Homeschool Happenings – Chicago and South Africa

Homeschooling in October is always a struggle. My birthday, Jason and my anniversary, and Gage’s birthday have all turned into a fall trip. Lot’s of celebrating, planning, and travel. I’m not complaining, I love the family time and the road trips with beautiful fall color, but I admit some of the homeschooling is…not as great as it could be. We spent a week in Chicago and had a fabulous time. We spent hours upon hours inside a variety of museums, so I’m counting it as a week well taught 🙂

This week to get back on track I was pretty strict with our schedule and feel better. We spent a week in South Africa and I loved these picture books…

Yoshi and the Ocean: a Sea Turtle’s Incredible Journey Home by Lindsay Moore – Fabulous story of a recued turtle who spends 20 years in a Cape Town aquarium before being freed. The information in the last few pages told more about her journey and how they tracked her. I read this one for Cybils Award reading so that’s all I’m saying for now 🙂

I Am You: A Book About Ubuntu by Moahloli and McDonald – This is a fabulous book for little kids about the beauty to be found in each other. Adored it. We we read this and compared the idea to other religious ideas. And it came full circle when we read the Mandela book and it talked about ubuntu.

A Plan for the People: Nelson Mandela’s Hope for His Nation by McDivitt and Palmer – A great book that shows the amazing strength of this man as he brought about change for his people.

Hector: A Boy, a Protest, and the Photograph that Changed Apartheid by Adrienne Wright

Mama Africa: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope With Her Song by Erskine and Palmer – Loved this story of a woman who left her country to try and change it through her music.

Living in South Africa by Perkins and Woolley This series is for a level 2 reader, but I like including them as a quick read for him to get some idea of the country we’re going to study.

We made this bobotie recipe from the Enchantment of the World South Africa book. While it doesn’t look anything like the picture it was very yummy. We followed this recipe to perfection, so I’ll have to look for a different recipe next time because it’s definitely going in our rotation.

Have you ever been to Africa? Not yet for us, but it’s fun to travel through books!

The Belle of Belgrave

The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews, Belles of London series #2 (Book 1), 4.5/5 stars, historical romance, 432 pages, 2022

A London heiress rides out to the wilds of the English countryside to honor a marriage of convenience with a mysterious and reclusive stranger.

Tall, dark, and dour, the notorious Captain Jasper Blunt was once hailed a military hero, but tales abound of his bastard children and his haunted estate in Yorkshire. What he requires now is a rich wife to ornament his isolated ruin, and he has his sights set on the enchanting Julia Wychwood.

For Julia, an incurable romantic cursed with a crippling social anxiety, navigating a London ballroom is absolute torture. The only time Julia feels any degree of confidence is when she’s on her horse. Unfortunately, a young lady can’t spend the whole of her life in the saddle, so Julia makes an impetuous decision to take her future by the reins—she proposes to Captain Blunt.

In exchange for her dowry and her hand, Jasper must promise to grant her freedom to do as she pleases. To ride—and to read—as much as she likes without masculine interference. He readily agrees to her conditions, with one provision of his own: Julia is forbidden from going into the tower rooms of his estate and snooping around his affairs. But the more she learns of the beastly former hero, the more intrigued she becomes…

from Goodreads

I loved The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews ❤️. It’s the second book of the Belles of London series but is a standalone. To be honest, I wish there had been a bit more interaction between the four friends that we met in The Siren of Sussex, but that just means it works better for new readers to the series.

Julia has crippling anxiety in social situations and that’s a big problem since her huge dowry puts her on everyone’s radar. Enter Captain Blunt who has come to London to fetch a rich wife to support his estate and three illegitimate children. A mutual attraction is there from the beginning, but it takes a life-threatening situation to move things forward.

This is one of those sweet romances that features two decent people who are each to cheer for. There are mysteries and problems to unravel, but the goodness of the characters make this a comforting read. And the mysteries aren’t so hard to figure out early on, but waiting for Julia to learn the truth made it worth reading.

I first knew I’d like Julia when she took a book to a party and actually found time to read it! She was a mouse who became a lioness thanks in part to the man who first showed her love. While she was a quiet character Captain Blunt was full of mystery and seemingly bad choices so the two matched quite nicely.

Highly recommend for romance fans, especially ones who love historicals. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series.

I want to thank Austenprose for inviting me to be a part of this tour and sending me a copy of the book.

Cybils Awards Nominations are open

I’ve started perusing the first batch of Cybils Award nominations in the nonfiction category. Nominations are open to anyone and you have until October 15th. Books must be for kids to teens and published in the last year. There are lots of categories.

Go to https://www.cybils.com/…/2022-cybils-nominations-open… to nominate or even just to look at the nominations that have come in so far.

It would be fun to see some friend nominations 😁