• politics

    A Slap in the Face

    Brett Kavanaugh was right in saying that the whole investigation into him is a national disgrace. He’s wrong about why it is a national disgrace. It is a national disgrace that they didn’t abandon him long ago and find someone else. Surely there are other judges with similar political views they could have pushed instead. Surely there are other possibilities that don’t involve pushing a serial abuser onto the Supreme Court. This feels like a slap in the face of all women. People say “why didn’t she report earlier?” and then they demonstrate what happens when women report. Women get disbelieved. Their concerns get minimized. People say “oh, it was nothing”…

  • history,  politics,  religion,  the ethical life

    Nellie McClung and the challenge of history

    Up until a few weeks ago, if I was asked my impression of Nellie McClung I probably would have said “oh, she was that suffragette, right? The one people say was racist and supported eugenics?” I started reading about Nellie McClung this past few weeks. I’ll still a newcomer to McClung’s story and I’ve already read bits that do suggest the darker parts of her beliefs. But what has amazed me is realizing how beautiful some of her thoughts and ideas were too. She wrote novels that promoted the idea that we are all called to serve community, love one another and by doing so to change the world. She…

  • Multiplayer Minecraft poses another way students can learn social skills.

    Social Skills & Minecraft

    Minecraft Servers can be great fun but also challenging. Children can befriend others and have really good experiences, but they can also have times where they end up fighting. How problems on a server are dealt with will depend partly on what the server norms are. Different servers have different customs. In some servers “everything goes” and people can take what they want from others, and can keep only what they can hide. In other servers areas are protected by plugins that allow players to restrict others access to their creations and chests. In other servers players are urged to just be nice and get along. My server is one of…

  • games

    Ultimate Tic Tac Toe

    My 12 year old and I have found another game to play together. We’re playing ultimate tic tac toe. There’s probably lots of variations on the rules out there, but the way we are playing it we have three layers of tic tac toe boards, buried within each other. It is probably easiest for me to explain the rules if I start with describing how nine-board game of tic tac toe works. Then you have two layers of tic tac toe boards. Someone draws an X or O on one of the smaller boards and where that person placed their mark would dictate on which board the next person played.…

  • homeschooling,  minecraft

    My Minecraft Classes

    I’ve had some people asking recently what my Minecraft classes look like. What do we do in them? What are they like? So I made a little video to explain more about them. My Minecraft classes are taught through Cobblestone Academy and  Outschool.com.   Related posts: Cobblestone Academy Open-ended questions to ask your Minecraft loving child. My son is proud of how I’m learning with Minecraft, and so am I More fun, easy ways to do math with Minecraft

  • goals,  homeschooling

    Year End Review

    The school year in Canada stretches for a few more weeks, but we’re ready for summer here. The two children I’m homeschooling are doing just our minimal amount of schoolwork for the day, and my one remaining child in school is wishing and dreaming of summer holidays. I’m thinking over the schoolwork and other projects we did this year, and wondering that never-ending question – is it enough? Did we do enough? Did we make good use of this year? This year my six year old learned to read. She learned to count, to add and subtract. Yes, she was a little late learning to count. As a toddler she…

  • Uncategorized

    My Mothers’ Day Gift to Myself

    My Mothers’ Day Gift to myself is to sort my to-read pile. I’m letting myself off the hook for books I thought I would read but probably won’t. I’m committing to finishing the ones I want to finish. I’m compiling the list of other books I want to read next. I hear people talk about self-care in terms of manicures or facials, new clothing or a meal out. That’s fine. Everyone has their own tastes, but to me self-care is to tell myself that what I read is important, to value my own learning, my own thoughts and questions. What I read is important. What I think is important. Who…

  • homeschooling

    Truth Time: School or homeschooling?

    It has been a year of transitions here. All three of my children went to school for the first time in September but only one is still registered there. My oldest returned to homeschooling after only a month at school and my youngest returned to homeschooling after Christmas. You can read about the decision to send them to school here and about bringing my oldest home here. It has been a very strange year with so many transitions. Sending the kids to school and then bringing them home again forced me to confront the serious questions about why we were homeschooling and what I want. We started homeschooling in the…

  • minecraft

    Cobblestone Academy

    For the last two years I’ve been using the same Minecraft server for the classes, and while I’ve added maps to the server during that time, I haven’t removed the one we started with. It’s a choatic terrain filled with all sorts of things my students have created over the time, and for me, filled with memories of all the awesome students I’ve been lucky enough to teach. Of course since we’re in Minecraft we can always just teleport over to the edge of what’s built and start building something new, no one needs to explore the choas unless they want to explore it. Each year as my classes end I tell…

  • homeschooling,  minecraft

    My son is proud of how I’m learning with Minecraft, and so am I

    Today I found myself writing an email about why I recommend people buy Minecraft for PC/Mac. The reason I recommend it is that Minecraft is a game that can grow with a person. It’s easy enough for a small child but complicated enough that even an adult can continue learning with it. My six year old can build and play on it. She greets others on my multiplayer server with the few words she knows how to type and she makes a huge effort to read what others type back to her.  My older children have been learning about mods and config files. They’ve learned about json commands and the…