What does it take to be a "good" mother? It's complicated, right? Is "tough" love, good love? How do we give our children freedom, while instilling responsibility? When do our good intentions become unhealthy actions? These are just a few questions that came to mind as I read through the following books that portrayed a mother … Continue reading Motherhood and Modern Miss Mason
Reaping a harvest of delighted readers
Think of something your parents taught you as a child that you have felt (or would feel) confident teaching your own children. Maybe how to do the laundry or to cook an egg; how to knit; how to brush your teeth; how to throw a baseball; how to ride a bike; how to drive a … Continue reading Reaping a harvest of delighted readers
Is happiness the key to success?
Our family recently attended the Peru exhibition at the British Museum in London. It's our habit to read the introductory sign together and then, in an effort to keep them engaged, I come up with a focus question that the kids should be prepared to answer when we get home. Since the introductory remarks mentioned … Continue reading Is happiness the key to success?
Grit is only effective when put in its place
Here we are in February where, once again, millions face the reality that they cannot achieve their New Year's resolutions. Is the solution to simply show more grit? It’s not just how hard we try At least some (if not all) of our inability to follow through on our goals may be traced back to the … Continue reading Grit is only effective when put in its place
An education devoid of connection is one devoid of purpose.
A traditional education In high school I trudged through two years of physics and one year of chemistry. I had no real interest in either of these subjects but, at the time, that detail seemed irrelevant. I was told these courses would "look good" on my university transcript. I was told that they would raise … Continue reading An education devoid of connection is one devoid of purpose.
We all know that “slow and steady” wins the race. (But does the winning really matter?)
Perhaps it was because we had just experienced the festivities of the half-marathon in our town, but after reading the Tortoise and the Hare for what seemed like the millionth time, its moral seemed to fall a little flat. Since when does “slow and steady” ever actually win the race? Theoretically, I understand that … Continue reading We all know that “slow and steady” wins the race. (But does the winning really matter?)
Is it really that hard to teach yourself?
Britain's youngest Olympic medalist, skateboarder Sky Brown, also happens to be an autodidact. "I just learn tricks off YouTube," said Brown in 2019. Her father concurred by adding, "Her friends are all [at the skate park] so it's more like just playing with them. It's not serious. It's not 'going to training'." No coach, just … Continue reading Is it really that hard to teach yourself?
When a teacher admits, “I didn’t sign up for this”.
Education is a big deal for me. Not the institution, but the actual learning. I LOVE to learn. About everything. Mostly about how to learn. Having graduated with a degree in Elementary Education, I was convinced that a "good education" was the answer to all of society’s problems, and I was about to inspire hundreds of children to go … Continue reading When a teacher admits, “I didn’t sign up for this”.
Does Star Wars Count as Learning?
Perhaps you are sold on the fact that free play is important for small children, but once they reach a certain age, shouldn’t kids be getting down to the business of actual learning? Here’s an example of how the concept of play, or self-directed learning, might...um...play out in the lives of our older children. … Continue reading Does Star Wars Count as Learning?
How “play” increases the hire-ability of your children.
It turns out that all work and no play could affect your child's chances of landing the job of his dreams. In her book, Prepared, Diane Tavener observes that in “the 1950s, the top skills employers wanted were: 1) The ability to work rapidly and for long periods of time, 2) Memory for details and directions, … Continue reading How “play” increases the hire-ability of your children.