What We've Been Up To Lately: February Book Stack and Some Basketball

Are you a planner by nature?

I am confessing right here that I am NOT.

So, the very thought of laying out the books I want to read in a month at the BEGINNING of the month feels a little stifling to me. I have come to the realization, however, that this will be a good way for me to evaluate my bookish goals.

By “bookish goals” I mean my goal of reading more non fiction, more Christian works, and in general keeping myself away from too much twaddle.

February Book Stack @ Homegrown Learners

February Book Stack for Mom

I completed Inhertiance, by Dani Shapiro, just yesterday. I had heard the hype on this one, and I can tell you it lives up to that hype.

Dani Shapiro knocked it out of the park with this memoir about her shocking discovering of her ancestry.

In addition to that book, I have the following books on my TBR for February

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and LoveOne Summer: America, 1927Mere ChristianityThe Enchanted April (Penguin Classics)The Duchess of Bloomsbury StreetMiss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics)


Audio Books

I always like to keep an Audible selection going in the car.

I am finishing The Secret Diary of Hendrick Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old - it’s hilarious - but I’m warning you… you have to have a good sense of humor about aging and people being in a nursing home. I can chuckle at his stories because my dad lives in an Assisted Living, and this is SO TRUE to life!

Additionally, a book club friend asked me to read An Anonymous Girl, so that is next up in my Audible cue.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik GroenAn Anonymous Girl: A Novel


Reading for My Teens

Grant is reading short stories for his Challenge B curriculum. I have been reading a few of those aloud with him, which is interesting. I love the discussions we are having.

He is bound and determined to finish the Pendragon series. I think reading books in a series is a universal thing for middle schoolers, yes?

My daughter is taking a World Literature class this year and is finishing Julius Caesar right now. For fun, she just re-read Forever Today, which is a a story about the English musician, Clive Wearing. It is a truly heartbreaking and fascinating story.

We are starting a new read aloud this week, and I am taking the advice of so many and starting Echo. I have heard the audio is excellent, but we already own the book. What to do? I think I may use an Audible credit so we can listen and follow along.

Pendragon Complete Collection: The Merchant of Death; The Lost City of Faar; The Never War; The Reality Bug; Black Water; The Rivers of Zadaa; The ... of Rayne; Raven Rise; The Soldiers of HallaForever Today: A Memoir Of Love And Amnesia by Wearing, Deborah New edition (2005)Echo


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A fun aside - I’ve been able to get a lot of reading done because it is basketball season!

I do a lot of waiting at practices and before games. I also sneak in reading if my husband is driving us to an away game.

This weekend my son’s team is in the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!

We’re very excited. It is so much fun watching these kids play. He plays for a local Christian school that allows homeschoolers to play on their team, so he has quite a few of his homeschool buddies that play with him. Good stuff!

Initially I was resistant to a lot of organized sports, but this has been a spectacular experience, and I can see the many benefits this is having for my son. I anticipate he will play next year.

My life right now is SQUILT, homeschool, basketball, and BOOKS — and next week I’ll talk more about getting my oldest registered off for college, because that deserves a post all of its own.

What have YOU been up to?

Do you have a reading stack for February?

January Reading Update

One of the glorious byproducts of homeschooling is self-education.

Much of my self-education has been done through reading.

(My husband gave me this shirt for Christmas - my family gets it now that mom needs time to READ!)

Homeschool moms should read often, widely, aloud - you get the point! Carve out that time for yourself.

Through reading we deepen our knowledge, empathy, and understanding of the world.

We model for our children how to settle down and enjoy a good story. We model a hunger for knowledge. We model discipline, curiosity, and self-care.

January Reading Update for Mom & Kids

January is typically a wonderful reading month. The weather is cold and the calendar isn’t as hectic.

I will update you on my reading, my son’s reading with me, and professional development reading. (My kids’ reading will be saved for another post!)

Here’s an update on reading accomplishments for January.

Books for Pleasure for Mom

I always read two books each month for book clubs. One is an in-person book club, and the other is the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club.

I enjoyed most of these (and you can see more about them on my Homegrown Book Picks Instagram account). The Time Traveler’s Wife wasn’t for me - I know a lot of people enjoyed it, but it didn’t resonate with me.

If you’re looking for a great audiobook, I enjoyed 84, Charing Cross Road on Audible. I also watched the movie with Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft

The other three books - Harry’s Trees, The Lake House, and Where the Crawdads Sing - get a hearty recommendation from me!

84, Charing Cross RoadThe Time Traveler's WifeHarry's Trees: A NovelThe Lake House: A NovelWhere the Crawdads Sing


Read-Alouds for Homeschool

We learned quite a bit from Jefferson’s Sons. It brought up many interesting points for discussion between my 8th grader and me. Can a person still be a GOOD person and own slaves? What was Thomas Jefferson’s motivation behind owning slaves? Did Thomas Jefferson do what was right in the eyes of God? Much to be discussed!

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a short story for Grant’s Challenge B curriculum. The complexity of the language, along with an extremely interesting premise (aging backwards) also lent itself to a lot of discussion!

Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret ChildrenThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button


Professional Development for Homeschool Moms

It is important for us to understand WHY we homeschool, and what our philosophy of homeschooling and education truly is. Mine has evolved and deepened over time.

Beauty in the Word has been on my shelf for at least two years. It is a deep book, and it has taken a couple of readings to let everything soak in.

I HIGHLY recommend you read this book if you are classically educating your children and, contrary to what a lot of people think, this isn’t just for Catholic educators.

I am leading a book club on this book and EVERYONE is invited! We begin this Thursday, January 31 @ 8 p.m. ET and continue for the next 7 Thursday evenings (excluding February 14).

Join us via Facebook, or through this webinar registration link (if you don’t do FB).

Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education


January Reading Update: books for #homeschool moms, read-alouds, professional development

What have you been reading this month?

Let me know in the comments below!

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