Monday links: The Little House edition

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Photos from Little House in the Big Woods of Pepin, Wisconsin! With more to come after the laundry is washed and suitcases unpacked!

My recommendations this week:

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Wow, this Little House on the Prairie 4 part miniseries by Disney is beautiful to watch!

Sticks much closer to the script of the books than the TV show and it does not sugarcoat the hardships of pioneer living (including the tremendous tension between Indians and settlers – I did fast forward a couple of scenes, fyi). I’d highly recommend this for family viewing with your kids ages 9 and up.

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Out of all the Little House themed books we’ve read this year, THIS is one of the few we actually packed along our journey to the sites.

Beautiful photographs and history of the people and places Laura loved (and some she hated, ahem, Nellie). It’s one to add to your shelf if you have Little House fans at home!

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If you have studied the pioneers with your family, you must take a peek at A Pioneer Sampler – it’s one of our newest discoveries and favorites in our home library!

The author cleverly blends historical fiction about a pioneer family in the 1840s with nonfiction about some of the most common chores and activities: maple sugaring, house building, sheep shearing, etc. Make sure to check it out for your 8-12 year-olds.

Featured sponsors this week:

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If your kids love Lego, check out this way to try out more sets without paying for them - is a Lego rental service (Think of it like Netflix for Lego!).

Rent a set for a month, send it back in a prepaid box, and have another show up at your doorstep.


Take school outside this summer:

Home Science Tools offers plenty of supplies and projects to help you boost summer learning (insect collecting, owl pellet dissection, microscopes, and tons more)  – and right now you can get an extra 10% off!

Blessings on you and yours…

“It is a good idea sometimes to think of the importance and dignity of our every-day duties. It keeps them from being so tiresome; besides, others are apt take us at our own valuation.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Weekend links

This post contains affiliate links, and when you purchase anything after clicking them it benefits my family. Thank you for your support of this site!
weekend links montessori

My recommendations this week:

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Looking for a homeschool resource to teach your kids cursive? This book is what I use with Trishna and we like it.

With short lessons (10 minutes), it starts with the easiest strokes and progresses from there. And it’s non-consumable, so you can use it with multiple kids!

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These “first” encyclopedias by DK Publishing are my favs to purchase. I add a couple each year to our home library, and it seems like not a day goes by when I don’t see one of my kids flipping through them.

They are full of colorful photographs, diagrams, and fascinating info. Highly recommended for ages 5-10+!

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We just got our Little Passports package from England in the mail this week, but did you know that they also offer another subscription just for the USA?

For ages 7-12, “visit” two states each month with recipes, connect the dots, mazes, and other activities to learn more as you travel the US.

Featured sponsors this week:

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Reading Rainbow was a huge part of my journey toward falling in love with books way back when, so I was thrilled to donate toward their Kickstarter campaign to bring it back via the web to homes and give it free to needy schools!

They have just 11 days left of their campaign and about $1 million left to raise – even a few dollars makes a difference.

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Oak Meadow’s curriculum goes from PreK-12th grade and their unique approach is both academic yet still infused with a sense of heart and imagination.

You can use their program independently or enroll in their fully accredited distance learning school for support! I’ve been inspired by many of their materials over the years.

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Artterro offers a collection of inspirational eco-friendly art kits. I love that they are open-ended–so kids can really let their creativity run wild with them.

We have the needle felting kit and I have to say I enjoyed it as much as the kids–simple and a fun way to spend time together.

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These Magic School Bus Science labs on Weather, Engineering, Polymers, and Chemistry look fun to have on hand over the summer for ages 5-10…and for just a few days Educents has them on sale even cheaper than Amazon Prime!

Blessings on you and yours this week…

“Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.”
~ Maria Montessori

Weekend links

This post contains affiliate links, and when you purchase anything after clicking them it benefits my family. Thank you for your support of this site!
weekend links

My recommendations this week:

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Sometimes don’t you just wish you could hear from someone who traveled this crazy road of alternative education & came out the other side successfully?

I tore through the pages of The Call to Brilliance years ago and felt so inspired by the story of Resa & her kids: “Unable to read until ages nine and ten, they entered college at eleven and twelve, became systems administrators, chief technology officers, trained with the Berlin Opera and Hamburg Ballet, and more, all before the ages of eighteen.”

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I got SO much beauty & reassurance out of Sarah Mackenzie’s new ebook, Teaching from a State of Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace. As I said in my official review of it: “Sarah beautifully reminds us that we will never be able to give our children the ‘perfect’ education. Instead of crumbling under the weight of our attempts to do so, we can let the burdens fall off our tired backs.”

Highly recommended as a summer inspirational read before the new school year kicks off. And make sure you check out Sarah’s blog as well.


If you’re a mama who hates clothes shopping (like I do!), you may find Stitch Fix to be your answer (like I have!)

5 items delivered to your door each month to try on (according to a style profile you complete), keep the ones you want, & send the rest back in a prepaid envelope.

Featured sponsors this week:

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From the folks behind the popular curriculum Math-U-See, comes a new program – Spelling You See!

It’s aim is to imprint correct spelling into a student’s long-term visual memory through short daily activities that integrate copy work, reading, speaking, & listening.

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I’m not what you would call a “crafty” mom, which is why Green Kid Crafts has been a help to our family!

I like how each monthly box includes ALL the supplies needed – that every project is separated and organized in its own bag, and that they are simple and fun (& usually not too messy!) Use the code HEARTDAD for 40% off your first month through 6/16.

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.”
~ William Shakespeare

The Growly Books (with a freebie for you!)


Today I’m joining in to celebrate with my virtual friends Philip and Erin Ulrich the release of their new book, Morning.

It’s the third and final installment in the Growly Bear series.

And they are celebrating their book launch with a gift for you! Find it at the end of this post.
[Read more...]

Weekend links

This post contains affiliate links, and when you purchase anything after clicking them it benefits my family. Thank you for your support of this site!

weekend links

Jamie’s recommendations this week:

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I devoured this book five years ago at a homeschooling conference (skipping out on many of the actual sessions so I could keep reading!) John Holt’s words in Teach Your Own totally gave me the courage to begin our family culture of living and learning at home.

An inspiring read if you’re considering home education or just need some encouragement to keep going.

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Check out this limited-time Kindle freebie! Natural Born Learners features essays and interview excerpts from a powerhouse of educational pioneers including John Taylor Gatto, Pat Farenga, Joseph Chilton Pearce, David Albert, Grace Llewellyn and tons more.

Covers everything from what unschooling is, to the ways you can implement it, to stories from those who have grown up in this type of learning environment.

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Do you have a child in your home who tends to blow up (i.e. explode) over very small things and don’t respond to the typical discipline strategies you’ve tried over the years?

In The Explosive Child, Ross Greene puts forward a new blueprint for responding to the challenges that arise with children like these. Over 250 5-star reviews on Amazon and some thoughtful and unique advice.

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I have to admit that doing science experiments with my kiddos is not my favorite homeschool activity, but I loved that this Magic School Bus kit came with a giant life-size poster of the human body with stickers to put on and label the different systems.

Featured sponsors this week:

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Lindsey from Home Art Studio has put together a full art curriculum on DVD for parents to use with their kids in grades K-5.

The lessons include a variety of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and more – and the best part is that parents don’t have to be artsy to use these with your kiddos. Inexpensive, too!

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If you follow the Waldorf educational philosophy, Christopherus Homeschool Resources might be a good fit for you.

Donna has translated the curriculum typically followed in a Waldorf school, and has adapted it to work in a homeschool environment. Resources go from grades 1 – 8.

little passports

We’ve been traveling the world via Little Passports for several months now, and all three of my kids still get excited when our monthly package arrives in the mail!

The first month comes with a small suitcase, and each follows with a worksheet, letter, photo, & souvenir to put inside. It’s been a fun addition to our geography studies this year.

Spelling Can Be Easy

All About Reading/Spelling is one of the most popular language arts programs out there, using a variety of multi-sensory approaches to reach different types of learners.

If you’re looking for a curriculum for the upcoming year, it’s worth a peek.

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Educents, a homeschooling deals site, is offering FREE shipping this weekend PLUS no sales tax!

That makes this Life of Fred Math set a pretty good deal – plus there’s plenty of other offers on music sets, language DVDs, magazine subscriptions, and more.

“If [our schools] are still bad maybe we should declare educational bankruptcy, give the people their money and let them educate themselves and start their own schools.”
~ William John Bennett