The Poor Will Be With You Always: A Lenten Reflection

I kept hearing the words of Jesus. “The poor will be with you always.”

What a drag. Because, if you know any poor people, you’ll know that they are annoying. They lie – to you and to themselves. They keep making the same stupid mistakes over and over again. Like buying cigarettes instead of medicine. Or watching season three of The Good Wife instead of getting her taxes done.

Oh wait, that’s me. [Read more…]

Day 14: Just Do SOMETHING

After waiting several seconds for the kids to guess how he had done the card trick, Professor Francis Su, a friend of ours and the President of the Mathematical Association of American, said, “When you don’t know the answer, when you aren’t sure what to do, do SOMETHING.  If you do nothing, you’re never going [Read More…]

Day 13: Celebration

After sharing for a bit, we sat for a moment in silent gratitude for the kingdoms of ancient Africa, for the work of Dr. King and others who gave up their lives for justice and peace, for the parents who make our class possible, and for the kids who worked so hard to make the day possible. And then we ate. [Read more…]

Day 12: Stepping Back In Time: Living History Museums

For many kids, there is a kind of longing evoked by experiencing a time when you could make something beautiful and useful, and understand all of the technology you are using to make it. When you gathered the clay yourself, built many of the tools you used yourself, built the kiln yourself, and shaped, glazed, and fired every piece yourself. It’s a way of appreciating resources and work that is hard to capture today, when so much, even what we think of as raw materials, just show up on the FedEx truck two days after we click a button on the Amazon site. [Read more…]

Days 10 & 11: How Things Work

I’ve written before that one of the most common reactions people have to hearing that we homeschool is, “Oh God, I could never spend that much time with my kid.” I usually reassure them that it’s not that bad.   That’s it’s like when they were babies.  It’s overwhelming at first, but that you eventually [Read More…]

Day 9: Your Best Work

We’ve been asking the kids for several weeks, “Is this your best work? Invariably, they say yes and invariably the true answer is no.  And invariably, I find it disheartening. The humanities class I co-teach worked with a teacher at the MFA for three weeks to paint covers for the folktales they are writing.  They [Read More…]

Day 8: Socialization

Jeff and I took Ezra out for dinner tonight to have a state-of-the-boy talk.  Pizza, gelato, and lots of focused on attention from your parents.  What’s not to love? We talked about school, friendships, faith, family, and school.  When I asked him how he thought school was going this year, he said, “I’d say it’s [Read More…]

Day 7: The Field Trip

The secret to a good day of homeschool is the Field Trip.  (cue angels and harps) The field trip is to a tough week of homeschool what sex often is after a big fight: it reminds you that you like each other and that things are probably going to be okY. (These lines are from [Read More…]

Day 6: Hard Math

If I told you how many many edges and how many vertices were on a soccer ball, could you tell me how many faces were on it? No?  Neither could I before a few weeks ago. The boys take a math class taught by MIT grad students.  When they had to miss one week, I [Read More…]

Day 5

I’m feeling discouraged today.  Maybe it’s because we got an evaluation back that leaves me despairing that my son will ever have the skills to make it the world.  Maybe it’s because writing what we do every day is boring me.  Maybe it’s because I realized today that with all the other kids I teach, [Read More…]