Weekly Recap: Waffles, Viruses, and E-Books

As tempting as it might be, none of us can ignore this novel coronavirus any longer. Schools are closed all around us — our county has more than half of Tennessee’s total COVID-19 cases. But here’s the thing —

Taking COVID-19 precautions is a simple way we can actively love our neighbor.

Writer Lore Wilbert reminds us, “It is not panicking to practice social distancing, avoid crowds, wash your hands more frequently and for longer. Even if you fall in the not-at-risk-of-dying category, over 20 million Americans ARE at risk of dying because their immune systems are weaker. We should love our neighbors by showing restraint and care in our own normal schedules.

The world will keep spinning if you opt out of the conference, stay home from church or other large gatherings for a few weeks…

It’s a sacrifice, but it’s not panicking.”

[We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

[This post also contains affiliate links to Veritas Press. This means if you click on a Veritas Press link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission.]

Do you follow Lore Wilbert or read her site, Sayable? She’s such a gifted, practical, theologian. I love how she shifts the COVID-19 focus from fear and self-protection to sacrifice and loving others.

If you’re still on the fence about whether efforts like social distancing and staying home matter, think of the capacity of our medical providers and healthcare system. Obviously, the capacity is not infinite, so we all need to help #flattenthecurve.

And start now. Don’t wait until COVID-19 is confirmed in your neighborhood.

Image Credit: The Spinoff (

Okay, enough on viruses for now. On to the book review and learning resources section of the weekly recap!

Did you see Veritas Press is running a big sale on self-paced history courses?

All self-paced courses, actually, are on sale, so that’s elementary history, elementary Bible, and middle and high school Omnibus.

These are computer-based courses with no set class times, so your student logs in and completes a video lesson whenever it’s convenient for your schedule. These aren’t lectures, but immersive and interactive lessons with games, songs, virtual travel, and recurring historical characters.

The code SAMSON will give you a $100 off. That means —

  • elementary history courses are $149 after coupon code, for 12-month access. (Quick math: That’s ~$12.50 a month, or less than $3 a week.)
  • elementary Bible courses are $99 after coupon code, for 12-month access. (Quick math: That’s ~$8.25 a month, or less than $2 a week.)
  • middle- and high school individual Omnibus courses start at $249 for individual courses (after coupon code), or $799 (after coupon code) for a complete bundle of self-paced courses and books worth three high school credits.

View the course listing here. (Coupon code SAMSON is valid only through Monday, March 16, 2020, but you can delay your course start date to September 2020.)

2 More Curriculum Announcements to Note

1. Last week, I spied new products from Sonlight, including a new kindergarten American history program. I will be reviewing the two-volume spine, Heroes and Happenings, soon.

2. This week, Apologia announced a new edition of elementary Botany — and the notebooking journal has been completely redesigned. Since I recently reviewed their current journals, the new and improved look for their notebooking journals really caught my eye. So much color!  You can grab samples here, and check out the other new products from Apologia, too.

What I’m Reading This Week

Adventures in Waffles, by Maria Parr (translated from Norwegian)

I’ve made no headway on either The Christian Church in the Cold War or Lent, but I did read Adventures in Waffles from cover to cover. I encourage you to go out and do the same. (Or, if COVID-19 is keeping you from the library, stay in and do the same. I found a copy with library access to Libby, or you can grab the Kindle version.)

Even though this is a new book, published in 2015, I kept laughing out loud and exclaiming, “Where was this book when I was a kid?!” Maria Parr encapsulates the wind-in-your-hair thrill of childhood freedom even better than Astrid Lindgred did with Pippi Longstocking.  And I love Pippi. But Lena and Trille go deeper, digging into pure joy and deep sadness with courage and endearing vulnerability. Highly recommend.

What Aveline is Reading This Week

The same book! Adventures in Waffles, by Maria Parr(translated from Norwegian)

Aveline says, “Adventures in Waffles was the second e-book I have ever read, although my mom reads them all the time. It was a funny book because the characters were so adventurous. I think Lena was my favorite character because she was so reckless. For instance, in chapter 1, she tries to climb along a rope strung between her and Trille’s houses. (Trille is her best friend.) But, she can’t get all the way across! Trille has to pull out a mattress and put it under Lena before she falls! Trille manages it, and Lena is fine. At least, in that case!” -Aveline, age 9

6 Things We’ve Enjoyed This Week

1. FREE apps like Hoopla, Libby, and Overdrive make it possible to keep checking out library books in e-book and audiobook form, even if you’re reducing your public outings. Ask your librarian what digital reading options are available at your local library. (In a small town with limited options? Reader Jen offers this tip on how to access free books. Edited to add: Jen is a former-librarian-turned-homeschooler who wrote an entire post of best library hacks for homeschoolers. Such good info!)

2. These hands-on history projects kits from Sonlight are worth it. We missed co-op this week, and Aveline made a wooden car from the World Cultures kit instead. (Here’s a review I did a while ago, including the monetary breakdown of price per project. Bonus? No shopping trips for supplies, which reduces time spent running errands and cuts down on germs.)

3. Marie finds the neatest freebies. This FREE 30+ page math activity booklet (grades 4-12) has lots of great math puzzles and challenges.

4. Moving Art on Netflix has many episodes of high-quality nature cinematography set to legit music (not elevator loops.) No narration.

5. If you’re helping your kids learn Chinese, you might enjoy this FREE month-long homeschooling Chinese course, complete with printables. (We haven’t started it yet, because we’re focusing on preparing for the Youth Chinese Test later this month. The YCT is a standardized Chinese test, offered annually at test centers around the world.)

6. We do school all over the house, and literally carry this white board around with us. Mobile classroom, anywhere, affordably! (Here are 100 more tools for homeschooling gifted kids.)

And that’s this week, wrapped!

Do you have questions about teaching gifted, quirky, out-of-the-box kids?

I’ll be back next Thursday to answer some of your questions, and share another round up of resources.

Oh and follow the Learning Well Community‘s Instagram page, because on Wednesday March 18, I’ll also be taking over @LearningWell and sharing a day in our life. Fun!

See you next time…


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