Why I Don’t Homeschool, And You Shouldn’t Either

People throw around a lot of silly reasons for homeschooling.  I bet you've heard them too. Homeschooled kids win all of the spelling bees.  The Ivy League schools are overrun with homeschoolers. Homeschooled kids are self-confident, and un-bowed by peer pressure.  They knit with old ladies, take care of babies, and never bully anyone.This line of reasoning falls into two categories:Homeschooled kids are smarter. Homeschooled kids have better character.Here's the problem with ca … [Read more...]

Father Does Not Know Best. (But neither does Mother.)

When Zach was first born and I was unsure of how to keep him alive, let alone help him grow up to be kind and generous and able to fix a toaster, Jeff and I would fight.  Jeff thought that Zach was gaining weight just fine; I thought we should take him in to the office to put him on the postal scale. He thought giving Zach a pacifier was fine; I thought it would doom him to a life of insecure attachment.  He thought Zach's latch was just fine; I thought my nipples were going to spontaneously c … [Read more...]

Father Knows Best?

Jeff and I sit together in the home office of Dr. Mark, the social worker who sees our son, the son with anxiety, ADHD, and a few other letters that make life challenging, exciting, and sometimes funny. We are there to discuss Mark’s observations and suggestions.The game of Pick Up Stix is mentioned.  My son and Dr. Mark play at the end of each session, and Jeff remarks, “Yeah, Zach is remarkably good at that game!”“Are you kidding?!” I wonder to myself. “Have you never seen him play?  Wh … [Read more...]

The Year In Review

Are you one of the women who spends hours making beautiful baby books for your young?  Or are you one of the women who spends hours making fun of the women who make beautiful baby books for their young even though you secretly wish you had the organizational and creative skills to pull off such a book?I was a scoffer for years. When the boys were born, I became a wannabe for awhile. I proudly call myself a scrapper now - not an easy admission in my Ivy-covered neck of the woods.I spent … [Read more...]

Herry Chrismukkah?

I wasn’t going to say anything about Chrismukkuh.  The Catholic Bishops and Jewish Rabbis recently put out a joint statement condemning the term as offensive to both Christianity and Judaism.  And I get it.  I know that you can't just make up holidays, and that people have died over the differences between the two religions, and that Jews are concerned about intermarriage finishing the job taken up again and again by one anti-Semitic group after the other.  I don't take any of that lightly.  Any … [Read more...]

My Gift

Conan, a twelve-year-old homeschooled friend of ours, is obsessed with the Revolutionary War.  He spends his days reading about the war, re-enacting the war with figurines he made himself, and playing in the local fife and drum corps.  An eleven-year-old homeschooled friend is a teaching assistant at Harvard.  He spends his days doing problem sets and helping undergrads with their proofs. Another homeschooler we know cooks all day and reads cookbooks late into the night with a headlamp.Like m … [Read more...]

Honor Your Mother And Father

Here is a two-minute video of the nursery kids from our church talking about how they honor their parents.  Ezra found a way to get himself into the nursery video even though he's well past nursery age.  (He has a small narcissism issue, but we try to take on one problem at time over here.)For the last twenty seconds, you can see Ezra's all too perfect imitation of himself when he is less than honoring of us - which is in fact the issue of the day these days. … [Read more...]

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

Twenty Sunday school students sit in rapt attention as I roll out the Advent story.  The script, the candles, the materials - they draw us in. As we get ready to hear the story of the Holy Family, the story for the second week of Advent, I say: The church learned long ago that it takes time to enter a mystery like Christmas.  They gave us four weeks to get ready.  During that time, we are all on a journey.  A journey that was not just back then.  It's now too. Sometimes it's hard to enter a mys … [Read more...]