• Picture of the author, Eileen Moynihan, and her poetry book A Posy of Wild Flowers
    books

    Talking with author and poet Eileen Moynihan

    My questions are written without italics. Eileen Moynihan’s responses are in italics. How many books have you written? My latest book is my 6th children’s book and I have also done a collection of poetry for adults. I know you live in Ireland. Are any of the children’s books set in Ireland? Not specifically. Some of them could be in several countries. ‘Hattie and Jacques Love London’ is set in London, England and mentions Paris, France. My latest book, ‘A Posy of Wild Flowers’ has wild flowers found in Ireland and the U.K; but the flower names are also in Irish. Why did you decide to switch from stories to…

  • Picture of the book Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    books,  history,  homeschooling,  Houseful of Chaos Press,  politics

    Little House on the Prairie Books and the Problem of Messy History.

    It is a perennial questions in homeschool circles, whether one should read the Little House on the Prairie books with one’s kids or whether the racism in it makes those books ones that should be put aside. The books have the heroine’s mother saying “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” and one of them has the father engaging in blackface. I started reading the Little House books with my oldest child sometime before he turned six. I had forgotten about what they contained. We came to one of the first examples of racism in it and he said no way would he listen to the rest of the…

  • Picture shows the inside of Christy Knockleby's book A Secular Bible Study
    Houseful of Chaos Press,  politics

    A Secular Bible Study

    My book A Secular Bible Study is now available. I based this book off of classes that I have been teaching online to homeschooling students. My classes are for students who wanted to learn about the Bible, but without being preached at. I take the academic approach I learned at university and share it with middle schoolers and teenagers. With my book I hope to make it available to more people. My approach to the Bible is through a historical critical approach. That means I try to look at the texts in light of their historical environment. What did they mean to their early audiences? The Bible was written over…

  • homeschooling

    Christy’s Notes for New Homeschoolers

    1) Homeschooling doesn’t need to look like school at home, particularly for the younger years. It is okay to not spend a full day at schoolwork. It is okay to take time off because the weather is beautiful and you want to go for a hike. 2) For the most part, schools these days just keep your kids at their age level. If you’re planning on homeschooling for just one year, you don’t need to worry about whether your child completes exactly what they would at school or not. The school isn’t going to check. The school is just going to put your child in with their age-mates next year.…

  • politics,  the ethical life

    Thoughts about justice inspired by a town council meeting

    I’m going over a town council meeting video to write a news story about it as a favor to my dad, the editor of a weekly newspaper. Every time I do this I am in awe again of all the ethical implications that get dealt with on a regular basis by our municipal politicians. It is so easy to overlook municipal politics. The first issue of debate is a bylaw regarding the parking of recreational vehicles and whether they can be just parked on the front lawn or whether they require a solid surface below them. Someone asks if this is discriminatory towards those without paved driveways, and they clarify…

  • how do we know what we know is true,  politics

    Cancel Culture and the Need to not Define Acceptable Speech to Narrowly

    There has been a lot of discussion on Cancel Culture recently as a result of an open letter by a group of writers and academics. This post is based on a number of comments I made in Facebook groups where this topic came up. What is Cancel Culture? Cancel culture can mean several different things. Partly it is about holding people responsible for their actions, so that society doesn’t endorse and prop up people who are spreading bad ideas and doing bad things. So celebrities who say bad things can find themselves dropped from television shows and such. Journalists who say racist things can find themselves unemployed. That sort of…

  • Biblical history,  books

    Book Review: Josiah and the Theocrats

    If the Bible was written by humans, would it not be susceptible to the same corruption that drives so much of human existence? Different groups of Christians will argue others have twisted it for political purposes, but what if the texts themselves arose from political purposes, and what if those purposes were neither noble nor loving? That’s one of the questions that seems to underly the plot of Josiah and the Theocrats. The book is set in 623 – 622 BCE, at the time of King Josiah of Judah. The book is written with a focus on Shaphan, the king’s secretary, charged with bringing a long-lost religious text forward to…

  • A 15th century picture of Adam and Eve after they are kicked out of the garden of Eden.
    Biblical history,  Houseful of Chaos Press

    Exploring the story of Adam and Eve, and how it changed over time.

    Genesis 2:15 – 3:22 tells a story of Adam and Eve, supposedly the first humans to exist. In the story God puts these first humans in a garden. There they have plenty of food for only one tree is off limits to them. This one tree, God says, is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He says the humans will die the day they eat that fruit. Then a crafty serpent speaks to Eve and tells her that eating from that one tree will not kill her but open her eyes and make her like God. She eats it and gives some to Adam. They realize they are…

  • Biblical history,  homeschooling,  Houseful of Chaos Press,  religion

    Being Non-Religious in a Christian Context

    The question was posed to me recently about how one might go about explaining Christianity to an atheist or agnostic child who will be exposed to Christianity in a homeschool co-op or local community. I assume we have several goals in mind. The first is to keep everyone safe. Another goal is to be respectful. The other is to be truthful. This can be tricky if the Christian community is actively teaching that it is the only path to salvation or other exclusionary language. It can be tricky if the children are really young, and have difficulty dealing with the idea that these friends and teachers are correct about some…

  • Picture of a goose standing alert next to goslings.
    how do we know what we know is true

    Life of an Over-Thinker

    Part One: My Mind Palace Sometimes I imagine myself in a huge, enormous library. No, library isn’t the right word. It suggests a single room or perhaps two. I imagine myself in a mansion that is nothing but libraries, winding pathways to different rooms. Whenever I read something new or study something new, I am being let into a new room, able to absorb its contents and expand my knowledge of the world. Yet each new room is also attached to multiple other rooms and as soon as I move into one, I know there’s more other passageways than I can go down. I can never learn something new without…