Weekend Reading for the Homeschooler

I often come across weekend reading links on blogs but rarely do I come across them geared towards the homeschooler.  So here are a few for your reading pleasure.

Meet the Bacteria That Make a Stink In Your Pits–We just finished a unit on the human body and then this came on NPR.  I love it when we hear news stories that line up with our studies!

Top 10 Tricky Science Questions: Answered–How much does the earth weigh?  Why is water wet?

Sports Nutrition–Whether your kids are active in sports or you are just on the go, this article has some good snack ideas to pack and snack ideas to choose while you’re on the road.

The Brontosaurs is Back!–A new classification project has given the Brontosaurus its own genus again.

U.S.S. Independence is located–And its condition is amazingly intact!  And here’s another good article about the discovery.

Have you recently read any good news stories that relate to your schooling?

Weekend Reading for the Homeschool

Its no secret that I’m totally in love with Facebook.  One of my favorite things about it is seeing all the links my friends share.  And I love blogs that do weekly link round-ups.  But one type I don’t ever recall seeing is links devoted to homeschoolers–great posts, scientific or historical finds, planning resources, etc.

So why not?

How Stephen King Teaches Writing–“That fearlessness always comes when a kid is writing for himself, and almost never when doing directed writing for the grade (unless you get one of those rare fearless kids who’s totally confident). The best thing—maybe the only thing—is to tell the student that telling the truth is the most important thing, much more important than the grammar. I would say, “The truth is always eloquent.””

Supplemental Movie List for World History–This list is organized by time period and, from what I was told, screened for family-appropriate content.  I was also told that it is no longer updated.  Still, a great list for building that Netflix queue!

551 Feet Below the Sea: What It’s Like to Ride in a Deep-Sea Sub–My kids enjoyed the pictures and video.

32 Science Books Free for Kindle–Be sure to verify they are still free!

Most of Writing is About Relationship – What I Learned at a Brave Writer Seminar @ Our Busy Homeschool–We are starting Brave Writer soon, so this was an excellent and timely read.

Muffin Monday–Banana Muffins (Grain Free)

Mondays.  Dread ’em or love ’em?  I’ve found our Sundays determine my love (or lack thereof) for Mondays.  If I take the time to straighten up downstairs, ensure the school room is neat (it also serves as our play room, so….), vacuum and have put away, Monday will be a welcome sight.  If I also take the time to make breakfast on Sunday night, Monday goes even better.

The kids love muffins but I generally avoid them for breakfast.  They don’t seem to fill them up and I end up feeling a teensy bit guilty with all that white flour & white sugar. I try to choose muffins that are on the healthier side, substitute some whole wheat flour, etc.  And, yet, all those horrors of grains I see floating around the internet stick in my mind.

But Mondays are the exception.  Most Mondays are Muffin Mondays—the sight of muffins in the morning makes Monday a welcome sight for THEM and ME!  

When I came across this recipe, I was thrilled to see that it contained no flours.  Since we don’t eat grain-free as a rule, I hesitate to buy the alternate flours I see in most grain-free muffin recipes.   I was skeptical of the resulting texture since they had no flour but they hold together very nicely!  As a bonus, these are made with just one bowl, in your blender or your food processor.  I love a recipe that requires very little clean up!

If you don’t own a muffin tin, I have made this in a 9×13 pan or two square pans.  I didn’t note the timing, however.

After a few adjustments, we found the variation my kids really enjoy.  They freeze really well, so I always double my recipe.

Grain-Free Banana Muffins
Add to Plan to Eat

1 cup nut butter, any type (my kids like half almond and half peanut)
2 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
2-3 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Mix-ins of your choice–we do a combination of chocolate chips & peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 400.  Place all ingredients except mix-ins in a blender, food processor or bowl, if you have a stick blender.  Blend until well mixed.  Stir in your mix-ins.

Pour into a greased muffin tin.  Cook 15-18 minutes for full-size muffins and 10-13 minutes for mini-muffins. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.


Next 6 Books On Reading List

I am forever in the middle of at least a handful of books.  Books for schooling, books for Bible studies, non-fiction, fiction (heavy reads), fiction (light reads).   Throw in one, perhaps two, audiobooks and you get quite the mash up of books.  As the saying goes, a jack of all trades, master of none, er…a reader of many books, a finisher of none.

Last night I finished Fault in Our Stars.  And I cried.  I laughed.  I nodded in agreement.  I laughed and cried some more.

Mama’s Losin’ It



I rarely participate in Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts but I’ve been a long-time reader.  Her prompts encourage writing for the love of writing, something I haven’t done much in years.  So.

This week’s chosen prompt is List the the top 6 books on your list to read next.

1) Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes-A dear friend has recommended me this book to me several times, so I finally gave in for it when I found it on sale for my Kindle.  I started it a week ago but I put it aside for Fault in Our Stars.

2) Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions–I actually have the older version, Evolving in Monkey Town.  Rachel Held Evans is one of my favorite bloggers.  I  struggle to reconcile my faith, my social stances and what the church has taught me growing up.  Through her posts and books, they all make sense and I don’t have to put aside any of that.  I’m about halfway through this book, having started in months ago, and I’m determined to finish it this month.

3) Beautiful Ruins–This book came up several times as recommended reading on Overdrive.  The cover caught my eye but I passed it by.  Then I saw in on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s On the Big Screen Summer Reading Guide.  I love almost every recommendation I find on her site, so I put it in my queue.  I hope to start this over the weekend.

4) A Homemade Life: Stories & Recipes from My Kitchen Table

5) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet–The recommendation friend from Bread & Wine also recommended this one to me.  I started it twice but didn’t make it past chapter one but I’m going to give it another shot.

6) Death by suburb : how to keep the suburbs from killing your soul


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Week in Review #3


And, speaking of failures, MUST PRINT OUT HISTORY!!  Kinda’ hard to do it without the papers we need!!

I feel like we’re finally hitting a groove.

We finished Charlotte’s Web and watched the live-action version of it.  It wasn’t until college Literature for Educators class that I actually read Charlotte’s Web.  It is so much better than the movie and I love it a little more each time we read it.

First full week of soccer practices

Ben is getting closer to reading.  Not quite to putting sounds together easily but we’re getting closer!

Week in Review #2

We continued with half-days this week but we also added in Latin.  Latin is new for us this year and I am a bit intimdated.  This will be the first topic we do where I have, essentially, no working knowledge prior to beginning.

Elizabeth began keyboarding class at the library.

We added logic software to our afternoon school rotation.

Soccer started!

I need to rethink dinners!  School + soccer + TKD…this week’s meals did not go as planned!!