School For Peculiar Parents: my favorite podcasts

Век живи – век учись. Literal translation from Russian is “live for a century, learn for a century.”  The focus of this proverb is on the importance of learning as long as you alive.

On one hand, having instant and unlimited access to the learning tools and materials is a dream come true. I love reading books, listening to audio books, take free online courses from world renowned universities, stream podcasts and learn from the blogs. Being stay at home mom gives me a unique opportunity to pursue wide variety of interests and subjects. My Little Poppies and The Homeschool Sisters creators cleverly call it poolside professional development.  Love it!

On the other hand, unlimited amount of information can be confusing and hard to sift through. Where do I start? What should I read?  Is this podcast worth my time?

These are my favorite podcasts. They are filled with helpful tips, ideas, thought provoking conversations and  help me learn and connect with other homeschooling families. I hope this list will be helpful and encouraging to you.

1. Levar Burton Reads Lose yourself in a great story with LeVar Burton Reads. In each episode, host LeVar Burton hand-picks a different piece of short fiction, and reads it to you.

2. Scholé Sisters is the podcast for the classical homeschooling mama who seeks to learn and grow while she’s helping her children learn and grow. Scholé Sisters is a casual conversation about topics that matter to those of us in the trenches of classical homeschooling who yearn for something more than just checking boxes and getting it all done. In each episode, we cover our Scholé RDA {places to go for inspiration and growth}, a topical discussion relying on principles we find in books by people like David Hicks, James Taylor, and Charlotte Mason, and a Principles Are Practical nitty gritty homeschooling question. Come and join the Sisterhood of the Podcast!

3. Read Aloud Revival It’s hard to connect with our kids in today’s busy, noisy world, but reading aloud gives us a chance to be fully present. We equip and inspire you to make meaningful and lasting connections with your kids through stories.

4. The Brave Writer Podcast is a big juicy conversation about how to bring learning to life for your kids! Julie Bogart and guests talk about how parents and children are partners in the learning adventure, especially when approaching the daunting task of writing. Brave Writer appeals to homeschoolers, educators, and parents who want more out of “school” than merely passing tests.

5. Exploring Unschooling Pam Laricchia shares interviews, information, and inspiration about unschooling and living joyfully with your family.

6. The Homeschool Sisters Podcast Cait and Kara are two moms doing this homeschooling thing right beside you. They might not have it all figured out, but one thing we know for sure is that homeschooling is a lot easier when you have a sister by your side.

7. Joyful Courage It takes a village to parent and the Joyful Courage Parenting Podcast creates that village. Be inspired, entertained and educated by a variety of parent educators and voices being interviewed each month on the show. We are all in this together folks!!

8. Studentcentricity A guide to teaching strategies that put students at the center or the process.

9. Crazy real real crazy podcast with Hmmmmschooling mom.

10. Podrunner Nonstop, one-hour, high-energy workout music mixes to help you groove while you move. Podrunner’s fixed-speed and interval exercise mixes are perfect for power walking, jogging, running, spinning, elliptical, aerobics, and many other tempo-based forms of exercise. An iTunes award-winner six years in a row!

What are your favorite podcasts and resources? Please, share in the comments. I always look for new ways to learn!

Check out this post with podcast  recommendations for kids.

Top 10 podcasts for kids

Whose kid can repeat radio commercials verbatim, usually the most inappropriate ones and in the most unfortunate times? After the infamous Panera Bread drive thru incident,  I had to ban radio during the car rides (it was bad. So so bad.)

Audiobooks and podcasts became our go-to options for car rides. Sometimes backseat gets so quiet, I have to check if kids are still awake. 10 times out of 10 they are wide eyed and completely mesmerized by the podcasts.

These are our favorites! I hope you will enjoy them as much as we do!

1. Brains On We love this one and binge listen to this podcast on long trips.  This show  is one of the reasons we survived 8 hour road trip this summer screen free and scream free. Mystery sounds and the moment of ummmm are my kids’ favorites!

2. Wow In The World I can’t believe we just recently discovered this amazing podcast! WOW! The combination of fun and engaging hosts,  interesting and challenging topics, coverage of wide variety of scientific topics creates an addictive educational show.

3. But Why? It’s the question that I hear often from kids and it usually leads to amazing learning adventures. But Why?  is a show led by kids and their questions.  Bonus episode for parents on how to talk to kids about tragedies in the news is a great resource, thought provoking and thorough.

4.Tumble. “Mommy, can we please have podcast screen time today?” The whole family enjoys exploring scientific discoveries while building LEGO, coloring, making playdough creations and tinkering.

5.  The Alien Adventures Of Finn Caspian is a serialized science fiction story for kids. Engaging fun stories,  humour and special effects appeal to both, kids and parents.

6. The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel  is a high quality serial mystery story performed by actual kids.

7. The Past The Curious Each eposide features 2 short stories that are linked in some way, music, art and more. This family friendly history podcast quickly became one of our favorites.

8. Spark Stories Occasionally, read alouds are outsourced. When mom/teacher is unable to sit dows and read, Spark Stories come to the rescue. Each podcast shares a free story from original series.

9. Short and Curly show is filled with tough questions. This thought provoking show contains great conversations starters for a family debate.

10. Clark Howard Show  Nationally-syndicated consumer expert Clark Howard shares practical money saving advice to help you save more, spend less, and avoid scams and ripoff.

While kids aren’t this show’s target audience, they will benefit greatly from listening to Clark. He is the kindest radio talk show host and is always unbelievably sweet and patient with his callers. If he disagrees with his listeners, he handles it with grace and respect without sacrificing his beliefs.

What are your favorite podcasts and resources? Please, share in the comments! I’m always looking for new ways to learn.

For more podcast ideas check out this post.

Mary Poppins: book vs movie. 

This is going to be the most controversial thing I have ever posted and I just can not believe the words that are about to come out of my mouth (…more like from under my thumbs.) 

I finally read the book and…the movie was better…I have NEVER said it before!
What book/movie am I talking about? Marry Poppins.

<I’ll wait for the rain of rotten tomatoes, shoes and other random items to die down before elaborating.>

Disney is famous for taking dark and gruesome fairy tales and changing them into family friendly stories full of sunshine and singing rainbows.  Knowing that, I should not have been surprised that stern, but loving and fair Disney Mary Poppins was slightly different in the original story. Just slightly. Like night and day!
P. L. Traver’s Mary Poppins is rude, vain, jealous
and not  likeable character.  

After inviting herself into Banks’ family life, what us the first thing she does? She gives all 4 children a mysterious medicine. “Why is she making them drink the medicine, mommy? They’re not sick!” wondered my 5 year old. “Maybe it’s some kind of hallucinogenic drug to make them like her, sweetie,” I thought to myself as I replied “I don’t know, honey.”

The most bizarre part of the book didn’t make it into the Disney musical version of the book. Jane and Michael “…dreamed [that they] were at the Zoo and it was Mary Poppins’s birthday, and instead of animals in the cages there were human beings, and all the animals were outside.”

When we read about Mary Poppins’ birthday  celebration at the zoo, my son shrunk in his seat and insisted we skip that part. 

Ok, the movie wasn’t better than the book, it just was different and unexpected. The book is skillfully written and I enjoyed it (even though I had to pick my jaw off the floor a few times) and will probably read the sequels in the future. 

Now good luck getting “The Spoonful of Sugar” song out if your head!