• MOTHER l WRITER | EDUCATOR | ARTIST | MAKER 

  • The Problem No One Talks About

    I’ve been completely speechless the last few days. Anyone who knows me could tell you this is not a usual occurrence for me. I’m usually full of thoughts and opinions I’m willing and able to share. The reason I’ve been speechless is that I am the sort of person who feels everything deeply. Every emotion I have floods my entire body and I experience them wholly. My son is this way too,

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    Cocooning

    In our house, we are in the middle-to-end of our second adolescent cocooning, the period of time when kids seem to lose their enthusiasm and the desire to leave their room. They huddle in, listen to music, play video games, can seem apathetic towards activities they used to love, and may struggle with even the oldest of friendships. This is also a period in which parents tend to worry and

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    Freshman Un-Orientation

    An un-orientation letter to my dear “freshman”: You are now at the stage in which most teens enter high school. In a way, you are too, but you have chosen a different course than most, a familiar course, though it won’t always feel that way. You have been home educated your whole life, and I am proud of who you are and the active role you have taken in shaping your own education. You

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    5 Tips for Mentoring Kids in Making (and Everything Else)

    1. Model what you would like to see. The process for learning is not that different for adults as it is for kids. When children see us working hard, trying new things, accepting failure as a challenge and an opportunity, they are inspired to do the same. Modeling also sets up a deeper relationship, much like that of an apprentice. There is a subtle transfer of information that happens from

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    Sometimes We Should Be Uncomfortable

        I’ve been leading a class that I created called Making Through History for almost two years, and it has been one of the best teaching experiences I have ever had. The class explores history and the humanities through the art and invention that expressed the values and aspirations of people in a specific time and place. These days STEM/STEAM education is all the rage, and

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    How My Kids Learned To Write

      When I talk to new homeschoolers, or even more experienced ones who are struggling, one of the topics that come up regularly is writing. Actually, it’s usually a concern about wanting to simultaneously be learner centered but also making sure their child gets the three R’s (reading, (w)riting, (a)rithmetic), but writing is most often the largest of their worries. If they don’t

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    A Coddiwomple Education

      Note: This is a more formal, written presentation of the keynote talk I gave at the 2017 Bay Area Homeschool Fair entitled "A Coddiwomple Education," on homeschooling and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The audio version of the live keynote can be found here (coming soon).     Coddiwomple (kod-ee-wom-pul) (v.) To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague

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    The Drama of the 6-7 Shift

    There’s a developmental phase in childhood that doesn’t get talked about enough, and yet provokes an enormous amount of questions and concern. It can best be described as dramatic. That may be an understatement. It is when children become even more imaginative and complex, and also when behavior can regress and take us by surprise with its ferocity. I’m talking about the shift that

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    Making and Child Development: How Making and Hacking Supports Learners

    Why has making become such a coveted way for kids to spend their free time? Why do they pick up skills and concepts so quickly and connect it to real life experiences? We can see why by looking at a snapshot of development in this age group. Developmental psychologist Jean Piaget referred to the cognitive development occurring between ages 7-11 as the "concrete operations stage".

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    Slow Science

    The thing about science is that you have to let kids learn to love it through experience and experiment before you can ask them to be a scientist. To really understand it. Think about Leonardo DaVinci, watching and sketching his birds over and over again, contemplating flight. Sometimes science is about observation, patience, and beauty. Sometimes science is about time and intimacy. Slow science.

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