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Poetry & Words

Nasvidenje: An Original Poem

The Poetry Pub is hosting a November Poem-a-Day challenge. I’m not sure I’ll participate every day this month, but we’ll see! It’s good to stretch my writing muscles in a non-commercial, non-blogging way. You can see the prompts for each day of the challenge here, on The Poetry Pub’s Instagram account. The first prompt was “hello”, and here’s what I wrote —

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Book Reviews, Homeschooling

Baby Gym Board Books (A Timberdoodle Review)

Board Books to Promote Bonding

I’ve been reviewing quite a few board books lately, and I’m back with another round for the littles. These playful books are especially suited for infants, and bigger babies who aren’t quite toddlers yet.

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Homeschooling

Wind in the Willows Diorama: A Real Kid’s Middle School Project

This weekend, my sixth-grader made an utterly enchanting Wind in the Willows diorama, jamming a whole delightful world into a tiny 9×6″ box. Since Thursday night, our kitchen table has been host to a glorious assortment of cereal boxes, cotton balls, glue, thread, acrylic paint, and a whole lot of happiness.

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Book Reviews, Homeschooling

Psalm 23: Board Books for Christian Formation

The new school year tumbles in, with torrential rains, soaked earth, and flickering electric power. Online classes begin, with technology connecting us to classrooms in Serbia and Romania, classmates in Ethiopia and the United States, and language studies in Russian, Chinese, and Greek.

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Curriculum Reviews, Homeschooling

Fischertechnik E-Tronic Review: Easy STEM Elective for Middle/High School

STEM education has been firmly in the spotlight for a long time now, with no signs of wavering. Learning materials promising to infuse science, technology, engineering and math into your homeschool are everywhere. But without actually opening the box and trying the products, it can be hard to know if pre-packaged STEM projects are truly worthwhile, or if they’re just really expensive toys masquerading as educational. Let’s take a look at one popular STEM toy and see if it’s worth the hype.

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Book Reviews, Homeschooling

Did the Pandemic Increase Speech Delays? (plus, Board Books for Speech Therapy)

Did the pandemic increase speech delays? Some researchers say yes.

According to several recent studies, pandemic-era children are talking less than their predecessors1. As a parent to a pandemic toddler — Lochlan turned six months old in March 2020 — this concerns me deeply.

I’m not an expert in speech pathology, but some data seems to show both a measurable uptick in referrals to speech therapy2 and “a decline in verbal functioning”.1 One starts to wonder if maybe the kids are not okay3 in our current pandemic-response environment. (Researchers in at least one study indicated “factors related to the pandemic had ‘by far the greatest impact on infant and toddler neurodevelopment.'”1

It’s easy to feel helpless when the the broader global situation remains so complex and convoluted. But there is an immediately actionable response in our grasp: read books aloud, and talk to our kids!

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Poetry & Words, Theology

When I was a girl, the grocery stores started to run out of food.

When I was a girl, the grocery stores started to run out of food.

They didn’t tell you that, because it was a corner of the world you’re not supposed to understand, and they don’t tell you how to become a writer, either. Everyone is supposed to become a reader — they tell you that in school — but it remains a mystery how some readers are able to metamorphose into writers.

After all, the writer concerns himself with not just the reason why civilizations fall, but also the American supermarket, the meaning in dappled bananas on the counter at sunrise, the effervescence of this present moment, and using words incorrectly.

No one teaches you how to be writer, except maybe poets and historians.

Continue reading “When I was a girl, the grocery stores started to run out of food.”
Book Reviews, Curriculum Reviews, Homeschooling

Sonlight Pre-Kindergarten Review: NEW Pre-K at Home with Montessori Updates

Sonlight Pre-Kindergarten Review: NEW Pre-K at Home with Montessori Updates

Pre-K at home with good books and hands-on lessons

Homeschoolers are opinionated when it comes to early childhood education. All you have to do is mention preschool or pre-kindergarten in a room full of homeschool moms, and you’ll instantly find yourself the recipient of a ton of free advice — whether or not you want it.

One of the most common bits of advice is to let kids play.

But have you ever stopped to ask, what is play?

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