Tag Archives: homeschool

Episode 45: Pack Your Bags, We’re Going to Mars

On the eve of Mother’s Day, the Mamas are packing their bags for Mars. They’ve got their motion sickness cures and their poopoo sprays tucked into travel bags; and they’re looking forward to a few days of weightlessness in the silence of space. Join the Mama’s space club so you aren’t left angry walking (or floating) alone.

Book Chat:
Packing for Mars for Kids by Mary Roach

Pick 6: 
Books for a Quiet (and less disappointing) Mother’s Day

  1. Jane Austen’s Table: Recipes Inspired by the Works of Jane Austen: PIcnics, Feasts and Afternoon Teas By Robert Tuesley Anderson
  2. Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela J. Hanscom
  3. Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping by Matthew Salesses
  4. Into the Wild by Jon Krakhauer
  5. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
  6. Educated by Tara Westover & Educating by LaRee Westover

Episode 42: Happy Middle Grade March

The Two Lit Mamas celebrate Middle Grade March with random selections from their TBR piles before they collapse and crush them. Margie went for funny superheroes, of course, while Heather dug into a survival story that was a little too real. Listen in as the Mamas gush over poetry (shocker, right?), get on their soap box in defense of graphic novels (not a shocker), and share their favorite female MCs from middle grade books in honor of Women’s History Month (totally on brand). 

Book Chat:

The Super Villain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid by Matt Wallace

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Bat Pig Series: When Pigs Fly by Rob Harrell

Pick 6: Favorite Female MCs from MG books

  1. Margaret from Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Bloom
  2. Jesse Keyser from Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  3. Iris from Song for a Whale by Lynn Kelly
  4. Esperanza from Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
  5. Ada from the War that Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  6. Mimi Mackson from Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

Episode 39: Pirates in Middle Grade Books

Arrrrr, the Mamas uncover buried treasure with three pirate-themed books for Middle Graders readers (aged 8-13) in the 39th episode of Two Lit Mamas Podcast. Their high seas discussions quickly freeze over with six tips for beating the winter blahs that don’t include walking the plank. Join them if you dare!

Book Chat:

  1. The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty
  2. Dark Waters by Katherine Arden
  3. Pirate Queens: Dauntless Women Who Dared to Rule the High Seas by Leigh Lewis, illustrated by Sara Gomez Woolley


Pick 6: How the Mamas beat the winter blahs

  1. Lots of carbs, including homemade bread, French pastries, and pretzels. Yes, please!
  2. Get cozy with Danish Hygge and throw another log on the fire.
  3. Game the system with games.
  4. Embrace the Swedish mantra “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
  5. Murder in books, movies, TV shows and podcasts
  6. Make your family mission statement “Always Be Learning.”

Episode 15: Differently Abled Middle Grade Books & Homeschool Chat

The mamas launched the new year discussing two awesomely-abled middle grade characters – one’s a math savant, one’s autistic, both make exciting leads and reads. Then the mamas switched gears and got real about homeschool life. The mamas urge you to turn off the news for an hour, Irish up your coffee, and listen in!

Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

North Carolina 7th grader, Lucy, was struck by lightning when she was young and was diagnosed with acquired savant syndrome which made her a math genius. She’s been homeschooling since then and has advanced her education to college level. Lucy makes a deal with her grandmother, who’s worried about her social skills, that she will spend a year in middle school before moving on to college. Afterall, “if you can survive a bolt of lightning, you can survive middle school, right?”

Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos

Twelve-year-old Nova is a non-verbal, autistic girl who has been bouncing through foster care with her older sister Bridget for about 7 years. Through everything, their shared love of space exploration has kept the sisters going. The upcoming launch of the Challenger sending the first teacher in space, who happens to be from their home state, is a driving force in Nova’s life. When the girls get separated, Nova counts down the days until she see’s Bridget again because her sister promised they would watch the Challenger Launch together – no matter what. But Nova finds some things are beyond anyone’s control.

Pick 6: Homeschool Resources

1. Class Dismissed movie

2. John Holt

3. Pat Farenga

4. Village Home Learning

5. Sir Ken Robinson

6. Sandra Dodd

Reference Links:

Challenger documentary

Psychology Today article

Episode 8: Back to School Creativity

Whether your family is doing e-learning, homeschooling, unschooling, striking, or hiding out in a bunker to avoid the latest natural disaster, you need The Creativity Project book to fill your time and sparkle your creativity. If you’re not sure if this book is for you, listen as the mamas give the hard sell (no, there’s no money in it for them although they’ll take your money if you’re offering) for literary advocate Colby Sharp and his unique prompt-response anthology along with tips to keep your kids learning, growing and creating. 

The Creativity Project, edited by Colby Sharp

This collection of prompts and responses from dozens of well-known children’s authors is the brainchild of teacher and literary advocate Colby Sharp (5 Questions with Mr. Sharp), who invited some of the best storytellers in Kidlit to share a prompt. Then the artists swapped prompts and let their imaginations run wild. The results appear in The Creativity Project book in the form of stories, drawings, poems, and comics. A section titled Prompts for You, is a call to action at the end that encourages readers to create their own awesome works of art. 

The Mamas couldn’t call out every contributor in the book, but they did discuss the works of these authors and illustrators: Sherman Alexi, Kate Messner, R.J. Palacio, Dav Pilkey, Minh Le, Victoria Jamieson, Lemony Snicket, Jennifer L. Holm, Chris Grabenstein, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Adam Gidwitz, Sophie Blackall, Kate DiCamillo, and Kat Yeh.

Pick 6: The mamas’ tips for sparking creativity at home or school

  1. Poetry Friday Anthology
  2. Scholastic Story Starter Scrambler
  3. Story Prompts from Think Written and Squibler
  4. Painting with ice
  5. Ice Play
  6. Airport Stories

Episode Reference Links:

Tomie’s Little Book of Poems by Tomie dePaola

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler