• My affiliate links won't hurt you, but they might help feed my kids. See my full disclosure policy in the main menu.

10+ Cool Book Gifts for Teen Readers

More than ten cool and fun book gifts for teen readers that are perfect for feeding your young bookworms this holiday season

You’ve worked their whole lives to make readers of them, and it has paid off.  Your teens are heavy into Story.  You rock.

But the holidays are coming and maybe you’re fretting over what to get your kids that will continue to encourage reading and still be cool.

Because teenagers. have to be. cool.

Don’t worry, Mama.  I’ve got you.  I even ran these gift ideas past my own teenagers, so I know they’re teen-approved.
Continue reading

Cuddle Up With Christmas Classics

Christmas Classics to read as a familyTo me, there is nothing cozier than a warm house, Christmas lights, a snuggly family, and a good story.  And Christmas stories are the best, especially the old ones that stick with you forever and ever, amen.

I’m always telling you to read aloud with your family, and Christmas time is the best time.  For most of us, it’s chilly (or even downright cold) in December.  Plus it gets dark super early.  There’s no better way to spend that time than cuddled up on the sofa reading a brilliant book aloud for the whole family to enjoy.

Maybe you just want to pick one to read for yourself or as a supplement to your homeschool.  However you want to read this Christmas, the classics are always the best.    That’s why they’re classics, y’all.
Continue reading

Exciting News! (December Field Trips for Homeschool)

As you know, this December we are studying composers here at the Lit Mama Homeschool.  Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi…. Tchaikovsky.

Look! Paper snowflakes and salt dough ornaments!

Look! Paper snowflakes and salt dough ornaments!

Oh. Yeah.  Seeing where I’m going with this?

nutcracker- louisville ballet

Because I didn’t.

But my beautiful husband did.  And he surprised us with tickets to the Louisville Ballet’s Nutcracker performance.  So we are going to be studying Tchaikovsky all week, then going to see his music played by an orchestra while a truly stupendous ballet troupe truly stupefies us.

I am in heaven right now.  The Littles are so excited, too.  They can’t wait to see the orchestra, and hear what it sounds like when it’s not a recording.  And even though they’re 10 and 13 year old boys, they are not cringing at the idea of a ballet.  That’s ’cause their mama raised them right!

The_Nutcracker

Martin is so good at romantic surprises for me, but this little field trip is beyond even his usual norm.  To know I would be thrilled to take the boys is a special Martin thing–he sees and hears everything, even when I’m not saying it aloud.  I’m spoiled.  It’s pretty awesome.

louisville ballet

We are, indeed, going to count the excursion as a field trip.  The Littles have already informed me it means an extra day of Christmas break (Ah! Maybe That’s why they don’t mind the ballet!).  If you homeschool, there are so many field trips you could take this month.  Go to a Christmas tree farm and make a day of picking your tree, singing carols, and drinking cocoa.  So many of our local high schools are doing great plays–The Sound of Music, A Christmas Story, The Grinch–for a couple of bucks, you can take your kids to a play and support other local kids.  Littles won’t be able to tell the difference between the very adequate sets of a high school play and the more elaborate sets of a theater.  Or heck, take them to the theater.  We saw A Christmas Story at Louisville’s Actor’s Theater a couple years ago and it was A. Maz. Ing.  Take your littles to a nearby nursing home and sing carols for the inmates patients.  The sick and the elderly will feel so much better for the smiles your littles will put on their faces.  A gift in itself.  Our local colleges also offer free symphony concerts throughout the year, and December always brings out the Christmas music.  Your local library will certainly be holding story times and activities that are holiday-oriented.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to give your littles some fun and get out of the house before January hits and the Truly Bad Weather sets in.

Cabin fever is bad enough.  Let’s not let it sneak in too early.

Love wins,

KT

Story Time: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Story Time: The Night Before Christmas - Crafts and Activities to go with the picture book

It’s Christmastime!!  Everybody loves this time of year.  Or hates it.  Depending on whether they are at home enjoying their own Christmas tree, mugs of cocoa, and family, or they are out shopping.

People shop all year.  We all have things we need to pick up week to week–food, supplies, clothing.  So what is it about shopping for Christmas that makes some put on their Belligerent Hats and shove through like nutcases?  I suppose we’ll never know.  I’ve always thought shopping for gifts should bring out the best in people, not the worst.  So when I am out this time of year, I put on my biggest smile, and even when someone accidentally-on-purpose heels me with his or her cart for some imagined slight, I offer kind words.  I may not think them, but I speak them.  You know what a big believer I am in paying it forward.

It always makes my experience a little bit better, being kind in the face of all that irritation.  Hopefully, it makes the experience of those who come in contact with me better, too.  I am, after all, an optimist.

Continue reading