• EDUCATOR | AUTHOR | SPEAKER | MAKER 

  • Teaching Native American History

    I had an online interaction recently with a first-year history teacher, who posted some activities for teaching Native American history that included turning First Nation people into cartoonish pop culture figurines and building tipis in the classroom. When I pointed out that these activities were culturally insensitive and appropriative, they reacted defensively and dismissively, basically

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    &quote;Let Them Play&quote; is Only Half the Story (Part Two)

    In part one of “Let Them Play is Only Half the Story,” I discussed how years of research have shown us that the optimal learning environments are ones in which there is a balance between guided and self-directed learning, and also the role adults play in the education and socialization of younger children. Part one of this examination of play showed that when we ask “Is play enough?” the

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    “Let them Play” is Only Half the Story. (Part One)

    One of the most common responses homeschoolers get to questions regarding the education of their young children is “Let them play!” and while this advice is absolutely spot-on, it misses a few important concepts. It’s only half of a very important story. I could cite hundreds of studies that support play as the most foundational activity for creating complex neural pathways in the

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    5 Reasons History & Humanities Education could save us all

      Picture on left: Communication begins with Morse Code on handmade Telegraph Machines. Picture on Right: Da Vinci's version of an Archimedean Screw at the Da Vinci Machines exhibit. We are in an especially unique time, politically and socially. In the last couple of years in the United States (though other countries in the world are undoubtedly going through their own struggles and strife)

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    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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