I made two investments in homeschooling this week.

First, I bought Rosetta Stone Hebrew. I am worried that Hebrew is too hard for me to teach the kids. I’ve had two years of college Hebrew. I’ve also had five years of get-ready-for-bar-mitzvah-Hebrew that really add up to about one month of college Hebrew. I think this means I know enough to know that I’m going to have to ship the kids off to a kibbutz for a summer if I really want them to learn Hebrew. But I have to start somewhere. And, anyway, how do kids who live 100 miles from the closest Jew learn enough Hebrew to get bar mitzvahed? Read more

My son grabs my hand to hold.

I say, “I can’t. I’m holding the cello. Let’s just go. We’re in a rush. Come on. Just grab the music.”

He says, “But I thought you said holding my cute little hand is your favorite thing in the world to do.” Read more

This is a picture of me and the boys at the music workshop we went to in Boston. You will notice that there are no instruments, and no teachers. This is because after two hours we left the camp and just did a trip to Boston.

In the past, this would have been a hard decision for me. We had been planning to do the workshop all summer. It was a week-long program that we flew half-way across the country for, and we were already in a hotel for a week whether we wanted to be or not. On top of that, it’s scary to quit stuff that everyone else is saying is great. Read more

I was sitting with my son’s best friend, Joe, and his sister and his mom in a restaurant in Illinois. And a text came from the school to say which classroom Joe is in.

Joe said, “Am I with Robbie?”

His mom called Robbie’s mom.

“No. You’re not with Robbie. But Robbie’s mom says you’re with Jacob. You like Jacob.”

“I really like Robbie though. We sat next to each other all last year.” Read more

Asperger’s is a developmental disorder that is almost impossible to self-identify because central to the dysfunction is very poor social skills. But poor social skills means that you are missing social cues which means that you don’t know you’re missing social cues. Everyone in the room wants you to shut up and you don’t know it.

I didn’t know I have Asperger’s until I was 35, when my son was diagnosed. I mentioned to the psychologist, that I would answer yes to all those questions for myself as well. Read more

I’m traveling with my son, which means I’m reading USA Today, which is distributed liberally throughout hotels in the US.

I usually love USA Today. It’s like eye candy with all the photos and it’s nice that I get the same paper no matter what city we’re visiting. My favorite spot in the paper is the upper right-hand corner because it’s got celebrity news. I must be typical of all women because today there’s a women can have it all article in that corner. Read more

You are not trying hard enough. You only try hard at what you like.

This is a refrain you hear in school all the time. Probably because it’s true, that kids intuitively try hard at what they like. In early grades, this means boys are trying hard at recess. In later grades it means very few kids are trying their hardest at math. It also means that we intuitively know what it looks like when a kid is be focused on trying their hardest. Read more

After failing special ed math, I went on to launch three startups, securing funding for all three from investors.

At this point, it’s pretty clear to me that very young kids can run their own company. Certainly they can by age fourteen, but probably even younger. Did you ever read Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Money? The book is a great example of how different people think about work and money. But it also shows the two bear cubs launching five businesses in one week. Read more

I’m done with math. I’m simply not teaching it.

I am teaching what my kids ask to learn. Right now we are mastering jumping on the bed.

Here is why I don’t think I need to teach math.

1. Learning fundamental math is like reading – kids will take the lead.
My son asked to learn addition, subtraction and multiplication before age seven. So obviously he knows how to ask for what he wants in regard to learning math. He learned it pretty quickly. He is not great at multiplying two digits by two digits, but honestly, neither am I.

Read more

I write a ton about all the things that surprise me when my kids have unlimited screen time. I’ve been surprised that they learned to type, that they learned to spell, and they learned to make movies.

Today I’m surprised that they learned about politics.

We were driving in the car to the butcher and my husband said to me, “I saw you are promoting the Republicans on your blog. Are you voting for Romney?”

“What?” Read more