Smart Parents in the Know: November Wins

Written By Melanie Studer

Melanie Prather Studer has spent the last thirty years as a mother and teacher- preschool through middle school. When her kids became teenagers, Melanie started keeping notes and doing research to help her children get a head start on getting into college and ultimately out into the real world. She shares real world ideas and solutions for raising teens in today’s world.

November 3, 2020


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What I’m learning and loving in the month of November! “Smart Parents” is a series that I’m continuing.  I will talk about a few things that I am learning and loving in my life right now. This may include recipes, books, movies and gadgets. Send me any ideas so that I may add them to a future post!

I will do this sometime during each month.  (Here are September and October) Let me know what you are learning and loving so that I can add that to future posts!

*This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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Did you know that there is a huge Holocaust archive?  Over 30 million documents.  Check out this post and video.

There are definite benefits of playing games with your kids like increased attention span and getting to spend time with the ones that you love. With the holidays coming up, this might be a good activity to plan ahead for. Here is a link to an article about the benefits by and another by Family Time Magazine. 

Family game time is a definite plus for learning and loving!

Another fun activity for the upcoming month is Advent calendars, order one now! Here’s the link to my post –25+ Advent calendars!



Do you love a good book series?  I loved the Outlander series.  If you have not read the actual books, then you don’t know what you have missed! Whenever someone tells me that they are reading this for the first time, I am jealous.  If you’ve watched the series, you have only had a taste.  I didn’t love the series after reading the books, so if you didn’t like the series, you could still LOVE the books.  Get to know Jamie and Claire for real! Disclaimer… I have only read the first 6 books in the series.  Someday, when I have time, I’d like to reread those and then the rest of the series.

Book One: Outlander by Diane Galbadon


10 Things I Hate About You This is a great movie to watch with your teen.  The whole cast is great including the late, great Heath Ledger. It has all the elements of classic high school drama with humor throughout.  Sibling rivalry, puppy love, cliques… I love the dad! Lots of great discussions to be had with this one. The 10 Year Anniversary Edition is available here.


‘Tis The Season Christmas Trivia Game We have had this set of cards for years.  They are fun to have out while you are just hanging around or after a holiday meal.  We don’t ever really set up a game board, although I am sure that you are supposed to!  We just have fun seeing who can come up with the most right answers. 


Gomer Pyle’s Chile (aka my mom’s) This recipe was published long ago in some magazine that my mom used to get.  She cut out the recipe, and made it one fall night.  We all loved it, and now it’s our one-and-only chili recipe.  My college boys insist that I make too much on purpose, so that they can come get a portion. Here’s a picture of my recipe card.  This is so easy to make, and delicious! (All cans are 15 oz.)

Learning and loving a hot pot of chili in the month of November!

Smart Parents in November|

I loved watching Gomer Pyle when I was younger!


3-Outlet Surge Protector with 2 USB ports  Can I tell you how many places I have these?!  We have one for each bathroom and our master bedroom.  The kitchen and family room as well.  I got one for each of our college boys to have as well.  


Daylight Savings (1), Dias de Los Muertos (1-2), National Nacho Day (6), Book Lover’s Day (first Saturday of the month), Veteran’s Day (11), Sadie Hawkins Day (13), World Peace Day (17), Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday), Advent begins (29)


It was November, the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind -songs in the pines.” – Anne of Green Gables

I hope that you have found what I am learning and loving helpful for your November or anytime.  

Have you read these posts?  Fun Movies to Watch With Your Teen for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, Things to Know About Amazon for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, How You Can Support Your Teen During Finals, Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube 

I look forward to seeing you again!

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