planning history curriculum based on pirates

a collection of books about pirates or tangentally related to pirates

I am planning my history curriculum for my kids this year. We are going to focus on world history from the starting point of learning about pirates.  What were the different eras of pirates? How did pirates relate with the various nations? What economic or social situations helped encourage piracy? Reading about the topic got a bit overwhelming for me, as I wanted to know enough to pull everything together Continue reading

the importance of “paid journalism” or my response to Sudbury wikileaks.

Something made me very angry today. I read an editorial in one of my local newspapers (The Northern Life). The editorial is defending one of the reporters against accusations made on an anonymous website that calls itself “wikileaks Sudbury.” Wikileaks Sudbury makes me very, very angry. The Wikileaks article lacks anything convincing. Does it say anything beyond that we should take the anonymous person’s interpretation (what the blog wants to Continue reading

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Rose Revere, Engineer

My six year old and I sat down the other day to read Rosie Revere, Engineer together. The story tells of a second grader who likes to gather up trash which she takes up into her hideaway to use in her inventions. She keeps her creations a secret because she’s been laughed at before, but when her great-great-aunt Rose (the Riveter) comes to visit she risks letting her aunt into Continue reading

building community and “homeschool mommy wars”

I watch a number of homeschool Facebook groups and there’s one recently that has had a number of hot debates on topics like curriculum choices, so it made sense to me when I saw someone posted a link to an article called “Homeschool Mommy Wars.” The article was structured with “5 lies” and then “5 strategies to fight the battle” and it portrays homeschooling mommy wars as a set of Continue reading

crowd-sourcing judgement

Some days I wonder about people. Someone has an artist for a brother, and she’s proud of his artwork so she shared on facebook some pictures he’s done that are somewhat gruesome. He draws zombies. They are a bit of an acquired taste. A local person who dislikes the woman’s husband having the job he does posts up around facebook complaining about the pictures. Within a couple of hours the Continue reading

Can you count the counting books?

An exploration of the different ways in which counting books present numbers.

One of my children choose a counting book at the library the other day, and I thought about how my youngest was just about able to start counting and maybe I should find another counting book too. So we came home with a collection of them, with me rejoicing in the differences between each book. Some books count different things – five oranges, six apples, for example, while other groups Continue reading

Monarch release

monarch on my fingers

Our butterflies came out of their chrysalises, all four the same day, despite one having transformed into a chrysalis a full day before the others. It leaves me very curious as to how their communication and processes work. The first to come out was the first to go in, the only male butterfly of our collection though we didn’t know it was male until it came out and we could Continue reading

How does one homeschool, with all the intensity that involves, and be a compassionate, informed person at the same time?

This is my daughter's hand reaching out to touch a thistle. It seemed strangely appropriate.

Sometimes it is really hard to keep balance. How does one balance parenting with everything else? I don’t want to undervalue my husband’s contribution to our family life – his is amazing – but I suspect I’m the support pole the children lean on and there are times when the burden of having them lean on me feels to tough. I feel all hollow and empty and like I have Continue reading

food regulations

A friend on facebook posted a link to this article: Michigan Officials Destroy $5,000.00 worth of Good Organic Food from Family Farm. Besides leaving me wondering whether the inclusion of the “.00″ was meant to make the amount appear larger to the quick casual reader, the headline makes me think about a time when I was a teenager, and a bunch of 4-H beef was seized from a butcher’s shop Continue reading

Emotional chaos

Parenthood can be wonderful. It can be filled with blissful days of reading to kids, watching them play, making all sorts of great memories. But it can also be incredibly difficult, particularly if your child doesn’t seem to fit the norms. I look back with exhaustion at the last almost-ten-years. I remember all the times when I’d gaze enviously at the other mothers sitting nicely talking with one another while Continue reading