There is currently a plague upon our houses that has nothing to do with COVID-19. The plague is homework. (To be clear, COVID-19 is also a health problem we must take seriously, but this article is not about that.) Homework is taking a serious toll on parent-child relationships. When parents and kids log off after... Continue Reading →
Sometimes there is no rainbow baby
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. My heart goes out to all parents who have experienced devastating loss. As someone who suffered an early miscarriage, I know something of this pain and disappointment. Only a week after the joyous occasion of finding out I was pregnant for the third time, I learned that... Continue Reading →
Why do you have to get political? This is why.
“Why did you have to get political?" “I didn’t come here to read about political stuff.” “This page used to be great until it got political.” These is a small portion of the feedback I get whenever I post about current events and social problems that affect children and families. At first glance it’s an... Continue Reading →
Five myths people believe about homeschooling
There is a spotlight on homeschooling right now, as many parents explore alternatives to public school in the age of coronavirus. Our family is entering into our third year of homeschooling this fall, with a rising fourth grader and first grader. Since we first began to think about homeschooling, I have spent countless hours reading... Continue Reading →
Four ways to end screen time battles while stuck at home
As an outdoor enthusiast and learn-by-doing advocate, I've long been a skeptic about the role of screen time in our kids' lives. Our family even took a two-year hiatus from TV a few years ago -- an experience I wrote about here. Of course, that was in the BEFORE picture of the world. Before coronavirus.... Continue Reading →
This season does not define you as a parent
Sometime during the past century, Christmas became complicated. As Meredith Deland put it in 1904, “Twenty-five years ago, Christmas was not the burden that it is now. There was less haggling and weighing, less quid pro quo, less fatigue of the body, less wearing of the soul; and most of all, there was less loading... Continue Reading →
What about socialization?
If you've ever ventured anywhere near homeschooling, you've probably encountered someone asking the classic and dreaded question, what about socialization? This question is always asked by newcomers to homeschooling. Veteran homeschoolers are more likely to ask things like, How do you balance the needs of multiple kids with very different interests and personalities? or How... Continue Reading →
Alternative education resources we love (that don’t cost a fortune)
Over the years our alternative education journey has included dance classes, theater classes, karate classes, ukulele lessons, museum memberships, theater tickets, state park passes, and trips across the country. I love introducing my kids to new ideas and new places. But as every parent knows, these experiences can start to add up to a small... Continue Reading →
Podcast interview | The Empathic Parent Podcast
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Colleen Sims of the Empathic Parent Podcast about the alternative schooling path my family has taken. In my personal life, I have a tendency to turn every topic of conversation into a discussion about alternative education ("Oh, you have a third grader? How do they like school?")... Continue Reading →
How to take a shower in 12 easy steps: A guide for parents of young children
Does taking a shower while you're responsible for the safety and well-being of one or more young children strike you as an insurmountable task? Just follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way to starting your morning (but let's face it, probably your afternoon) squeaky clean. Step 1. Set your kids up with... Continue Reading →
You don’t have to train your kids. Independence arrives on its own.
Our culture is obsessed with independence. As soon as babies are born, the race toward self-sufficiency is on. We as a culture cannot wait to have babies sit independently, eat independently, sleep independently, and play independently. In fact, we kind of want them to just get a job already. In the seven years I’ve been... Continue Reading →
It’s ok to miss holiday parties because your baby needs you
December is the season of holiday decorations, cookies, hot cocoa, glitter, sparkle, and holiday parties. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Unless you’re a co-sleeping, breastfeeding, not-ready-to-leave my-kid-yet mom. Then it’s transformed into the most stressful part of the year when the holiday party invitations start rolling in. Those of us who parent... Continue Reading →
Five steps to embracing holiday minimalism
Does preparing for the holidays fill you with stress? Are you dreading finding something for everyone on your list? Are you fearing for the barrage of STUFF that will soon descend upon your household? Wouldn’t it be nice to replace these feelings of stress and dread with feelings of calm and joy? Here are five tips to cut down on holiday stress.... Continue Reading →
All your parenting problems solved by the internet
I’ve enjoyed online parenting communities since my kids were very little. I’m a member of several "mom groups" online and they have been, and continue to be, huge sources of knowledge and support for me. I love these groups and the communities they build. That said, anyone who has participated in an online parenting group... Continue Reading →
Social media isn’t destroying pre-teens. Here’s the real problem.
I’ve seen this article about the changing nature of pre-teen life being shared online lately. It’s written by a longtime middle school teacher who describes the vastly different social landscape faced by pre-teens today compared to a mere decade ago. The author describes a hypothetical 12 year old kid named Brian in the year 2008.... Continue Reading →
Responding to unwanted parenting advice with diplomacy and humor
Having a child and taking them out into the world can sometimes feel like an invitation to have others comment on your parenting decisions. With parenting, as with any endeavor, it’s important to be open to new ideas, to listen, and reflect. At the same time, we all know that a lot of the advice... Continue Reading →
We stopped watching TV for two years. This is what I learned.
Like just about any 1980s child, I grew up watching TV. Lots of Looney Toons, the same Disney movies hundreds of times over, and plenty of Nickelodeon shows with the apparent sole purpose of broadcasting green slime dumped on people’s heads. Most kids I grew up with did the same, and I don’t recall anyone... Continue Reading →
Why I don’t teach shapes, colors, letters, or numbers
What do you want most for your kids? To be happy? Successful? Inspired? Fulfilled? When was the last time you felt all of these things? When was the last time you felt invigorated? The lucky ones among us will recall the glorious days of summer break as kids, when we couldn’t wait to get started on... Continue Reading →
My descent into pink
This is a guest post by Jesssica Braidwood Turner. We knew our daughter was going to be a girl. From the time we found out I vowed that she would not be shrouded in ‘the pink’ that has taken over the clothing, toy and life choices of baby girls. I was not a fan. Let... Continue Reading →
Why we are embracing the Switch Witch this Halloween
As a kid, I loved Halloween. After all, what’s not to love about dressing up in costumes and collecting candy? As an adult, I love Halloween because it's one of the rare times families in the same neighborhood connect. Usually we are too busy coming and going, shuffling our kids to lessons and play dates,... Continue Reading →