September 21, 2012

I have very little discipline. Which is why I have to work out with a trainer.  And not the kind of trainer whom you meet at the gym.  I had to pay my trainer to ring the doorbell at 7:30 am and throw a heavy ball at me. My lack of discipline is why Jeff and I fast for the kids on Thursdays – or more precisely, why we have it on our calendar, the one that beeps at us…. Read more

September 18, 2012

Time once again for me to lament my crappy education.  The one where I never conducted a real experiment, one based on a real question.  Where I never learned how other people understood the world, in other cultures or in other times.  Where I learned how to read and write and pass Calculus, but didn’t learn anything about what made the world fascinating and beautiful and challenging. I mean, really, how did I get through twenty-three years of schooling without… Read more

September 12, 2012

As I sat on the sofa, holding my sobbing son, I tried to figure out what in the world was going on. He was shaking, and telling me he was scared.  My nine-year-old boy was hysterical.  The boy who has many fears, but who has never once told me that he was afraid of anything.  Something was terribly, terribly wrong. At least I think it was wrong.  But I’m not sure, even now, several hours later. It started in the… Read more

September 6, 2012

 A Definition: n contraption [kənˈtrӕpʃən]  a strange machine or apparatus We weren’t sure if that old contraption was gonna work. A Video: A Question: Who or what was the contraption in this 18-second slice of delight?  Discuss. A Thought: Kluging together a day of homeschool, or a device to get the ball in the bucket, is more satisfying than one might expect. Read more

September 4, 2012

Is it possible that I am an old pro now?  Hardly seems likely; we’ve only been doing this for two years.  And it wouldn’t be honest to say that I know what I’m doing now.  From day to day, week to week, I change up the schedule, modify my goals, declare a triumph what I would have previously called disaster. When new homeschoolers tell me they are nervous, I tell them not to worry.  I tell them that it couldn’t… Read more

May 25, 2012

I came home from my walk along the Charles River last Saturday nearly euphoric.  Maybe you can’t imagine a river doing that for you.  Not long ago, I couldn’t have imagined it myself, but two things have changed since that time. First, I moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, a city that gives the phrase mind over matter a whole new meaning.  Here, ideas, and the brains that came up with those ideas, are what matter.  I lived with a guy in grad school who… Read more

May 2, 2012

I can’t believe how early you have to sign up for summer camp.  Who are these people who know by March what they want to do all summer?  Not me.  And why does it cost so dang much?  I could buy a used car for the price of some camps. This year, as I was exploring camps that the boys would enjoy and we could afford, they threw me a curveball.  They decided that it would be much better to… Read more

April 18, 2012

Well, we decided to keep the boys in the private school they’ve been in for more than a month.  Ezra, who was the ringleader of Operation Freedom, continues to shed a few tears, but we are resolute.  Here’s why: 1 – I’ve been working on a book for, well forever.  I just got some really good feedback on how to move it forward and I want to spend the next three weeks working on it.  So unless they are torturing… Read more

April 13, 2012

On Monday, I told you about how our kids responded to Trayvon Martin’s death, choosing to take a picture in their hoodies.  Today, I’ll share seven points we made with our kids as we talked about the case.  As a head’s up, this is a long piece.  But as I tell my kids when we are talking about something important, “Sorry, guys, but Mommy’s got a lot to say on this topic.” 1.  We all have negative prejudices based on things… Read more

April 12, 2012

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that I have been pretty casual about math education.  I taught high school math for eight years and taught statistics in grad school for five years, so it’s not that I don’t like math or don’t think math is important.  It’s just that I believed that if you had a really deep understanding of base 10, if you could skip count without thinking, and if you could play around with fractions, you… Read more

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