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Two Historical Fiction Books For Teaching US History

Historical-Fiction-US-History

Our homeschool writing class recently finished two important historical novels: How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle and 40 Acres and Maybe a Mule by Harriette Gillem Robinet. Both are middle grade (ages 10 and up), and are short, easy reads, but substantial in content, shining a spotlight on particular moments in U.S. history: Indian Removals in 1830, and the early months of Reconstruction (1865). 1. How I Became A Ghost by Tim Tingle Written by a Choctaw storyteller, Tim Tingle, How I Became a Ghost tells the story of a young boy and his family forced to le[...]

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Fostering Historical Empathy Through the Seeds Of America Trilogy

Homeschool-Resources-Seeds-of-America-Trilogy

“Indeed, how well we do—whether in the classroom or the boardroom—depends more than ever on how well we forge and navigate relationships. In this way, empathy is the new literacy: essential for us to communicate, collaborate and lead.”  (From the Start Empathy website) So much depends on our ability to consider the perspective of another—from our ability to foster healthy relationships to our success as a nation and equitable world. Empathy is commonly referred to as an essential leadership quality, and Brené Brown has talked extensively on[...]

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REnewing Education with Indigenous Wisdom

family-travel-indigenous-people

“To find new ways of transmitting knowledge, we must first find a new knowledge. To find a better medium we must find a better message.” Parker palmer, To know as we are Known Parents, teachers and school administrators are in the middle of reimagining school. It’s a difficult time, as all transitions tend to be.  And the time is ripe . . . to find a new knowledge, a better message. To move toward an education based in relationship: between teacher and student and subject and world. It is time to raise up our young people in connection to th[...]

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Transforming Homemaking

Stay-at-home-mom-self-care

“My life feels so small,” I said.  “Calling your life small is the trick of the ego. Anything that takes you out of the present moment is a trick of the ego,” came the reply. It was during a weekly appointment with Bobbie Jo, a life transitions coach, and I sat there, uncomfortable. I didn’t think it was my ego urging me toward more. I knew there was a wildness, deep and infinite and good, inside of me wanting to have a place in the world.  How could I possibly reconcile my wildness and my domesticity? I was dying to know. My homemaki[...]

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To homeschool or not to homeschool?

how-to-decide-homeschool-or-not

As schools start to announce their re-opening plans for Fall 2020, parents have so much to consider! How much time have you spent trying to make this decision—send the kids back to school or take the stay-at-home option? This is a hard place to be: On the one hand, this, on the other hand, that. Being on the fence can quickly become an intolerable situation.  What if our minds are meant for researching and processing but not for making decisions?  After the mind has collected the data—in the other words, once you’ve researched your options and given[...]

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Teaching a multi-perspective United States History: A Homeschoolers resource

Homeschool-US-History

I’ve been preparing for our 8th grade homeschool, a large portion of which will be US History and modern day revolutions. I’m looking forward to diving deep into our country’s history.  As for my own education, I remember receiving only trivial bits and pieces of America’s roots: a worksheet on Martin Luther King Jr., a paragraph here on the Pilgrims and Indians, a Weekly Reader there on The Gold Rush. I recall a junior high school history class, but not much from the oversized textbook; never a critical look at Manifest Destiny, never a meaningfu[...]

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Is something the matter, mom? time to create your own version of “good Mom”

Stay-at-home-mom

I am walking on fifth street, the road that intersects the street where I live. Down a block, back a block. Elle is one year old and she is in the Ergo pack, attached to my chest. Each step I take is a bounce. I am trying desperately to lull her to sleep.  I have not slept in a couple of nights, since the ear infection began. I am bone tired but I am singing. I am enslaved to this tiny master, I will do anything for her.  This is so f***ing hard, but I will admit it to no one. I won’t say, This is so f***ing hard. I’ll say, “Elle has an ear[...]

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Belize With Kids: A Family Itinerary

family-travel-education

The history, the landscape and outdoor adventure, the people and food: all of these came together to make Belize one of our favorite family travel destinations. For families in the US that are new to international travel, Belize is an easy place to start . . . English is spoken, the American dollar is accepted, and it’s conveniently accessible from the States.  We took a nine day trip, spending half the time inland at San Ignacio and the other half on Caye Caulker. Our seventeen year old niece joined us on this trip, making us a family of four. [...]

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To the Mama Lionesses

motherhood

When, in his last moments, George Floyd called out for his mama, it was as if he called out to a Great Mother, to a benevolent Love that humans hunger for. The Great Mothering Energy who loves us just as we are: divided, bruised and depraved.  When, in his last moments, George Floyd called out for his mama, he motivated many a Mama: black, brown and white. To the fierce Lionesses who take care of the pride.  In what ways can we motivate?  I tend to judge myself because my part feels “small” in the fight for exposing and ending systemic[...]

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Minerals I am Made Of

Motherhood

I’m afraid. I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing, of being misunderstood. I’m afraid  the pearl will never form inside this shell.  The minerals I am made of— how will they solidify my pittance of wisdom, bring forth the revolution? But these are the fears  of a caucasian  the world-is-my-oyster crustacean, of a white  female  homemaker.  I have traveled, I have written, I have swam in ocean’s waters while fires burned.  While hands and hearts lay bare on[...]