Moment by moment

We are living, right now, this moment, in a brave new world. No, it’s not the literary nightmare Huxley imagined in 1932. It’s a different kind of new world; an ongoing experiment for which we’ve all complicity signed on. If a scientist were to sit down and formulate a hypothesis, this starting point for his wonderings would be this:

What is the outcome when parents are physically present but chronically distracted, engaged elsewhere for large portions of the day and unable/unwilling to participate in what was once considered normal family life?

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Peaches

The calendar says that July is mostly gone. That means that time is snowballing here, hurtling toward the end of summer with the same reckless abandon my two year-old has when it comes to piloting a wooden train around a track. The harvest is stacking up in baskets and even wheelbarrows in the barn, and my husband is sending me texts making sure he’s got the right sort of dill for making pickles. We’re in use it or lose it mode, and it shows.

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Tractors and Hay

On Thursday, the 13th, the “feels like” section of my favorite weather app said that I was experiencing the equivalent of 96 degrees due to humidity and UV concentration. I was ready to believe it. For the past week the heat had been steadily increasing into one sweltering whirl. Continue reading

Stripping apart bikes to build family

I recently stopped to watch my 17-year-old and 15-year-old sons strip apart some bikes to fix brake and sprocket issues.

Ball bearings were rolling across the floor as one leaned down to grab them. And later, inside, the other told me how some of the work had to be redone because, well, when they had finished, there were a few extra parts that shouldn’t have been extra.  Continue reading

Yes, there is a WRONG way to homeschool

I get asked quite a few questions about homeschooling. What curriculum is the best? How do you handle upper level math? What is the best way to teach a child to read? How do you teach multiple ages? Why did you choose this over that?

Along the way, I’ve realized that there’s a bigger question being asked, one that arches over all the smaller, more specific ones and is begging to be answered:

Is there a wrong way to homeschool?

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Please don’t pet the orphans

When the idea for this post came to me, I fought it. “Oh, no. I’m not touching that,” I shuddered. You see, while I don’t mind tipping a few sacred cows, there are some that guarantee such a backlash, such a visceral response that frankly, I don’t think it’s worth it to wade into the fray.

But the truth is, I have a dog in this fight. And somebody, somewhere has to stand up and say it:

Please don’t pet the orphans.

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Roller coaster day

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One of my favorite all-time movies is Parenthood, the old Steve Martin flick. I enjoyed it as a teen, and as a parent, I have new appreciation for the twists and turns of family life. I especially understand the Grandma’s roller coaster analogy now that I have a few more miles on my tires; life really is up and down and up and down.

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