8 simple, inexpensive ways to enliven your house or apartment
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Spending more time inside this summer? Consider some low-cost home improvement ideas
By the LJ and SLJ editors
After spending months primarily indoors, and with recent spikes in positive COVID-19 cases causing many to return to more aggressive social distancing measures, there's a fair chance that many of us will continue to spend the majority of summer 2020 in our homes and apartments. One way to stay positive is by using this time to spruce up neglected corners, deep clean closets, or make like Marie Kondo and declutter. This week we offer some cheap and easy ideas for novice DIYers.
 
Looking further ahead to the uncertain start of the school year, we report on the emergence of "personal learning pods," and how some families are reenvisioning educational models of homeschooling.
 
Be sure to also check out our weekly roundup of some of the best (and often free) virtual events for kids, parents, and educators.
image Staying Indoors This Summer? Here Are Some Easy Ways To Spruce Up Your Home
By Melanie Kletter
Most of us have been spending much more time than usual at home this summer, staring at the same four walls for weeks on end. And since many of us may continue to both work and relax from home for the foreseeable future, this is the ideal time to freshen up and invigorate your space. Here are eight simple things you can do to breathe new life into your home, no matter what style you prefer or your budget.
image Unhappy with District Plans for Fall, Parents Are Creating Personal Learning Pods or Choosing To Homeschool
By Kara Yorio
Disappointed with remote learning last spring and worried about health concerns and more of the same online instruction in the fall, parents across the country are creating pandemic pods―small groups of children who will spend school days together with a private educator. Others plan to homeschool their kids.
AD: Penguin Random House Children's
image Novel Coronavirus Detectable on Board Books for Three Days
By SLJ Staff
A recent study found that the coronavirus remains active on board books—the format of durable cardboard books used primarily by babies, toddlers, and their caregivers—for up to three days, prompting many libraries to revise their material quarantining protocols.
image Nine Fun, Fact-Filled Podcasts for Dinosaur-Loving Kids
By Pamela Rogers and Anne Bensfield
Dinosaurs grab a hold of our imaginations, so it is no wonder podcasts are filled with them, too. Kids can find dinosaur bedtime stories, myths, scientific facts and discoveries, and many theories about what life was like on Earth when they roamed. This playlist includes episodes featuring imaginative stories, scientific facts, and ongoing discoveries.
image Latinx Luminaries: Picture Book Biographies Featuring Latinx Superstars
By Shelley M. Diaz
The United States Census reported that the Hispanic population accounted for almost 20 percent of the U.S. population in 2020. However, only five percent of children’s books feature Latinx characters or subjects. Thankfully, more picture book biographies for young readers are being published about groundbreaking Latinx luminaries every year. Here are our top picks.
image Virtual Events Calendar: SLJ’s Eclectic Roundup of Weekly Book-ish Things
By Kimberly Olson Fakih
Comic-Con@Home kicks off, a virtual summer writing camp offers inspiration and fun for teens ages 13 and up, and a who's who of children's literature superstars continue their weekly video series for PBS.

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