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This year was a tough year, and there’s a lot that all of us will be glad to leave behind. While it was very different than expected, there were some glimmers of light that came through, unexpected blessings and finds that made things a little better. Just for the fun of it, here were a few of my favorites:
Cranberry Chutney. Seriously. SO GOOD. I discovered that I loved chutney at my sister’s house a couple years ago, but this year I’ve been making it in large quantities – some for us to keep, and more to share. My recipe has been modified from https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cranberry-chutney/
Children Helping Science. This website my sister introduced me to as well – it’s a chance for researchers whose labs are closed to continue their research in an online (Zoom, mostly) format. My kids have participated in a dozen or so studies, which have involved short interviews with smart and interesting young adults in the US, Canada, and the UK. My kids have had a chance to practice some social skills, have earned a few dollars (usually $5 Amazon gift cards), and have enjoyed the interaction. https://childrenhelpingscience.com/
This blanket. It’s a 4 layer, twin size muslin blanket that I bought for my husband and then promptly stole. It’s my new “snuggle up on the couch and read together” blanket. https://amzn.to/3hnlcx8
Misfits Market’s Customizable Boxes. When everything shut down in spring, we subscribed to Misfits Market. We’re currently getting a huge box every 2 weeks, and we’re able to customize our order, so we’re actually eating a huge amount of organic produce every week, and it feels like Christmas when the box shows up. 50% off referral code by January 3rd, otherwise 25% off if you’d like to try it out: go to Misfits Market and enter code COOKWME-LV8DTM
New York Times Puzzles. My family started really getting into puzzling together. All kids can contribute to the Spelling Bee and Tiles puzzles, and we’re making it a tradition to do the Mini crossword with my 10 yo. https://www.nytimes.com/puzzles/spelling-bee
Library Books. Our family has spent hours and hours curled up on the couch with good books. Favorites for my 10 yo have been The Penderwicks and the Mr Lemoncello’s Library series. My 7yos have been loving The Boxcar Children mysteries, and Zoey and Sassafrass, among other favorites.
Outdoor Time. This year we’ve discovered a few new favorite spots, including an arboretum that’s free during the week and a couple new hiking trails. We’ve also been back to our favorite beaches and trails again and again, observing the seasonal changes and soaking in the fresh air.
Gameschooling. My kids have learned so much through games this year – here’s a list of our top games of 2020.
There are probably dozens of other bright spots I could mention, from technology to connect with family and new discoveries, but tonight I’m thankful for what we have, for what this year has been, for what it has taught us, and how we’ve been able to adapt.
Happy New Year.
To check out some highlights of some homeschool friends of mine, check out this favorites page here!