Tara’s Anxiety

Okay, the truth is, I never expected that everyone would say, “YES!” when I asked if it was a “bad idea” to avoid tests in homeschool.  What I meant by my question was, “Please write in and tell me that my kids are so lucky to have me as a mother.” Next time I will [Read More...]

Test Anxiety

As we were riding bikes yesterday, Zach caught up with me to ask, “Do we have to take any tests this year?” “No, sweetie.  Why would we take a test?” “Well, we have to take them in third grade, right?” Zach had heard when he was in kindergarten that third graders start taking tests. I [Read More...]

Unintended Consequences

Reform #1 – Vigorous Exercise Before Homeschool. Here’s how it went today… At 9:30, I bundled everybody up in thermal underwear and puffy coats. (Yes, I know I was supposed to do it before the 8:30 school start, but at least we were doing it.)  We hopped on bikes, road down to the BU Bridge [Read More...]


There is a dirty little secret in all talk of school reform. It turns out that it doesn’t matter how great your curriculum is. It doesn’t matter how much data backs up your new schedule. It doesn’t matter how developmentally sound your intervention is. If you don’t have “teacher fidelity,” your program will fail. In [Read More...]

Back Tomorrow

Have I said lately how much I appreciate you all reading this? It’s been a gift to me as I go through this year to know that people are reading, cheering for us, sympathizing with us, and encouraging us with emails and comments. Thanks. I’m taking the entire weekend off and will post again on [Read More...]


Today I am celebrating Thanksgiving with nearly 40 international students who’ve come to Massachusetts for graduate school.  We have come to New Hampshire for two nights of fireplaces and pies and hiking, and lots of botched communication.  Last night, we read Lincoln’s proclamation that the entire nation should spend a day in thanksgiving.  It’s a [Read More...]

After extensive review…

What two words make veteran teachers’ eyes roll to the back of their heads more than any others? School Reform. Just say the words at a staff meeting and you’ll hear grumpy teachers muttering under their breaths.  If you listen carefully, you’ll hear a list of proposed, hyped, and eventually forgotten cures for what ails [Read More...]

Cambridge Grateful

The boys spent the morning learning how to use a smudger to make their pencil lines disappear when drawing.  I thought it was cool.  They tolerated it until they could get outside. Outside, in the backyard of other homeschoolers.  Outside, where there were chickens to chase, trees to climb, and cornbread fights to be had. [Read More...]


My baby got baptized today.  Stood in front of our church in a little purple robe, read his testimony, renounced evil, and got dunked by his daddy.  We gave him a Bible as a gift, and he went to bed clutching it with one hand while clutching his tattered, dirty blanket with the other. “Now [Read More...]


Well, if you’ve been paying attention, you won’t be surprised. We met with a neuropsychologist yesterday and found out that Zach has a host of diagnosable issues.  I decided not to name them all here, but like I said, if you’ve been paying attention you can probably make some good guesses. We’ve known for some [Read More...]