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A Literary Tour of New York City: Harriet the Spy

This is when I start thinking about next year in detail.  I have spent a year preparing to homeschool a highschooler, but now it is time to put my plan into motion.  While we were listening to our current audio book, Harriet the Spy it occurred to me that we could have a lot of fun creating a course: A Literary Tour of New York City.   

Harriet the Spy is set on the upper East Side of Manhattan and many of the places she travels in her daily routine can be walked.  The girls and I have never had an egg cream and I believe you can still get these at Junior’s Restaurant, hopefully at the Grand Central location.  We could walk the same route she used to spy on her neighbors, see the school her school is modeled after and the home that was used as the model for her brownstone.  We can imagine where Ol’ Golly had her German Dinner and the movie theater she visited.  We can walk and see if there is a park along the East River where the fateful journal stealing scene took place.  To take this one step further, why not make this an interactive course?

We love Instagram and the ability is has to connect us with families that are homeschooling teens all over the country.   I created an Instagram Book Club #instabookclubharriet and as we do activities, we post them online.  Other families have joined in and posted pictures reading and doing activities such as playing “town”.  We too have played town, created an ABC list of New York City, created some notebooking pages, had friends over to learn about the practice of book banning, and created a brochure to educate others about popular children’s books that have been banned over the years.  We enjoyed delving into this book and we love that others have been inspired to share this book and these activities in their home.

The culmination of this book club will be when we travel into Manhattan and spend the day walking in Harriet’s footsteps taking pictures and uploading them real time to Instagram.  We will be the “virtual tour guides” for the families who are following along from AL, AK, CA, and other far away states!


  1. I just think this is so wonderful. I can't wait to see the places you visit. I love all the things you have passed along. We really loved watching the videos on banned books you recommended.


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