of the Writing and Rhetoric series from Classical Academic Press, kids learn how to write by studying fables. And at the end of the book, students get to write an original fable. It’s spurred on thoughtful discussions about consequences, cause-and-effect, and character.
6 Things We’ve Enjoyed This Week
1. A big ol’ sherpa blanket. (Side note: why is it okay to call faux shearling sherpa? I’m not sure I’m on board with that.)
2. Target curbside pickup.
3. The nautical colors in these Under the Sea Prismacolor pencils.
And that’s the week, wrapped! What do you think? Did I leave out tidbits you were expecting to see? The format for this kind of post is very fluid, so feedback is welcome.
See you next time!