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Naysayers at the Holidays

Here we are in the holiday season celebrating with friends and family, some of whom we haven’t seen in a while. While that’s exciting, it can also be a little nerve-wracking. No one can push our buttons like family, right? When your sister asks why your 9-year-old isn’t reading yet or your uncle wants to…

attitude of gratitude

Gratitude and Journals

The world can bombard us with negatives: frightening news events, inconsiderate people, disappointing interactions. But research is showing that cultivating a sense of gratitude can help us switch our focus and remind us of the good things happening in our life right now. Establishing a daily practice of identifying “What Went Right Today,” and feeling…

2014 collage

Taking Selfies to a New Level

Selfies seemed to emerge with the younger set crying out, “Look at me!” And why not? Life is exciting and fun – and they look great. But then I read about the  365 feminist selfie project. This seemed to be women in their 20-30’s reclaiming “beauty” and showing people what they look like without make-up in…

kids playing

Your Brain on Play

Studies are showing the importance of playing. We’ve read Peter Gray’s fabulous work on the topic. Research is indicating that not only will play lead to more creativity, but it also will help with problem-solving and critical thinking skills. When Michael, now 25, was forced to sit in a classroom all day for Kindergarten and 1st…

crutches

The Curriculum Crutch

“Buy this, and your kids will be smarter!” “Use this, you’ll be more organized!” “Get this series and you will unleash their inner genius!” Or something like that. Ahh… the lure of curriculum. Marketing has targeted our community for some time now. Advertisers realize that while we are an independent lot, we still harbor a lot…

curric choices

Our Own Curriculum Wars

Back in the ’90’s when the internet was still young… We had loaded up our car and we were moving to Alaska. Really. We were. My husband was in the Air Force and we had decided that on this move, we’d make the break with the school system and set out on our homeschooling adventure! An…

Bean Dip

Pass the Bean Dip?

Over the years, moms have shared ways to cleverly remove themselves from awkward situations. One of these methods is frequently referred to as, “Pass the Bean Dip.” The saying was circulated a lot on message boards from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Some attribute the saying to someone named Joanne at The Well-Trained Mind…