Little Black Bear Break-In, Plus Bear Facts

They have five toes, each with a well-developed claw.  The adults weigh between 100-350 pounds, and they are, well, as cute as teddy bears. Hello California black bears! Some say they are dangerous but aren’t all wild animals? In some areas, especially near, or in, the national parks and forests, they have been known to break into restaurants and houses, causing many upsets. I know it is inconvenient, to say the least, but, I must ask, isn’t this their forest and park?  Do humans not leave food and trash out to tempt them?...more
Thank you Jane!  I am happy to hear of your involvement in Defenders of Wildlife, the animals ...more

Why We Homeschool

Disclaimer: Please note that we do not feel that public school is bad nor will we cast negative light on it or any of it's dedicated teachers. (Actually we had a great experience with public school and it's teachers!) This post further expresses how it isn't right for our family at the present time for some of the same reasons that a private school wouldn't be the right choice....more

10 Reasons Why Homeschooling Rocks!

Well, eight weeks in and so far I do believe we are sold on this whole homeschool thing. I honestly don't miss them going off to school and I think they'd say the same! I figure we will still be in the "figuring out how to do this" stage for some time now. I've had a few people asking me what the biggest positives have been so far and well, I'd be happy to share what ours have been! ...more
I actually have one kids in public and one home schooling, which is turning out to be a bit of ...more

Fun with Flowers and Foreign Languages

I'm all about Everyday Language--learning and using world language words in everyday contexts to show kids that learning can happen anywhere AND it can be fun, too!  Take a look at this simple project and see how easy it is to connect language and culture with a fun family activity.Spring is just around the corner, and what better way to get inspired than to create bunches of fun flowers to decorate your home.  These quick creations don't need water, sun, or plant food--just a little folding and twisting to make a neat bouquet!...more

The Happiness Fallacy

I have come to the conclusion that we have it all wrong, the notion of happiness as our goal in life. It's too blurry a goal, not to mention entirely self-serving.In raising and learning with my children, I confess that my greatest delinquency has been considering their happiness above all else. Now, with three pre-teens (one dangerously close to 13), I can see that such a goal has led to an embarrassing amount of ergophobia (fear of work) around here....more
@JennaHatfield It took me a while to opt out of the fallacy, I am ashamed to say. I really came ...more

If My Daughter Had Time: Considering Homeschool

 Within one year, she quickly moved from a budding fashionista to a promising musical theatre performer.  Now she just wants time to turn the music she loves into movie soundtracks.  Becoming a D.J. also interests her.  However, high school academics are demanding....more

10 Thoughts About Home Schooling From an Educator (And Why I'm Still Worried)

As a teacher, I thought homeschooling was for crazy, overcontrolling parents and for religious extremists.  My only exposure to homeschooling had been during childhood through religious fundamentalists in the rural town where I grew up who took some of my friends out of school to concentrate more on Biblical teachings and to limit their exposure to scientific concepts, such as evolution, and to unwholesome influences (like me, I suppose, and my obsession with the movies Footloose and Dirty Dancing)....more

Why I Homeschool

Many times, people ask me why I homeschool.  On many days, I answer with an honest, “I have no idea!”  There are days when I regret the decision.  (I promised to be honest on this blog, remember?)  There are days when I feel “trapped” by my decision to homescool.  Since my kids have always been homeschooled, I don’t feel like I can easily put them in school.  We tried that once.  It didn’t go very well.  It resulted in one big kid refusing to get out of the car and a little one covered in eczema from the stress of school....more
That's the thing about homeschool, you're not normal or average and it's a good thing. ...more

Mean girls suck

Ah, to be a fourteen year old girl again.  I would't trade my anything to go back there. Except maybe to switch places with my girl so she didn't have to go through it.  It is so fucking painful to watch them go through the hard stuff.  Like I was speaking of on my birthday that no one tells you that, just as much as you love your kids, you hurt for them.  And there is no amount of Al-anon that can help you when it is your child who is being mistreated at school.  It is so fucking painful. ...more