Midweek Mix-Up — Pride and Prejudice and a Free High School Biology Curriculum

Welcome to another round of midweek mix-up! I’ve been doing a lot of reading this past week, beyond a few breaks to do other necessary work and spending some quality sibling time.

Books I’ve been reading this week:


The Sound of Diamonds, by Rachelle Rea

The Sound of Diamonds, by Rachelle Rea
Progress: 45% (last week: 24%)

This story has grown more interesting, and the romance thread has grown stronger, too. I’m taking the opportunity to study how romance books work, and will find it interesting to see how the story ends.

The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, by David M. Shapard

The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, by David M. Shapard
Progress: Finished.

I’m not a big fan of romance, but I loved reading Pride and Prejudice. Probably part of the reason I enjoyed it so much was because it’s an older book—I’m finding that classical literature has a glory all its own, even though it is hard to get into. I’ve also watched a movie based on the book before, and listened to a version of the story on LibriVox, as well, so it was interesting to compare the original story with my memories of the audiobook and the differences with the movie. The annotations for the story were very in-depth, providing a lots of interesting tidbits from Jane Austen’s life and letters, explanations of the social structure of the times, and many other fascinating facts and quotes about the story and the time period it was set in.

This isn’t a book for the faint of heart, though. At close to 800 pages long (the spine is just over 1 ½ in. thick), I highly doubt I ever would have gotten through it but for the fact that I had to read it as part of my school curriculum. In the end it was highly interesting, and all the notes make a study of the time period very informative.

Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems, by Janet & Geoff Benge

Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems, by Janet & Geoff Benge
Progress: 89% (last week: 55%)

I am loving Amy Carmichael. We have a Trailblazer book about her, but that only tells about her time in India. I’m really enjoying this glimpse into her life as a whole, and seeing how God worked through her to touch so many lives. Her life story is certainly a challenge to me!

Useful posts this week:

  • 24 Ways to Develop Your Muse — I’ve used a lot of these methods before—most of them unconsciously. But they are some of the best methods out there for ideas. I especially like #3—something that has proved very true for me!
  • Writing Out of an Era — So many tips in here for learning more about the historical period you are writing about! I am definitely going to try some of these next time I’m writing a historical novel—they sound so fun!
  • Discovering rare and interesting instruments — I’ve only heard of one of these six rare instruments before, so I found this post fascinating. This post would be very useful in teaching your children about different musical instruments, especially if they enjoy music. I think my favorite one here would be the Nyckelharpa—it has a beautiful sound!
  • Goal Setting for Beginners [Podcast] — This podcast (This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt) is always inspiring to me whenever I take time to listen to it. I enjoyed this quick refresh on Michael Hyatt’s goal-setting principles, and immediately after listening, I typed up this year’s goals into Evernote. I’m now planning to add a few “due-by” dates to some of them.

Resource of the week:

Otter’s Christian High School Biology Curriculum

Otter’s Christian High School Biology Curriculum

From the website:

Otter’s Biology is a FREE Christian biology curriculum that incorporates a free high-quality textbook, videos, tons of labs to choose from with a multitude of budget and interest options, living books, a free workbook & answer key, incorporated Greek & Latin roots vocabulary, an independent study schedule, and more! If you are a secular family or a family that believes in evolution, the schedule and labs will still work for you, too (more instructions concerning that are included below)!

This looks like a wonderful (free!) resource for high schoolers who want to study biology! The woman who put this together has a daughter who is a RN student, and she has consulted with her quite a bit as to what was helpful for her prep work, and what wasn’t so helpful. I will be looking into this further, because I believe it could be helpful to me in pursuing nursing as well, but you might find it useful too.