When I was eight, I came to America, land of the unlimited condiments. A precocious brush with history prepared me for Ponce de León’s springs of water, but none of my books had prepared me for America’s ketchup spouts. And yet, there they were, like mythical fountains of eternal wealth, on fast food countertops spread with bins of sugar packets and cups of red plastic sticks, in a land where burglars and kings battled for America’s hearts and stomachs.Continue reading “Ketchup Tastes Like Freedom”
Stealing Home Book Review: Japanese Internment in Canada
Tough topics aren’t always fun to teach. It’s not fun to talk about the Holocaust, or Japanese internment, or concentration camps, or Holodomor.
But we must know history.
We must know the truth about what happened, or we risk repeating history’s horrors. We must not shy away from difficult periods of the past. We must learn from them, and then remain vocal and vigilant so such tragedies will not be repeated on our watch.Continue reading “Stealing Home Book Review: Japanese Internment in Canada”
What Happened After “The Endless Steppe”?
Have you ever wondered what happened to the main characters after the last page of a book? My sixth-grader did.
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After reading The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia with her liberal arts class at St Raphael School, Aveline continued to think and talk about not just The Endless Steppe, but about history and injustice in general.
This book, actually, impelled Aveline to read a whole stack of books about the Holocaust, and listen to radio theater productions of both Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom and The Hiding Place. One good book — in this case, The Endless Steppe — can open up Big Conversations about difficult topics, and plant a seed for courage against injustice.Continue reading “What Happened After “The Endless Steppe”?”
Create Pixel Art with Pix Brix: Great Wave Off Kanagawa Review
Aveline has spent the last several weeks creating a pixel art reproduction of Katsushika Hokusai’s famous woodblock print The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. (Do you think Hokusai realized we’d still be obsessed with his views of Mount Fuji all these centuries later?) With 13 different shades of blues, greys, and browns, she’s brought Hokusai’s masterpiece to life — I love it so much.Continue reading “Create Pixel Art with Pix Brix: Great Wave Off Kanagawa Review”
Using Sonlight Hands-On History as Homeschool Enrichment
Disclosure: Sonlight provided me with a Hands-on History box, and compensated me financially for this post. I have used many Sonlight products in our homeschool prior to reviewing this product. All opinions — and photographs! ;) — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.]
Sonlight is synonymous with literature-based learning. Think Sonlight, and you immediately think excellent books. (The phrase “no more boring textbooks” leads Sonlight’s educational philosophy.) But over the past several years, Sonlight has added more and more hands-on homeschool options to complement the treasure trove of literature.Continue reading “Using Sonlight Hands-On History as Homeschool Enrichment”
What I Did After Singapore Math (& Other Math Fails)
Homeschool algebra options for high school and middle school
When I was a homeschool kid, there were really only handful of ways to handle algebra: Saxon, Abeka, the Christian university publisher which shall not be named, or the local community college. If you got stuck, you consulted Key to Math workbooks. Now, there are so many options for teaching homeschool algebra, it’s hard to narrow them all down! Yet if there’s one question I get asked more often than any other, it’s this —
Help! What comes after Singapore Math?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Let’s tackle it.Continue reading “What I Did After Singapore Math (& Other Math Fails)”
A-Z Magnatab: A Hands-on Activity for Teaching Preschoolers Letters
It’s been so fascinating watching as Lochlan (age 3.5) begins to be enamored with the alphabet. Aveline was obsessed with letters from an early age, but since I knew her journey wasn’t typical, I didn’t expect Lochlan to be the same. I assumed he wouldn’t show much interest on his own, and imagined I’d teach him his letters at five or six, especially since — as everyone keeps reminding me — “He’s a boy!“
But I also believe in honoring the marvelously individual child God created, truly seeing their unique individuality, and following their cues.Continue reading “A-Z Magnatab: A Hands-on Activity for Teaching Preschoolers Letters”
When Resurrection Doesn’t Come
It’s March, but the vast majority of our usually-vibrant shrubs and bushes bear no hint of green. They’re merely a shell of twigs, flanked by a halo of decaying leaves.
In late December, we were hit with a sudden blast of cold weather. While Tennessee is no stranger to seasonal snowfall, this icy blast was different. The cold blew in far more rapidly than usual, very quickly pushing temperatures below zero, where they remained for days. Plants and trees plunged from comfortable weather to Arctic chill so rapidly the liquid inside instantly froze, causing stems, branches, and sapling trunks to split open and die. The plant cells spontaneously combusted — in ice, not in fire .
There is grief in this.Continue reading “When Resurrection Doesn’t Come”